Over 100 guests attended the Global Greek Film Initiative (GGFI) Benefit Event at the Wilshire Country Club earlier in May to support new and expanding programs including the annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF), and raise funds.
The evening was presented by GGFI leaders Lia Bozonelis, Ersi Danou, Aris Katopodis and Director of Development Katerina Hoyo-Frederickson, and co-hosted by GGFI Trustee Theane Evangelis and GGFI supporter Jim Kousoulas.
GGFI Dignitaries attending included actress, producer and author Nia Vardalos who offered introductory remarks, former studio executive & producer Jim Gianopulos, former HBO executive and producer Kary Antholis, director and producer Will Speck, actors Christos Vasilopoulos and Zina Wilde, tech entrepreneur Marily Nika, animator Aliki Theofilopoulos, music composers George Kallis and Kostas Christides, and talent agent Peter Kallinteris.
Distinguished guests included Consul General of Greece in Los Angeles Ioannis Stamatekos, Honorary Consul General of Cyprus in Los Angeles Andreas Kyprianides, Father Gary Kyriakou, longtime festival donors George & Tina Kolovos, LAGFF Board Member Alex Kalognomos, Trustee Carol Contes, and popular singer Vassy.
Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and live entertainment by The Greek Rebetiko Trio founded by Dimitris Mann, featuring Taso Comandesu and Eirini Nomikou. The event was coordinated by Dena Romios / Power Muse Productions.
Global Greek Film Initiative promotes ties between Greece and the US
The Global Greek Film Initiative is strategically designed to establish an array of new annual programs to promote cultural exchange between Greece, the US and the Hellenic Diaspora, service opportunities for employment and economic growth within Greece and to be the North American hub and global one-stop collective for Greek film programs and initiatives.
Lia Bozonelis, a Greek-American writer-producer and LAGFF Board Member who conceived the idea stated that “Greece is experiencing a hard-won opportunity with the amount of international production pouring in.”
“Combining insights and evaluation from working within the studio system along with our organization’s mission and resources, we can help ensure that Greece remains a center for film production and a global base for fostering new talent,” Bozonelis said.
Now in its 17th year, LAGFF is growing rapidly. It has amplified its programming over two weekends June 3-11, 2023. It is promising a full lineup with film screenings, a great tribute event, an expanded Discovery Days industry program, an exciting Hollywood Scene and Be Seen party, the inaugural LAGFF Film Student Fellowship, and more.
Its mission is to ensure the future sustainability of the organization as well as increase its presence locally, nationally and internationally across the field of entertainment.
A longtime sponsor and patron of the arts and Hellenic culture has pledged up to $500,000 as an endowment to sustain the future of the organization, provided that we match the fund.