Nick Patsaouras is back in the race… for Controller


“I don’t care anymore for recognition, or fame, or offices. All I care about is my children” Nick Patsaouras told me in an interview when I asked him if he was planning to get involved in a race again. The president of the DWP, announced last month that he will run for Controller of the city of Los Angeles. What a fool I am! Knowing that Patsaouras talks in a Spartan way (with the less possible words) I should have understood by his phrase that he was thinking to run again, but for a position that directly affects future generations.  Being the President of DWP and having to leave such a secure position for what some call a very difficult race needs courage especially this time that the Controller will have to deal with the crisis and how it will affect the city of Los Angeles. Maybe this is why Patsaouras decided to run, because it is a great challenge and a difficult race against Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. And the city may benefit from an individual with lots of connections who also has the knowledge and guts to cut unecessary spendings. With one word “streetsmart”, as he would say.

Dress sense


I’m not quite sure where dress sense comes from. Is it a cultural thing? Is it an ideological thing? Is it a stage-in-life kind of thing? No clue. What I will say, though, is that it sort of bothers me when someone rages against “my” dress sense, or better described, the kind of dress sense that for whatever nutty reason I’ve lately been identifying with. Yep. I know. Bitchy. Autocratic. Annoyingly self-centered. Touchy, over-dramatic and diva-esque too. No doubt. Nevertheless, dress sense means more to me than just clothes.

The Greek woman clothes are sassy, sexy yet not in a rude way, swarovsky encrusted, well coordinated & well accessorized, perfectly fitted and paraded around while sporting an undeniably irresistible posture that has nothing but confidence written all over it. The American woman shares an equal amount of confidence, yet needs no swarovsky crystals to adorn it with. Jeans are plain and baggy, running shoes serve way more purposes than running and fitted isn’t by any means a word of interest here. Now, the Greek-America woman find herself in a pickle to say the least. So here’s how she copes:

1. She decides to ignore all surroundings and dress up regardless. Being hard headed by nature comes in handy.

2. She takes advantage of the breath-taking sales on delicate dresses and shiny accessories everyone else ignores and gets a bunch more for the aunts and cousins, sisters, girlfriends and friends of girlfriends in Greece.

3. She stocks up on American brands such as DKNY and Ralph Lauren as the prices on that staff are ridiculous compared to what they sell for in Europe. The family will be eternally grateful and adequately impressed this Christmas.

4. Round about the five year limit of living in North America, however, the Greek woman finds herself wearing running shoes. She decides to allow the indiscretion as long as the running shoes are either patent leather or encrusted with rhinestones and itty bitty, shiny, pink beads.

Needless to say, it is possible for a Greek woman to go downhill around the 10 year limit. Junk food may take its toll and loose fitting clothes may make the natural choice. Or she may just get tired of the work it takes to be that well manicured and matchy matchy and just give up. Yet, there is one thing she’ll never give up: the big white watch with the shiny stones around the dial. Something has to give away boldness, one way or another…

Several Greeks were alleged to be involved in Mokbel’s escape.


By Mary Kouinoglou

George Elias of Greek descent last week pleaded guilty to helping the accused murderer Mokbel flee while he was on bail. He now faces the charges of conspiring and perverting the course of justice. The 41-year old man let the fugitive hide out at his Bonnie Doon shack for seven months after he failed to appear at a Supreme Court hearing on March 20, 2006. He also accompanied Mokbel on a four-day drive across Australia during his escape, along with four other people, including two women and a baby.
The group of six had to travel to Western Australia, where a boat was waiting for Mokbel to whisk him to Greece in November 2006.  Three Greek sailors were enlisted to skipper the vessel. A Greek associate had bought Edwena, the17m motor yacht, in preparation for the escape from a private owner in Sydney for $330,000.  The yacht was registered in the names of Angela Verykios, also known as Nissirios and the company Levander Shipping, whose director is George Angelakis, both of Greek descent. Angela Verykios was one of the women who traveled with Mokbel in Western Australia and George Angelakis was with Mokbel when Greek police swooped on the runaway in an Athens cafe in June last year.

AHEPAcademy Organizes Leadership and Networking Seminar


WASHINGTON- AHEPA gives the opportunity to students to be one of a small, select group of Greek-American high school students selected from all over the country to participate in AHEPAcademy, an interactive leadership and networking seminar to be held on the campus of George Mason University outside Washington, DC from June 21-27, 2009.  download your application today!

LAGFF Calls for 2009 Entries


The 3rd annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is set to take place in Los Angeles, June 4-7, 2009. The LAGFF team is gearing toward a successful event with emphasis on providing an inspirational cultural experience for the audience, and greater networking opportunities  for the visiting filmmakers. Included in the four-day program are screenings of diverse new films with filmmaker question-and-answer sessions, educational events, networking gatherings and parties, and the Orpheus Awards ceremony. LAGFF 2009 accepts features, documentaries and shorts made by filmmakers from Greece, Cyprus or of Greek descent worldwide. In addition, any Greek productions or films based on a Greek theme and/or hero are eligible. Films may be no more than three years old (completion date may not be earlier than January 2006.) Regular submission deadline is February 6, 2009; late submission deadline is March 6, 2009.

