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Class of 2021: Chris graduates onto the silver screen

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Published on 08 July 2021

Chris Farfouris
Chris Farfouris

As he graduates this week from his Screen Performance BA (Hons) degree Chris Farfouris begins work on a film project in Madrid, Spain - just one of many exciting projects he is successfully auditioning for since the beginning of the year.

The 20-year-old successfully auditioned for the key character role in a new drama set in Spain, but he has also landed the lead role in a new film, Shakespeare has Died, that will be filmed on location in South America.

Despite temporarily having to hold off filming his scenes on both productions until later in the year, Chris was still delighted and overwhelmed after being cast for both parts. And he credits part of his success to the skills he been refining during his degree at the University of Sunderland for the last three years.

He said: “My best experiences in Sunderland were meeting some incredible people from the same industry and we will no doubt help each other as graduates.

"I also had a really good relationship with my lecturers who helped me develop and achieve all the potential I have.”

His future plans include continuing to work hard as an actor and eventually create his own production company.

He added: “All students have to fight for their dreams especially in this industry. There will be a lot of rejections and disappointments but if they don’t give up and believe in themselves they will make it.

“The university can offer some new skills and develop the students as artists but then it is totally up to the students how they will use their power and what will they do with it.”

Speaking about his film roles, Chris, who has been acting on stage since he was just five years old in his native Greece, says: “It’s like a dream come true.

“You almost have to build yourself up for rejection and be resilient as there is so much competition for these parts.”

Chris landed the role on the second day of a holiday he’d taken to Madrid last year.

He says: “Although I had started filming on the production, we had to temporarily stop due to coronavirus. All I can say about the plot is I play one of five main characters who all have difficulties and live in a special centre together. It is my first television role, and I am living the dream, getting up every morning and going to a studio with 200 people all waiting for you, was strange but I soon got used to it. I am even working with some familiar actors from other TV series, which is great, and I’m certainly learning a lot as one of the more inexperienced members of the cast.”

Chris, also says it’s thanks to his tutors at Sunderland, that he was able to complete all his course work online while filming in Spain, as well as during the first national lockdown, when he returned home to Greece for several months.

“My tutors have been incredibly supportive during this huge opportunity, and for me, online learning has been fantastic, I was able to be really creative,” he said.

The silver screen success has continued for Chris, after a successful online audition for the lead role in a new film in South America, which will begin production later this year. Shakespeare has Died is based on a stage play and tells the story a mediocre professor of drama theory and frustrated actor, who finds himself becoming Shakespeare while he examines the stage proposal of four students who have created an improvisation of the characters of Hamlet, Lear and Othello.

Dr Adelle Hulsmeier, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts and Programme Leader for Screen Performance, said: “Chris has been a very proactive and engaged student, who has demonstrated an impressive ability to get involved in a range of extra-curricular projects that will see him develop a sustained career in this industry. He is a hardworking and dedicated member of his cohort and has a really good work ethic. We have thoroughly enjoyed having Chris on the programme and wish him all the best in his future projects and career.”
Chris is a multilingual actor and performing artist, speaking Greek, English, Spanish, French and Italian, he sings, plays piano and has been part of three short films filmed, pantomime, variety show and two classical theatrical plays all in the UK.

He draws his acting inspiration from the Meisner technique, developed by the American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner, where an actor is encouraged to "get out of their head", behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment. It is followed by one of his favourite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris’s other acting influences include Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.

Chris said: “A friend was studying here for a year before me, and told me about the courses I might be interested in. The Screen Performance degree was perfect, being surrounded in equipment and installations relevant to industry I wanted to work in. I’ve really enjoyed my time and the tutors have been incredibly supportive.”