Sydney and Melbourne will be home to over two weeks of Greek cinema with a program that handles Greek family tragedies, carefully crafted dramas and tense thrillers with a strong resilient hand, as this year’s Delphi Bank 21st Greek Film Festival returns to Australia.

The festival will open with Pantelis Voulgaris’ award-winning melodrama Little England, a period film that brings to life a best-selling novel of romance, betrayal and loss as penned by Voulgaris’ wife, Ioanna Karystiani.

The novel Mikra Agglia, published in English as The Jasmine Island, achieved the Greek National Book Award for Literature for Karystiani’s documentation of the difficult life of seafarers’ families, where women were left to raise their children alone, while plagued with a constant anxiety that
their husbands and sons may never return home.

Guests of the festival, Little England producer Giannis Iakovidis and lead actor Andreas Constantinou will attend the opening night of the 2014 Greek Film Festival in Sydney on 14 October and Melbourne on 15 October.

Following its warm reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Panos H. Koutras’ queer road drama Xenia follows a flamboyant gay teenager and his golden brother as they journey together to reunite with their estranged wealthy father to avoid deportation, while attempting the audition rounds for a popular television talent show as an escape route from the realities of modern Grecian life.

For those following Greek New Wave cinema, Miss Violence tracks the dark journey into family dysfunction, providing an implicit criticism of Greek society. An artfully constructed film that won Best Actor and Best Director awards at Venice, Alexandro Avranas’ Miss Violence tracks slowly while viewers uncover the rotten core that reveals the causes of a young girl’s suicide.

Film noir hit-man thriller Stratos follows a middle-aged bakery worker living a double life as a con man who guns down strangers and passes on all his money to his underground boss from his prison years to help fund an escape plan for him, as a sign of gratitude for the protection he provided during his jail time.

The fourth feature from Yannis Economides is a perversely lingering study of moral and spiritual decay in recession-era Greece, told through the eyes of a brooding hired killer. Returning as part of the Delphi Bank 21st Greek Film Festival, the Greek Australian Short Film Festival will celebrate its fifth year with a program expansion to include a session dedicated to international short films from Greece and beyond for the first time. Filmmakers will compete for Best Short Film prizes in local and international categories.

The full program will be announced in late September. Opening night tickets are now on sale through or by calling (03) 9827 7533 in Melbourne and (02) 9564 5620 in Sydney.