'Brando with a Glass Eye' movie poster

'Brando with a Glass Eye' movie poster

Costume Designer: Natasha Sarris

The movie “Brando with a Glass Eye” by Greek director Antonis Tsonis was one of the highlights of the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival.

The movie “Brando with a Glass Eye” by Greek director Antonis Tsonis was one of the highlights of the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival, an annual film festival focused on emerging artists in the US.

The movie will make its European premiere in Bulgaria at the Sofia International Film Festival as part of the Official Selection International Competition category with 11 other films. It is supported by the Greek Film Centre, starring Yiannis Niarros, Kostas Nikouli, Yiannis Tsortekis and Maria Kallimani.

Critical acclaim has described the film as “a remarkable contribution to contemporary cinema” and Tsonis as “the new voice of Greek cinema.”

Brando with a Glass Eye synopsis

The film shot in Athens, Greece sees main protagonist Luca resorting to armed robbery to fund his dream of studying method acting in New York. In a heist gone wrong, he accidently critically injures Ilias, an innocent bystander. While visiting Ilias in the hospital trauma ward, Luca forms an unlikely friendship, but he keeps his crime a secret.

The film explores friendship, guilt, shame, loss, domestic violence, and escape through the eyes of a budding actor frustrated in a city that he feels has abandoned him.

As Tsonis says it aims to provide a cinematic perspective on American film culture through the lens of a method actor, delving into the enormity that the actor’s persona can atain. The narrative explores the idea that the crucible of a “litle life” might be where a method actor’s soul is born.

“The story raises the question of whether a Greek Marlon Brando or Al Pacino, or their equivalents from any corner of the world, can emerge in contemporary Athens or elsewhere,” Tsonis adds.

Director Antonis Tsonis, a contemporary filmmaker

Antonis Tsonis is a Greek born, writer/director, who studied law and history and received his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

One of his previous short films,“3000”, turned heads and drew attention at film festivals all over the world.

It focuses on an unemployed young man in Athens named Leon, who finds out that his best friend Ari is battling cancer and unfortunately cannot afford to pay for more cancer treatments. Frustrated and desperate to help, Leon starts to consider working within the criminal world in order to support his friend.

Tsonis’ narrative and visual inspiration comes from Italian neorealist cinema, the French poetic realists and the independent American new wave movement of the 1970’s.

A contemporary filmmaker, he is especially focused on stories about characters struggling on the fringes of society. His themes are contemporary, and his style is timeless – his stories could be set in any language or in any city.

Tsonis, celebrated as one of Greece’s most successful independent short filmmakers, makes his feature debut with “Brando with a Glass Eye.”  His body of work has received critical acclaim and has also resonated particularly well in Italy and within the US independent film circuit.

Tasos Kokkinidis (2024) New Greek Cinema Makes Europe Debut with ‘Brando with a Glass Eye’. GREEK REPORTER