DEFEATING THE CRISIS THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER
The people of Greece are the first to experience an unprecedented crisis that is affecting not only their country but also Europe, the US, and the world. Yet we, at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, insist on identifying crisis with opportunity for change. To us, ‘change’ means looking forward to a better future; it also means looking back in order to honor the great foundations and principles of an ancient culture. Only then can we truly expect a new homecoming. There is no more timely reflection of Greece’s struggles than the one offered by its burgeoning cinema. A new generation of filmmakers has begun to question the current state of things as well as to express an urge to evolve as artists and human beings. These filmmakers make films out of nothing, powered by their passion to make their stories – however small – known.
OPENING NIGHT FILM
A GREEN STORY *
USA, 2012, 96 min, World Premiere
Director/Writer: Nika Agiashvili
Producers: Nika Agiashvili, John Edward Lee, Deanna Plascencia, Chadwick Struck, Dimitris Birbilis, Davit Agiashvili, Pablo D’Adamo
Cast: Ed O’Ross, Shannon Elizabeth, Billy Zane, Annabella Sciorra, Malcolm McDowell, Roger Bart, Talia Jackson
This story recounts the life of Van Vlahakis, who left Greece for the American dream and through an inspirational series of events, eventually turned the 22 dollars he brought with him into Earth Friendly Products, a US pioneer manufacturer of green products.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Greece, 2010, 56 min, Documentary, LA Premiere
Director: Nikos Dayandas
Producers: Rea Apostolides, Yuri Averof
After 35 years of living in Crete, happily married to a Greek sailor and raising her two sons, Sayome hears news of her mother’s death and returns to her homeland, Japan, to reunite with her estranged family.
APARTMENT IN ATHENS (Appartamento ad Atene)
Italy, 2011, 95 min, LA Premiere
Director/Producer: Ruggero Dipaola
Writers: Heidrun Schleef, Ruggero Dipaola, Luca De Benedittis
Cast: Laura Morante, Richard Sammel, Gerasimos Skiadaresis
Set against a backdrop of the German occupation of Greece in 1943, this drama introduces us to an Athenian family, whose life undergoes a profound change when their apartment is commandeered by an exacting German officer with an inscrutable attitude.
Winner of the top four awards at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival.
RIDERS OF PYLOS (Oi Ippeis tis Pylou)
Greece, 2011, 92 min, US Premiere
Director/Writer: Nikos Kalogeropoulos
Producers: Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Marina Konstantakopoulos
Cast: Nikos Kalogeropoulos, Ioulia Kalogridi, Ilias Logothetis
A middle-aged, poverty stricken actor flees Athens to escape his creditors and travels to the heart of historic Messinia, finding refuge in Polypylon, a decrepit castle. While exploring the wild countryside, he meets Democracy, and becomes desperate to win her heart.
Greece, 2011, 109 min, US Premiere
Director: Georgios Papaioannou
Writers: Alexandros Stogiannis, Spiros Papanaoum, Dimitris Papavasiliou, Georgios Papaioannou, Argiris Pouggouras, Babis Papapostolou, Dimitris Vainas
Producers: Georgios Papaioannou, Dimitris Papavasiliou
Cast: Dimitris Vainas, Paris Papadopoulos, Olga Sfetsa
Posing as a journalist for the Golden Jerusalem magazine, Thessaloniki’s very own superhero – Super Demetrios – is the only person that can save the city from its worst nightmare: Captain F.ROM.
THREE DAYS OF HAPPINESS (Tris Meres Eftihias)
Greece, 2011, 80 min, US Premiere
Director/Writer/Producer: Dimitri Athanitis
Cast: Nikolitsa Drizi, Alexandra Aidini, Katerina Fotiadi
A Russian immigrant who sells her body hoping to collect money to leave Greece, a university student who struggles to overcome personal tragedy, and a woman doubting her decision to get married, crisscross paths while pursuing happiness.
