The 2023 Greek Film Festival (2023 GFF) begins next week, in Melbourne and Sydney from October 19 to 29 and in Adelaide from October 24 to 29. This annual cinematic journey is a window into the intriguing, entertaining and, at times, challenging and disturbing complexities of Greek culture, history, and creativity, in all its complexities.

Our tastes in film connect us to social, spatial, and time-based networks of meaning and Greek cinema. They ensure we, as Diaspora, are linked to the now and view the complex story of Greece, its people, politics, and everyday lives. This year’s GFF includes a curated selection of films that explore culture and contemporary themes.

The GFF showcases the diversity of Greek cinema and the 23-year-old, significant annual event for both cinephiles and general audiences.

Asimina Proedrou’s ‘Behind the Haystack’ opens the festival next Thursday in Melbourne and Sydney. It is the story, of Stergios, a middle-aged fisherman and farmer, lives with his wife, Maria, and daughter, Anastasia, on the border with North Macedonia. He fears jail for a fraud he committed years ago and starts to traffic migrants across the border lake to repay the money he took. He soon finds himself trapped in a deadly game between the local mafia and his conscience while his family starts falling apart.

Silence 6-9, directed by Christos Passalis. Photo: Supplied

Along with the news, there is also a special tribute to the legendary Greek actress Irene Papa with a feature on The Guns of Navarone, one of the most iconic performances of her career.

Commemorating 80 years after the deportation of the Jews of Thessaloniki, a special tribute, “80 years from Thessaloniki to Auschwitz”, has been lined up with documentary screenings.

Other highlights include Voices in Deep by Jason Raftopoulos – with a Q&A with the Director after Melbourne and Sydney screenings, and the documentary George Bizos Icon followed by a Q&A with the Producers after screening.

Some highlights:

– Silence 6-9, Directed by Christos Passalis

Aris and Anna meet in a half-abandoned town surrounded by antennas that emit strange sounds and enable the transmission of human voices. In a bizarre world, things don’t seem quite right—the outsiders in a town filled with antennas broadcasting the voices of disappeared inhabitants who have unexplainably disappeared. Then Anna disappears.

Lost on Kythera. Directed by James Prineas. Photo: Supplied

– IMAN, Directed by Korinna Avraamidou, Kyriakos Tofaridis

Abdallah, an Arab Muslim civil engineer, must come to terms with his responsibility in the collapse of a building, which caused the death of seven people. A radicalised, Iman and Leila are sent to Cyprus on a secret mission.

Michelle, a lonely teenage girl, falls for Angelos, a young racist man. Three stories of characters whose actions may mean the difference between life and death are defined by their search for redemption from their past, guilt, and loneliness.

– Voices in Deep; Directed by Jason Raftopoulos

In the aftermath of Greece’s refugee crisis 2015, Tarek and Zaeed are orphaned refugees. Unable to secure public housing, Tarek pays for food and board by prostituting himself to his abusive pimp Masi. Still, when a local refugee girl is murdered, Zaeed decides to get them out any way he can. Meanwhile, Bobby, an Australian volunteer worker once dedicated to saving the lives of refugees, is holed up in a motel room. Her recurring traumas of a tragedy at sea have left her emotionally crippled. She must sell her illegally harvested shellfish before she gets on a plane back to Australia.

– Lost on Kythera, Directed by James Prineas

Lost on Kythera is a quirky comedy in which mythology, ancient history, and the sometimes-paranormal present are indistinguishable. Hilarious and unexpected, this is a rollicking tale of adventure, love, and the comic belligerence of humans set against the backdrop of one of Greece’s most beautiful and enchanting islands.

The annual Greek Film Festival was presented in Victoria by the Greek Community of Melbourne and New South Wales by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW at the Palace Cinemas group’s cinemas.

IMAN. Directed by Korinna Avraamidou, Kyriakos Tofaridis. Photo: Supplied