This year’s Los Angeles Greek Film Festival welcomes 29 features, documentaries and short films to the program including 2 world premieres, 14 US premieres and 11 films presented to Los Angeles audiences for the first time. A third of the programming is by women filmmakers.
“As Greece is still grappling with the aftermath of an unprecedented crisis, the upheaval of Greek society is represented in much of the current Greek Cinema, leading its artists beyond the known and the safe. This year’s films reflect the continued search for answers and solutions”, states Fest topper Aristotle Katopodis. “What makes this year even more special is the fact that we had a record number of submissions from female and first time filmmakers whose works we are proud to have represented in this year’s program.”
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. The Opening Night event also includes a performance by Billboard chart topper and Australian singing sensation Vassy, a dinner reception and music and dancing outside under the stars.
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. “Enemy” tells the story of Kostas whose quiet life is shattered after a violent home invasion takes place. The days following the vicious attack shake the very core of their family existence as they struggle to make sense of what has happened.
Closing night fun includes the festival Orpheus Awards with special honors as well as Jury and Audience Awards, dinner reception and performances by Tripping Souls.
The Pabst Brewing Company and Hostess Brands present Closing Night galas, Earth Friendly Products and G.P. Kolovos and Associates co-present Opening Night gala, with festival artist-in-residence Gus Sverkos and Goodtime Events providing the music on both nights.
World Premieres include Yiannis V. Lapatas’ documentary” Passage Into History.” Passage follows as people from all over the world gather in Nemea, Greece, for the revival of the Nemean Games. They come to take a leap into the past, run in the Stadium, and be crowned with wild celery; and Konstantinos Mousoulis’ short romantic thriller “Birthday Surprise” about a wealthy criminal who returns home drunk on his birthday only to find an attractive young woman waiting for him as his present, or is she?…
Female filmmakers are well represented with several first feature bows including the Los Angeles premieres of Elina Psikou’s drama, winner 2014 first time director nod at 2014 Hellenic Film Academy, “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas” (“I aionia epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeva”); Greek filmmaker Christina Koutsospyrou and English filmmaker Aran Hughes first feature documentary hybrid “To The Wolf” (“Sto Lyko”) that shadows the life of two impoverished shepherd families in western Greece and their struggle to survive; and the US premiere of Alexandra Anthony’s emotionally intriguing documentary “Lost In the Bewilderness”, a twenty year journey following the abduction of her cousin at age five by his mother from Greece and the family’s odyssey to reconnect after he is found.
Other festival highlights include the US premieres of the documentaries “Crossed Lives” directed by Spyros Teskos which analyzes the current economic and humanitarian crisis in Greece in juxtaposition with the economic policies of the Third Reich during WW II; and Elias Yannakakis’ award-winning “People and Shadows” (“Kalavryta: Anthropoi kai skies”) – a studied look at the German occupation of the Greek city of Kalavryta.
Los Angeles premieres include the suspense thriller “Wild Duck” helmed by Yiannis Sakaridis where a hunt for online hackers turns deadly; Kyriacos Tofarides’ social satire “Block 12” about a house, a family, a government and oil with a little bit of magic thrown in; and the highly anticipated screening of Alexandros Avranas’ feature “Miss Violence,” which exposes a hidden and hellish world after the tragic and unexpected suicide of an 11year-old girl. “Miss Violence” took home Best Euro-Mediterranean Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Film honors in the ‘Young Cinema Award’ section last year at the Venice Film Festival.
For a complete list of films and schedule visit http://lagff.org