The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival announces Christos Georgiou’s SMALL CRIME as the festival’s Opening Night Gala presentation and Alexis Kardaras’ GUINNESS, starring Antonis Kafetzopoulos, as its Closing Night Gala presentation. This marks the 3rd year of the Festival, which takes place at The Egyptian Theatre from June 25 through June 28, and will feature 7 feature films, 7 documentaries and 8 shorts, with 15 films enjoying their U.S. premieres.
The four-day festival highlights include: Opening Night Ceremonies; a tribute to director Penelope Spheeris with a special screening of her 1984 feature SUBURBIA and 1998 short NO USE WALKIN’ WHEN YOU CAN STROLL; “Beyond Borders: Greece on the International Film Stage”, a special panel discussion sponsored by Greece’s Ministry of Tourism Development with slated panelists Nia Vardalos (MY LIFE IN RUINS) and Phedon Papamichael (ARCADIA LOST) who recently shot films in Greece; a newly established one-on-one Industry/filmmaker program; and Closing Night Ceremonies with the Orpheus Awards honoring the filmmakers and films for Best Dramatic Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Special Jury Award, and Audience Choice.
SMALL CRIME will screen as the LAGFF Opening Night Gala presentation on Thursday, June 25, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Christos Georgiou and starring Aris Servetalis and Viki Papadopoulou, the charming comedy is about a frustrated young policeman who has just been assigned duty on a beautiful but ragged Greek island in the Aegean. There he discovers murder, mystery and love.
GUINNESS will screen as the LAGFF Closing Night Gala presentation on Sunday, June 28 at the Egyptian Theatre. Alexis Kardaras directs Yorgos Pyrpassopoulos, Marcella Giannatou, Stelios Mainas, and Antonis Kafetzopoulos, in this amusing action adventure about a young luckless gambler who tries to escape the “lethal spell” of an unhappy wife and ends up running off with a case of her husband’s gold.
“The primary focus of the LA Greek Film Festival is to discover talented Greek filmmakers and to share their movies with cinema lovers that would not have an opportunity to see these films otherwise,” said Ersi Danou, Festival Co-Founder and Director of Programming. “We are proud of this year’s line-up, which not only represents the evolution of our Festival, but of Greek cinema as well.”
Full schedule program
FEATURE COMPETITION ( 7 ):
ATHANASIA-WELL KEPT SECRETS (Athanasia-Kala Krymmena Mystika)
Greece/USA, 2008, 95 min, 35mm, US Premiere
Director: Panos Karkanevatos
Athanasia, a Greek woman living in New York, keeps her secret well hidden in her heart; but when her daughter visits the Aegean birthplace, she discovers her mother’s past forbidden love, whose mystery still lies within the steep rocks of the beautiful island.
ELLI MAKRA-42277 WUPPERTAL
Germany, 2007, 80 min, DVD, US Premiere
Director: Athanasios Karanikolas
Caught between two national identities in the grim German town of Wuppertal, Elli Makra dreams of returning to the homeland. When her sister goes to Greece to care for their ailing father, leaving her teenage daughter under her care, Elli embarks on a journey to seek an altogether new identity, her own.
*Best Actress Award, 2007 Thessaloniki Film Festival
Portugal, 2008, 98 min, Digibeta, LA Premiere
Director: Paolo Marinou-Blanco
An ageing, failed English actor living in Lisbon and a disaffected young locksmith compete over beautiful Irene, a local painter whose zest for life has pulled them both out of their reclusive existence. When Irene inexplicably disappears, the two men must join forces to find her, embarking on a journey to an unlikely friendship.
*Official Selection, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2008
Greece, 2009, 94 min, 35mm, US Premiere
Director: Alexis Kardaras
Threatened by his debtors and driven by greed, a charming gambler arrives at a middle-of-nowhere tavern, in search of a case of gold. Instead, he attracts the tavern owner’s unhappy wife, whose affection complicates his plan and perpetuates his spell of misfortune.
USA, 2008, 110 min, Digibeta, LA Premiere
Director: Evangelos Giovanis and George Giovanis
Over the course of an unforgiving day, a young boy, a substitute teacher and two thugs get tangled up in a series of violent crimes that unexpectedly bind them together.
SMALL CRIME (Mikro Egklima)
Greece/Cyprus/Germany, 2008, 85 min, 35mm, LA Premiere
Director: Christos Georgiou
Stuck on a sleepy island where nothing ever happens, an overeager young policeman is looking for some action. When an old man is found dead following what looks like a simple accident, he takes it upon himself to launch an investigation.
