Following Australia’s recent crash course in Greek politics, get ready to immerse yourself in Greece’s (and Greek Australians’) finest cinematic offerings.
Jam-packed with 14 feature films, four documentaries and a ’60s classics retrospective on the work of Aliki Vougiouklaki, The Delphi Bank 22nd Greek Film Festival runs from 14 October to 1 November at Leichhardt’s Palace Norton Street Cinema.
A highlight of the Sydney art scene and a must for film lovers and Greek Aussies alike, the GFF not only features legends of Greek cinema but also the new-wave of Hellenic film and documentary making.
“Following such a successful festival last year, we are excited to be back with a program rich in history and culture,” says festival chair Nia Karteris.
“We are proud to showcase the latest and greatest of Greek cinema, that is bound to capture the hearts of Greeks and Australians alike.”
After seven years of sold out shows across Australia, the hit Australian stage play.
Alex and Eve (2014) makes its big screen debut on the festival’s opening night. The film is a feel-good Australian story exploring multicultural dating in Sydney’s inner west. Greek Orthodox Alex meets Lebanese Muslim woman Eve. In defiance of Alex’s disapproving parents, the pair can’t stop themselves from falling in love. The timely feature-length documentary titled
Agora: From Democracy to the Market comes to take a blistering look at the political, social, and economic issues currently unsettling the birth place of civilisation. Agora is a collaboration between Small Planet (Greece), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Germany) and Al Jazeera Arabic (Qatar), featuring in-depth interviews with key policy makers, politicians and financial experts and is also the Winner of the Orpheus Award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival 2015.
Love Struck (Από Έρωτα) (2014) claimed the Audience Award and was nominated for Best Screenplay at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards 2015, and follows the love story between Antonis and his old flame Anna, as they reconnect on the eve of Antonis’ wedding to Natassa. Adapted from Thodoris Atheridis’ stage play and starring Smaragda Karydi (Sto Para 5) and Panayiota Vlanti (Mavra mesanyhta).
Nominated for Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, Wednesday 04:45 (2015) follows the story of Stelios, who has less than 48 hours to come up with the money he owes ‘The Romanian’ in order to save his family and his dream of running a jazz club.
Other feature films on the bill include:
7 Kinds Of Wrath (2014) from director Hristos Voupouras (Mirupafshum, Deserter) following the story of Petros and his complex relationships with a cast of characters of varying sexualities and cultural backgrounds.
Marinos Kartikkis’ Family Member (2015) tells the story of an average Cypriot family who hide the death of their grandfather in order to continue collecting his pension, the source of financial support for the family of four.
Fan (Ανεμιστήρας) (2014), a psychological thriller in which a girl takes her parents hostage, is the directorial debut from Dimitris Bitos (Mikro vouno, Kontra).
Handmade on 35mm film, Forget Me Not (2015) is a road movie at sea and a love adventure, bringing to life a tale of two lovers at the world’s edge, shot on location in the North Pacific, the Bering Sea, Alaska and New Orleans.
Magic Men (2014) follows the cross-culture journey of a Greek Holocaust survivor and his son, as they search for the magician who saved his father’s life during World War II.
Riverbanks (Ohthes) (2015) is the romantic tale of Yannis, a young kamikaze soldier adept at clearing land mines, and a single mother Chryssa, who assists children of illegal immigrants to cross the river between Greece and Turkey.
The Sentimentalists (Οι Αισθηματίες) (2014) is a tale of The Master’s (a black market trader posing as a bourgeois art dealer) henchmen, Hermes and John, who both commit the fatal mistake of mixing business and pleasure. One falls for the Masters daughter, the other for a prostitute.
Amore Mio (2015) Christos Dimas’ remake of Italian 2010 film Maschi contro Femmine features a tapestry gender-dominated stories.
In Out of The Blue (Sta Kala Kathoumena) (2014) Multi-award-winning director Nikos Zapatinas (Enas & Enas) follows the road trip adventure of Babis and Athena and their entanglement with Eva the runaway.
FOR LOVERS OF DOCUMENTARIES THE 2015 GFF HAS IT ALL:
A Family Affair (2015) documents Greece’s most famous musical clan: the Xylouris family. This stunning documentary features performances by The Dirty Three’s drummer Jim White.
A debut documentary feature from Marsia Tzivara, Burning From The Inside (2015) is a socio-political examination of the re-emergence of the far right in Greek politics and culture.
In contrast is San Roma: We Are Gypsies (2014), documenting the previously inaccessible world of the Greek Roma people, giving voices to all-singing, all-dancing, all-partying Greek gypsies, for whom survival is an everyday challenge.
ALIKI VOUGIOUKLAKI RETROSPECTIVE Featuring the unprecedented career of Greek goddess Aliki Vougiouklaki and legends of classic Greek cinema is this year’s GFF retrospective.
The line-up includes Madalena (1960), in which Vougiouklaki stars as the brave young girl who faces the challenge of her late father’s trade in order to feed her six brothers and sisters.
One of the greatest filmmakers of the golden era of the Greek cinema Dinos Dimopoulous teams up with Vougiouklaki for the unparalleled blockbuster The Lady and The Tramp (1968) and The Fairy And The Man (1969).
Long before Christos Tsiolkas gave Australians his divisive book The Slap, there was Alekos Sakellarious’ comedy The Slap That Came From Paradise (1959), where a young teacher and a party of elite girl school girls are at loggerheads; Vougiouklaki plays the most undisciplined of all the group and falls head-over-heels in love with her teacher nemesis. Also from Sakellarious comes the classic Ace of Spades (1964).
This year’s program features something special for everyone. From psychological thrillers to romantic comedies and avant-garde music and investigative socio-political documentaries in between – to miss this year’s GFF would surely be a tragedy of Greek proportions.
When: Wednesday 14 October- Sunday 1 November, 2015
Where: Palace Norton Street, 99 Norton Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040
*For more information head to www.greekfilmfestival.com.au and www.facebook.com/GreekFilmFestival