Patience is a virtue, they say, and it’s one that Sydney-based violin-maker luthier Charalambos “Harry” Vatiliotis has in immeasurable amounts. That’s only natural, when you are one of the most respected violin makers in the country.

At 86, Vatiliotis has been making violins for over 68 years – studying under the apprenticeship of Australia’s most renowned maker, AE Smith when he was just a teenager, and then making violins from his Sydney home, which he shares with his wife of almost 60 years, Maria.

Harry Vatiliotis

Harry Vatiliotis in a still from the documentary film The Last Violin

Making a violin requires patience, quiet fortitude and a Herculean degree of fine motor dexterity – something Vatiliotis has been (sharpening) since his early teens. Sadly, the human body disintegrates, failing the craftsman just as he needs all his skills to make his final violin for a dear friend.

Violinist Romano Crivici has captured his ardour for his friend in the documentary film, The Last Violin – a moving, 75-minute meditation on love, friendship and the art of violin making, produced and directed by film-maker and musician Carla Thackrah, with Crivici as a co-producer and...