In 1967, MELINA MERCOURI, Greece’s most famous and patriotic actress, is torn between the two men in her life (husband Jules Dassin, and brother Spyros Mercouris) when she speaks out against her home country’s brutal military Junta dictatorship. She becomes the voice of the people, but is stripped of her citizenship, risking her career, marriage, and ultimately, her life.

We are proud to be developing this exciting, never-before seen story on the iconic and beloved Greek heroine,
MELINA MERCOURI (Actress/Political Activist) of Never on Sunday fame.

MELINA MERCOURI: I Was Born Greek is an original narrative screenplay written by Melina Chiaverini (Greek-Italian Actress/Writer), inspired by true events and stories as told to the writer personally by Ms. Mercouri’s brother (and only sibling), Mr. Spyros Mercouris (RIP). After many years of collaboration, it’s an honor to state that this project has the exclusive (and never before granted) endorsement and support of the Mercouris family. Indeed, it was one of Mr. Mercouris’ last wishes that this film be made for his beloved sister and for Greece.

It’s certainly a trophy piece: a multi award-winning screenplay, receiving tremendous reception internationally. Notably, since winning the prestigious Scriptapalooza Fellowship (2020), the script has won/placed in over 20 additional international screenwriting competitions, including: “Best International Screenplay” at the London Independent Film Festival (2021); “Best Screenplay” at the London Greek Film Festival (2021); “Best Screenplay” at the Cyprus International Film Festival (2021); “Best Feature Script” at the Hollywood Gala Awards (2021); “Best Feature Screenplay” at the Venice Film Awards (2021); “Best Biographical Feature Script” at the Silk Road Film Awards, Cannes (2021); “Best Feature Script” at the Cult Critic Movie Awards (2021); and was most recently described as “one of the best spec. scripts out there” (Nicholl Fellowship, 2021.)

Melina Mercouri’s story is sexy, romantic, dramatic, is very current/universal (speaking on point to today’s political landscape), and has broad international appeal. It’s an empowering, poetic and proudly female-driven script. We look forward to bringing it to the big screen for all to enjoy.

Genoa, Italy, 1972. An injured MELINA MERCOURI, dressed in a torn and burnt red military dress rushes into her hotel room and desperately grabs a drink. In frustration, she smashes some items standing atop a credenza. Notably, a framed picture of the Greek flag falls to the floor amidst broken glass. The husky voice of Melina aches, “I love Greece”, lamenting that she never wanted to be a saint until three Greek colonels (the Junta) decided to turn her into Joan of Arc.
Cut back to present day, April, 1967: Melina, Greece’s most famous and patriotic actress, headlines on Broadway, New York City in Illya Darling, the musical spin-off to her hit film, Never on Sunday. Her director/husband JULES DASSIN toasts to Opening Night and to Easter, while both her brooding brother SPYROS and mother IRENE watch on, proudly. A mysterious MONK visits her dressing room, warning that it’s not quite Easter, and Christ has not yet risen. This sobers Melina’s jovial mood, but the show, nonetheless, proves a huge success. The reviews are rave.
Within days, however, the success is immediately overshadowed by a violent and shocking military coup, led by military mastermind Greek Colonel PAPADOPOULOS, who hijacks the Greek government, taking over the entire country without warning.
Within days, however, the success is immediately overshadowed by a violent and shocking military coup, led by military mastermind Greek Colonel PAPADOPOULOS, who hijacks the Greek government, taking over the enaMelina is terrified for her family and country folk back in Greece, but the show must go on. Tensions arise when Jules warns Melina about speaking out against the coup, but Spyros, after an attack on his wife and children back in Athens, insists she do exactly that, stating “you’re born for more than this.” tire country without warning.
Melina Chiaverini is an award-winning Actress and Writer. She holds three degrees in business and law (Valedictorian/University of Sydney Law School), and served as an Attorney for the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia.
Joe is a Partner at a Top 10 global accounting firm (based in the US), currently residing in Beverly Hills, California. He is a Producer on this film, and helped establish the working relationship between Writer/Actress Melina Chiaverini and Mr. Spyros Mercouris.