As the culture it celebrates faces immense challenges, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival sprints toward its sixth year with an expanded team, new screening venue, reduced Gold Pass prices, and a celebration of the late, great, Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos.
The sixth annual event will take place on Thursday, May 31st, through Sunday, June 3rd, 2012. LAGFF will showcase films at the Linwood Dunn Theater on the campus of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in the heart of Hollywood, California. Produced by the nonprofit Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan Cultural Center (EMBCC) with the support of sponsors worldwide, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival promotes awareness of Greek culture through the art of cinema.
Acknowledging the heartbreaking social and political challenges in her beloved Greece, LAGFF cofounder and Artistic Director Ersi Danou stated, “The people of Greece are the first to experience an unprecedented crisis that is affecting not only their country but also Europe, the US, and the world. Yet we, at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, insist on identifying crisis with opportunity for change. To us, ‘change’ means looking forward to a better future; it also means looking back in order to honor the great foundations and principles of an ancient culture. Only then can we truly expect a new homecoming.”
Filmmakers dreaming of their own Hollywood homecoming have until March 9th to submit films for possible inclusion in the festival as fully explained at www.lagff.org. The 2012 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will include ten feature film screenings paired with short films; a “Representation in Hollywood” industry panel with top talent and literary agents in Hollywood; an “Editing for Film Writers” workshop by screenwriter, editor, producer, director and University of Southern California Professor Michael Economou; and a retrospective seminar celebrating the work of the late, great Greek film director Theo Angelopoulos.
In an official statement which also acknowledged the recent death of esteemed film director Michael Cacoyannis, Danou expressed, “We are now compelled to remember how they captured the epoch of modern Greek history through their very own worldview. The stoic Angelopoulos saw a country and its people in the crux of political strife through the melancholy of contemplation while the vehement Cacoyannis sang odes to the passionate nature of his society. Both painted the Greek psyche, heritage and dilemma in close view, and both, in turn, defined modern Greek cinema. Their departure signifies a bequeathal to the next generation. The torch is in the hands of the young, but the young must always remember.”
Empowering Greek and Greek-inspired filmmakers, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival counts among its prestigious board Academy Award®-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, Academy Award®-nominated writer and actress Nia Vardalos, and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Alexander Payne, whose film The Descendants is currently in contention for five Academy Awards®. LAGFF cofounder Angeliki Giannakopoulos expressed, “Filmmakers around the world dream of coming to Hollywood one day, and for many filmmakers of Greek heritage, this dream has come true. We are here to facilitate this journey for upcoming filmmakers, and to celebrate and honor Greek culture.”
A prestigious jury will select winners of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival’s Orpheus Awards (named for the legendary Greek poet and “father of songs”) to be presented at a closing night gala party hosted by the Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles, Elisavet Fotiadou.
“As every year, I am looking forward to those wonderful days in the beginning of summer when we all take our seats in front of the big screen and we get transported to the Greece we love and care about,” expressed Consul General Fotiadou. “As our country is going through one of the most difficult times of its recent history, the new Greek films are expected to be even more intriguing and inspirational. The festival’s wonderful team is dedicated to this outcome, and we look forward to welcoming you to opening night on May 31st.”
Evolving information about the 2012 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is available at www.lagff.org. Exclusive Gold Passes and tickets are available at lagff.org