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‘The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour’: Director, Platon Theodoris, discusses his new feature film

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Platon Theodoris is a jack of all trades. He’s a director, writer and producer – filmmaker with an eye for the extraordinary, hilarious and dramatic things in life.

This artistic flair has seen him direct four short films, Para-Soul, SunriseLakemba and Wine Lake, and a debut feature film, Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites. Currently, he’s also working on a second feature film, The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour, which is in post-production.

To celebrate this success, we sit down with Platon and talk all about his career and new film.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I started making films in high school using both super 8 and VHS cameras. I grew up in the inner west of Sydney and spent a lot of time at the Politistiko Kentro in the Addison Road Community Centre in the 80’s as both my parents were active members. I Studied film making at UNSW and The Jakarta Institute of Arts in Indonesia.

Stills from Platon’s new feature film. Photo supplied.

I also directed music videos and TV commercials for many years. This included time working on corporate campaigns for a large production house in Athens. I moved into long form stories a few years ago. I’m fluent in Indonesian, Japanese and Modern Greek. I have a love of languages. 

2. You recently directed The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour. What inspired you to create this feature film?

This is my second feature film after my debut Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites. The inspiration for this new film came after I saw an incredible live theatre show by Nitin Vengurlekar called – of course – The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour, which was on at the Bankstown Arts Centre and the Griffin Theatre in Darlinghurst.

I went with a group of friends and we all laughed and laughed. This was absurdist comedy at its finest, Spike Milligan meets Jacques Tati meets Western Sydney. This film has been adapted from Nitin Vengurlekar’s inspirational theatre show and stars the man himself. 

The film stars Nitin Vengurlekar as Neville Umbrellaman, the charismatic host of the show. Photo supplied.

3. What is the feature film all about?

The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour is an existential comedy about a verbose intellectual who runs a radio show from his parent’s garage. The film stars Nitin Vengurlekar as Neville Umbrellaman, the charismatic host of the show. The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour features special guests, music and performances. When verbose radio host Neville Umbrellman lands in hospital, a group of unexpected performers crash his show The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour in order to complete the variety line up. 

4. You recently launched an Indiegogo for support. What will the funds be going towards?

Production began in late 2019 and we finished shooting in March of this year. I was lucky enough to work with a great bunch of talented cast, performers and crew. The initial production and development of the film was done with the support of over 35 people. They have all had a hand in helping bring this film to life. With their support, energy and passion the film is close to being finished.

We started the Indiegogo Crowd Funder because I want to raise some extra funds which will go toward some final post-production elements like the colour grade and the sound mix (including a 7.1 mix for cinema), translation and subtitling in French, German and Spanish, the master cinema file creation and also to cover the exorbitant fees they charge to submit independent projects to film festivals.

I’m very grateful and fortunate that some arts patrons (including some prominent Australians with Greek heritage) have already made generous contributions to this post-production and distribution process prior to us launching this Indiegogo campaign. But we still need a little more to get us over the line and finish the film to the highest standard. 

5. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour. Photo supplied.

If you love independent cinema and can support the Arts we’d love for you to get behind this project. Big or small contributions appreciated. We have some great perks for all our supporters  – from getting your name in the end credits and tickets to a Special Sydney Screening late next year.

For bigger contributions you can get your name on IMDb and the film’s End Credit Titles (as an Associate or Executive Producer). Executive Producers are included as part of the Production Team and will have the opportunity to join the Team at a film festival World Premiere with access to festival passes next year. 

Check out the IndieGogo Campaign page here. The IndieGogo Campaign ends on Sunday, November 7. You can also follow the film on Instagram @lonelyspiritsfilm or check out the teaser at: lonelyspiritsfilm.com.

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