He Loves Me, written and directed by queer filmmaker Konstantinos Menelaou and produced by Ne’er Do Well Films in collaboration with Sinister&Co, The Queer Archive and HomoEvolution, announces the launch of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Balancing between fiction and documentary, the film will explore the unconventional nature of love and its ability to survive against the fear of loneliness and the problematic lifestyle of a big city. The collapsing relationship between Hermes and Sanuye finds an outlet for escape in an isolated beach. Once there, they expose their feelings and release their emotions. Their love reborn might not be enough to amend all the shattered pieces of their relationship.
Through this film Menelaou wants to create a new outlet of communication, which will allow the actors and the director to explore the key issues posed by the script and to offer the audience the chance to participate and further the dialogue when the film reaches its destinations.
The film is expected to be ready by early December 2015 and will be submitted to a series of film festivals, amongst which is Berlinale, Toronto, Sundance, OutFest, Flare, South by Southwest and Venice.
To promote the crowd-funding campaign, a promo trailer for “He Loves Me” was released earlier today, which can be seen on the following link:
He Loves Me is a labor of love. It is an exploration of the mentality and psychology of gay couples and the formation of their unique lifestyle. In this case, the questions asked deal with a certain lifestyle observed in big cities and usually associated with vices, sex addiction, drug taking etc. It is about the moment when all these vices take control and the truth is difficult to reach. When this happens, what is it that can bring us back to reality: Simplicity and nature.
The basis is taken from my own personal life and a very turbulent relationship which culminated in an experience of ten days on a remote beach in Greece.
During my efforts to understand the essence of this life changing relationship, I found it impossible to find a solid meaning to why relationships fail when love is still there. Every rule was broken down and the search for peace was too far away. Therefore, I had to open the discussion that was going in my head. I had to start a journey using the tool I feel more comfortable with: film. But I couldn’t be the only author of this one. It had to be an open project, open to interpretation, to all possibilities.
In trying to figure out which was the best way to develop the piece I was reminded of the work of John Cassavetes and his unorthodox – for the time – way of making films, which I find liberating. By introducing a unique style of improvisation he succeeded in capturing the best, most realistic performances from his actors, but also to create a free dialogue between himself and the actors, which has resulted in his artistic, as well as commercial success. This has given me impetus to make my own rules, to think as an artist as much as a filmmaker.
My proposed structure for the production of “He Loves Me” will not only result in a finished film but it will also be a process for self-discovery for my actors and I. I don’t want to dictate the story, instead I want it to unfold and develop naturally by allowing the actors to contribute to its development.
My hope is that when the film is shown it will create a new outlet of communication, which will allow the audience to consider the questions posed by the film and to encourage them to start a meaningful dialogue.
He Loves Me will be driven by the acting, dialogue, body movement and the characters interaction with the landscape. It will be an attempt to observe and document the art of improvisation between two actors and the truth that can come from the combination of talent and life experience. This film won’t be shot as a conventional narrative project, but in more of a documentary form since observation is the leading directorial line and aesthetic of this piece.
Konstantinos Menelaou / The Queer Archive
(Director, Writer, Producer) email@example.com
Konstantinos Menelaou is a film-maker, creative producer and curator based in London. His video and film work explores the sensitive and the dark side of the human condition. He explores these and other obsessions by using organic means of cinematic expression. Super8 film and avoidance of digital effects are the most distinct characteristics of his unique style.
His work has been shown at art and film festivals and galleries around the world including BFI Flare, Pica Australia, Miami Art Basel, Centre Pompidou, Outview Festival, Mix Milano, Barbican Art Gallery and Queer Lisboa.
In September 2013 he launched the Queer Archive, a project that aims to help queer film- makers and artists to create, exhibit and distribute their work. On its first year, The Queer Archive produced seven projects with all profits donated to artists, filmmakers and London based charities.
The Queer Archive is a curated platform for queer visual content and communication. It is a destination for all communities, a catalyst for the creation of ideas, a creative studio that nurtures and promotes queer voices. The Queer Archive aims to inspire a positive viewpoint and to generate discussions on issues related to queer politics, culture and lifestyle. Dialogue and the exchange of information and ideas are at the core of our activities. The Queer Archive’s fundraising efforts enable us to finance new content, produce events, make films, curate screenings and art exhibitions and to offer assistance to thinkers / filmmakers / artists of all media to materialise their ideas and reach an audience.
The list of collaborators includes leading names in art, film and queer culture including Bruce La Bruce, Slava Mogutin, Brian Kenny, Paola Revenioti, Bradford Nordeen, Stuart Comer, Panagiotis Chatzistefanou, Diane Pernet, Billy Miller, Marie Schuller, Vincent Gagliostro, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Jeffrey Hinton, Stuart Sandford, Kostis Fokas, Sara Davidmann, A Man to Pet and Jonny Woo.
Sanuye is an artist, performer, model and actor, born in Romania in 1987. He studied philosophy at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. After graduation he went on to a trip around the world, and for the last seven years London is his base. Through his work and life experience he began to explore his sexuality and identity using his body as a tool for creative expression.
His collaboration with Hector de Gregorio has been instrumental as it opened a channel between his mind and body as a creative fusion.
His impressive list of collaborators in photography, video/film and performances include Michael Stipe (R.E.M), Slava Mogutin, Leonardo Corredor, Darren Black, Ray X. He has also performed for Spill Performance in Ipswrich and Fringe Film and Arts Fest.
Alongside his artistic endeavours, he is a qualified Traditional Thai Massage Therapist, a practice that is an integral part of his “body philosophy”.
Hermes is a multidisciplinary artist, performer and model. He was born in Cyprus in 1986 and since 2007 he is based in London. Hermes has studied Make Up Arts at LCF and since his graduation he has been using make up as an art form. He describes himself as an artist who uses make up and not as a make-up artist. He uses himself as a canvas exploring different identities through his collaborations with various artists and galleries including Manuel Vason, Ron Athey, Lee Adams, Lauren Jane Williamson and Ernesto Tomasini.
His work in performance and video has been shown at London Underground Film Festival, Modern Panic, Les Urbains. Other collaborators include National Theater Wales and the Welsh Arts Council.
Since 2014 he started a photographic collaboration with his boyfriend Sanuye Shoteka, in which they use their bodies in order to explore their relationship and artistic practice.
Sanuye and Hermes have become an integral part of He Loves Me. They fully understand the essence of the project and that they are also able to enrich and expand its core issues with their experience, maturity and intelligence. Apart from their physical compatibility, they have shown a natural talent to be realistic in front of the camera. Their art practice has developed a rare ability to accumulate information, to apply it to their personal life and to deliver a realistic performance that blends the boundaries between fiction and reality.
The key issue of He Loves Me is not to dictate a certain meaning, but to question and re- evaluate problematic elements in gay relationships. As Sanuye and Hermes explore sexuality in both their personal and professional life in such a confrontational and open way this makes them the ideal creative partners for this project. In their relationship they have found a sober way to explore the complexity of their common life, in a physical, emotional and intellectual way. They rationalise their problems and differences, and in doing so manage to keep their relationship firm revealing a love at its core.
Through the development of the characters we will be able to dig deeper as they are prepared to take the risks and to apply the more difficult emotional elements of the film to their relationship.
Their contribution will make sure that this project will ask the right questions, provoke positive thoughts and take the audience and all participants on an emotional journey.