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Greek filmmaker Yorgos Zois, who’s set to bow his sophomore feature, “Arcadia,” in the competitive Encounters strand of the Berlin Film Festival Feb. 18, is developing his first TV series.

“Play” follows a lone cinephile who joins a mysterious group of strangers that reenact scenes from movies in real life. The eight-part mystery-drama series tells the story of ordinary individuals who gradually lose themselves in the hazy realm between reality and fiction.

Zois says the show, which is produced by Athens-based Foss Prods. and repped internationally by Beta Cinema, is his personal attempt to “bridge the gap between cinema and series.”

“I really like exploring new territories,” he tells Variety, noting that he first conceived of “Play” as a feature film. Eventually, however, the director decided that an episodic series would allow him to “experiment” while pushing against the boundaries of a new form.

Zois’ latest feature, “Arcadia,” is a similar, genre-bending attempt to push — and blur — boundaries. The film tells the story of a brilliant neurologist, Katerina, played by Greek standout Angeliki Papoulia (“Dogtooth,” “The Lobster”), and her husband, Yannis (Vangelis Mourikis), a once-respected doctor, who are called to identify the victim of a tragic car accident at an off-season seaside resort. Once there, Katerina is forced to confront her worst suspicions while making mysterious, nightly excursions to the titular seaside tavern.

Co-writing the script with Greek filmmaker Konstantina Kotzamani (“Electric Swan”), Zois says he was first inspired by a break-up that caused a “seismic shift” in his life.

“I was carrying my ex-lover around. I was drinking my morning coffee with her. I was talking with her. I was sleeping with her, without being with her,” he tells Variety. This “limbo sensation,” he says, manifested in a way that almost felt like a physical presence by his side.

Yorgos Zois, left, and DP Konstantinos Koukoulios on the set of “Arcadia.”
Courtesy of Alexandra Masmanidi

“When you have a loss, but this loss haunts you and follows you — this is a universal thing that we can all connect to,” he continues. “We have all been haunted by people, dead or alive, in our lives. They keep following us, and we have them with us with every step we take.”

“Arcadia” inhabits a realm where the “physical and metaphysical” meet, according to the director. Set against a brooding, mountainous landscape, the movie evokes the in-between world of ancient myth referenced in the title.

“Arcadia, from ancient mythology, is this utopian place that functions as a constant reminder of the transitory, ephemeral [nature] of life,” says Zois. “But it’s also a place in nature that’s in harmony with spirits and the living.” In his contemporary reimagining, it is a fitting location for a tale of love, loss, acceptance and letting go.

Having cut his teeth as an assistant for the revered Greek auteur Theo Angelopoulos on his “Dust of Time,” Zois is among a promising generation of emerging Greek filmmakers that have stepped out of the long shadow cast by the so-called Weird Wave to nurture their own distinctive, idiosyncratic voices.

Zois’ debut, “Interruption” — a high-concept mystery thriller set almost entirely inside a theater — premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2015, while his short films have screened at Venice, Cannes, Telluride, Rotterdam and more than 200 other festivals.

Along with “Play,” Zois is currently developing several other projects, including a feature version of his sci-fi short “Third Kind,” which played at Cannes’ Critics Week and Telluride and was publicly heralded by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins.

Asked which of those films he’s most likely to tackle next, the director tells Variety: “I think I will choose the one that haunts me more.”

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