To submit a film and learn more about the festival visit

Vardalos and Gomez adopt a child.


Nia Vardalos, and her husband, actor Ian Gomez, have adopted a little girl, according to celebrity news sources. It’s the first child for the couple. The child is less than 5 years old and was adopted several months ago. Her name has not been released. “They are going public now to bring attention to National Adoption Month and the 500,000 children in foster care,” says Vardalos’s rep in a statement. “Of these children, 129,000 are ‘legally free’ for adoption and waiting for a family.” The couple wanted to bring the site to the attention of the public. Whatever the child’s background it is now she will have to adopt her mother’s “Big Fat Greek Culture”.

Dennis Boutsikaris aka Mr. Wolfowitz in W.


Dennis Boutsikaris, the Greek-American actor that portrayed Paul Wolfowitz in W. , talks about his career, his role, and his collaboration with Oliver Stone and Josh Brolin.

Where are you from?
Born in Newark, NJ and grew up in Berkeley Hts. New Jersey. Graduated Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.

What is your Greek Background?
I’m Greek on my Father’s side. My mother was Jewish. Half Greek/Half Jewish—when I met the comedian Jack Carter he said “Half Greek/Half Jewish? You go to confession, but you bring a lawyer”

Have you ever been in Greece?

Was it difficult at first in Hollywood?
No. I was working on Broadway and Off-Bway in New York and all of my film and television work came out of there. I moved my family there when I did my first series but moved back immediately when the job ended. I only keep an apartment there, but my house is in Nyack, NY.

People with long Greek last names usually change them to something shorter, but you didn’t…
My father used the name Baron when making Restaurant reservations but it never occurred to me to change it.

Do you have Greek friends or Greek friends that work in the industry?
I meet Greek people in the film industry all the time. There is an unspoken and sometimes VERY spoken brother and sisterhood which I love. I’ve had people come up to me on the street and tell me their last names almost before saying “hello.”

How it is to work with Stone?
Fantastic. He is passionate, thorough, smart as a whip, funny, and a true collaborator. I was very happy to be around that project. When I showed up they had already been filming for about a month and Josh Brolin was really living inside his George Bush skin and you forgot he wasn’t the President. Oliver was very particular about how much Ear Hair I had in the film and at one point it looked like I had a racoon tail coming out of them. There was a funny moment that I think was cut because of time or it was too cheap of a laugh where the president tells Wolfowitz to trim the hairs. Fun to do. I guess I’m glad its somewhere on the cutting room floor. Although, come DVD time, I’m sure it’ll be hidden among the special features.

You portrayed a person who is described as « the major architect of President Bush’s Iraq policy and … its most fanatical and hawkish advocate» what’s appealing in thiskind of role?

Your Question contains the answer. All of that was appealing. But, I really had a very small role in this film. I was happy just to be there. Except when it was three thousand degrees in Shrevesport and we were walking around in suits making believe we were at the Crawford Ranch. We marched up and down this field from sun up to sun down with breaks for changing our sweat drenched clothes. I think it was truly the hottest day on earth. The dogs we were using had to be wrapped in ice packs it was so hot. I envied them.

What are your personal feelings towards the real Mr. Wolfowitz?
War criminal.

Critics have said that «W.» almost creates a positive image for President Bush. Do you agree?
Bush is a human being and W explores his life. Positive? No. Human? Yes

What are your feelings towards the current administration?

Tell us a few words about your play in San Francisco?
Called THE QUALITY OF LIFE. I co-star with the amazing Laurie Metcalf and Jo Beth Williams. We performed the play in Los Angeles last year to great success and are continuing now. About two families dealing with personal tragedies. Truly great play that we hope to move to New York.

What do you usually do in your free time?
Parent my two children, work on an old farmhouse I own in upstate NY, play bluegrass banjo, and do lots and lots of worrying.

Choreographer Andonis Foniadakis to premiere work at Joyce SoHo


Andonis Foniadakis — last seen at The Joyce Theater as choreographer of Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève (2007) and Benjamin Millepied & Company (2006) — now premieres The Rite of Spring at Joyce SoHo, November 20-23. For his Joyce SoHo debut, the Greek-born choreographer will present a solo version of the evening-length work which he created last year for the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. This provocative piece, set to Stravinsky’s masterpiece, celebrates the female body as the ultimate instrument and carrier of sexual and unseen internal forces as it recalls her lost primitiveness. Superbly danced by Ioanna Toumpakari, The Rite of Spring charts the passage from ordinary to ecstatic while conveying the violence and eroticism sparked by the battle between the soloist and Stravinsky’s power-packed score. After Hours @ Joyce SoHo, a post-performance Q&A with the artists, will follow the November 21 performance. For Tickets go to or via phone at (212) 352-3101.

