11th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival
June 7 – 11, 2017
FICTION FEATURE FILMS
AMERIKA SQUARE (Plateia Amerikis)
Greece/UK/Germany, 2016, 86 min, West Coast Premiere
Amerika Square is a Square in Athens. It’s the Casablanca of our times. A triptych revealing the opposing forces of today’s humanitarian challenges. Two friends, Billy, a tattoo artist and Nakos, a “banal” Greek racist, come head to head in Amerika Square in Athens because of the survival journey of Tarek, a Syrian refugee.
THE OGRE OF ATHENS (O Drakos)
Greece, 1956, 103 min
A peaceful innocent man is mistaken for a serial ravisher and killer who looks very much like him. He finds himself on the run by everyone that knows him, and finally hides inside a nightclub owned by small crooks. In his face, they see the leader that will give them everything they desire.
BOY ON THE BRIDGE (To Agori Sti Gefira)
Cyprus, 2016, 85 min, West Coast Premiere
In a seemingly idyllic Cypriot village, twelve-year-old Socrates’ careless summer days of riding his bike and tantalizing the local residents come to an abrupt end when he finds himself at the center of a murder investigation, which exposes a dark family secret and changes his life forever. Confronted with a dilemma that will change his life forever, Socrates discovers the meaning of love, family loyalty and courage.
Greece, 2016, 84 min, North American Premiere
Anna, a detached and introverted woman in her early 30s, keeps finding Post-It notes with countdown numbers stuck on her door, triggering a series of events that will shatter her mental health. When a man starts stalking her, Anna suspects everyone she knows, clashing with friends and family. Her meeting with her stalker will be the only way out. “BLISS” is a tragicomic glance at the life of a young woman, viewed through a distorted perception of reality.
Greece, 2016, 88 min, North American Premiere
Greece today. Seven different stories about seven persons who have already reached their limits and finally fall apart. Despite their seemingly obvious connection they are simultaneously connected through a common desperate action: the last phone call to the psychological support center called ‘life line’. It’s their last hope.
Greece, 2015, 110 min, LA Premiere
A dying woman brings home a homeless man trying to overcome her fear of death to discover that it’s not her death that she fears most.
ROZA OF SMYRNA (I Roza Tis Smyrnis)
Greece, 2016, 97 min
Izmir 1922: Young Roza is preparing to get married. Athens today: The passion of a young collector leads him to the coast of Asia Minor. An old photo and a wedding dress is enough to unfold an old and a new love story. The smell of the antique shops, the charm of the trips, the challenge of the mystery create the atmosphere to discover.
USA/Greece, 2016, 98 min, LA Premiere
Following a suspension, professional golfer Zoe travels to her grandparents’ village in Greece to escape harsh publicity. She meets and mentors a 10 year-old girl. Rediscovering her Greek heritage and her love of the game, she inspires the town in an epic showdown against a greedy American developer.
THE OTHER ME (Eteros Ego)
Greece, 2016, 100 min, US Premiere
Five murders. Dimitris Lainis, a peculiar criminology professor, undertakes to assist police in solving the hidden mystery. His only alias the puzzle of Pythagorean theorems and a professor of mathematics, who as another “deus ex machina” will lead him towards the solution. The closer he gets, the more he steps into some dangerous paths. Will he be able to resolve the mystery?
Greece, 2016, 94 min, LA Premiere
Nikos, still unable to get over his recent break-up with Sofia, invites her to a luxury villa he takes care of, in order to get answers. Is Nikos ever going to get the answers he was looking for? Is Sofia ever going to be able to explain why they broke up? A funny, poignant and scathing post-love story between two people who refuse to grow up.
Greece, 2016, 87 min, LA Premiere
Based on the Cretan land and people, XAMOU is not a film about the Greek crisis. It is an optimistic film about all the crises, those who refute the established and force us to reinvent ourselves and our relationships with people, land…and the world around us.
Greece/Poland, 2016, 100 min, LA Premiere
Athens Olympic Village, ten years after the Games: wilding youths, injured retired athletes and stray dogs among ruins and decaying sports venues.
