BOSTON, MA – Greek-American Tony Kariotis wears many hats in life, and most of them revolve around his love of Greece and his pride in his Greek heritage. He is perhaps best known as the director of the largest Greek-American basketball tournament, the Teddy K Classic. Founded along with his family and named in honor of his late father, Teddy Kariotis, who passed away in 2008, the tournament each year awards a scholarship from its proceeds to a deserving student. Tony Kariotis is also the founder of Greece Media, a platform promoting Greece through various media, including film and photography produced by Kariotis himself. He spoke to The National Herald about Greece Media, NakedSantorini, his Greek heritage, and his upcoming projects.
TNH: What inspired you to start Greece Media and this particular series on Santorini?
Tony Kariotis: Photography and film have always been something I had a passion for, and the opportunity came up to really grow a strong audience in the Greece travel market. So it only made sense to turn this into a brand that can promote Greece to the world in a variety of ways! Greece Media will be offering Greece travel info, curated experiences, photography, film series, podcasts, and a youtube how-to series based on Greece travel tips!
As for the Santorini film, NakedSantorini, I always wanted to a shoot a film like this, but I never knew where in Greece! When the opportunity came up to see Greece in the winter for the first time this year, things fell into place! I knew right away, I need to shoot Santorini, completely empty of tourism! Who has seen that!?
TNH: How long did it take to put together the project?
TK: Shooting the project took five days. After returning to the States, I was able to complete the project in about two months!
TNH: How does your Greek heritage inform your work and life?
TK: My Greek heritage has been a huge staple of my life. Aside from Greece Media, almost everything I am involved with is Greek. I am also the director of the Teddy K Classic Greek American Basketball Tournament.
TNH: Where in Greece is your family from?
TK: My father was from Kalamata and my mother is from Kalymnos.
TNH: What upcoming projects can we look forward to?
TK: I have a lot of projects coming up, once the world returns to some sort of normalcy! The plan is to shoot a few more locations. While NakedSantorini is a quiet film, with no narration, some will be narrated. I felt any noise added would defeat the purpose with NakedSantorini. I just let nature do the talking. Coincidentally with what is going on in the world, a lot of people have sent messages saying how this film was perfect timing as a meditative film to help them escape the real world.
Tony Kariotis in Santorini during the filming of NakedSantorini. (Photo by Tony Kariotis)
To see what is coming up and some behind the scene pictures and videos, be sure to follow my Greece social media pages on Instagram: @iamgreece and @greece.
More information is available online: https://www.greece-media.com where you can also view NakedSantorini.