Los Angeles Greek Film Festival Announces 2011 Program And Events



Los Angeles, California (May 10, 2011) – Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) has announced the 2011 line-up of films for its 5th annual Festival, which runs June 9-12 at the Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood. Seven feature films, five documentaries and nine shorts, including three world premieres, ten US premieres and eight  LA premieres will be presented during the 4-day Festival. The Festival has also added an industry panel “Crossing Borders: Foreign Films in Hollywood” to the schedule this year.



"This year's films represent all facets of Greek life – humor, music, wine, erotica, and family... with a twist!  Los Angeles audiences will not be disappointed," says Ersi Danou, LAGFF co-founder.



"The growing Greek film community is rapidly proving itself a formidable source of truly groundbreaking cinema and I am proud to help bring these incredible works to the Los Angeles screen." states Owen Ward, Director of Programming.



Opening night gala will showcase Lea Binzer's  documentary PELICAN'S WATCH about a small community of elders on the island of Santorini charged with the unique duty to preserve the traditions of vine-growing and winemaking in the face of changing times that threaten their ancient and world-renowned art. The screening will be followed by a reception featuring some of the top Greek wines.  Santorini winemakers and the filmmakers are expected to attend. On Friday June 10, LAGFF presents the US premiere of Roy Sher's MY SWEET CANARY, a documentary that recounts the story of Roza Eskenazy, the Diva of Rebetiko or “Greek Blues," whose music shaped the soundtrack of Greece and Asia Minor for almost a century.



The Festival organizers are thrilled to present the Los Angeles premiere of the critically acclaimed drama/comedy A WOMAN'S WAY (STRELLA) produced and directed by Panos Koutras, written by Panajotis Evangelidis and Panos Koutras, starring Mina Orfanou, Yanis Kokiasmenos and Minos Theoharis – a daring film about the relationship of newly released convict Yorgos and the matriarchal transsexual Strella. The film will be shown Saturday evening June 11, at 9:30 pm.



In addition, LAGFF is proud to present the US premiere of Yannis Economides' fearless and artful KNIFER, top winner of the Hellenic Film Academy awards, a story set against the milieu of a decaying middle class where right and wrong seem interchangeable.



The legendary music composer Mikis Theodorakis will be presented with a Honorary Orpheus Award during the awards ceremony on Sunday, June 12, at the Writers Guild Theatre. The award acknowledges the man's   body of work in the world of music and contribution to world cinema with scores for milestone films such as Z, SERPICO, STATE OF SIEGE, and ZORBA THE GREEK. Accepting the Orpheus on his behalf will be Asteris Koutoulas, a longtime collaborator as well as the director of the featured documentary MIKIS THEODORAKIS, COMPOSER, which will be shown on Saturday, June 11.



The Festival comes to a close Sunday, June 12 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills with a Gala event and world premiere of BURNING HEADS (To Gala), directed by Giorgos Siougas, screenplay by Vassilis Katsikonouris with the collaboration of Nikos Vouteniotis, produced by Christos Konstadakopoulos, Manos Krezias, Kostas Labropoulos, Dionisis Samiotis, with  Promitheas Aliferopoulos, Ionna Tsirigouli, Omiros Poulakis, Iro Bezou, and Demitris Mavros. This poignant story, based on the Greek play  To Gala by Katsikonouris is a hardcore look at immigration and resulting family dynamics in Greece today.  When Russian immigrant Adonis introduces his bride-to-be to his mother and schizophrenic brother, deep-rooted rifts within their family explode as Adonis seeks to ease his guilt and his mother tries to restore the bond their family once knew in their long-lost homeland.




Immediately preceding the feature LAGFF will host its closing night Orpheus Awards ceremony, hosted by comedian Angelo Tsarouchas. The evening ends with sumptuous Mediterranean food reception. The reception, to be sponsored   by world-renowned Greek-owned Earth Friendly Products, will be green-themed in support of green action in Greece and around the world.



