Twenty-two feature and short narrative and documentary films, a
screenwriting master class, and a tribute to the late director Theo
Angelopoulos-as well as gala opening and closing nights and the annual Orpheus
Awards ceremony-aimed at "Defeating the Crisis Through The Viewfinder" May 31 -
June 3rd, 2012
is no more timely reflection of Greece's struggles than the one offered by its
burgeoning cinema," stated Ersi Danou, Co-Founder/Artistic Director, when
announcing the theme for this the 2012 event:
"Defeating the Crisis Through the Viewfinder." "A new generation of filmmakers has begun to
question the current state of things as well as to express an urge to evolve as
artists and human beings. These
filmmakers make films out of nothing, powered by their passion to make their
stories - however small - known."
Opening Night, May 31st,
Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood
LAGFF will kick-off May 31st at Hollywood's historic Egyptian
Theatre with the gala red carpet world premiere of A Green Story, the triumphant true tale of Van Vlahakis-a Greek
immigrant who arrived in America with only $22 in his pocket but eventually
founded the multimillion dollar Green company, Earth Friendly Products. After the screening, filmgoers will party
with the stars under the stars as they look forward to three more action packed
days and nights. A Green Story stars Ed O'Ross, Shannon Elizabeth, Annabella
Sciorra, George Finn, Malcolm McDowell, Billy Zane, Louis Mandylor, Debbie
Matenopoulos and Alessandra Toressani.
is truly an honor that Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has chosen our movie for
their gala red carpet opening night," said A
Green Story writer/director Nika Agiashvili. "We felt that if we were going to tell the
story of Van Vlahakis, we needed to tell it in the most authentic way
possible. When we started in pre-production,
we were committed to not only shooting in Greece, but also casting Greek
actors. To be able to shoot in such an
historic location like Athens is a dream for me as a filmmaker, and provides
authenticity about the beginnings of Mr. Vlahakis's amazing and inspirational
life, a life that is truly having a transformational effect on the planet."
Friday, June 1st,
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood
June 1st, LAGFF moves to its main venue, the Linwood Dunn Theater
(with free off-street parking) on the campus of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts & Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, also in the
heart of Hollywood. From 1:00 until 5:00
p.m. Professor Michael Economou will present an intense, structured overview
geared towards screenwriters of the advanced level course he teaches at the USC
School of Cinema. This class is specifically designed for writers who have
basic knowledge of screenwriting who have written or in the process of writing
at least one screenplay.
5:45 p.m., two short films will precede the documentary Raw Material (Proti Yli)
from director Hristos Karakepelis, which examines a group of illegal gypsy immigrants who don't live by the norms or
speak the Greek language, and gather garbage and recycle Athens' material in an
attempt to improve their lives. In the
U.S. premiere of Dad, Lenin and Freddy
(O Babas mou, o Lenin, and Freddy)
(set in the 1980's) from director Rinio Dragasaki, a nine-year-old girl in
Athens gradually loses touch with her workaholic communist father. In Yorgos Zois's Casus
Belli, urban life is seen through the lonesome journey of a loaded shopping
At 8:30 p.m. on June 1st,
writer/director Anthony Maras takes us to 1974 Cyprus in his short film The Palace, in which a conscript soldier
comes face to face with a family in hiding and must confront the brutal reality
of war and his role in it. Next, the
feature film Tungsten from
writer/director Giorgos Georgopoulos tells the stories of three men living in
crisis-ridden Athens within a single day, revealing a world in havoc where
victims become villains and vice versa.
