Biography

The Greek writer, playwright, and director, Dimitris Kollatos, was born on June 9, 1937. He wrote his first poetry collection in 1956 while in high school.

During 1959-1960, Dimitris Kollatos founded the Performance Art Theatre, in Athens, Greece, staging Eugène Ionesco's "The Bald Soprano", Samuel Beckett's "Endgame", and Harold Pinter's "The Room".

On October 7, 1961 Dimitris Kollatos staged Euripides' "Iphigénie en Tauride" at the Center for Culture in Paris. The French weekly news magazine, L'Express, described the play as a breath of fresh air in the French theatre.

The French actress, Arlette Baumann, became Dimitris Kollatos' first wife. Dimitris Kollatos has two sons, Alkis, who died of sudden cardiac arrest at 44 on April 4, 2021, and Alexandros Kollatos, who starred in all of his films.

In 1962, Dimitris Kollatos made his first short film, Athens Khi Psi Xi (1962), which won an award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. This movie was followed by the awarded medium-length film, Olives (1964).

In 1966, Dimitris Kollatos' first feature film, The Death of Alexandros (1966), received negative reviews in the annual Thessaloniki Film Festival; however, it received three Critics' Awards (best film, best screenplay, best music) and was a box office success. The Greek composer, Manos Hatzidakis, said: Dimitris Kollatos is the first playwright of Greek cinema.

During the dictatorship in Greece, Dimitris Kollatos settled permanently in France, where he staged twenty theatrical productions, creating the Théâtre de l'Art. While in France, Dimitris Kollatos made the controversial film, Symposium (1973), pivoting around love and homosexuality, and the medium-length film, Giscard's France (1978), a critical look at 1970s France.

After his return to Greece in 1975, Dimitris Kollatos put on a series of provocative performances, considered by many as political and social activism and not art, such as Sodom and Gomorrah (1986), The Shipowners (1981), and The Saint of Preveza (1982). This movement was the so-called "Theatre of Complaint".

In Dimitris Kollatos' autobiographical film, Life with Alkis (1988), his younger son, Alexandros Kollatos, portrays Alkis, his autistic brother.

The emotionally charged film of Dimitris Kollatos, Red Rose (1993), is a continuation of Life with Alkis (1988), documenting the world of a parent with an autistic child. The movie captures the anguish of a devastated man struggling to cope with loss and guilt, one painful year after the untimely demise of his delicate muse, lifelong companion, and beloved French actress wife, Arlette Baumann.

Eight years later, Dimitris Kollatos returns with Alexander and Aishe (2001), starring his son, Alexandros Kollatos, dealing with the issue of the Muslim minority in the town of Komotini through a love story.

In 2005, Dimitris Kollatos evoked memories with his profound public confession in I Remember (2005), and in 2009, Dimitris Kollatos returned with The Will of Father Jean Meslier (2009) to deal with his favourite topic: religion and the role of the church.

To influence public discourse, protest against the political leadership, and the structure and policies of the government, in 2011, Dimitris Kollatos created the Citizens' Union Door-to-Door: a new form of political intervention.

In 2013, Dimitris Kollatos was nominated for election to the European Parliament.

One short year later, Dimitris Kollatos directed The Revenge of Dionysus (2014), which participated in the Thessaloniki Film Festival, concerned about the ongoing socio-economic crisis in modern Greece.

In an interview on November 25, 2014, Dimitris Kollatos stated: Art is a scandal! It should stimulate the citizen, while science should reassure him. Unfortunately, nowadays, art puts the viewer to sleep, and science worries him!