Isolated and abandoned, surrounded by decaying sport venues, the Athens Olympic Village is today a near-deserted place. Its only residents a few working class families who were offered free housing following the 2004 Games. Stuck inside the village a group of boys wander around the ruins playing distorted versions of Olympic Games and organizing dog mating for money.
SON OF SOFIA (O gios tis Sofias)
Greece/France/Bulgaria, 2017,111 min, West Coast Premiere
11-year-old Misha is coming from Russia to Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games to live with his mother. He does not know there is a father waiting for him. While Greece is living the Olympic dream, Misha will get violently catapulted into the adult world, riding on the dark side of his favorite fairy tales.
USA, 2017, 26 min, World Premiere, Documentary
The Greek tells the story and daily struggles inside and outside the ring of the only one-armed professional boxer in the world.
A LATE STYLE OF FIRE: LARRY LEVIS, AMERICAN POET
USA, 2016, 93 min, LA Premiere, Documentary
The brilliant writing and troubled life of Californian Larry Levis came to an abrupt halt when he died at age 49. Is self-destruction required for a serious life of art? Featuring an original score by Iron and Wine, this innovative documentary explores his childhood working alongside Mexican-American field hands, three marriages, friendships with America’s greatest poets, and his own words for answers.
LETTERS FROM ATHENS (Briefe aus Athen)
Germany/France, 2017, 88 min, North American Premiere, Documentary
With the German Occupation in Greece (1941-1944) as a background, this film tells the love story between the filmmaker’s father, an assistant professor at the mysterious German Scientific Institute of Athens, a refuge for resistant students.
OUR OWN MARIA CALLAS (I diki mas Maria Kallas)
Greece, 2016, 95 min, West Coast Premiere, Documentary
This Maria Callas dramatized documentary is a voyage to the mythical world of Maria Callas, the soprano we all know. Her life was one with the roles she interpreted, Medea, Norma, etc. Drama rules supreme. The glory from her art only gives way to the love for life. Rejection, pain, loneliness follow. Towards the end she returns to Greece. This film required the selfless work of hundreds of volunteers, while it was filmed in Neohorion Oihalias, place of origin of Maria Callas, Meligala, Kalamata, Tripoli, Athens, New York City, Verona, Milano, Paris and the island of Scorpio.
THE ARTIST VASSILIS THEOCHARAKIS (O Kallitechnis Vassilis Theocharakis)
Greece, 2017, 84 min, North American Premiere, Documentary
The great love affair of well-known businessman, Vassilis Theocharakis, with painting and his devotion to it for over half a century, made him unique, because he succeeded in both realms – business and art.
THE PATRIARCH’S ROOM
Canada/Israel, 2016, 85 min, West Coast Premiere, Documentary
The Patriarch of the Greek Church in Jerusalem is imprisoned in his room for over a decade. Demoted to the rank of a simple monk after being accused of selling church lands to Jewish Settlers; he claims his innocence.
UK, 2016, 14 min, US Premiere, Documentary
Tensions arise as Lemington and Nejc train for the European Ballroom Championships in Blackpool. Will their relationship survive?
JANUS’ LEGACY: REFUGEE PASSAGE TO EUROPE (Me ti matia tou Ianou. Prosfyges sto dromo pros tin Evropi)
Greece, 2016, 93 min, US Premiere, Documentary
JANUS captures the problems and options faced by refugees in their contact with the reception society and relating to different levels of interaction, involving municipal and state authorities, NGOs, local inhabitants and generally Greek citizens, and especially the specific section of Greeks or foreigners, who were enlisted as volunteers trying to assist them.
LAUGHTER WITHOUT BORDERS
USA, 2016, 36 min, West Coast Premiere, Documentary
Swedish Clowns in Greece helping Syrian Refugees. Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine. A University of Oklahoma film professor, Andrew Horton, decided to travel to northern Greece and film four clowns making Syrian refugees laugh. He is now sharing his experience through a new film, LAUGHTER WITHOUT BORDERS. I got the idea last year when the big migration of Syrian refugees left Turkey and went to Greece, ”OU professor Andrew Horton said.“ American clowns [from Clowns Without Borders] were in Greece traveling around the different villages doing anything they could to try and make the refugees laugh and enjoy life. That made me decide that I needed to share the stories of these four clowns.”
