Thanasis Protatos is a freelance film director and cinematographer from Greece. With an eye for visual art, he shoots fiction , documentary, corporate and event films, with a contemporary approach. 

"The best storytellers make the personal feel universal, and the universal feel personal. Go too far in one direction and the story becomes inaccessible, unrelatable. Go the other way and it becomes bland and cliched. But get it just right and one person’s story becomes something fascinating both in its individual details and its wider resonance."

Thanasis Protatos Film Director Cinematographer

His work is featured in film festivals around the world. He has been awarded with the prestigious Award of Excellence for his feature documentary "the Journey" (2013) , by the Accolade Film Competition , in California , USA. As a member of Trepieds creative team , he is credited as a director and editor in the making of "Royal Red"(2014), a feature documentary film featuring prince's Lakshyaraj Singh Royal wedding in Udaipur , India. He has directed and produced four short films (fiction). The Pencil (2014), Versus (2015), The Date (2017) and Whistle (2023).

His latest work, WHISTLE project is an experiment in visual art, that explores concepts such as collective storytelling, by incorporating different kinds of visual mediums, into one story/narrative.

He is a member of WEVA and IMDb. He is also a DP , an editor , a visual fx artist and a musician. 

  • Ivry Gitlis: a musical mastermind, Documentary Short, 2012
  • The Journey , Documentary Feature 2013
  • Pencil, Fiction Short 2014
  • Royal Red, Documentary Feature 2014
  • Versus, Fiction Short 2015
  • The Date, Fiction Short, 2019
  • Whistle, Fiction Short, 2023
  • Zilos, Documentary Feature (in production)

  • Award of Excellence (1st place), The Accolade Awards (USA), Best Foreign Documentary 2013.
  • Finalist at the 2015 Nikon European Film Festival in France, with the short film Versus.
  • Audience Award, for the short film, the Date, at the 2019 Local Film Festival (Greece).
  • Finalist at the 2014 Thermaikos Film Festival, with the short film Pencil.
  • Best Film and Photography finalist for the short film "Whistle" at Photopolis Film Festival 2024.
  • Official Selection of  Whistle short film, at the international festivals of:  Shizzle (Vienna), Kixta (Mexico), Coliffe (Rome), Lift-Off (London), Folklore Film Festival (Trinidad-Tobago), Shanghai International (China).

In Detail...

Thanasis Protatos, born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece. He first came into contact with photography, at the age of seventeen,  using a 35mm film camera that belonged to his father, a sailor and amateur photographer. During his academic years, as an electrical engineer, he developed his photography skills while at the same time participating in amateur theater groups, through which he came into contact with direction, editing, writing theatrical texts and acting.

After graduation he continued his artistic pursuits, alongside working as a construction engineer.

In the early 2000s, he experimented with digital video and image editing programs. The combination of moving image, sound and the possibilities of complex storytelling through editing opened up new perspectives for expression and experimentation.

From 2004, alongside his work as an engineer, he started working as a cinematographer and editor for local productions, in his native town.

In 2008 he quit his job as an engineer, founded VOATfilms studio and started producing commercials, music videos and documentary films. Despite the fact that he has attended various photography and cinema seminars and educational programs, he is basically self-taught.

His short films have been presented at domestic and international film festivals.

In 2012, he will meet the internationally renowned violinist Ivry Gitlis, with whom he will collaborate in the documentary "Masterclass With Ivry Gitlis: a Musical Mastermind", directed by Thanasis Protatos and produced by Angela Maria Arbeláez, in collaboration with the French Institute of Thessaloniki.

In 2013 he received the Award of Excellence for the feature documentary "The Journey" from the Accolade Film Festival, in California, USA. The project is Protato's first feature-length documentary film. The central idea of the film evolved into a work, lasting more than ten years, in which the life of a family is captured through the eyes of its first-born son. A study on the concept of the institution of family.

In 2015 the short film "Versus", directed by Thanasis Protatos, was successfully screened at the Nikon European Awards. The film, shot with the monoplane technique, is a comment on the cycle of life.

In 2017, the film "the Date", by Panagiotis Tsandaris, received the audience award at the first Local Film Festival, in Thessaloniki. Protatos signs the direction of photography and editing.

In 2019 he founded a new studio called Unposed Media, developing his work in the media field as a photographer, cinematographer, director and producer.

In 2023, he creates the collective project called "Whistle Project". The project takes the form of an interactive exhibition and "marries" many types of visual arts, in a common story. The idea is based on the myths of superstitions and prejudices of Greek folklore and is an allegory on the concept of freedom of expression, in the field of art. The project was supported by the participation of 50 artists from 25 countries with more than 100 works, which include paintings, sculptures, video art, live performance, collage, illustrations, animation and a short film with the same title "Whistle", directed by Protatos. The project was supported by the well-known actress Sofia Filippidou, who returned to the cinema after an absence of 18 years.