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15th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival To Run As Virtual Edition

A still from "Apples", by Christos Nikou
A still from “Apples”, Greece’s “Best International Film” Contender, which is scheduled to screen at the 15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Credit: Twitter/Amenemkarl

The 15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) will be held on May 10-30, 2021.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will run online and on-demand only; however, in another twist which is actually an advantage for the event, the virtual component will allow this year’s Festival to reach a global audience.

Rich content at 15th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The LAGFF virtual edition will offer new Greek cinema with curated features, shorts, documentaries and animation on a secure platform accompanied by a host of webinars, along with live and pre-recorded Q&A’s.

“In the middle of the pandemic there is bad news and silver linings. In Los Angeles, Arclight Theaters and Pacific Theaters have announced never returning to film distribution, which has a major impact on the future of theatrical releases and an emotional impact on all of us who have spent many hours in these amazing theaters,” explains Artistic & Festival Director Aristotle Katopodis.

“At the same time, the news from Greece is that there is an explosion of new production, underway or just beginning, and overwhelming – in a good way – for Greek film crews and professionals. It seems that the enhanced incentives of the Greek Government (EKOME) are finally hitting on all cylinders,” he adds.

LA Greek film festival
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival 2021. Credit: Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

With over 50 features, shorts, docs and animated films, 2021’s version of the LAGFF is the largest and most comprehensive on-line Greek film festival outside Greece, with many films making their North American, U.S. and West Coast premieres.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, which showcases new films from Greece and Cyprus, also includes works by international filmmakers of Greek descent. The Festival not only promotes Greek cinema but cultural exchange as well, and helps to bridge the gap between filmmakers and Hollywood.

Key major levers of success

The 15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is focused on three major levers for success; industry, filmmakers, and education.

Its relentless focus on the filmmaking industry, both in Greece and of course in Los Angeles, the Festival’s strong relationships with agencies, studios, industry executives, production houses in Greece and its Advisory Board of over 20 executives from the entertainment industry, make all the difference.

A large number of the people involved in the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival are filmmakers and recent graduates of local universities.

The Festival has always paid attention to filmmakers, showcasing their work and making every effort to expose them to the best that LA has to offer, with the hope that the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is viewed as “the filmmakers film festival.”

Its unique International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF) brings works-in-progress to the forefront and is a living laboratory for promising films and filmmakers.

Tremendous success has been achieved, with major festival wins coming out of this special effort.

In the past 14 years, over 500 filmmakers have graced LAGFF with their presence at the iconic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, the Writers Guild of America in Beverly Hills, and the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, where its screenings have taken place.

LAGFF has hosted over 30,000 film-loving guests, celebrating over 520 screened Greek films in Los Angeles.

Last but not least, with the top six film schools in the U.S. located in Los Angeles, LAGFF is investing, leveraging and counting on the integration of education and film.

Strong and developing relationships between UCLA, LMU, USC, CalArts, AFI and LAGFF help to guarantee the continuous engagement of young filmmakers and the festival.

A similar effort is underway with Greek educational institutions.

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