Velvet Datsopolou, a young New York-based producer who grew up in Greece, is at her best when a director knows how to produce a film’s minimalist tendencies. The films that she produces reflect her soul’s true calling: the desire to portray characters undergoing self-transformation while facing personal and psychological challenges. Tom Sklavos is just the kind of introspective filmmaker who can make this happen. Tom Sklavos, a young filmmaker who also focuses on independent films, has become a frequent collaborator. When working together, Velvet and Tom excel at capturing characters who navigate psychological challenges and live through the emotional damage of their pasts.
Velvet and Tom, both from Greece, have met during the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Their shared interest in independent European cinema, Hellenistic backgrounds, and common vision in creating psychological stories on screen made this duo irresistible. They are currently collaborating on an independent feature film that will be shoot on an island in Greece during the summer of 2021.
While they are not ready to share this upcoming project’s details, Velvet gave us some insights about what inspires her to produce films and gave clues on what we can expect from her in the future. David Lynch and Bernardo Bertolucci heavily influence her work. In particular, Bertolucci’s style that blended poetry, politics, and psychological depth in his films made a lasting impact on Velvet. Hence, it is not surprising to see her focus on stories that depict relations among characters stuck in a psychological crisis. In addition, she tends to collaborate with directors who tend to have a keen eye for cinematography. In the past, she and her collaborators often used the dramatic backdrop of Greek islands to accentuate their stories’ emotional effect. She also loves the operational aspects of being a producer, actively work on set, overseeing production logistics from start to finish, in close collaboration with the director.
As one of her initial projects, Velvet was part of the staff that contributed to creating the acclaimed documentary “Great Directors,” which was selected in the Cannes Film Festival 2012, and the feature film “Interlude the City of a Dead Woman.” Velvet also worked for a New York-based production company called Creative Chaos. Velvet’s producer credits include another short documentary about love and relationships, inspired by the article published in the New York Times, “36 Questions that Lead to Love.” Velvet was also an associate producer in a short film called “Vida Mia” which got selected at the Chelsea Film Festival. In a VR documentary called “Sygnomi,” a project that studied domestic violence in our society. In addition to films, Velvet co-produced music videos for emerging singers, including a recent one for the Greek singer “Evgenia,” which reached more than 1m views on YouTube. Outside of her work in film, Velvet is actively involved in several NY-based tech start-ups developing content and commerce projects.
Tom Sklavos is the Head of the Production of York Films. York Films is a full-service, independent production company that finances and develops feature films for audiences worldwide. The Company is uniquely positioned to understand needs and opportunities within the film industry, thanks to its team’s combined experience in the business and film world, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. At York Films, the team aims to bring together the movie industry’s biggest stars with a new wave of filmmakers and talent to create a diverse collection of films that will touch and captivate modern audiences.