Olga Malea was born in Athens, Greece, in 1960. After a Ph.D. in Psychology at Yale, she turned to movie making.
She has written and directed six features, most of which became big box office hits in Greece, like the THE COW’S ORGASM, RISOTTO, HONEY & THE PIG, THE MATING GAME and LITTLE GREEK GODFATHER. Her features have also screened at International Film Festivals such as these of Karlovy Vary, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Seattle, New York, Sao Paolo, Torino, Rome, Cairo, London.
Olga Malea has also directed two very successful TV series, 40 episodes each, titled LITSA.COM and DREAMCATCHER, which attracted more than 20% of the audience share.
VARIETY magazine regularly included her in its shortlists about European cinema, as in Ten European Directors to Watch (2000), Europe Now: The Critics’ Choice (2001), Ten European Mavericks (2003), and several others.
In 2014, a PhD thesis at Reading University (Oxford, UK) was published on her movies, titled “Women’s Popular Cinema in Greece: the case of Olga Malea,” by Tonia Kazakopoulou de Senna.
Since 2014 that Greek TV literally collapsed because of the economic crisis, Olga Malea concentrated on developing English-speaking projects. She has four completed screenplays in development: DIRTY GIRLS (feature, comedy about two 59-year-old women robbing a bank to change their unsatisfactory lives); THE MAKING OF MARIA, (TV series, drama, about the making young Maria Callas); ZORBINA, (feature, comedy, a female version of Oscar-winning movie ZORBA THE GREEK); UNBROKEN LOVE (feature, drama, a love story taking place in Greece during the WW2 based on true events.)
Since 2015, Olga Malea has also been doing commercials, promotional videos and political campaign videos. One of her videos on sexual harassment became viral reaching 14M views. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYLo6rGuUbc
She is fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Greek.
FEATURE FILMS (as writer/director)
THE COW’S ORGASM (1997, comedy, Greek, 35mm, 90min)
An instant box office hit in Greece. “A cheeky tale of a couple of country girls trying to lose their virginity. First-time feature director Olga Malea includes some racy sex, as well as a scene involving the insertion of tampons, all of it handled relatively discreetly; she also provides a liberating, upbeat ending,” David Stratton, VARIETY.
THE MATING GAME (1999, comedy, Greek, 35mm, 92min)
An even bigger box office hit. “Three sisters go man-hunting. A slickly packaged, peppy comedy that doesn’t outstay its welcome and is lot of fun to boot,” Derek Elley, VARIETY. With this film, Malea was included in VARIETY’s 2000 shortlist Ten European Directors to Watch.
RISOTTO (2000, comedy, Greek, 35mm, 95min)
Equally popular with Greek audiences. “Centered on the career and child-minding conflicts of two working couples, [Risotto] is slightly grittier but equally good-natured, with fine perfs from the whole cast and a breezy tempo,” Derek Elley, VARIETY. Selected for VARIETY’s 2001 shortlist Critics’ Choice: Europe Now.
HONEY & THE PIG (2005, comedy, Greek, 35mm, 90min)
Greek release caused uproar and lots of admissions. “Mainstream maverick Olga Malea pushes the envelope way past even her usual non-PC boundaries in “Honey & the Pig,” a lively rural comedy revolving round a funeral parlor, a sexy gravedigger, a child molester and a pet piglet,” Derek Elley, VARIETY. With this film, Malea was included in VARIETY’s shortlists Ten European Mavericks (2003) and Waiting in the wings: hot picks on the deck for 2005.
LITTLE GREEK GODFATHER (2007, comedy, Greek-English, 35mm, 90’)
Another box office hit. In summer 1963, Alex (11) is sent to Crete to stand for his father (a famous politician) at a baptism. However, Alex discovers that there are other paths in life than the one everyone expects him to follow. The film is based on an autobiographical short story by Nicholas Papandreou, established writer and son of former Prime Minister Andrea Papandreou.
MARJORAM (2013, drama, Greek, DCP, 102′)
MARJORAM is a psychological suspense drama about a mother-daughter relationship. Anna (11) strives to be the perfect daughter to please her mother, Mary. However, Anna suddenly starts behaving in strange ways, putting herself in danger and driving Mary to her limits. Why is a child who seems happy on the surface, acting so unpredictably?
TV SERIES (as director)
LITSA.COM (October 2008 – June 2009)
Director of 12 episodes of LITSA.COM, a TV series for ANTENNA, one of the major Greek TV channels. LITSA.COM started airing in October 2008 and was so successful that it run for a second season.
DREAMCATCHER Season 1 & 2 (January 2010 – March 2011)
Director of 35 episodes of DREAMCATHER, a TV series for ANTENNA, one of the manor Greek TV channels. DREAMCATCHER aired from January 2010 till March 2011 and got 21 – 25% of the audience share.
IN DEVELOPMENT (as creator/writer/director)
DIRTY GIRLS (feature, comedy, English, in preproduction) Hitting 60, Abi and Jane –a doctor and a history teacher- rob a bank in order to be able to change their lives. Despite society’s ubiquitous messages that they are old and redundant, DIRTY GIRLS prove otherwise.
THE MAKING OF MARIA (TV series, drama, English, in development) The transformation of young Maria Callas from an ugly duckling to the diva we know during the 2nd World War, taking place in Athens Greece. It’s an anthology of seven episodes linked through a character. In each episode, one important person in Maria’s life –her mother, her Spanish teacher, her Greek lover, a German maestro, her father, her beautiful sister– claims that he or she turned her into the most famous singer of all ages.
ZORBINA (feature, comedy, English, in development) The story of a female Zorba taking place on a remote Greek island. A women’s friendship, a strong mother-daughter bond, thousands of rummaging goats and an unfinished hotel are the building ingredients of this crazy, funny and moving story. ZORBINA is a story that reinvents the male Zorba character as presented in the Oscar-winning movie ZORBA THE GREEK some 50 years ago.
UNBROKEN LOVE (feature, drama, English, in development)
A love story taking place during the 2nd World War in Greece. Three characters, three points of view, each convinced that his or hers motive was love.