George Zouvelos, welcome. First things first, Congratulations on making it to Nominee for Ashes to ashes and thank you for speaking to CWFF. Would you care to share your 2023 movie resolutions?
Thank you for the congratulations, as it was my profound pleasure to be included in your festival. I am happy and honored to speak to you and my colleagues from around the world and from New York City today. My 2023 Film resolution is that I always promise to perfect the art of my acting, filmmaking, and storytelling. Filmmaking, for me, is my personal Ulyssean journey of continuing the rich and proud storytelling traditions of my Hellenic Greek ancestry.
Not so long ago, my forefathers had a Ulyssean journey by making an epic quest coming down from the very tops of the Misty Mountains of Arcadia and from the rich but historically ravaged mountains and valleys of Sparta. My ancestors, like many others, crawled their way by sea as migrants seeking the unreachable dreams of finding the opportunity to fulfil dreams of peace and prosperity they could not attain in their homeland. We are blessed with the chance of enjoying domestic harmony and a degree of prosperity, being forever grateful to our Creator to be given the health, peace, talents, graces, and opportunities to continue making resolutions as I made with myself and with you in this correspondence today.
How did you develop the storyline for Ashes to Ashes?
Ashes to ashes is a scene from a television screenplay; I also authored, Pushing Up Daisy. It is a story of opposites attracting and not permitting ourselves to ‘buy with our eyes’ or making quick judgements about any person’s character, capabilities, motives, or the content of their hearts based on physical appearances alone. We are all guilty of doing this at one time or another.
What were your inspirations, and who has inspired you so far?
I am inspired by the great playwrights from the ancient world and the modern-day western storytellers from Europe, Russia, and the United States.
We do not see Ashes to ashes as a comedy, even though this would probably be a good question for someone like Woody Allen! How would you categorize your short film? Can ‘Ashes to ashes’ have a standalone life away from its link to the television pilot ‘Pushing up Daisy’?
Ashes to ashes is a light comedic romance scene within a greater television screenplay. Ashes to ashes can be made into a feature film and do not require a long, drawn-out episodic category.
Jean Cocteau once said, “Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking toward me without hurrying”. Will there be life after death here? What would be the plot for a sequel?
Excellent question, as I have often pondered this phrase by Cocteau. My conclusions are always the same; I believe we will all undergo a metamorphosis since physical death is imminent for us all. We leave behind our physical forms as we were all created to break, and we will continue feeding and fueling, whether on the earth, dust in the stars, or a spiritual transformation, a new awakening once we shed our human form. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, as this is what I believe, and when I close my eyes for the last time, these are also my previous thoughts that will make my soul rest in peace for eternity and finally travel home wherever that may be.
You are a New Yorker of Arcadian, Mycenaean-Spartan Greek ancestry. Did this have any bearing on exploring fate in your films?
Everything I write expresses humanity, human frailty, dignity, and the imperfectly perfect human condition. We are all on our very own independent journey. My family and schools taught me to read the classics and not to judge the same with merely our modern eyes, but first through the lenses of those who lived in those times, and then draw inferences and conclusions by utilizing modern-day or period comparisons. This study of works, stories, plays and theatre pieces is how my Arcadian and Mycenaean forefathers had taught us how to explore the fate of our humanity absent the ancient Fates and also by considering them.
Any upcoming projects you would like to share?
In early 2023 (January to May 2023), I am presently filming a screenplay feature film I authored, ‘Once a week for Life’ OWFL and for a television screenplay, I authored, ‘Everything’s Anonymous’. I am developing and seeking funding for a featured film screenplay I authored, ‘DEZ’. Then I am starring in a fan-film short, a Battlestar Galactica Sci-Fi episode called ‘The Stranded Warrior’. Also, as a SAG-AFTRA and Broadway AEA union actor, I look forward to being cast for lead and co-star etc. roles in television episodes, procedurals, feature films, and stage plays.
George Zouvelos is a SAG-AFTRA / AEA professional award-winning actor. He is also an award-winning screenwriter and director. George is a native New Yorker who was born in Manhattan, New York City but is of Arcadian and Mycenean Spartan Hellenic Greek ancestry.
George attended his Method studies at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. He continuously seeks to perfect the art of his acting by engaging in classes, one-on-one coaching, and workshops with other gifted actors, casting directors, and the various coaches and acting studios. He has also studied other Stanislavsky Method studies, such as Adler, Meisner, and Chubbuck. George obtained his Filmmaking diploma from the New York Film Academy, NYFA, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
Some of his acting and directing successes are highlighted in multi-film-festival award wins as an independent screenwriter, actor, and director. George won ‘Best Actor’ in multiple film festivals for his lead roles in short films. His other awards include ‘Best Director,’ ‘Best Film,’ and ‘Best Screenplay,’ and he has a total of 38 thirty-seven wins, 10 ten nominations, and 29 Twentynine additional awards for his screenwriting, acting, directing, and producing during his short entertainment career.
His earlier experiences included being a decorated New York City Paramedic and later in law enforcement while being bestowed multiple awards and honors for lifesaving, bravery, and valor. In real-life, acting the role of a lifetime, George was an undercover, investigating institutional corruption and organized crime in the New York State Criminal Courts, jails and with certain public career officials held in the highest public esteem. He was and is a successful bounty hunter, New York State bounty hunter, and bail enforcement educational course senior instructor. He has gained the United Stated trademark of © ‘Bail Boss’ and has appeared in Vogue, The New York Times, and other notable publications.
George had the pleasure of serving as a Judge for the Daytime Emmys at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He is the Executive Producer on 4 four award-winning short films, ‘Definitely Soy’ 2019, ‘The Next Generation’ 2021, ‘Ashes to ashes’ 2022, ‘All jokes aside 2023’. He is an Executive Producer on the Amazon Prime series ‘New Dogs Old Tricks’, a Producer on ‘Little Cupid’, an Associate Producer on the feature film ‘Heavenly Deposit’, and an Associate Producer on ‘Ivy & Mistletoe.’ In 2022 George made his Broadway Directing debut as the A. Director and Executive Producer of ‘An Evening With Onassis’ starring Anthony Skordi at the American Theatre of Actors on West 54th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City.
George has appeared on stage and Off-Broadway. He has written screenplays for series and feature films such as:
‘DEZ’ aka ‘Spyros Yeeros,’ ‘Raising up Daisy,’ ‘Once a week for life,’ © ‘Bail Boss,’ ‘Man of the streets New York City Eats’, Ashes to ashes,’ All Jokes aside’; and the feature film ‘Once a week for life’, that is presently filming in New York City.
George is also a proud member of the New York Women in Film and Television, NYWIFT, and an active member in the leadership of AHEPA, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. In 2020 he received the highest honor of ‘Ahepan of the Year’ in New York State. AHEPA is the largest Hellenic American philanthropic, fraternal organization founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, to fight for civil rights and against discrimination, bigotry, and hatred felt at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups.
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