Willa, Astrakan, Cold Iron Join Argonauts to Produce ‘The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes’ by Thanasis Neofotistos (EXCLUSIVE)

WILLA, Astrakan Film and Cold Iron Pictures are set to join Argonauts Productions to produce “The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes,” a coming-of-age queer Greek tragedy.

Written by Thanasis Neofotistos and Grigoris Skarakis, and to be directed by Neofotistos as his debut feature, “The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes” follows teenager Peter as he navigates the suffocating confines of his superstitious and traditional Greek village community.

More from Variety

Peter is born with light blue eyes in a village that considers them a threat, but only his mother knows. She decides to cover their color with a mask at all times, claiming a threatening eye condition. In this blissful ignorance, Peter and his best friend Aemon embark on an adventure through which Peter learns the painful truth about his eyes and the lies he has been told.

The project participated in Cannes Focus CoPro, and the script has been developed through the Mediterranean Film Institute, Sarajevo Script Station and Goethe Institute’s First Films First.

The film has been supported by MEDIA Creative Europe, Greek Film Centre and Greek national broadcaster ERT. It is a co-production between Greece (Argonauts Productions, Atalante Productions), Cyprus (Yannis Economides Films), North Macedonia (Sektor Films), Croatia (Studio Corvus), Serbia (Sense Production) and Romania (Luna Film).

The film is set to go into production in Arcadia, Greece in February 2024.

Ioanna Bolomyti of Atalante Productions and Panos Papahadzis of Argonauts Productions are producing “The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes.”

Bolomyti produced Neofotistos’ latest short film “Airhostess-737,” which was recently acquired by the New Yorker. The Oscar qualified short film screened at Sundance, Locarno, Toronto and Clermont-Ferrand. Bolomyti also produced Neofotistos’ short film “Patision Avenue,” which went to Venice and Clermont-Ferrand. Bolomyti’s credits as a producer include “Behind the Haystacks” (Greek entry to the 2024 Academy Awards) and “The Summer With Carmen” (Venice, AFI Fest).

Papahadzis has produced more than 60 feature films and TV series, including among others “Crimes of the Future” (Cannes), starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart, “Stratos” (Berlinale) and “Behind the Haystacks.”

Elizabeth Woodward is joining the project as a producer for WILLA. Recent credits include SXSW Special Jury Award winning “Another Body,” Venice’s “You Resemble Me” and Tribeca’s “On the Divide.”

For Astrakan Film, Lauren Mann is joining the project as a producer and William Olsson is joining as executive producer. Astrakan’s recent credits include Paul Schrader’s “The Card Counter” (Venice), starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish and Willem Defoe, “Joyland,” which was Academy Award shortlisted, and was the Cannes Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner and an Independent Spirit Award Winner, and Oscar Award winners Daniels’ feature directing debut “Swiss Army Man,” which won the best director award at Sundance and was acquired by A24.

For Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda Bailey is joining the project as a producer and Jason Beck is joining as an executive producer. Cold Iron Pictures’ credits include “Swiss Army Man,” Marielle Heller’s “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” starring Kristen Wiig, as well as Noah Baumbach’s Oscar nominated “The Squid and the Whale” and the Gotham Award winning film “The Unknown Country,” starring Lily Gladstone.

Bolomyti said: “I am delighted to bring ‘The Boy With the Light-Blue Eyes’ to life, a project I hold close to my heart. Working with the incredibly talented artist Thanasis, whom I both admire artistically and consider a dear friend, is an absolute joy. It’s an honor to collaborate with so many dedicated producers and friends from all over the world on this journey. We are eager to share this inspiring story with audiences globally.”

Woodward said: “Thanasis Neofotistos is an extraordinary director and writer, with a unique and singular voice. I believe that ‘The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes’ is a poignant coming-of-age story that will resonate deeply with audiences around the world. I’m excited to contribute to a film that delves into questions of identity, truth and the human experience with such artistic integrity.”

Bailey said: “Lauren Mann and I have been looking for a project to work together on ever since we wrapped ‘Swiss Army Man.’ ‘The Boy With the Light Blue Eyes’ was the perfect fit for both our sensibilities. Not to mention I was a huge fan of Thanasis Neofotistos’ short films when I was a jury member for Aspen Shorts. I have all confidence this film will be a unique magical gift to audiences.”

Mann and Olsson said: “We are thrilled to help bring Thanasis Neofotistos’ narrative feature film debut into the world and reunite with our ‘Swiss Army Man’ partners Cold Iron Films.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.