Saturday, June 2nd, Linwood Dunn Theater,
June 2nd, industry insiders will convene a panel discussion entitled
Representation in Hollywood for want-to-be insiders. As in past years, the panel discussion should
prove to be most popular. The event will be followed by a networking
opportunity over light brunch.
screenings begin at 12:00 p.m. with the Los Angeles premiere of the short film
from writer/director/producer Yiorgos Fourtounis, entitled Face Down
(Pistoma), in which we learn that in a dog-eat-dog world, there is no place
for affection; paired with director/producer Ruggero Dipaola's feature Apartment
in Athens (Appartamento ad Atene). Set against a backdrop of the
German occupation of Greece in 1943, this drama introduces us to an Athenian
family who undergoes a profound change when their apartment is commandeered by
an exacting German officer with an inscrutable attitude.
premiere of director Evris Papanikolas's short film Just a Perfect Day-in
which the world goes awry on a serene day -will kick off the 2:45 p.m.
program. Next, the U.S. premiere of the
drama Wasted Youth from co-directors Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan
Vogel takes us to Athens on a blazing hot day on which a teenage skateboarder
sets out for an aimless day with his friends; a middle-aged policeman struggles
to make ends meet; and a simple twist of fate disrupts the course of their
The 5:15 p.m.
program lightens up a bit with Abariza, the short film from director
Elena Dimitrakopoulou, in which an elderly couple plans their grand escape from
a senior home. This is followed by the U.S. premiere of director Georgios
Papaionnaou's comedy Super Demetrios.
Posing as a journalist for the Golden Jerusalem magazine, Thessaloniki's
very own superhero, Super Demetrios, is the only person who can save the city
from its worst nightmare, Captain F. ROM.
F**k, R.E. Rodgers's short
film starring Sam Rockwell, Christopher Meloni, Bob Balaban, Mariska Hargitay
and Bobby Cannavale opens the 8:30 p.m. program. In the film, characters will do anything to
find "the location." Next, the L.A. premiere of director Filippos Tsitos
feature Unfair World, which begins with a disenchanted policeman's
decision to follow his own sense of justice.
A series of unlike events, fluctuating from tragedy to comedy, culminate
in an equally surprising outcome.
Saturday, June 2nd, Egyptian
option for festival goers, the 5:30 p.m. program kicks off with the world
premiere of director Yeesum Lo and writer/producer Dorothea Paschalidou's short
film Intersection, in which a father and son walk different paths, but
life brings them back together. The U.S. premiere of writer/producer/director
Dimitri Athanitis' Three Days of Happiness (Tris Meres Eftihias)
follows, in which a Russian immigrant sells her body hoping to earn money to
leave Greece, a university student struggles to overcome personal tragedy, and
a woman doubting her decision to get married, cross paths while pursuing
Kicking off the 7:30 p.m. program, the world premiere
of writer/director Constantinos Isaias's short film Sacred Whispers, in which, suppressed by his religious mother, a
young man strives for salvation from his demons in a 1940's - 1960's racist
society. Next, the U.S. premiere of Riders of Pylos (Ippeis tis Pylou) from
writer/director Nikos Kalogeropoulos, in which a middle-aged, poverty stricken
actor flees Athens to escape his creditors and travels to the heart of historic
Messinia, finding refuge in Polypylon, a decrepit castle. While exploring the
wild countryside, he meets Democracy, and becomes desperate to win the heart.
Sunday, June 3rd, Linwood Dunn Theater
The final day,
Sunday, June 3rd kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with a tribute to the late,
great, Greek film director Theo Angelopoulos featuring a panel discussion
moderated by Fred Linch, Arizona State University film professor, who will
present a variety of film clips to demonstrate the famed filmmakers unique
visual and musical style. At 11:30 a.m., there will be a retrospective
screening of Angelopoulos's classic film, Ulysses' Gaze.
Pete Stamatelatos and director Scott Ackerlund's award-winning short film Sun
Don't Shine for Us will launch the 3:30 p.m. program with its Los Angeles
premiere in which a Greek immigrant mother's hopes and dreams for her family
collapse when her son enters the world of drug addiction. The moving,
bitter-sweet documentary feature from director Tony Asimakopoulos comes after
the short. The only son of Greek-Canadian immigrants who faces his complicated
relationship with his overbearing mother and ailing father, and the patterns of
dysfunction they share, in Fortunate Son.
festivities launch with a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m., during which film buffs
will undoubtedly be buzzing about the festival lineup. Kicking off the closing night program with a
very strong Japanese connection, at 6:30 p.m., is the U.S. premiere of the
animated short film from director Panagiotis Rappas, Fountain of Youth,
a tale of an elderly woodcutter who stumbles upon the fountain of youth in a
mountain forest of Japan. Next, the L.A.
premiere of Nikos Dayandas's powerful documentary, Sayome. After 35 years of
living in Crete, happily married to a Greek sailor and raising her two sons,
Sayome hears news of her mother's death and returns to her native Japan to
reunite with her estranged family.