LAST SONG TO XENITIA
Greece/Canada, 2017, 74 min, LA Premiere
103 year old folk poet Grandmother returns to Greece for her last journey to her homeland with her book of folk songs and a message of hope. Folk-poet Vasiliki left her homeland as a bride during the Great Depression in search of a better life in America. The Greeks call this Xenitia, meaning ‘to live as a stranger in a foreign land”. Nurtured and sustained over the years by an ancient oral tradition, she dictates from memory at the age of a hundred more than 340 songs and poems which are published in a book. At the age of 103 she returns to a Greece in crisis once again. She hopes that these songs can live on to inspire a new generation facing the same question whether to stay in their homeland or depart once more for Xenitia.
Greece, 2016, 29 min, North American Premiere, Documentary
In a country on the verge of collapse, Girly and Stamatis, a Greek-American couple are enjoying life on the island of Ikaria, known as the place where “people forget to die.”
WITH THE HOES AND THE TERRARIUM FORKS (Me Ta Tsapia Ke Me Ta Thkelia)
Greece, 2016, 56 min, World Premiere, Documentary
The people of the village of Zagora on the slopes of Mount Pelion, historically based their survival on farming, animal husbandry and trade. In 1916, they founded the Agricultural Cooperative of Zagora which prospered through the years, the first Agricultural Cooperative in Greece to celebrate a century of continuous operation. The film presents farmers of the past and present, the organization and evolution of a local community which develops cooperatively over the last 100 years and passes on this tradition from generation to generation.
Greece, 2016, 58 min, North American Premiere, Documentary
When people think of Greece, few realize that the country has high mountains and a winter season, with skiing and snowboarding. Determined to change this perception, Greek-American filmmaker Constantine Papanicolaou sets out on an adventure to make a ski film that will show the magic of winter in Greece.
FICTION SHORT FILMS
Greece, 2016, 26 min, Documentary
A coast guard captain on a small Greek island is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea.
Greece, 2016, 21 min, North American Premiere
Vangelis is in his 30s, lives in Athens and falling into depression. One morning he receives a phone call for an interview about a position in a gas station. Vangelis really needs the job but from that moment on, he feels like he is trapped in a toxic environment and he is seeking a way to get out.
USA, 2017, 15 min, West Coast Premiere
The key to a woman’s apartment is taken by something unseen.
Greece, 2016, 15 min, US Premiere
After a long trip from Athens, 40-year-old Stathis arrives in Vithisma, his native village which is now abandoned. He is there to sell his family home in which his 75-year-old father, Andreas, still lives.
Greece/Cyprus, 2017, 31 min, North American Premiere
Most adults dream of staying in childhood forever; going through life like a game, free of society’s rules and restrictions. Five employees in a metal company put this dream into effect. What they find is, you may escape the rules but you can’t escape the consequences or taking responsibility for your actions.
Greece, 2016, 12 min
Summer. Southern Crete. A woman takes her father for their usual Sunday swim. But an unexpected break in their routine plunges them both into uncharted waters.
Greece/Albania, 2016, 15 min, Animation
Survival, clash and symbiosis go side by side; all accompanied by bursts of joy and pain as
a result of man’s internal need to find and exaggerate differences when similarities are
MARY’S LULLABY (To Nanourisma tis Marias)
Greece, 2016, 19 min, US Premiere
Philip and Mary, a recently married couple of hydrobiologists, live and work in a house by the lake, celebrating and waiting for the coming of their unborn child. Mary’s unexpected miscarriage and a future of infertility will redefine their relationship.
France/Greece, 2016, 30 min
The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. 12+1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…
HELGA IS IN LUND (Helga Är I Lund)
Greece, 2016, 20 min, US Premiere
A woman, her doctor, a piano student, a man, his wife and a cat. What connects these people? What separates them? Who is Helga? Where is Lund?
Greece, 2016, 14 min, US Premiere
A commune of elderly people deals with the death of one of its members. Through the walls of an abandoned commune, a thread runs knitting the moments of the silent individuals accompanying the deceased while his death suit is prepared.