Co-founder Angeliki Giannakopoulos adds, "We are also pleased to expand the festival beyond the Greek borders to address the changes that are happening within the independent film distribution arena as a whole.  We have added the ‘Crossing Borders:  Foreign Films in Hollywood’ panel with experts who are able to address new avenues outside the traditional route." 



Special Industry Panel

Crossing Borders: Foreign Films in Hollywood

The age of global interconnectedness is shaping the ways films are made, distributed and exhibited in the US and abroad, while the dividing lines between foreign films, independent productions and Hollywood studio films are beginning to blur. For the first time in the history of American cinema, Hollywood studios have set up international offices to facilitate local productions filmed in the local language. Similarly, foreign films may be facing a newly kindled interest in the US. While still marginal players in the US distribution and exhibition domains, foreign films have a growing effect on both studio and independent domestic filmmaking, shown by an increasing number of international co-productions and Hollywood studio remakes.



This panel will address questions on the future potential of foreign films in the broader international market, including issues such as international representation and the use of alternative distribution and marketing resources.



The 5th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) runs from June 9-12 at Laemmle's Sunset 5, located at 8000 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. Closing night will take place at the Writers Guild Theater at 135 S. Doheny in Beverly Hills.

 

Tickets

Tickets can be purchased online via the LAGFF website at LAGFF.org beginning Tuesday, May 10, 2011.

Elite Pass Members are $300 online and $350 at the door (includes VIP preferred seating to all films, opening and closing night tickets, and access to all events – industry, panel and seminar).  General film tickets are $12 each.  For more information, including how to purchase Screening Passes, Event information and Elite Passes, please visit http://lagff.org

Full schedule

Opening Night Film


PELICAN’S WATCH (I Vardia tou Pelekanou)



Greece, 2011, 67 min, US Premiere

Director/Producer: Lea Binzer

A small community of elders on the island of Santorini is charged with the unique duty to preserve the traditions of vine-growing and winemaking in the face of changing times that threaten their ancient and world-renowned art.

Awards:
- 13th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival: Honrary Mention by ERT 3 (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation)

Closing Night Film

BURNING HEADS (To Gala)


Greece, 2011, 99 min, World Premiere

Director:  George Siougas

Producers:  Christos Konstadakopoulos, Manos Krezias, Kostas Labropoulos, Dionisis Samiotis

 

When Russian immigrant Adonis introduces his bride-to-be to his mother and schizophrenic brother, deep-rooted rifts within their family explode as Adonis seeks to ease his guilt and his mother tries to restore the bond their family once knew in their long-lost homeland.

FICTION FEATURES

A WOMAN'S WAY (Strella)

A WOMAN’S WAY (Strella)



Greece, 2009, 113 min, LA Premiere

Director/Producer:  Panos Koutras

 

When Yorgos is released from prison and seeks his estranged son, he meets and falls in love with the matriarchal transsexual Strella, discovering that the two have much more in common than expected and that she might even offer the key to his lost happiness.

BILOBA


Greece, 2009, 97 min, LA Premiere

Director:  Sofia Papchristou

Producer:  Sofia Papachristou, Stavros Meleas

 

Engineer Peter sets off to build a power generator fueled by toxic waste on an uncharted island, but unexpectedly finds magic amongst the backward islanders and is faced with a difficult choice.

Awards

- Thessaloniki Film Festival 2009: Audience Award

DEATH I DREAMED OF (O Thanatos pou Oneireythika)

THE DEATH I DREAMED OF (O Thanatos pou Oneireythika)



Greece, 2010, 94 min, LA Premiere

Director/Producer:  Panagiotis Kravvas

 

Based on a true story, this horror tale follows a group of teenagers as they encounter a mysterious stranger who at first gathers them in a celebration of the occult but eventually unleashes a very real display of death and destruction.