For the grand finale of the 2012 Los
Angeles Greek Film Festival, Consul General of Greece Elisabeth Fotiadou is
opening her home exclusively for LAGFF Gold Pass holders for the presentation
of the prestigious Orpheus Awards, and gala closing night party. Guests will
enjoy a pleasant atmosphere under the stars while tasting Greek delicacies.
year, I am looking forward to those wonderful days in the beginning of summer
when we all take our seats in front of the big screen and we get transported to
the Greece we love and care about," expressed Consul General Fotiadou. "As our country is going through one of the
most difficult times of its recent history, the new Greek films are more
intriguing and inspirational. We look
forward to welcoming you to opening night on May 31st."
LAGFF Gold Pass includes tickets and advance entrance to all films, panels and
programs; the opening gala red carpet premiere of A Green Story, with after party; closing night champagne
receptions; a deluxe program book; free parking at the Linwood Dunn Theater;
and, of course, the must-have ticket to the exclusive Orpheus Awards party at
the Consul General's home. In the face
of the global economic crisis hitting Greece, the cost of the 2012 LAGFF Gold
Pass has been reduced by $100 (33%) to only $200, but must be purchased online
in advance. To purchase a Gold Pass or
individual tickets, and for more information, visit www.lagff.org.
fans worldwide are encouraged to follow the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival at www.Facebook.com/lagff, www.Twitter.com/lagff and at www.youtube.com/LAGreekFilmFestival.
ABOUT OUR SPONSORS
Los Angles Greek Film Festival is grateful for the support of numerous key
sponsors, many of which are mentioned here.
Earth Friendly Products (www.ecos.com) is the leader in the
development and production of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies for
household and commercial use with over 150 products manufactured, distributed,
and sold in the USA, Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. All Earth
Friendly Products are created with only replenishable and sustainable
plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and the planet.
The company proudly adheres to its strict "Freedom Code", a list of
harmful and toxic ingredients that are not found in any its products.
Earth Friendly Products has proudly received the 2010 GEELA Award for
Sustainable Business Practices, 2009 Green PatriotTM Green 100TM Designation
and the Champion level recognition from the US EPA through the Design for the
Environment (DfE) Program's Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative. The
company's solar division, Progressive Power Group is just another example of
how Earth Friendly Products is a sustainable business leader.
Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation-ERT
was founded in 1938 and is the largest radio and television broadcasting
organization in Greece. As the country's
first broadcaster, it has an unrivalled audio and visual historic archive which
captures much of the history of modern Greece.
ERT has three broadcasting television stations with national coverage
(ET1, NET and ET3), one satellite channel (ERT world), four terrestrial digital
channels (Cine+, Prisma+, Sport+ and Info+), six radio programs with
headquarters in Athens (NET, Second Program, Third Program, FILIA, KOSMOS, ERA
Sport, two international radio stations based in Thessaloniki (95.8 and 102
FM), and 19 regional radio stations throughout Greece. ERT has been an ardent supporter of LAGFF
Pabst Brewing Company / The Metropolous
Brewing Company is an award-winning American company founded in 1844, brewing
over two dozen brands of beer including the much loved Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). Not only does Pabst Brewing Company make
phenomenal beer, they also support many community events and worthy
organizations. For the 2012 LAGFF, Pabst
Brewing Company is sponsoring the Representation
In Hollywood Industry Panel, as well as the closing night film, Sayome.
Pabst Brewing Company invites you to partake in these events at the
legendary Linwood Dunn Theater where they'll be pouring enough beer to make
anyone do the Zorba Dance.
Sponsors include Hollywood Foreign Press
Association and West Coast Investors. Media Sponsors include ERT and NotesFromHollywood.com. While Supporters include Astro Burger, Greek Film Center, and Delphi Greek Restaurant.