Greece/Germany/B&H, 2016, 5 min, West Coast Premiere
Monica wanted to become a hairdresser when she was young but things went wrong. This is her story – based on a real interview with a human trafficking victim.
Greece, 2016, 15 min, LA Premiere, Short
Mohamed, a six-year-old refugee, finds himself alone on a crowded Aegean beach. He is hiding behind a rock, watching the tourists bathe and waits for his “ummi” (mother) to arrive. He lost her in the sea and has to find her again to continue on their great trip to the West.
MEMORIES OF A DOLL (Anamnisis mias kouklas)
Greece, 2017, 19 min, North American Premiere
In the midst of the Greek Genocide in Asia Minor in the early 1920s, a young girl sacrifices her childhood in order to protect her younger siblings.
Greece, 2016, 22 min, West Coast Premiere
Makis, an idle person, has nothing important to show except the impressive speed with which he solves the Rubik’s Cube. Along with his sister and his mother, they gather at their family home to welcome the younger and beloved brother who returns from abroad.
TIM OF THE JUNGLE
USA, 2017, 19 min, World Premiere
A high school student attempting to complete his musical opus keeps getting distracted by the intense fights of his mentally imbalanced father and overly doting mother. All Tim wants is to finish the soundtrack for the horror film his friend is making at school. But first he has to face the everyday terrors of his own family; a mentally imbalanced father, an overly doting mother, and the intense fights that put him in the middle of their messed up relationship. Will Tim be able to turn all this emotional turmoil into beautiful music or will he too be claimed by madness?
A STONE APPEARS
USA, 2016, 11 min, LA Premiere
A man and a woman live in a secluded space repeating their daily routine throughout an infinite loop, until A Stone Appears which alters the way they perceive the world and each other.
TRUST NO ONE
USA, 2016, 16 min, US Premiere
Edward Snowden. Julian Assange. Chelsea Manning. These are the men who survived. There have been others…What would happen to a whistleblower on the run on US soil? Ben Logan goes up against the full might of the clandestine force of the USA that he’s helped to build. Armed with nothing but his resourcefulness, a single useful contact in ‘Amber’ – an ex-deniable ops operative he’s blackmailing – and the stolen intel he’s running with, the odds of him surviving are slim to none. His world and the moral fate of the west hangs in the balance.
DISNEY MICKEY MOUSE “EAU DE MINNIE”
USA, 2015, 4 min, Animation
Director, Writer, Story Artist: Paul Rudish, Aliki Theofilopoulos
Minnie’s night out with Mickey is put in jeopardy after her new perfume enchants the whole city.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY
USA, 2016, 20 min, West Coast Premiere
Gene gets up day after day and follows the same monotonous routine that he has lived since the death of his wife ten years earlier. He is aging fast from illness and loneliness and has given up on the future.Today, however, he awakens with a new determination to end the life he has known. Today, there is a new resolve that will change the course of everything.
A SCREAM THAT’S TRAPPED INSIDE
USA, 2017, 15 min
An unfaithful wife comes back home from her husband’s funeral to experience a mind game full of guilt. Memories, thoughts and self-criticism are messing with her head and lead her in an agonizing experience with the paranormal. She follows some notes to find an anniversary present by her husband. His promise was to be always by her side no matter what.
YOU’VE MADE YOUR BED, NOW LIE IN IT (Som ein reier så ligg ein)
Norway, 2016, 15 min
This farm will rot with me.
Aksel is renowned for his ability to predict the future, and suddenly he has a vision the elderly farmer Knut will die in three days. When he tells Knut this, the old man initiates a mission to save the farm from falling into the hands of his annoying brother. Even though he’s going to be six feet under in three days, he’s not going down without a fight.
Greece, 2016, 28 min, West Coast Premiere
Athens. A heatwave. After an intense argument with his mother, Stafanos, a rebel teenager, is left alone with his siblings and his sick dog Lucy. None of them realizes that this is the last carefree day of their life. Everything has already changed.
SEEDS OF CHANGE
USA, 2016, 3 min, World Premiere
A dance meditation upon the nature of the feminine, sacred, sensual and ecstatic. Filmed in the mountains of Topanga in 8K with the prototype Panavision DXL camera.