Sunday, December 4, 2016

Red Door and Lemon Tree on the West Coast

This is truly my most favourite time of the year. The stores are all decorated with colourful ornaments, carollers are singing, bells are ringing ... and the weather, if you live in Toronto, or even if you don't, you can use your imagination a little to create the perfect atmosphere to get you in the festive mood.  For example, if I'm missing snow I find the perfect youtube video to play, where I set the right mood I'm looking for: snow falling, fire crackling and christmas classics that are sure to get me in the Christmas spirit. There are many special occasions one can celebrate this month but for me December is all about Christmas! And what better way to celebrate than to give time to others by volunteering, or visiting a friend you haven't seen in a long time or sending someone a card (yes I'm old fashioned that way)  letting them know you're thinking of them. Gifts are special but they come in many forms ... It's about the thought you put into them that brings someone a smile just because you thought of them.

This month, the 'Red Door and Lemon Tree' team will be spreading some Christmas cheers in Los Angeles. We will be meeting with talented actors, scouting locations and enjoying some of the festivities on the west coast. Judging by our previous travelling experiences it's should be quite an adventure. Of course, we could not make a holiday business trip without a stop to New York City. What a way to end the year... auditions, scouting and holiday fun.

Remember to follow us on FB and Twitter @AriaRedDoor to stay updated. Your support and commitment is much appreciated and to show you how much we will be announcing various contests where you our fans and your families can partake and win many prizes including meeting the stars of the film as well as attend Red Carpet screenings in Toronto, Los Angeles and Athens. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Feeling at home

The moment I stepped out of the airplane I felt at home. I was at home. My birth country Greece! The feeling is surreal and not easy to describe. It's just like when you meet your soulmate and you just know. I know that I belong here! As I proceeded to claim my bags that feeling got stronger and by the time we left the airport and into my cousin's arms I felt overwhelmed with emotions.

Connecting with the people you love and you share memories with only enhances those deep emotions and the next few days that followed those feelings became stronger. Although this was a business trip, scouting, meeting and auditioning well known actors in Greece, I could not stop savouring every moment. I was blessed to be in my home country.

There's nothing more beautiful than to take an evening stroll in Athens and experience the vibrant life on every street. All the things that would have quieted another nation have only made my people stronger, louder and more alive than ever! Youth was everywhere living, laughing enjoying the beauty they are blessed to experience every day. I felt truly fortunate to be there... I felt happy!

In Crete, my emotions overwhelmed me even more. The tears were often visible on my face and I think that those around me could not truly understand that a lot of the times those were tears of joy, pride and a sense of longing for a place I had developed such love and need to be a part of.

Discovering that I have roots in Crete made it more real for me and more essential to stay connected. Every part we visited, just like before felt unique and precious. East or west ... It didn't matter. It made our scouting decisions so difficult because how do you choose over so many stunning places?

The thing that made it even harder for me as I stepped into that plane to head back to my family in Canada was saying good bye to all my new and old friends that have become so important to me over the last little while. The deep connections that I feel will last a lifetime regardless of the distance. The people that welcomed me into their homes and treated me like I was a part of their family. The ones that would look into my eyes and could feel my joy and my pain and all my  mixed emotions. The people that made it better with a simple hug letting me know that they care and that they were and will always be there.

Making 'Red Door and Lemon Tree' is truly a blessing for it is the journey that has brought me and continues to connect me to my home, my people and all the things that truly matter!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The team is growing

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our co-producer Stevan Krickovic! I've known Stevan for over thirty years. We first met in high school; strings class to be specific. When I first signed up I thought I was going to learn the guitar... instead, I was assigned the cello and Stevan became my partner in crime. Not only did he help me master the instrument so that I wouldn't make a fool of myself at our school recital but he helped me for a few hours a week jam it up with the guitar in the school's basement music room, when we were supposed to be practicing the cello. 

Stevan is a great addition to our team; he's bringing an abundance of experience as he has produced various impressive projects and his love for music and his contributions in the fields are an asset for Red Door and Lemon Tree. 

Stevan is also one of the first few people I approached, along with Irini and George and his passion for this project and to assist in any way he can are highly valued and appreciated. Steve's passion, creativity, love and experience are great qualities that strengthen the team. He has over the years continued to be a loyal friend, an important attribute in any business relationship.

As George and I embark on our adventure in Greece next week for more scouting, meetings and auditions, Stevan will keep things running here at home, making sure we continue to raise awareness via social media, go over the countless applications for the various positions posted so far and prepare as we get ready to set up our new office in the Bay/Yorkville area this November. Welcome aboard Stevan!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cretan Kindness

One of the most rewarding experiences for me while I was scouting in Crete this past July was meeting the locals. I met some of the nicest, kindest and selfless people I've ever met. They were welcoming and very giving. A few of those people that I came across with touched me deeply because not only were they giving to me, a complete stranger, offering support both personally and professionally asking nothing in return but I soon realized that their whole life was dedicated to helping others. These individuals do this just because they want and love to help others. They've created a non for profit organization comprised of volunteers called 'The wall of Kindness' that is dedicated to supporting those that are less fortunate. These individuals are so selfless that they have asked that they remain anonymous. They don't want recognition or praise, instead they want results.

