Tuesday, May 12, 2009

IT's LAGFF Time!!! 3rd Los Angeles Greek Film Festival - 25 to 28 June 2009

Another annual event of great interest to those of us in the Global Greek World is soon to begin...

The 3rd Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has announced its third annual run scheduled for June 25-28, 2009 at the legendary Egyptian Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, minutes away from the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex and the Renaissance Hotel.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting Greek cinema, bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood and highlighting Greek contributions to the American film industry. Naturally, it has a number of prominent and award-winning Greek American Hollywood notables on it's advisory board, including Jim Gianopulos, Olympia Dukakis, Alexander Payne, Nia Vardalos, Kary Antholis, Sid Ganis and Phedon Papamichael.

About the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The third annual LAGFF showcases new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide to promote and nurture Greek Cinema while bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. The Festival also offers screenings of film masterworks, seminars on important contemporary film issues, and tributes to significant filmmakers and performers of Greek origin.

Orpheus Awards are given to the most outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film categories.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is greatly supported by Greece’s General Secretary of Information Panos Leivadas, who continues the ongoing effort to promote Greece at its best with the "Wonderful Greece" campaign. Festival sponsors include the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), the Greek Film Centre, Boo Productions, Top Cut and more;

The Consul General of Greece, Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras and Press Counselor, Helen Vrynioti have stood by the festival team since its inception.

Additional key supporters of the Festival are the American Hellenic Council, the Hellenic University Club of Loyola Marymount University, and other individual members of the Los Angeles Greek Community.

2009 marks the 3rd year of the Festival, which takes place at The Egyptian Theatre from June 25 through June 28, and will feature 7 feature films, 7 documentaries and 8 shorts, with 15 films enjoying their U.S. premieres.

The four-day festival highlights include:
  • Opening Night Ceremonies
  • a tribute to director Penelope Spheeris with a special screening of her 1984 feature SUBURBIA and 1998 short NO USE WALKIN’ WHEN YOU CAN STROLL
  • "Beyond Borders: Greece on the International Film Stage", a special panel discussion sponsored by Greece's Ministry of Tourism Development with slated panelists Nia Vardalos (MY LIFE IN RUINS) and Phedon Papamichael (ARCADIA LOST) who recently shot films in Greece
  • a newly established one-on-one Industry/filmmaker program
  • Closing Night Ceremonies with the Orpheus Awards honoring the filmmakers and films for Best Dramatic Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Special Jury Award, and Audience Choice.

SMALL CRIME will screen as the LAGFF Opening Night Gala presentation on Thursday, June 25, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Christos Georgiou and starring Aris Servetalis and Viki Papadopoulou, the charming comedy is about a frustrated young policeman who has just been assigned duty on a beautiful but ragged Greek island in the Aegean.

There he discovers murder, mystery and love...

GUINNESS will screen as the LAGFF Closing Night Gala presentation on Sunday, June 28 at the Egyptian Theatre. Alexis Kardaras directs Yorgos Pyrpassopoulos, Marcella Giannatou, Stelios Mainas, and Antonis Kafetzopoulos, in this amusing action adventure about a young luckless gambler who tries to escape the “lethal spell” of an unhappy wife and ends up running off with a case of her husband’s gold.

“The primary focus of the LA Greek Film Festival is to discover talented Greek filmmakers and to share their movies with cinema lovers that would not have an opportunity to see these films otherwise,” said Ersi Danou, Festival Co-Founder and Director of Programming. “We are proud of this year’s line-up, which not only represents the evolution of our Festival, but of Greek cinema as well."

“As the LA Greek Film Festival celebrates its third year, we now know there is an audience in Los Angeles who is not only receptive, but eager to see films made in Greece and/or by Greek Filmmakers.

"For four days the Festival is akin to a ‘platia’ (village square)", comments Ambassador Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras, Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles. “In addition to the screenings, this year we are proud to announce a special panel discussion, sponsored by Greece's Ministry of Tourism Development, on the benefits of making movies in Greece.”

"With the recent success of MAMMA MIA! and the soon-to-be-released MY LIFE IN RUINS starring Nia Vardalos, the Greek culture is making its way to the mainstream through the art of filmmaking," said Angeliki Giannakopoulos, Festival Co-Founder and Director. "We are gradually experiencing a bridging of the gap between Greece and Hollywood, and we are very excited about this!"

Volunteers Wanted!!!

If you are interested in volunteering, LAGFF is looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of preparation and on site organization leading up to and during this year's festival, June 25-28 in Hollywood.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to experience first hand how a film festival comes together and to interact with a dynamic group.

Join LAGFF and learn what it takes to organize a film festival!

Ticket Sales

Tickets are on sale since May 15. For more information click here

Previous Festivals

The 2008 LAGFF kicked off with a first-time screening of a newly restored print of ZORBA THE GREEK directed by Michael Cacoyannis, courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Other highlights included panel discussions moderated by Peter Bogdonavich, a screening of the feature film ALTER EGO, starring Greece's well-known pop star and prized Eurovision finalist Sakis Rouvas in his debut performance as an actor, a Tribute Night Gala honouring Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes and the US premiere of the Closing Night film LITTLE GREEK GODFATHER which is based on a short story written by Nicholas Papandreou, son of Andreas Papandreou, Greece's former Prime Minister, and directed by Olga Malea.

"It was a natural fit to have the restored version of ZORBA THE GREEK make its debut at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival " commented Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment and Advisory Board Member of the LAGFF. " We are enormously proud of this classic film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® and won three, and the meticulously restored print brilliantly displays its award-winning cinematography."

ZORBA THE GREEK, originally released in 1964, is based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Anthony Quinn starred as Alexis Zorbas, an open-hearted peasant whose character single-handedly became a symbol of the Mediterranean passion. His encounter with a young and pent-up English writer (Alan Bates) leads to unforgettable lessons in love of life. The film was shot on the island of Crete, and the musical theme, “Sirtaki”, by Mikis Theodorakis became identified with traditional Greek music and dance even though it was composed specifically for the film. ZORBA THE GREEK won three Academy Awards: Lila Kedrova won for Best Supporting Actress, Vassilis Fotopoulos won for Art Direction (Black-and-White) and Walter Lassally won for Cinematography. Anthony Quinn received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Michael Cacoyannis received three nominations for Best Picture, Director and Writing (Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium).

For a report on the 2008 2nd LAGFF, click here

Watch and listen to Greek Consul General Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras talk about Greek Culture and the accomplishments of the 2nd Annual Greek Film Festival in Los Angeles - Click here

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