BROOKLYN BUZZ: Ridge filmmaker debuts first feature film

November 10, 2011 Heather Chin
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This film is a testament to anybody who loses somebody and isall alone in the world and only has late night walks in Bay Ridge.- Evan Apostolakos

At 17, native Ridgeite Evan Apostolakos experienced loss in hislife. Now 27 and a recent graduate of St. Francis College withdegrees in education and film, Apostolakos is unveiling his firstfeature film, In Black, which tells the story of a 17-year-oldmuch like he once was who must process a grief that turns into anightmare and psychological turmoil.

The based-on-a-true-story film is making its East Coast premiereat St. Francis at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, November 11, after havingalready won the Best Director of a Feature Drama award at SanFrancisco’s Best Actors (in a) Film Festival earlier this year.

It hasn’t been seen locally by anyone outside of his schoolcommunity – including Apostolakos’s family members, who he says arereally excited for Friday’s premiere – despite being filmedentirely in Bay Ridge with financial support from St. Francis andApostolakos’s own pocket. The low-budget production features a10-person cast and crew, many of whom also hail from the Ridge.

I’ve had the idea since 1998. As a teenager, everybody grievesin a unique way; for me, it was a little darker and gave me afaster path to danger and destruction, but I made it out allright, said Apostolakos. One of the reasons why I made it out wasbecause I let these images out of me.

Another reason was the unbelievable support he received fromFort Hamilton High School, the staff of which he credits for takingthe place of his friends and inspiring him to become aneducator.

On the film’s success, Apostolakos says he was blown away by thehonor he received in San Francisco and believes the film resonatedso much with viewers because of the talent and dedication of hiscast, led by Alexander Castro, Melissa Manning and Nicholas Genusa,as well as post-production editing magician John Capetanakis.

I love Bay Ridge, said the budding director. As you know, thepeople here really feel this is our town. I really got that whentaking those late night walk. I like to think we are the only movieto have as much Bay Ridge as ‘Saturday Night Fever.’

Now, he just hopes that the project will meet with at least alittle measure of success at more film festivals before returninghome in the spring.

I hope people will come away knowing that you never everabandon somebody in a time of need, especially when they’regrieving, Apostolakos said. A lot of people do. Don’t leave themalone. For a 17-year-old, that is not a good thing. This is my wayof getting it out of my system.

In Black can next be seen in Brooklyn in April 2012, when itreturns from a hopefully successful run of the global film festivalcircuit. Updates can be found on the

If you can’t wait that long, make sure to catch it this Friday,November 11, at 7:30 p.m. in St. Francis College’s Founders Hall at180 Remsen Street. A $5 donation is suggested; all proceeds will goto the school’s Communication Arts and Education Departments.

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