Currently in partnership with the Community Medical Centre and the Heraklion Pharmacy they are trying to help a five year old boy, with a hearing and speech impairment receive a cochlear implant system (a hearing aid device), so this little boy can hear and slowly learn to speak for the very first time. The social workers and medical professionals involved are volunteering their time for the surgery but the cost of the hearing device is 20,000
So far, 16,000  have been raised out of the 20,000  necessary to purchase the hearing device. There are so many volunteers who are trying to help this little boy from Heraklio and some of them have organized a concert that is going to take place on Friday September 16th at 9:00 pm at Kipotheatro Kazantzaki.  Musicians John Tsilogiannis (guitar, singer), George Kouroupis (violin) and Maria Ieronymaki (singer), are starting the concert and headlining the show is the well known band Krites. It should be a beautiful evening with some incredible sounds and all for a very good cause.
If you're not in Crete but still want to help here's the banking information. Any contribution is beneficial and most welcome.

Pancretan Cooperative Bank, SWIFT CODE STPGGRA1, For account of Koinoniko Iatreio Allileggiis, ref. 'kochliako emfytevma' IBAN NO. GR81 0870 0970 0000 0001 1218 625

For more information about this act of kindness or others visit The Wall of Kindness on FB. You will be deeply touched, as I have been by the various initiatives that are being created to help those that are vulnerable and need an act of kindness by those that are more fortunate.

As I close this blog, I feel blessed to have met some of these volunteers that have dedicated so much of their time for others. It is truly an honour to know them and to have become their friend. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

About the music

I love Greek music. I love the vibration of the instruments, the way the words sound and how there's a song about every emotion one has ever felt. Music in film is important. It sets the mood and it keeps us interested in the story. It makes us feel the characters' emotions, their passion, their love, and their fear.
In making Red Door and Lemon Tree, many questions about the sound, the mood, and the feeling are being explored. The settings are LA and Crete. Two very beautiful places that generate similar yet very different moods, feelings and emotions. Los Angeles being vibrant, majestically busy with beautiful people everywhere making things happen. Crete, a stunning island with a simple way of life and unbelievable history and culture displayed proudly everywhere and in everyone's expression. 
We've had many interested musicians about the film's score and music and are currently exploring our options. 
How much "Greek" music do we want to showcase? How much of that should be traditional? And what about Los Angeles? What is the accurate vibe we want to portray and how about the transition between the two very unique places?
As we continue to explore and work towards answering these questions we are very grateful for our artists' input and love for this project. It is exactly this part of the process that I, as the producer, enjoy the most: collaborating with all the talented people that have reached out to me and my team determined to make a great movie with some of the best Greek and American music ever. 

Friday, August 12, 2016


What can I say about JULIE without giving away most of the plot?!?!?!

JULIE is EVE's right hand woman and in this particular case also her partner in "crime." JULIE is EVE's publicist and she also just can't help but mother her a little bit. After all, EVE is the coolest girl that JULIE knows and not simply her biggest celebrity client.

JULIE is definitely young in spirit, and she takes situations as they come. It takes a lot to unnerve her and even more to lose her loyalty. JULIE is the rock that anchors the ship. And when you need a light moment, she has a wry sense of humour to take the edge off.


ROSA goes to the kitchen. MARY is looking around like a kid in a candy store.

This is like a palace. It’s so beautiful, I’m afraid I’m going to break something.
Go ahead, if it makes you happy. Eve has been known to do that from time to time. But she usually aims for people’s heads.
Never mind. Your room is straight up there. Top of the stairs. I’ll be back later. Good luck.
You’re going to leave me all alone?
I’ll be back tomorrow to take you to the studio. Just lock yourself in the room, or go to the pool, or something.

Screenplay excerpt © 2016 Maria Dalekos

Saturday, August 6, 2016


MARY is one of my favourite characters in this film. She is a young, spunky, talkative, determined little troublemaker who is also a fun person and a useful and resourceful companion to EVE. In other words, she is a potential scene-stealer. MARY seeks her destiny in Hollywood just as EVE is seeking it in Crete.

My inspiration for MARY was my twenty-year-old self (who was easier to relate to when I wrote this screenplay 15 years ago or so). Part of the reason I wrote the script was because of my own self discovery: I always thought I was more like MARY, but I eventually realized that I am more like EVE. MARY represents my youthful side, both innocent and ambitious, seeking out opportunities and trying to grab them by the horns. EVE represents my thoughtful side, both melancholy and serene, more mature but also more able to change.

Why did my film need two women who are seeking a new world to belong to? I had two good reasons. The first reason was that MARY's character was so delicious that the scenes almost wrote themselves. The main reason, though, was to solidly prove my thesis for the film: everyone has a place in time where they belong, and the only way to get there is to allow themselves the opportunity and the courage to take a journey into the unknown. It begins with a desire for something more and it takes a leap of faith to get there.

With MARY's story in the screenplay I can also make another point: there is a place that is right for anyone. It's not the place itself but rather how the place fits the person. Let's see if the glitz and glamour of Hollywood can be MARY's place of belonging.


