Release date [The Light Touch]: July 19, 2021.
Plot: Recently released comedic LGBTQ love story, ‘The Light Touch’ is a great lighthearted addition to the genre. It features Antonia Bogdanovich as Katerina, a sexy, thrill-seeking kleptomaniac & pickpocket whose life is an adventure. While on one of her regular pick-pocketing runs in the crowded Athens metro, she runs into Miranda, a pianist. It’s love at first sight. But will their love flourish?
Cast: Antonia Bogdanovich, Skyrah Archer, Tess Spentzos, Georgia Siakavara, Despina Mirou, Konstantinos Lachanas, Duncan Skinner & Adrian Frieling.
Story line: It’s another ordinary day in Katerina’s life. She’s picking pockets & going about her carefree, merry ways. She runs into trouble when she is almost caught by one of her victims- a British vacationer. While sifting through his wallet she realizes that he’s no ordinary tourist. He is a police officer who will stop at nothing to catch our heroine.
The policeman, Gerhard (played by Adrian Frieling), believes her little prank is an attack on the British police force & takes it as seriously as any major crime. He may be seen as a misogynist because he is upset about being robbed by ‘a girl’. Another reason for this over reaction may be that she’s not only pinched his cash & ID but also his passport. The only evidence he has is a picture he takes of her making her run.
Katerina sees a psychologist who suggests she take the first step into her recovery & simply stop stealing. But Katerina has other ideas. She’s not looking for a cure. She just needs someone to talk to; someone discreet. She does not identify as a kleptomaniac. She prefers the term ‘enthusiast’.
She has a good relationship with her father but she cannot tell him what she does for a living. He’s a typical old-fashioned Greek parent.
Although Miranda is a shy, timid character, their chemistry is undeniable. They might be opposites at the core, but that’s what makes this story so intriguing. Miranda is chasing Katerina. As are the police. They make their way through the crowded streets of the marketplaces. Occasionally, Katerina will stop to enjoy the moment despite her questionable lifestyle.
In one scene, she stops in the middle of the day to dance with a troupe of street musicians. She immediately grabs the spotlight. It’s not too hard for her to do that. She’s got the looks & the body to attract universal attention.
But the hunt is on. Gerhard chases her through metro stations, markets & every other tourist hotspot with the help of the local police. He has his moments but most of the time, Katerina is too slick for this rough-edged old cop. The background musical score adds a touch of the 60s to the movie. But that is acceptable because we’re watching a movie made on an island.
Katerina is an unconventional young woman who doesn’t even like to dress like a lady. However, Katerina & Miranda have each other. Who needs more when you have love?
The film contains intimate love scenes between our two lead characters. Discretion is advised especially for those who may be sensitive to same sex relationships. For those feeling nostalgic about Greece, the movie is great. You can recognize many of the regular tourist spots in the country.
‘The Light Touch’ takes a leaf out of another 1951 classic of the same name involving a band of robbers, betrayal & a police chase. It hasn’t yet been rated.
Awards & Honors: The film has 17 wins & 9 nominations including Best Director for Robert MacLean of Pretentious Pictures & Best Supporting Actress for Skyrah Archer; Nominee & Honorable Mention for Best Feature Film at the Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival 2021. The film has also been nominated for the Antonioni Award for Best Feature Film by Robert MacLean at the Blow-Up Chicago International Arthouse Film Fest 2021.
The film further boasts of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Director & Best Film on Women at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival 2021 & Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Producer, Claudio Castravelli. Other nominations include Best Film, Best Feature Film, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Tess Spentzos, Georgia Siakavara & Despina Mirou) at various film festivals.
It has also won the Best Actress in a Feature for Tess Spentzos & Best Director at the Lulea International Film Festival, the January Award for Best LGBTQ for director Robert MacLean at the Rome International Movie Awards, Certificate of Achievement for Best Cinematography by Panagiotis Golfis, Best Comedy Film at the Swedish Film Awards, Debut Filmmaker & Best Supporting Actress at the Tagore International Film Festival, Best Comedy & Best Actress at the Toronto Film Magazine Fest, Best Supporting Actress at the Virgin Spring Cinefest & Best Producer at the World Film Carnival.