Greece, 2011, 98 min, LA Premiere
Director/Writer: Giorgos Georgopoulos
Producers: Giorgos Georgopoulos, Kostas Georgopoulos
Cast: Vangelis Mourikis, Tasos Nousias, Omiros Poulakis
The stories of three men living in crisis-ridden Athens unfold within the timeframe of a single day, revealing a world in havoc, where victims become villains and vice versa.
Presented by TINA AND GEORGE KOLOVOS, G.P. KOLOVOS & ASSOCIATES
Greece, 2010, 94 min, LA Premiere
Director: Filippos Tsitos
Writers: Filippos Tsitos, Dora Masklavanou
Producer: Alexandra Boussiou
Cast: Andonis Kafetzoplouos, Theodora Tzimou, Christos Stergioglou
It all begins with a disenchanted policeman’s decision to follow his own sense of justice. A series of unlikely events, fluctuating from tragedy to comedy, culminate in an equally surprising outcome.
Winner of four major 2012 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Fiction Feature, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, and is this year’s official Greek Oscar entry.
Greece, 2011, 94 min, US Premiere
Co-Directors: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Jan Vogel
Writers: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Jan Vogel
Producers: Argyris Papadimitropoulos, George Karnavas
Cast: Harris Markou, Ieronimos Kaletsanos, Arthouros Kiviliov
Summer heat blasts Athens. A teenage skateboarder sets out for an aimless day with his friends. A middle-aged policeman struggles to make ends meet. A simple twist of fate disrupts the course of their actions.
Presented by WEST COAST INVESTORS
FORTUNATE SON *
Canada, 2011, 77 min, Documentary, US Premiere
Director: Tony Asimakopoulos
Producers: Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin, Bob Moore
Overcoming drug addiction and being motivated by the search for happiness with his fiancee, the only son of Greek-Canadian immigrants faces his complicated relationship with his overbearing mother and ailing father, and the patterns of dysfunction they share.
RAW MATERIAL (Proti Yli)
Greece, 2011, 78 min, Documentary
Director: Hristos Karakepelis
Writers: Natasha Segou, Hristos Karakepelis
Producers: Costas Lambropoulos, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos
A group of illegal gypsy immigrants, that don’t live by the norms or speak the Greek language, gather garbage and recycle Athens’ material in an attempt to improve their lives.
Winner of the 2012 Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Documentary.
An elderly couple plan their grand escape from a senior home.
Urban life is seen through the lonesome journey of a loaded shopping cart.
During the 80’s, in Athens, a nine year old girl gradually loses touch with her workaholic communist father.
Winner of the 2012 Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Short Film
In a dog-eat-dog world, there is no place for affection.
These people will do anything to find ‘the location’.
In a mountain forest of Japan, an elderly woodcutter stumbles upon the fountain of youth.
A father and son walk different paths, but life brings them back together.
JUST A PERFECT DAY
Greece, 2011, 6 min, US Premiere
Director: Evris Papanikolas
Writers: Evris Papanikolas, Nikos Nikolopoulos
Producers: Angelo Venetis, Takis Nikolakopoulos
Cast: Kora Karvouni, Chrisa Kornazidi
On this serene day, the world goes awry.
Cyprus 1974: A conscript soldier comes face to face with a family in hiding and must confront the brutal reality of war and his role in it.
Suppressed by his religious mother, a young man strives for salvation from his demons in a racist 1940s society.
SUN DON’T SHINE FOR US *
USA, 2012, 18 min, LA Premiere
Co-Directors: Pete Stamatelatos, Scott Ackerlund
Writer: Pete Stamatelatos
Producers: Pete Stamatelatos, Scott Ackerlund, Joey Allen
Cast: Anna Giannotis, Pete Stamatelatos, George Christopoulos
A Greek immigrant mother’s hopes and dreams for her family collapse when her son enters the world of drug addiction.
NOTE: All films include English subtitles, except (*) indicates English original language.