Greek film enthusiasts will be treated to six Greek-language films, plus a retrospective of the recent Golden Globe winning Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’s work, at the third Europa!Europa film festival, in Melbourne and Sydney, next month.

Europa!Europa artistic director Spiro Economopoulos speaking to Neos Kosmos said most of the nearly 50 films were screening in Australia for the first time with interesting story lines.

“I think you are going to be in for some surprises,” he said.

Mr Economopoulos,54, who lives in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Collingwood said it was a “coup” for the festival to show so many European films in Australia for the first time.

Still from Embryo Larva Butterfly” film. This Greek and Greek-Cypriot film explores love, time and destiny in a thought-provoking way. Photo: Supplied

Europa! Europa Film Festival features 47 prestige and celebrated films from 28 countries, including Cyprus and Greece, screening in Sydney and Melbourne, during three weeks from Thursday 15 February to Monday 11 March.

The festival’s Greek-language films from various artists are: “The Volunteer”(2022) about a retired Spanish doctor who travels to a Greek refugee camp to help and was nominated for Best Spanish Film, at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival; “Embryo Larva Butterfly”(2023), a joint Greek and Greek-Cypriot sci-fi film that explores time, love, memory and fate and was nominated for Best International Feature, at the Adelaide Film Festival; and “The Summer with Carmen”(2023) which is a light-hearted queer comedy that plays on the film-within-a-film narrative.

Mr Economopoulos, who is Europa’s artistic director for the first time this year, said the Greek-language films were carefully chosen for delving into contemporary issues and for being unique and thought-provoking.

He said the “Volunteer” was particularly relevant to the “catastrophic space” that is the refugee crisis in Greece and most of Europe.

“The Summer with Carmen”, it’s a really different film about friendship,” Mr Economopoulos said.

He said “Embryo Larva Butterfly” was “playing with genres”, original and thought-provoking.

“Time has become non-linear,” Mr Economopoulos said.

From Lanthimos retrospective, the film “Kinetta”. Deadpan delivery: “Kinetta” is one of the three Greek-language Lanthimos’s films that make up Europa film festival’s six-film retrospective on the director. Photo: Supplied

The other three Greek-language films form part of the Lanthimos retrospective and include the black comedy “Dogtooth”(2009) about three teenagers confined to their parents’s isolated country estate and kept under strict rules and a bizarre regimen which won the Un Certain Regard, at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2009, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, in 2011.

The other two Greek-language Lanthimos films are: “Kinetta”(1995) – which helped launch the “Greek Weird Wave” and is rarely screened in Australia – is about a policeman, clerk and maid who join forces to enact and film lurid unsolved murder scenes; and “Alps”(2011) about people hired to play dead for deceased relatives and friends, which won Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, in 2011. All three films come with English subtitle.

The other three films in the Lanthos’s retrospective are English-language films. “The Lobster”(2015)is a sci-fi, romantic comedy that rebuts the obsession for pairing off and finding ‘the one’ which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”(2017) is about a fatherless teenager who insinuates himself into a family’s idyllic life and won Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival 2017. The final movie is “The Favourite”(2018) set in 18th century England about the three women Queen Ann, her powerful advisor and a young social climber and won Best Actress (Olivia Coleman) category at the Academy Awards in 2019 and Grand Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival 2018.

The Summer with Carmen” film. Queer summer fun: This light-hearted comedy plays on the film-with-a-film narrative. Photo: Supplied

Mr Economopoulos said the Lanthimos retrospective was decided following the success of the filmmaker’s most recent film “Poor Things” but also for Lanthimos’s filmmaking talents.

“It started with “Kinetta”, then “Dogtooth,” he said.

“…and we’re casting a lens on Greek cinema.”

The program launch event begins this week with the award-winning “Io Capitano”, about two teenagers who leave their home in Senegal and journey across the ocean to Europe in search of fame and fortune, playing in Melbourne at Lido Cinemas, 675 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, and in Sydney at Ritz Cinemas, 45 St Pauls St, Randwick, this Sunday 28 January, at 3.30pm.

Europa! Europa Film Festival will run from Thursday 15 February to Monday 11 March. Program launch event and details: