In Conversation with Petros Silvestros, ASFF 2015 Best of Fest Winner

At the ASFF 2015 Awards Ceremony on Sunday 8 November, filmmaker Petros Silvestros collected the awards for Best Thriller and overall Festival Winner, with his gripping film A Confession. In this short film, a mysterious young man must confess a terrible sin. But what he reveals to a priest resonates way beyond the confines of the Church – calling into question a 1,500 year-old relationship. We speak to Silvetros after receiving the awards at ASFF.

ASFF: Firstly, how does it feel to have won both Best of Fest Award along with Best Thriller at ASFF 2015?
It feels great, especially when knowing that the film was in competition with more than 300 other shorts. Also these two awards mean a lot to me as they are my first from a british film festival. The first time you get a recognition in your own country is always something you hardly ever forget.

ASFF: A Confession has already won many awards, including the Crystal Bear award in Berlin. How did you find the experience of York and ASFF?
Berlinale is of course a massive festival that every filmmaker wants to be part of but it can’t beat the personal touch that ASFF has. The quirky venues, the very friendly organisers, the numerous networking events and of course the great variety of the programme are only a few of the elements that make this festival special. I’ve been going to festivals for more than 15 years and I can easily say that ASFF is by far my favorite film festival in UK.

ASFF: You work is typically full of suspense and mystery; do you find these themes are easier to intensify in short films?
I think it’s exactly the contrary. Suspense and mystery need a lot of  time in a film in order to develop and build up and the brevity of a short film definitely doesn’t help. The key is to avoid complicated plots and select more minimal stories that do not consume too much from the audience’s attention, allowing the mystery and suspense elements to breathe time wise.

ASFF: A Confession conjures up interesting questions over the role of organised religion in the modern world. How do you think it functions in today’s society?
Organised religion has a lot of power in the modern world and it could potentially be a force for peace. Sadly it has become the number one reason for division, conflicts and violence.

ASFF: A Confession resonated powerfully with audiences during ASFF, what is it about the thriller genre that attracts you as a filmmaker?
It must be because of this masochism we all have of wanting to experience darkness, fear and shock but in the safe environment that only a film can provide. It’s also because I believe that a thriller can involve emotionally and entertain the audience more that any other genre. It intensifies our sense of curiosity making our heads tick while creating a powerful emotional identification with the characters.

For more information on Petros Silvestros’ A Confession, visit

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1. Petros Silvestros, A Confession (UKFF/ Irresistible Films)