Born in Istanbul, during the 50's, the scriptwriter and director of A TOUCH OF SPICE, Tasos Boulmetis, takes us on a journey full of tastes and aromas.
A TOUCH OF SPICE is a story about a young Greek boy (Fanis) growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor, teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavor; they both require … A TOUCH OF SPICE.
Fanis grows up to become an excellent cook and uses his cooking skills to spice up the lives of those around him. 35 years later he leaves Athens and travels back to his birthplace of Istanbul to reunite with his grandfather and his first love; he travels back only to realize that he forgot to put a little bit of spice in his own life…
As his uncle used to say…. "there are two types of travelers in life, those who are leaving and those who are returning, the first look at the map, the later look in the mirror.." Now it's time for our hero to take a look in his own mirror.
A TOUCH OF SPICE is a nostalgic bitter-sweet comedy about self-awareness, people leaving their homeland, personal conflict, but, most importantly, shows us how cooking can give all of us valuable lessons about love and life itself.
Humor, sensitivity, romance and mouth-watering delicacies make up this touching yet comical coming-of-age story that will delight audiences worldwide.
NOTE OF SCRIPTWRITER- DIRECTOR TASSOS BOULMETIS
Tassos Boulmetis was born in Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1957. He came to Greece in 1964. He studied Physics in the University of Athens and Film Production and Direction in the University of California (UCLA), with scholarship from the Onassis Foundation, where he also worked for a while as an assistant.
In Greece he started his career as a director/producer of TV shows in the national television channels. He then co-produced, directed and wrote the film "DREAM FACTORY". The film gained 8 awards in Greece and the Golden Award of Fantasy Movies in the Houston Film Festival. Since 1988 he's been directing TV spots, internationally, and has specialized in Special Effects and Processing of Electronic Images.
His last big project was the film "A Touch of Spice", which he wrote, directed and co-produced. This project is a labor of love for him as the story is based, mostly, on true facts drawn from his own life.
"I was born in Istanbul in 1957 and moved to Greece along with my family, after the deportation of 1964. After 30 years, I traveled back to Istanbul so as to visit our old house, my father's shop and my grandfather's grocery.
When I rang my school bell, Mrs Emilia, my primary school teacher, opened the door. I hadn't seen her since then. Both my grandfathers were born and died in Istanbul.
Greeks living in Istanbul were active and dynamic members of a healthy community (and not passive and inactive members of a minority). Nevertheless, they had the bad luck to suffer the consequences of a political conflict: on one hand there was a countrywide Turkish policy, which with prowess and enduring patience depopulated a healthy part of the minority and on the other, a short-sighted Greek policy which, without national strategy and vision, led - without realizing it - to the depopulation of the healthy Greek society that lived in Istanbul.
Therefore, the anger that smoulders in my film is mostly addressing Greeks and not my "enemies". "A Touch of Spice" is the life story narration of a man from Istanbul to a diplomat, who is not necessarily on his side…"
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
A TOUCH OF SPICE, Village Roadshow's first Greek production, is set to become the most successful film of all time in Greece.
The film, which was shot in Athens and Istanbul, opened in Greece on October 24th, 2003 to a record-breaking 65,000 admissions in only 41 screens all over the country, and in its second weekend recorded an unprecedented 53% increase in admissions. Billed as the Mediterranean answer to "Like Water for Chocolate", the film has held off U.S blockbusters such as "Master and Commander" and "Finding Nemo" to remain at the #1 spot of the box office in Greece for seven consecutive weeks in release.
A TOUCH OF SPICE has surpassed 1.2 million admissions and is still going very strong. It has skewed to all audiences with unprecedented repeat business from all age groups, a phenomenon that last occurred in Greece with "Titanic".
The film has won 8 National Film Awards (including best picture, direction, script, cinematography, editing, sound, music and art direction) and also the People's Choice Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. It is now Greece's official choice for the Best Foreign Language Oscar for 2005.