Papadopoulos & Sons

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Papadopoulos & Sons
Directed by Marcus Markou
Produced by Sara Butler
Andrew Markou
Written by Marcus Markou
Starring Stephen Dillane
Georges Corraface
Ed Stoppard
Georgia Groome
Frank Dillane
Selina Cadell
Cosima Shaw
Music by Stephen Warbeck
Cinematography James Friend
Edited by Sebastian Morrison
Distributed by Double M Films
Release dates
20 December 2012 (Greece)
5 April 2013 (UK)
27 June 2013 (Germany)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Papadopoulos & Sons is a British comedy-drama feature film written and directed by independent filmmaker Marcus Markou and self-distributed in the UK by Markou's own company Double M Films through Cineworld[1] on April 5, 2013.[2] Cineworld initially agreed to distribute the film for one week only in a limited number of screens across the UK, but due to unprecedented audience demand, extended the run while expanding to more venues.[3]


Following his ruin in the latest banking crisis, a self-made millionaire reluctantly re-unites with his estranged freewheeling brother to re-open the abandoned fish and chip shop they shared in their youth.

Greek immigrant Harry Papadopoulos has got it all: a mansion house, awards and a super rich lifestyle as a successful entrepreneur reigning over a financial empire in the food industry.

But when a financial crisis hits, Harry and his family - shy horticulturist James, snobby fashion victim Katie, and precocious child prodigy Theo - lose everything. Everything, except the dormant and forgotten Three Brothers Fish & Chip Shop half-owned by Harry´s larger-than-life brother Spiros who's been estranged from the family for years.

With no alternative, Harry and his family are forced to pack their bags and reluctantly join `Uncle Spiros´ to live above the neglected Three Brothers chippie. Together they set about bringing the chip shop back to life under the suspicious gaze of their old rival, Hassan, from the neighbouring Turkish kebab shop whose son has his own eyes on Katie.

As each family member comes to terms with their new life, Harry struggles to regain his lost business empire. But as the chip shop returns to life, old memories are stirred and Harry discovers that only when you lose everything can you be free to find it all.


Papadopoulos & Sons is a family-oriented film.[4] It has been inspired by Marcus Markou's own family history and cultural roots, which fueled his desire to focus on family unity: "I came from a very tight knit Greek-Cypriot family", said the director. "However, as we grew older and grew up, my family, like so many other families, broke apart. I also lost so many of my Hellenic roots. In making the film I reached out to that sense of family that had been lost and I reached out to my Hellenic roots. [The film] is not about being Greek or Cypriot at all. I use that as backdrop. It really is about family unity at a difficult time".[5]

The film was shot in the London area. The crew found a street with two empty shops in Morden, South London, and took the lease on them. One became the chip shop The Three Brothers, the other one the rival kebab shop. The city scenes were filmed in Central London, the mansion scenes in Croydon. Finally, the Papadopoulos factory was set in a real Greek food factory in East London.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Despite being mostly self-distributed and self-promoted, Papadopoulos & Sons received a large amount of reviews following its release in the UK. It was awarded three stars out of five by various media outlets among which The Guardian, which described the film as "an ambitious attempt to rewrite Lear for laughter rather than tears. It's a throwback, but relaxed, sweet and funny with it: a first feature that makes an impression by not pushing too hard to make an impression";[7] The Telegraph;[8] Contact Music,[9] to name but a few. The criticisms mainly concern the screenplay deemed by some as predictable[10] or déjà-vu,[11] most critics insisting nonetheless on the "feel-good" aspect of the film, such as Total Film which admitted there was "a warmth and charm about Marcus Markou’s feature debut that makes it hard to resist"[12] or Female First which mentioned the film's "charm and heart".[13]

The film received 82% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and an average rating of 6.9 out of 10 on IMDb.

It got support from several film festivals across the world, including the Dinard British Film Festival (France),[14] the Palm Springs International Film Festival (USA),[15] the Seattle Film Festival[16] and the Thessaloniki Film Festival (Greece) where it received the Michael Cacoyannis Audience Award.[17] It was also screened at the European Parliament in November 2012.[18]

Boy George has been a vocal supporter of the film.[19]

On June 27, 2013, the film was released in 70 cinemas in Germany under the name Papadopoulos & Söhne and achieved the impressive tally of 23 850 admissions during the first weekend.[20]

It was later screened in Nicosia, Cyprus for a week in late November 2013: all proceeds were donated to a charity helping people who have been severely affected by the economic crisis.[21]

On December 17, 2013, it was announced that director Marcus Markou had been nominated for a "Breakthrough British filmmaker Award" at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards for his work on Papadopoulos & Sons.[22]



  1. ^ The Guardian (16 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons : the plucky underdog". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Cineworld. "Papadopoulos & Sons on Cineworld". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Birmingham Mail. "Brum fish and chips movie Papadopoulos & Sons set for wider release after beating Hollywood blockbuster in London". Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Screen Daily (29 March 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Marcus Markou (1 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons official Q&A session". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Marcus Markou. "Papadopoulos & Sons official Q&A session". 
  7. ^ The Guardian (4 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons – review". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  8. ^ The Telegraph (4 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons – review". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Contact Music (4 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons movie review". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Total Film (22 March 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons review". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  11. ^ The Arts Desk (2 April 2013). "The feel-good hit of the spring? A gentle Greek-London comedy deserves to be". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Total Film (22 March 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons review". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Female First (5 April 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons review". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Dinard Film Festival official website. "Papadopoulos & Sons - British Film Festival". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Hollywood Reporter (11 January 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons: Palm Springs Review". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Seattle International Film Festival (May 2013). "Seattle Film Festival : Papadopoulos & Sons". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Greek Reporter (11 November 2012). "Papadopoulos Wins Best Actor at Thessaloniki Film Festival". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  18. ^ BBC (12 December 2012). "Film-maker's shock at mothers begging on Athens streets". Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Twitter (2 February 12). "A fabulous and engaging new film". Retrieved 13 April 2013.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ Guardian (3 July 2013). "Film blog: Papadopoulos & Sons, The Export". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  21. ^ The Cyprus Daily (25 November 2013). "Papadopoulos & Sons". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  22. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (17 December 2013). "'12 Years a Slave' Leads London Critics' Circle Film Awards Nominations". Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

External links[edit]