TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


That Burning Light

Efthimis Kosemund Sanidis, Yorgos Tsourgiannis

Greece, Romania


With a pressing need to pay back a debt to loan sharks, 30-year-old Ilias disembarks on a distant Greek island to claim the inheritance of his recently deceased father, a doctor, who seemingly abandoned him at a young age.

Neither his acting uninterested in the death of his father nor his in- and-out plan however go as expected. He has to confront the fact that his father was saintly perceived by the locals as he gratuitously offered his medical services to whoever in need, something that comes in stark contrast both to Ilias’ value system or his image of his father as a selfish man. The inheritance is limited to a small piece of land and, to make things worse, a strange paralysis occurs to Ilias’ limbs, whilst similarly unexplained illnesses and accidents afflict the local community at an alarming speed.

Ilias’ physical struggle and immobility force him to accept his true emotions towards his father. It is there where he comes closer to Mercedes, a 25-year-old woman working at the rentals where he stays. And while the world seems to be coming to an end, a sense of urgency brings new hope.


There is a transformation taking place in the course of the story, from a pragmatic and naturalistic world bound by necessity to a world of mythology and experience bound by human frailty and the possibility to connect. It is almost as if the illness, his gradual paralysis, enforces Ilias to allow other things to affect him, because he would never let himself. It is his body that makes him do it. He finds a way to relate to the image of the father, to the old world.

As the narration unfolds, Ilias, an opportunist, a semi-shadowy lone wolf who owns a small jewelery store in Athens, becomes a beacon of sorts, an evangelist of a society whose suffering manifests in mysterious accidents and disease outbreaks along with constant and ever-growing blackouts – an apocalyptic backdrop that echoes a universally shared feeling that our world/planet is close to an end.

It all feels very tragic but at the same time silly. Ugly and petty but also glorious and beautiful.

You’ll ache and you’re going to love it. It will crush you and you’re still going to love all of it.
Efthimis Kosemund Sanidis

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Yorgos Tsourgiannis


production notes

original title
That Burning Light

produced byHorsefly Films
107 Asklipiou
11472, Athens

in co-production with
Tangaj Production - Romania

current financial need
€ 825.000