HARISMA

HARISMA



Greece, 2010, 83 min, LA Premiere

Director:  Christina Ioakeimidi

Producer: Alexandra Boussiou

 

When unsophisticated bus driver Haris thrusts himself into the seemingly controlled life of young teacher Ismini, both have to abandon their safety nets in order to find true love in this light-hearted comedy.

KNIFER (Macherovgaltis)

Greece, 2010, 108 min, US Premiere

Director: Yannis Economides

Producer: Panos Papahadzis

 

In this artful B&W account of a decaying middle class, Nikos moves in with his brutish uncle to guard his dogs, but soon finds out that he must pull himself together in order to set things right.

WITHOUT BORDERS (Horis Sinora)

Greece, 2010, 97 min, US Premiere

Director:  Nick Gaitatjis

Producers:  John Apostolou, Sandra Staggs

 

With the help of his eccentric cousin, Thanasis embarks on a journey across continents in search of his six-year-old adopted daughter, along the way redefining the meaning of familial love.

 

DOCUMENTARIES


THE GAME MUST GO ON  (Ta Paidia Den Paizei)

Greece, 2010, 80 min, LA Premiere

Director: Angeli Andrikopoulou, Argyris Tsepelikas

Producer: Rea Apostolides

Tired of being hassled by their neighbors for playing soccer in the streets, an ambitious group of children set out to build a playing field of their own by daring what most adults would not: Cutting through the red tape and going up against the machine of local politics.

MIKIS THEODORAKIS, COMPOSER (Mikis Theodorakis, Komponist)

Germany, 2010, 53 min, US Premiere

Directors: Asteris Kutulas, Klaus Salge

Producer:  Klaus Salge

 

This in-depth portrait of Mikis Theodorakis explores the roots of the life and work of Greece’s legendary composer whose music became identified with the struggles of a nation torn by war and strife in the 20th Century.

MY SWEET CANARY

Israel/France/Greece, 2011, 89 min, US Premiere

Director/Producer:  Roy Sher

 

The story of Roza Eskenazy, the Diva of Rebetiko or “Greek Blues," whose music shaped the soundtrack of Greece and Asia Minor for almost a century, is unveiled through the journey of three modern musicians who retrace her steps and perform her songs.

WITH GREAT POWER: THE STAN LEE STORY *

USA, 2010,  80 min,

Directors: Will Hess, Terry Dougas, Nikki Frakes

Producers: Paris Latsis, Will Hess, Nikki Frakes, Terry Dougas

 

Get up close and personal with Stan Lee, the artist behind world-famous Marvel comics and comic book favorites like Spiderman and The Fantastic Four in this star-studded documentary that explores how one of today’s great creative minds came to be.

SHORT FILMS

1.2 MILLION CHILDREN (1.2 Ekatommyria Paidia)

Greece, 2010, 3 min, US Premiere (Animated)

Director:  Effie Pappa

Producers:  Effie Pappa, Stelios Polychronakis

 

This animated short brings light to the tragic issue of children being bought and sold across international borders.

Awards:

- 33rd Drama Invitational Short Film Festival 2010
- 6th Animfest 2010: 2nd Animation Award
- EBGE Hellenic Graphic Design & Animation Awards: Special Merit Award

13 ½

Greece, 2010, 21 min, US Premiere

Director:  Haris Vafeiadis

Producer:  Yiannis Exintaris

 

The road to adulthood is fraught with peril for this young teenage girl who comes to understand the value of her lost innocence.

Awards:

- Greek Federation of Film Societies Drama Film Festival: 2nd Fiction, Best Female Performance, Best Film)

ALTER *

Greece, 2011, 9 min, World Premiere

Director:  Petros Antoniadis

Producers:  Maria Vlachaki, George Antoniadis

An unconventional artist finds that he must embrace all parts of his psyche in order to reach fulfillment.

