From the poetic drama Epiphany starring AACTA award-winner Alex Dimitriades and irreverent black-comedy The Taverna, to the latest masterpiece by weird wave auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), the Delphi Bank 26th Greek Film Festival (GFF) returns to showcase diverse stories from trailblazing Greek filmmakers across the globe.
With 15 superb features, three engaging documentaries and one Australian short, the festival kicks off next month in Sydney, before venturing to Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.
“We’re thrilled to announce this year’s eclectic lineup of films, showcasing strong Greek voices from across the globe,” says Sydney Festival Chair, Nia Karteris.
“From the inspirational, to the thought-provoking, and the downright hilarious, this year’s program showcases an incredible selection of diverse tales that are guaranteed to resonate with Australian audiences.”
OPENING & CLOSING NIGHTS
The Festival will open with inspirational sports docudrama 1968, from award-winning Greek filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis (A Touch of Spice). Starring acclaimed Greek actor Ieroklis Michaelidis, the film revisits the legendary victory of the emergent Greek basketball team AEK in the European Cup against the seemingly undefeatable Czechoslovakian team – Greece’s first ever win in history. The landmark event on April 4, 1968 smashed attendance records with over 100,000 spectators flooding the marble Panathenaic Stadium.
Closing the Festival is Australian director Alkinos Tsilimidos’ black comedy The Taverna. Set in Melbourne, the film chronicles a chaotic night in which an impromptu belly dance at a Greek restaurant leads to a series of unexpected and hilarious mishaps.
AACTA award-winner Alex Dimitriades (The Slap) and rising star Caitlin Carmichael (Dwight In Shining Armor) will attend the GFF to introduce Epiphany in Sydney (17 Oct) and in Melbourne (19 Oct), and engage in audience Q&As. Dimitriades and Carmichael star alongside George Georgiou (Mamma Mia!, Game of Thrones) in this love letter to Greek culture, which tells the story of a troubled teen who befriends an older man, and slowly uncovers her family’s mysterious past.
Cypriot Sunday will be a dedicated celebration of Cypriot cinema, with wine and snacks by the Cyprus Community of NSW (13 Oct; and in Melbourne on 15 Oct). Screening will be: Pause Tonia Mishiali’s striking debut feature about an overworked Cypriot housewife who dreams of violent rebellion against her sexist husband; and The Bullet Within, the true story of a son who must bury his father before his wedding day, set in today’s divided Cyprus.
1968 (2018) – From award-winning Greek filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis and starring acclaimed Greek actor Ieroklis Michaelidis (A Touch of Spice), this docudrama revisits the legendary victory of the emergent Greek basketball team AEK in the European Cup against the seemingly undefeatable Czechoslovakian team – Greece’s first ever win in history.
Aigaio SOS (2018) – A 2018 earthquake brings to the surface a tiny rocky island in international waters between Greece and Turkey, adding to the tension between the two countries. Life on the island takes a comical series of twists and turns as we witness the antics of a handful of military misfits.
Epiphany (2019) – Starring AACTA award-winner Alex Dimitriades (The Slap, Head On), rising star Caitlin Carmichael (Dwight in Shining Armor) and George Georgiou (Mamma Mia!, Game of Thrones), this love letter to Greek culture tells the story of Luka, a troubled teen who befriends an older man and slowly uncovers her family’s mysterious past.
Her Job (2019) – Premiering in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery section, this nuanced drama explores how a quiet, modest housewife finds empowerment through employment during the Greek financial crisis. Gaining financial independence amid a ruthless system of exploitation and competition, how will a series of lay-offs at work impact her?
Holy Boom (2018) – In an immigrant district of Athens, lives change dramatically when a mysterious post-box explosion connects four strangers surviving on the edge of legality, who eventually learn to rely on one another despite their generational and racial differences.
In This Land Nobody Knew How To Cry (2018) – Directed by Venice Golden Lion-nominated filmmaker Giorgos Panousopoulos (M’ agapas?), this unconventional comedy follows a research group who discover a lost Aegean island whose inhabitants have established their own carefree money-less lifestyle, and get carried away in a vortex of love and passion for life.
Love Me Not (2017) – In this dramatic thriller from Venice Silver Lion winner Alexandros Avranas (Miss Violence), a wealthy couple hire a young woman to be their surrogate mother. Welcomed as part of the family, the woman and girl forge a close-knit bond. However, not all is as it seems.
Meltem (2018) – A young Frenchwoman returns to her holiday home on the island of Lesbos with friends, only to have their plans derailed when they meet a young Syrian refugee separated from her mother.
Pause (2018) – Cypriot director Tonia Mishiali’s striking feature debut is a blackly comedic drama about an overworked and repressed housewife who dreams of violent rebellion against her sexist husband.
Perfect Strangers (2016) – Both directed by and starring Greek filmmaker Thodoris Atheridis, Perfect Strangers chronicles an ill-fated dinner which turns awry when friends pledge to make all of their texts and calls public. Over the course of the evening secrets are revealed and friendships are damaged.
Perimenontas ti Nona (2019) – In this light-hearted comedy from Nikos Zapatinas (In Good Company – Greece’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 74th Academy Awards), best friends Hercules and Alexandros arrive in Naxos to visit Hercules’ sick grandmother. On the island they meet a pair of strangers who uncover the truth about Alexandros’ identity.
The Bachelor 3 (2018) – A uniquely Hellenic take on The Hangover franchise, The Bachelor 3 reunites the cast of the massively popular 2016 original and the 2018 sequel for another night of madness and mayhem.
The Bullet Within (2018) – A 35-year-old son buries his 27-year-old father. This true story takes place the day before his wedding in today’s divided Cyprus. He struggles with the absence of his father, missing since the war — but his father might be closer than he thinks.
The Favourite (2018) – The critically acclaimed period black-comedy directed by triple Oscar-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos, featuring an Oscar-winning performance for Best Actress by Olivia Colman as Queen Anne.
The Taverna (2019) – Set in Melbourne, this black-comedy from Australian director Alkinos Tsilimidos chronicles a chaotic night in which an impromptu belly dance at a Greek restaurant leads to a series of unexpected and hilarious mishaps.
Utopia (2019) – A man returns to his country only to find a society where citizens police each other with their mobile phones and there is more freedom inside prison than outside it. Desperate, but unable to escape, the brave act of one woman gives him his freedom.
Maria by Callas (2018) – The first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek-American opera singer Maria Callas, completely in her own words. Through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and memoirs, the film reveals the essence of one of the greatest artists of all time.
The Return (2017) – Can theatre become an educational and rehabilitation medium for juvenile prison inmates? In an institution for young offenders, young inmates attempt to overcome the limitations of a “correctional” institution.
When Tomatoes Met Wagner (2019) – A touching documentary about a community trying to survive austerity and revive commerce in their tiny Greek village, by marketing their organic tomato goods as trendy delicacies.
What: The Delphi Bank 26th Greek Film Festival
Sydney: 8-20 October
Melbourne: 9-20 October
Adelaide: 10-13 October
Brisbane: 15-20 October
Perth: 20 October-10 November
Canberra: 29 November-1 December