It's the stuff of nightmares: a teenage girl sits at home and, thinking she's by herself, uploads a selfie to Instagram.
Only to discover she's not alone in her house.
#NotAlone, a 2017 short horror film, is only five minutes long -- but within that short space of time directors Sotiris Petridis and Dimitris Tsakaleas seamlessly code an important message about social media within the film's slasher narrative.
"It is very common, especially for young people, to upload lots of private information and pictures that can potentially harm them," director Sotiris Petridis said.
'Harm' from social media could be revenge porn, Facebook data mining or catfishing. But in this film, the stakes are higher.
The plot highlights the consequences of a teenage girl uploading a 'selfie' onto Instagram with the caption #HomeAlone.
Since the film's premier a month ago, it has since been accepted into eight film festivals in five different counties. These include the 'Fantastic Film Festival' in Greece, 'Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes Cine a la Calle' in Columbia and 'XpoNorth' in the United Kingdom.
It just won the Best Short Film Award at the Horrorant Film Festival in Greece.
The film has been uploaded online for free, amassing over 13,000 views in less than two weeks.
"From the first day, our intent was to let #NotAlone free on the Internet," Petridis said.
"We wanted to speak about social media, so it was necessary to let the people on social media see it," he said.
Both directors are scholars in film making, and hugs fans of slasher films.
"Even though the viewer does not see it very clearly, the phone's wallpaper is Drew Barrymore screaming from the first sequence of 'Scream'," Petridis said.
Sotiris Petridis is a Greek-Australian, and filmed #NotAlone in Greece. The short film contains no dialogue.
"Language can be a barrier regarding filmmaking," he said. "I believe that filmmaking is mostly giving meaning to a story through images."
"The lack of dialogue was a conscious choice in order to approach a larger audience and I think the conventions of the horror genre helped us."
Sotiris Petridis and Dimitris Tsakaleas are working together as producers on three different films. 'Emoticon Man' and '9023' are short films set to be released this year, as well as their first feature film 'Scopophilia'.
#NotAlone is currently playing in film festivals in Colombia and Greece.
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