*Variety Critics Choice, Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival
Greece, 2007, 107 min, 35mm, LA Premiere
Director: Constantina Voulgaris
Two young Athenians living on the fringe of society, meet each other unexpectedly. As the unfamiliar feeling of love starts creeping in, so does the fear of intimacy.
*Official Selection, 2008 New Directors/New Films
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION (7)
Greece, 2008, 47 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Eva Stefani
In the Greek spa towns of Edipsos and Kaiafas, elderly “regulars” enjoy beneficial hot springs, mud baths, and the mild sea-waters. Even more therapeutic, however, prove to be the daily heated political debates, eruptions into song and dance, and outbursts of a latent but undimmed sensuality.
*FIPRESCI Award, 2009 Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
CHAMELEON BEACH (Kamaeleonernes Strand)
Denmark, 2008, 52 min, Beta SP, US Premiere
Director: Adam Schmedes
On a beautiful Greek beach, a small population of African chameleons is fighting to survive, in fierce competition with a growing tourist industry that threatens to destroy the fragile environment and drive the species to extinction.
NO SUBTITLES NECESSARY: LASZLO & VILMOS
USA, 2008, 97 min, 35mm
Director: James Chressanthis
An intimate portrait following the friendship of renowned Hungarian cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, across a 50 year-old journey of image-making that helped define a new American film aesthetic.
*Official Selection, 2008 Cannes Film Festival
ON THE EDGE (Kami Hito E-On the Edge)
Japan, 2009, 22 min, US Premiere
Director: Basile Doganis
A young rapper moves to Tokyo with dreams of making it big. Disheartened by the harshness of the megalopolis, he is about to give up, when he meets Ky-chi who takes him under his wing.
T FOR TROUBLE AND THE SELF ADMIRATION SOCIETY
Greece, 2009, 108 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Dimitris Athiridis
An in-depth portrait of Terry Papadinas, a Greek-American musician who rose to stardom in the 60’s Greek rock scene. Today, living on the fringe of society, he dares to look back at his own misgivings and failures.
Greece, 2009, 85 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Marco Gastine
For the very first time, a camera is allowed inside the Athens Court, within
which small dramas of everyday life unfold, revealing a microcosmos of modern Greek society.
*Official Selection, ACID, 2009 Cannes Film Festival
THE NIGHT FERNANDO PESSOA MET CONSTANTINE CAVAFY
Greece, 2007, 90 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Stelios Charalambopoulos
On 21 October 1929, the ocean liner “Saturnia” sails from Trieste on its voyage to America, picking up immigrants from the ports of the Mediterranean, along with their dreams of the New World. There, an equally dreamlike encounter will take place, between two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, Fernando Pessoa and Constantine Cavafy.
*Best Documentary, Greek State Quality Awards 2008
SHORT COMPETITION ( 8 ):
I AM GAY (Jag Är Bög)
Sweden, 2008, 15 min, 35mm, LA Premiere
Director: Nicolas Kolovos
A humorous glimpse into a young man’s dilemma about how to reveal his secret to his Greek-Swedish family.
INSTRUCTIONS (Odigies Chriseos)
Greece/Cyprus, 2008, 27 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Dir: Costas Yiallourides
Sometimes making a human connection requires an instruction manual.
Greece/Australia, 2008, 5 min, Beta SP, US Premiere
Director: Constantine Krystallis
A fisherman faces his donkey’s obstinacy.
ONE NIGHT TOGETHER
Greece, 2009, 13 min, 35mm, LA Premiere
Director: Eleftheria Astrinaki
A smuggler of illegal immigrants gets more than he bargained for, when one of the two young brothers he transports across the Turkish-Greek border dies mid-journey.
STREET BATTLE (Odomachia)
Greece, 2008, 14 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Christos Kanakis
A salesman with no time to lose, rushes home from work, eager to catch a soccer match on TV. When his car breaks down in the middle of the countryside, his entire existence starts falling apart
Greece, 2008, 8 min, 35mm, US Premiere
Director: Christina Ioakeimidi
A poetic look at a young woman’s growing anticipation, as she heads off to meet a former lover in the heart of bustling Athens.
THE GRANDFATHER (Der Grossvater)
Germany, 2009, 20 min, Digibeta, World Premiere
Directorr: Nikias Chryssos
A young man and his hard-edged grandfather meet at the crossroads of life and death.
WE CALL HER DAISY
UK, 2008, 23 min, Digibeta, US Premiere
Director: Stefan Georgiou
A young woman gives birth to a stillborn child and mourns it in her very own way.