About the Artist:

A native of Crete, Greece, Antonios (aka Andonis) Foniadakis has performed with Bejart Ballet Lausanne under the direction of Maurice Bejart (1994-96), Lyon Opera Ballet under the direction of Yorgos Loukos (1996-2002), and Saburo Teshigawara/Karas under the direction of Saburo Teshigawara (2004). During these years, he also performed works by choreographers Maguy Marin, Jiri Kilian, William Forsythe, Dominique Boivin, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, Frederic Flamand, Bill T Jones, Herve Robbe, Tero Saarinen, Lionel Hoche, Joachim Schlomer, John Jasperse, Alessio Silvestrin and Jo Kanamori. In 2003 Foniadakis created his own company, Apotosoma, based in Lyon, France, for which he choreographed Sensitive Screens Skins Intervals (Kalamata International Dance Festival, Greece, 2003) and Use (Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France, 2004). Most recently he has created works for Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Greek National Opera, and Lyon Opera Ballet, among others. His credits also include choreography for two operas: Rameau’s Les Boreades (Opera National du Rhin, 2005) and Claudio Ambrosini’s Il Canto de la pelle (Grame Lyon, 2006). Foniadakis has studied at the State School of Dance, Athens and Rudra Bejart in Lausanne.

Oliver Stone among many celebrities to attend Thessaloniki Film Fesival

Oliver Stone

By Mary Kouinogloy

The eyes of the cinema community are now upon Thessaloniki, where important film directors will be in attendance at the most significant event of the 7th art in Greece, the 49th International Thessaloniki Film Festival.
The most famous guest of the Festival is probably Oliver Stone. The three-time Academy Award Winner director will be there to present his new film W. Starring Josh Brolin as President George W. Bush, W is the new film of Stone’s American president film series, following JFK and Nixon. Oliver Stone will receive an honorary Golden Alexander for his work and will conduct a Masterclass on the 18th of November.
Another interesting Masterclass is expected to be that of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne on the 15th of November. The multi-awarded Belgium directors have just arrived in Thessaloniki to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Festival. Arta Dobroshi, Dardennes’ star in Lorna’s Silence, will also be present on the occasion of the screening of the film.
Other well-known directors that are planning to give a Masterclass are the Japanese Takeshi Kitano, the English Terence Davies, Richard Jobson, the director of the New Town Killer, the Greek Manos Zakharias and the Serbian Emir Kusturica, who will also perform a live concert with the No Smoking Band.
Two directors of photography are going to have Masterclasses as well. The Academy Award winner for Pan’s Labyrinth Guillermo Navarro and the director of photography of Mama Mia, Haris Zambarloukos are going to reveal the role of photography in the art of cinema.
Apart from their separate Masterclasses, the notorious Greek director Theo Angelopoulos and the actor Willem Dafoe will have a Press Conference in order to present the director’s new release The Dust of Time, in which the actor stars.
Moreover, the two-time Academy Award Winner Argentinean composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the Brazilian director Walter Salles and the screenwriter Diablo Cody are only a few of the big names of modern cinema attending the Festival.

Hollywood travels to Thessaloniki for the 49th Film Festival


By Mary Kouinoglou
Miles away from Hollywood, on the other side of the ocean, in a quiet small city, a rather large event breathes life into the streets. Avid cinema fans, actors, artists, directors, photographers, journalists, students are all gathering, waiting for the show to start. The 49th International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece’s most prestigious event dedicated to Cinema Art, is about to kick off tomorrow Friday, November 14th.

The two hundred and thirty films, including two world premieres, six international premieres and three European ones, will be enough to captivate the audience in front of the big screen for ten days. Nearly one thousand guests, representing fifty-five countries are expected to showcase their work, accompanied by ninety foreign film critics and journalists, who will cover the event.

The official program includes the International Competition, with fourteen films by new and emerging directors, the Out of Competition section, with three films coming from South and North America and the Special Screenings of seven films. Also, this year’s festival will pay homage to the directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Takeshi Kitano, Ousmane Sembene, Terence Davies, Ivan Ladislav Galeta and the greek Manos Zakharias. Other interesting highlights are expected to be the Tributes to Contemporary Turkish and Middle Eastern Cinema and Romanian shorts. Parallel to the Festival, exhibitions, parties and concerts will be taking place across the city.

In the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, the Olympion Cinema, one of the main venues of the Festival, will host an audience who will be taken on a journey through the history of cinema, travelling from America to Thessaloniki. The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky has been chosen to be the centrepiece of the Ceremony.