After a bit of a regroup on Sunday in Athens, when we finally met Vicky Leontou (a journalist who has opened so many doors for us and is our Associate Producer) at a wonderful dinner at her home, we were back at it on Monday, at Hotel City Plaza. We will be going into much more detail about Hotel City Plaza, one of our primary locations in the coming days, as we continue to film there and speak to more of the residents. This was our second visit, our first one filming there. (Zaphiri had visited a number of times before we arrived.)
We filmed one interview with a 16 year-old Afghan refugee living there, who goes by the name Abbas. Although he gave us his permission to film him, we seeking to get permission from his mother, as he is underage. Once we have that, we will talk more about him and show some video.
We also spoke with several volunteers, here Maria Karagouni, who works in the storeroom where residents can come for food, coffee, pampers, etc. tells us about why she volunteers and what is different about City Plaza.
We filmed in the kitchen as refugees and volunteers (many of whom live at the hotel, along with the refugees) prepared meals. We also filmed at lunchtime the following day and to say that it was lively is a great understatement. We are hoping to post videos of the common spaces, but are still in discussion with everyone at City Plaza as to what they are comfortable for us to show. Many residents are in legal limbo, they also have fears about retributions to their families back home. We are walking a fine line to show their lives while still protecting them.