Festival Hellenika takes place on Friday, May 31 at 7 pm, featuring a film by Adelaide native Basil Genimahaliotis and Sydneysider Billy Cotsis.

Cotsis, known for his extensive travels to 81 countries in search of Hellenes, has produced six books, 20 documentaries, and 350 articles, primarily for Neos Kosmos.

Genimahaliotis, an architect and short filmmaker, has collaborated with Cotsis on eight projects across Greece, Italy, Australia, and London.

Their film aims to take viewers on a journey spanning 2800 years of Greko history, with a focus on Calabria.

Billy Cotsis. Photo: Supplied

“Basil and I want the audience to gain insight into the Greko and their history, their challenges, and how we can help save the dialect from extinction. You will find a mixture of elderly and younger Greko,” Cotsis explains.

Supported by the Magna Graecia Network Australia, based in Adelaide, this event highlights the cultural ties between Italy and Greece. Many members of the network will visit Calabria in the next two years for the annual Greko trilingual classes in the Aspromonte region.

Cotsis welcomes questions on the Greeks of Magna Graecia and other Greek communities, emphasising the importance of supporting and showing interest in small communities to preserve their heritage. The venue, Greeks of Egypt & Middle East Society of SA – Hall at 56 Richmond Road, Keswick, was chosen for its significance.

Photo: Billy Cotsis

“I have been to Alexandria and other Greek communities in the Middle East, and it goes without saying that supporting language and showing interest as an outsider helps keep these small communities going,” Cotsis notes.

Italy has played a significant role in Greek history, with cities like Venice, Genoa, and Rome leaving a lasting legacy in Greece. Similarly, Greeks have contributed to Italian culture, particularly in Southern Italy, where over 20 towns speak Greko or Griko – dialects of ancient and Byzantine Greek.

Photo: Billy Cotsis

Admission is free. For more information, contact 0419245372 or email heythereagain8@yahoo.com.au.

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