Imaret: An exciting new project by Indigo View and Black Orange Films

Indigo View was invited back to MFI’s Scipt 2 Film Workshops in June to develop their new project: a new drama series based on the best-selling novel Imaret by Yannis Kalpouzos. The creative team consisted of director Theo Papadoulakis, producer Ioanna Davi and writer Alexandra Dyranis-Maounis who participated in the first ever TV Lab edition held by the Mediterranean Film Institute on the island of Nisyros. The team trained under distinguished tutors such as Gabor Krigler (HBO Europe Creative Executive) and Michel Sabbe (scriptwriter). They also attended numerous presentation by renowned guest lecturers, such as the legendary American director Dan Attias, whom the team actually met in person and were very inspired by.

Imaret proved a top hit during the workshop, with participants and tutors eager to find out more about the project, while everyone soon came to refer to it as the Greek/Turkish Game of Thrones! In fact, the producers are actually in the process of attaching a Turkish co-producer in the project. As per the rest of the MFI’s continuing training schedule, the team will have an online session with the tutors in August and then another intensive week in Rhodes in October, in the hopes of having a concrete pilot episode, mini synopses of all 8 first season episodes and overviews for the second and third season by the end of 2018.

Imaret the novel was originally published by Metechmio in 2008 and then republished by Psychogios in 2015. It has been honoured with the National Book Centre Readers’ Award in Greece and has been translated and published in Polish and Turkish, while the Italian publication has been scheduled for 2019.

Producer Yannis Iakovidis of Black Orange Films has acquired the adaptation rights and is co-operating with Indigo View for the development of an innovative drama series with international appeal. The story is set in Arta, from 1854 to 1882, following the lives and close friendship between two boys, a Greek and a Turk living in a Greek city under Ottoman rule.

The meaning of the word imaret in Turkish is “sanctuary for everyone” and Arta, the city the two protagonists live in, had a very special place in the history of the time, being the home to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Although Greece and Turkey were essentially still at war, the novel depicts a place where three different communities coexisted and tried to respect and understand each other's culture and religion.

Imaret the series is currently developed as a gripping Greek/Turkish western, not shunning away from the reality, dirt and grit of the life at the time. The series plans to show that, although the idealized concept of the world being like an imaret, a sanctuary, is unattainable because bullying, racism and bigotry are rooted deep into the human soul. However, lifelong friendships between individuals of different cultures are possible and lasting - and they sometimes make a true difference.

In the explosive times we live in, the creative team behind Imaret believes in the need to promote a narrative that inspires acceptance among neighbors, but does so in a modern and not didactic way for the Netflix-trained TV audience of today.

Project identity

Title: Imaret

Genre: Drama, European Western

Format: 3 seasons x 8 episodes

Producer: Yannis Iakovidis – Black Orange Films S.A.

Development – Co-producer: Indigo View Productions, Ioanna Davi

Writer: Alexandra Dyranis-Maounis

Director: Theo Papadoulakis

Original novel by Yannis Kalpouzos