Everything You Need to Know About This Year’s Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

Bringing together the brightest Greeks in the entertainment industry, the 2014 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) will showcase the best new films produced by Greek talent, together with a variety of special events, June 4-8, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA.

When did the fest start and what is its mission
Now in its eighth year, the annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival showcases new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide. Its mission is to promote Greek Cinema and cultural exchange while bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. LAGFF is witnessing a new wave of Greek Cinema emerging from an irreverent generation of young filmmakers who insist on breaking ties with past trends and seeing things in their own unique way. The festival functions as a center for Greek filmmakers from around the world not only in reflecting the blossoming of Greek Cinema but also in promoting modern Greek culture by highlighting its hidden treasures and roots.

What films are to be shown this year
This year’s Los Angeles Greek Film Festival welcomes 29 features, documentaries and short films to the programme, including 2 world premieres, 14 US premieres and 11 films presented in the world’s entertainment capital for the first time. A third of the programming is by women filmmakers.

  • Nick Cassavetes’ romantic comedy “The Other Woman” starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney and Don Johnson will ring in the red carpet Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, June 4.
  • Hot off its Best Director win at the 2014 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, Yorgos Tsemberopoulos’ gripping revenge thriller “The Enemy Within” (O ehthros mou) will cap the Closing Night Gala on Sunday, June 8. See the full list here or click on the graphic below:

Los Angeles Greek Film Festival 2014 Lineup

Celebrities rumored to attend
Some of Hollywoods biggest celebrities do have Greek roots and support the festival. This year the following VIPs are rumored to hit the red carpet:
Actors Billy Zane, Adoni Maropis, Costas Mandylor, Louis Mandylor, Sofia Milos, Thaao Penghlis George Chakiris and Simon Kassianides; FilmOn owner Alki David, singer Ariana Savalas, screenwriters Charles and Vlas Parlpanides, stylist Christos Garkinos, TV Host Patricia Kara, and legendary Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.

Programmes to Attend

A Green Story Panel at Los ANgeles Greek film Festival in 2012
[L-R] Actor Ed O’Ross, Earth Friendly Products Founder Van Vlahakis, actress Shannon Elizabeth, and Earth Friendly Products CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks at a special programme dedicated to the 2012 opening film ‘A Green Story’. The film tells the story of the late Van Vlahakis who came to the USA as an immigrant with only 22 dollars in his pocket to create the green giant known today as Earth Friendly Products. Photo by Conrad Allan
Five free industry roundtables and programmes will be open to the public throughout the Festival offering expert advice from some of the Entertainment Industry’s key talent.

  • Industry Roundtable – Feature Film Development: Speakers include San Francisco Film Society’s Athena Kalkopoulou, Kelly Tomas (VP of JuntoBox Films’ Incubator Initiative), Slamdance Festival Director Anna Germanidi, and Sundance International Director, Paul Federbush.
  • Industry Roundtable – TV/Web series: With professionals from the industry. Serial content production models are constantly changing, always exploring new media platforms as well as creating exciting content and viewing experiences.
  • Special Focus – Audience Engagement & Crowd Funding: A discussion on what makes a successful crowd funding film campaign and how to engage your audience through different platforms. Speakers: Joseph Beyer (Digital Initiatives, Director, Sundance Institute), Missy Laney (ArtistServices, Sundance Institute).
  • Case Study – Microbudget Filmmaking: Stelana Kliris introduces in this case study her film “Committed,” that will be presented at the Eighth Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Kliris is a South African Cypriot writer/director with a background in editing and production on international films and commercial productions. “Committed” (2014) is her first feature film.
  • A Conversation with Casting Director Valorie Massalas: The festival will also present the seminar “A Conversation with Casting Director Valorie Massalas” (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” “Gods and Monsters.”) The seminar is an open forum for actors, filmmakers, and those interested in the cinematic arts to discuss the process of casting selection in film and TV with the award-winning Casting Director on Sun, May 18, 2014

The Parties
Los_Angeles_Greek_Film_Festival_2014

LAGFF is also known for its great after parties following the opening and closing nights. This year, attendees will enjoy Greek cuisine and a live performance by Billboard chart topper and Australian singing sensation Vassy. Dj Gus Sverkos will also be playing some of the latest Greek & international hits.

Orpeus Awards
The big prize at LAGFF is the Orpheus Award—named for the legendary Greek poet and “father of songs”—an annual prize to honor the best in Greek and Greek-inspired cinema. Orpheus Awards are given to the most outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film categories. The 2014 LAGFF jury includes: Variety editor Peter Caranicas, producer/writer Larry Karaszewski, producer Christopher Kikis, International Sales and Acquisitions Coordinator at Arclight Films Athena Nash, and Professor of Classics at Loyola Marymount University Katerina Zacharia. Special honorees to receive lifetime Awards in 2014 are acclaimed producers Anthony Katagas (“12 Years a Slave”) and Steve Nicolaides (“When Harry Met Sally”).

Three special Greeks, Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Jim Gianopulos, Tracy Spiridakos who starred on the NBC series REVOLUTION, and actor/comedian Angelo Tsarouchas will present the awards to the winners. The closing night ceremony and awards will be hosted by actor Christos Vasilopoulos (“Banshee”) and newcomer actress Chrissa Loukas. Christos is also starring in Konstantinos Mousoulis’ short film “Birthday Surprise”, joining the screening of Block 12, Thursday 5, 5:30 pm.

Major Supporters

LAGFF Goodie Bag
Photo by Conrad Allan

The 8th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has gained attention from esteemed brands, including the world’s leader in the development and production of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, Earth Friendly Products, Real Estate Firm G.P. Kolovos & Associates, and Pabst Brewing Company. See full list here.

Want to go?
Visit lagff.org to get your gold pass that covers access to all festival activities, screenings and special events. Individual screening tickets are also available.