The 7th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival - LAGFF (June 6-9)
announced its 2013 Program, including the selected feature for the ever-popular Opening Night gala, which will be Spiros Stathoulopoulos΄
drama, Meteora, which debuted at the 62nd Berlin Film Festival
. Kimon Tsakiris
) documentary, Mitsigan - Hardships and Beauties
, will close the festival on Sunday, June 9th
, following the presentation of this year’s Orpheus Awards
. In addition, festival representatives elaborated on their previously announced tribute to writer/director Elia Kazan, noting the screening of Kazan΄s America America.
Greece has long been known for cinematic masters such as Theodoros Angelopoulos and Michael Cacoyannis. In the last three years, thanks to directors such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Greek cinema has become increasingly important in the world scene, gaining critical acclaim in prestigious festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Toronto and Karlovy Vary. LAGFF gives the opportunity to U.S. audiences and the U.S. film industry to view and participate in its many depths.
LAGFF Director of Programming Aristotle Katopodis said, “This year we have over 30 features, documentary and short films representing the Greek diaspora in over11 countries - more than ever before. The theme that permeated the 2013 submissions is the toll taken by economic turmoil, whether the films are from Greece or from Greeks around the globe,” further noting that, “These filmmakers have responded powerfully 2 with a redefinition of values and principles. They are raising their voices and shedding light on pressing issues, with anger, pathos and even humor. Our selections capture the most vibrant of these, while showcasing some innovative filmmaking and a slew of new, young, and daring artists not to be missed.”
Adding to the already impressive line-up is Ektoras Lygizos΄ critically acclaimed and award-winning drama, Boy Eating The Bird`s Food, which garnered this year΄s Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Film and also recently won the prestigious European Crossing Award in the European Competition. Moreover, it will likely be Greece’s 2014 Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. Boy Eating The Bird`s Food , which marks Lygizos’ feature directorial debut, is a modern-day adaptation of Knut Hamsun΄s classic 1890 novel, "Hunger", which follows a young outcast desperately trying to survive on the streets of Athens.
They Glow In The Dark
LAGFF 2013 will also feature the US premiere of Panagiotis Evangelidis΄ poignant documentary, They Glow In The Dark, shot in post-Katrina New Orleans, about Michael and Jim, two middle-aged gay friends and ex-lovers, penniless and with HIV, who reunite after twenty years. They Glow In The Dark won the 2013 FIPRESCI Prize at this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
Stella Theodoraki΄s thought-provoking documentary, Amnesia Diaries, was filmed almost entirely by Theodoraki herself over a 4-year period in 1985, 1986, 2010 and 2012, and reflects on the rapidly changing world. Theodoraki’s past meets her presentday experiences, attitudes and thoughts when, in an environment of social unrest and despair in modern-day Athens, she begins recording her "diary" after the loss of her best friend, trying to make sense of what was, is and will be. Amnesia Diaries was awarded the Loukia Rikaki Award and Best Documentary at this year΄s Hellenic Film Academy Awards.
Another award-winning film, Thanos Anastopoulos’ thriller, The Daughter, will make its US premiere bow at the festival. The Daughter one of the major winners at the Hellenic Academy Awards this year, tells the story of fourteen-year-old Myrto who, upon learning that her father has fled to avoid paying his debts kidnaps the son of his business partner whom she blames for bankrupting her father΄s joiner΄s workshop.
LAGFF΄s Executive Producer, Alex Kalognomos, adds, "The past few years have produced a very exciting generation of filmmakers who, in artistic terms, are being heard worldwide by utilizing the power of film to generate understanding about Greece΄s current state - and the state of the Greek individual. It is with this in mind that our team - supported by a community of patrons, sponsors, and volunteers - works so vigorously to produce the festival year after year. It΄s our way of using film to fight for change."
The festival’s previously announced Poject Discovery Forum will be presented on Sunday morning, June 9, at the Real D Theater in Beverly Hills. The Forum is a new event, designed to encourage and help filmmakers of Greek or other Balkan descent with their new projects. A professional panel will critique and judge 5-8 finalist projects during a 20-minute, in-person presentation by the filmmakers themselves. The winning project will receive the $1,000 Aegean Award – sponsored by the Metropoulos Family.
The list of all the films that will be screened during the festival is as followed
USA, 1963, 174 min
Director/Writer: Elia Kazan
Cast: Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Harry Davis, Elena Karam
At the end of the 19th century in a small village in Turkey, when oppression against the Greek minority increases, a father, plotting his family’s escape, sends his young son to Constantinople to make money and get the family to join him. But the son’s own dream is different: America...
*1964 Academy-Award winner, Best Art Direction (B&W)
*1964 Academy-Award nominations for: Best Director, Best Picture, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Elia Kazan
Little Land - Nikos Dayandas
Mitsigan, Hardships And Beauties - Kimon Tsakiris
11:50 - Stylianos Constantinou
45 Degrees - Georgis Grigorakis
Archive - Chris Emmanouilides
Cavo D΄ Oro - Siamak Etemadi
Chamomile - Neritan Zinxhiria
Dichotomus - Peter James, Philippos Balabanos
Distances - Gregory Rentis
Exit K1 - Janis Rafailidou
Jachalay - Manos Gerogiannis and Yannis Zoumakis
Joey - John Evagora
Km - Christos Nikou
Miguel Alvarez Wears a Wig - Araceli Lemos
One Town, One Team, My Team, Platanias - Lakis Matthiopoulos
Out Of Frame - Giorgos Zois
Porche - Nicolas Kolovos
Santa Who? - Dimitris Moutsiakas
Sphinx - Konstantinos Karamaghiolis
The Little Palace of Aoria - Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos
Traffic - Leonardo Cariglino
Toothbrushes - Nikos Branidis, Yiannis Bougioukas
Vicious Circle - Salvador Georgantas