The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) opened in La La Land on June 25.
The red carpet gala event happened in Hollywood and included a number of actors, directors and producers of Greek descent.
Among the A-list Greek celebrities in attendance at the opening were Alexi Georgoulis, who recently starred in Nia Vardalos’ My Life in Ruins, young American Greek pop singer Kalomoira Sarantis, and veteran actor John Aniston.
The celebrity did not end there. Sharon Stone was also present. She is not of Greek descent by any means, but the actress was in attendance and gracious to be a part of all the excitement.
The Greek inspired excitement from the festival escalated after it was announced that Kalomoira would sing after the opening ceremony of the LAGFF.
As Kalomoira was herself born in the United States, the LAGFF gig proved the perfect opportunity for the sugary pop starlet to marry her two cultures.
Directed by Christos Georgiou and featuring Viki Papadopoulou, the picture Small Crime had the honours of being the opening night film. Small Crime is a comedy about a frustrated policeman who has been assigned to duty on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.
The festival focuses on promoting Greek cinema and culture in the glitzy entertainment capital of the world.
2009 marks the third year for the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival which brings filmmakers of Greek descent together from Greece, the United States and other countries around the world.
In an effort to encourage international collaboration with Greece, the Greek Ministry of Tourism sponsored a panel discussing Greece’s current and future role in the filmmaking industry.
Director Penelope Spheeris was honored for her career achievements in documentary and feature film. Spheeris directed Wayne’s World (1992), The Little Rascals (1994) and Suburbia (1984).
She also shot the documentary trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization, Parts I, II and III which followed the American punk rock and heavy metal music scenes.
Patricia Kara from Deal or No Deal hosted the Orpheus awards presentation. One of the presenters was actress Marilu Henner, who has Greek and Polish heritage.
Henner presented the Audience Award to the documentary, No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos. Jim Gianopulos, Fox Film Entertainment Chairman, presented the award for Best Dramatic Feature to Guinness.