 

COMMENTARY *

USA/Canada, 2010, 8 min, World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Crow

Producer: John Kapelos, Ira Miller


What starts as a simple behind-the-scenes commentary recording session between a film producer and director becomes a hilarious conflict of personal relationships.

MARIOS AND THE RAVEN

Greece, 2010, 22 min, US Premiere

Director/Producer:  Yiannis Bougioukas

 

On his 53rd birthday, Marios seems to have everything he ever wished for – until a bird dropping from the blue reveals his happiness to be far more fragile than it seemed.  

Awards:
- 16th International Short Film Festival in Drama 2010: Best South and Eastern Europe Film Award
- 33rd National Short Film Festival in Drama 2010: Best Actor (Errikos Litsis)

 

PYRAMIDS OF ATHENS (Pyramides tis Athinas)

Greece, 2010, 15 min

Director/Producer:  Yolanda Markopoulou

 

A young Egyptian immigrant in Athens observes suspicious activity in the abandoned building where he is squatting and decides to take matters into his own hands despite language and cultural barriers.

RF

Greece, 2010, 20 min, US Premiere

Director:  Stavros Liokalos

Producer:  Ekso Productions

 

One man simply trying to adjust his TV antenna sets off a chain of comic events that bring an entire apartment community together.

THE DOG (O Skylos)

Greece, 2009, 23 min, US Premiere

Director: Nikos Charalabopoulos (aka Labot)

Producers: Nikos Charalabopoulos, Louizos Aslanidis

 

The arrival of a young suitor and his dog means war for a father who compulsively protects his only daughter.

WHAT TIME WILL YOU BE BACK? (Ti Ora tha Gyrisis?)

Greece, 2010, 20 min, US Premiere

Director: Maritina Passari

Producer: Panayiotis Karabinis

 

When Eurydice rebels against her mother to follow her dream of becoming a punk-rock singer, she realizes that the mother-daughter relationship is not one-way.

NOTE: All films include English subtitles, except (*) indicates English original language.

About Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The 5th annual Los Angeles Film Festival 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. www.lagreekfilmfestival.org

Major contributors:

Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation – ERT S.A.

http://www.ert.gr/ertae/en/etaireia/etaireia.asp

LAGFF GOLD PATRON

Founded in 1938, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) is the largest radio and television broadcasting organization in Greece. As the country’s first broadcaster, it has an unrivalled audio and visual historic archive, which captures much of the history of modern Greece. ERT has three broadcasting television stations with national coverage (ET1, NET and ET3), one satellite channel (ERT world), four terrestrial digital channels (Cine+, Prisma+, Sport+ and Info+), six radio programs with headquarters in Athens (NET, Second Program, Third Program, FILIA, KOSMOS, ERA Sport), two international radio stations (Voice of Greece and Third Program in Thessaloniki), two radio stations based  in Thessaloniki (95,8 and 102 FM), and 19 regional radio stations throughout Greece.

ERT has been an ardent supporter of LAGFF since 2008.

Earth Friendly Products

www.ecos.com

LAGFF SILVER PATRON


The Earth Friendly Products family returns to LAGFF for a second year as a Silver Patron and sponsor of the Festival's Closing Night green party. Earth Friendly Products only uses cleaners that are plant-based, paper that is recycled with 80% post-consumer content, detergents that won’t harm clothing fibers, and phosphate-free auto dish soap that will not etch dishware. And only products not tested on animals, period. Earth Friendly Products.  Green.  Clean. 

Bousis Film Company / G.P. Kolovos & Associates

LAGFF BRONZE PATRONS

Bousis Film Company and G.P. Kolovos & Associates have joined LAGFF as 2011 Bronze Patrons. Bousis Film Company is an independent production company focusing on feature, documentary, and animation film production, packaging and financing. G.P. Kolovos & Associates is a Real Estate Investment & Development company.

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SOURCE: LOS ANGELES GREEK FILM FESTIVAL

 

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