Watch the Interview with Director Anna Giannotis and Director of Photography Philip Georgious
On November 12, the premiere of the new documentary, The Promise of Tomorrow, 1940-1960, was held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. John Aniston, longtime actor on daytime’s Days of Our Lives and father of Jennifer Aniston, hosted the screening of the documentary which highlights first and second generation Greek-Americans in Southern California and their quest fo find balance in maintaining their Greek heritage while living as Americans in the United States.
The Promise of Tomorrow, 1940-1960, is the second film in a trilogy which aims to illustrate the Greek American experience in the U.S. Narrated by Olympia Dukakis, this film covers the World War II generation featuring interviews with Greek-Americans who served in the US military as well as prominent Greek Americans in entertainment and politics including head of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Jim Gianopulos, former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, and actors Michael Constantine, Rita Wilson, John Aniston, Melina Kanakaredes and Debbie Matenopoulos.
While introducing the film, John Aniston talked about how his father and uncle shortened their family last name from Anastassakis to Aniston when they first emigrated to the U.S. from Greece. A last name that was easy to pronounce seemed to help immigrants blend in more to American society. Rita Wilson’s father got the idea for their new last name from the street sign near their house. In the film, Rita discusses her connection to the St. Sophia Greek church in Los Angeles, which she and her husband, Tom Hanks, are longtime members.
Directed and written by Anna Giannotis, The Promise of Tomorrow is a document of the American immigrant experience, which many other ethnic groups can no doubt relate to. Just like the 2002 comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, resonated with Americans of all backgrounds, The Promise of Tomorrow, not only serves as a historical document to educate future generations of Greek Americans, but also shows the common struggles and growth that immigrants in the U.S. experience.