MARY runs towards JULIE’s car which is idling in front of the house. She opens the door and pops into the back seat cheerfully.

Let’s go. I’m ready.

You clean up well! God, I hope this works. Let’s go.

JULIE starts to drive off. She turns to MARY.

You know the name of the movie, right?

Yes, it’s “Let’s get this party started, I am ready!”

God help us.

Screenplay excerpt © 2016 Maria Dalekos

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Getting the Team Together

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the process a little bit and, in particular, my thoughts about the importance of having the right team and the right culture in my organization as we go forth and give birth to our first feature film, Red Door and Lemon Tree.

Let's start with the director: I met George Tsioutsioulas when we both worked at OMNI Television, formerly CFMT-TV. We both worked at the Greek variety and news program that aired in front of millions of audience in Toronto. I was a fledgling reporter trying to make my mark in the industry and touch and inform people with my stories. George was the entertainment reporter and celebrity interviewer for that show and others on the network.

I admired George but I was able to get a close picture of his character and personality on a remote shoot in Ottawa. Not only did I see him in action, putting his artistic touch on the piece, but I was also impressed with how loyal, friendly, down-to-earth and professional he was.

When I was looking to bring on board the right artistic, creative, and business team for Ariadne's Red Chair, George was one of the first people I thought of. When I spoke to him about the project it was obvious that we had the same vision. George was able to capture the essence of my screenplay and articulate a creative approach that was homogeneous to mine.

Irini Tzortzoglou was literally the first recruit and I can tell you she is the most dedicated and eager colleague I've ever had. She has the title of Location Manager but she is more than that. Her involvement reaches into many areas of production and I consider her my right hand woman. There are many aspects of Irini's personality that complement my own and that makes us a great team. She is spontaneous and adventurous, and she is also an insomniac.

My husband Peter Diplaros worked with me on this movie from the start, more than 15 years ago. He has always been my support system, and also my most honest and brutal critic. He helped hone my ideas and also all of the technical details, like installing Final Draft software and making PDFs. Recently he helped me modernize the screenplay, taking out some dated references like day-after newspaper references and put in more timely references to Twitter, Instagram and the like. He also helped me design my logo and business cards, built the company website and set up this blog.

There are more individuals who you will meet in the coming days, some who have been involved with the project as volunteers and who will take on important positions.

Our team culture is about creative collaboration, respect and loyalty. Our goal is to make a memorable and inspiring film that showcases our Greek culture and heritage while also being entertaining and making people think about life, belonging and knowing where they want to be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


YIANNI is our male lead and he has the pleasure of spending most of his scenes with EVE, the beautiful yet difficult Hollywood movie star. YIANNI is good looking, charming, philosophical, easy-going, and has a way with words. He does not own a TV or watch movies, his entertainment is satisfied by the beautiful Cretan nature, the wide Mediterranean sea, his sailboat, and his bouzouki. He meets EVE and agrees to help her in her quest, taking her on the adventure across the sea, and he proves to be a stable companion when he is needed.

Did we mention he's hot?


You’d better be careful. The sun is very hot.

EVE lifts her brow, looks annoyed.
You’re going to burn. I’ll have to put yoghurt all over you.

I think I know how this works, mister. I’m from California, you know. Not Minnesota.

Do they have the Greek sun in California?

What is this? Another Greek thing? The sun is the sun, period. That sun over there is the same one we have in California. Not his third cousin filling in while he’s on vacation!

Yes, but he smiles differently when he’s here.

Screenplay excerpt © 2016 Maria Dalekos

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Hi everyone. This is the first in a series of blogs about the characters in my upcoming film, Red Door and Lemon Tree. In each blog, I will give you a small description of the character, their role in the movie, and a small taste of what they are like.

First up: EVE. Eve is a successful movie actor in Hollywood, and is also a Greek-born and naturalized American. She and her father came over from Crete when Eve was only 4 years old. She has gone on to make a life for herself in her adopted country but she is not completely fulfilled. After the sudden death of her father, and some other circumstances, she decides to embark on a completely crazy adventure  to find her childhood home.

The adventure begins in Crete, with only the help of a faded photograph, a child's drawing and a wacky set of companions that include a modern fortuneteller, a mountain witch, a damn-good-looking sailor, and the beautiful romantic setting of the Mediterranean and the island of Crete.


This is precisely the type of thing you hire a private investigator for. They are trained for this -- and they have the time, you don’t. You have work coming up.
This is a bit more personal. And work can wait.

Screenplay excerpt © 2016 Maria Dalekos

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hello everyone

This is my new blog, for keeping everyone updated on what's happening with my company, Adiadne's Red Chair, and my current project, the upcoming film, "Red Door and Lemon Tree".

Please check back every week to see what's going on and to find out more about the film and how the scouting is going. I am currently in Greece this week with my Location Manager Irini and we are uncovering some great spots and meeting interesting locals.

Also, not to be outdone, we have some interest from acclaimed actors and crew who are excited to talk to us. We are excited to have been able to raise so much awareness and gathered so much interest from so many talented and interesting people in so short a time.

Till next week,