After its world premiere launch yesterday on YouTube, the dystopian flick Utopia by award winning filmmaker Kosta Nikas has been received with great excitement by the internet community, clocking up more than 21,000 views and continuing unabated.
“Utopia surpassed 10,000 views within six hours, with a view velocity of 1.2k views an hour, which is quite flattering.
“Film buffs have taken a liking to our little screen gem and the whole team is waiting in anticipation to see its course over the next seven days!” says Nikas.
Shot in 2016 and released in 2019, Utopia has been officially selected by Omeleto, one of the world’s largest platforms, for its online world premiere.
“Utopia constructs a fascinating world that seems only a few steps removed from our phone-saturated society, telling its cautionary tale in an ironically jaunty way,” reads a statement by Omeleto.
Home of the next generation of great filmmakers: Sundance winners, Oscar nominees and critically-acclaimed filmmakers from every genre; Omeleto boasts over 5 million subscribers across its social media platforms, with tens of millions of viewers each month.
“After we completed our international festival circuit run, we were pleasantly surprised by its selection from Omeleto and happily signed a deal to share it online with film enthusiasts around the world,” says writer-director Kosta Nikas.
‘Utopia’ has taken out two international awards – Best International Narrative Short at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival and Best Short Film (Comedy) at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival – plus one nomination for Best Short Film at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.
The award winning film has also received a dozen official selections at top tier film festivals including an invitation by the world’s prestigious UTOPIALES sci-fi festival in France as one of the 35 best sci-fi short films for its 2020 programming.
Unlike other dystopian stories where the Government is ‘Big Brother’ engaging in control and power via a vertical hierarchical relationship with its citizens, Nikas took this theme ‘horizontal’.
“Today, through mobile technology, WE are each other’s ‘Big Brother’, each other’s surveillance and snitches!” explains Nikas.
“In ‘Utopia’ I take it a step further by showing that citizens are incentivised to be complicit with the State, through a commission payment system. This is a far more dangerous society, where we are our own enemy.
“You can fight an external enemy, but how do you fight yourself?”
Practically everyone has a smartphone and the devices are deeply integrated with almost all aspects of our lives, from banking to romance to communication to entertainment.
We’re still reckoning with how mobile technology is transforming our lives and our relationships, on many levels.
A population armed with phones — and imbued with increasingly knee-jerk punitiveness towards fellow humans — may seem ludicrous, but on deeper reflection viewers realise that those factors are already in place in other aspects of our culture.
Are human beings so weak that they could be weaponised to do a government’s surveillance for them?
‘Utopia’ imagines that day isn’t as far away as one would think.