The 2016 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, celebrating its tenth anniversary, will run June 1 to 5, 2016 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
This year’s festival will showcase more films, Q&A’s and festivities than ever before including a collaboration with Athens International CulinaryFilm Festival (AICFF) and a Gastronomical Sidebar complete with cuisine themed entertainment and top chef cooking demonstration with tasting.
The 2016 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will kick off with the North American premiere of Tassos Boulmetis’ bittersweet comedy “Mythopathy “(Notias) on Wednesday, June 1. The story is set during the 1970s military junta in Greece and follows a young boy, Stavros, as he copes with the ever changing social and political climate by reinventing established Greek myths and creating his own versions. This is the third feature from the award-winning “Touch of Spice” director. “Mythopathy” stars Hellenic Academy awardwinners Themis Panou (“Miss Violence”), Maria Kallimani (“Sto Spiti”) and introduces Giannis Niaros in his first feature starring role among others. Tasos Boulmetis, a former UCLA assistant professor and film school Alum, will be in attendance
The Closing Night film will be Christopher Papakaliatis’ “Worlds Apart” in its debut outside of Greece. The film stars Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons. “Worlds Apart” is the highest grossing Greek film since 2009, notably surpassing box office numbers in Greece for the long-awaited 2015 blockbusters “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Spectre”. “Worlds Apart” fosters three separate narratives each following a love story between a foreigner and a Greek. Each story represents a different generation falling in love during a time of socioeconomic turmoil that dominates Southern Europe as a whole, only to connect with a single story in the end. Christopher Papakaliatis and J.K. Simmons will be present for their film’s North American premiere.
Following the screening is the star-studded Orpheus Awards Ceremony where J.K. Simmons will receive the 2016 Orpheus at the ceremony hosted by “American Beauty” star Mena Suvari.
Thursday, June 2 LAGFF will have a special tribute to iconic Greek director Alexis Damianos with a screening of the all-time favorite masterpiece “Evdokia” in its original 35mm format. First released in 1971, this Greek/UK co-production is a love story between a prostitute (Evdokia) and a sergeant (Yorgos). The film features an original Manos Loizos’ Rembetico musical piece and stars the late Maria Vassilou (Chrysothemis) and Chris Zorbas (Silhouettes). In 2002, the Greek Film Critics Association voted Evdokia as one the 5 best Greek films of all time.
Thursday also offers writer/director Athina Rachel Tsangari’s critically acclaimed comedy “Chevalier”. Tsangari, who is attending this year’s festival, will also be conducting a Directing Master Class on Saturday, June 4 which is open to the public.
There is something for every Cinephile on Friday, June 3 when the Festival screens 15 films beginning at 4:00 P.M. The TGIF program includes a searing look at relationships with Panos Karkanevatos’ “Riverbanks” (Ohthes) and Dimitri Anthanitis’ drama “Invisible”. Representative of Friday’s documentary offerings is Loukas Stamellos’ “Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair” about the Greek neo-Nazi party “Golden Dawn” and Vasilis Katsoupis’ “My Friend Larry Gus” about the Milan, Italy-based electronic artist.
Preceding all narrative and documentary films is a litany of the best creative shorts of 2015 and 2016. Highlights include Haris Pantelidakis comedy “Pacino’s Way”, Nikos Tsemberopoulos’, “Simon Says” winner of the Grand Prize of the Competition Section Greek Film Short Film of the 21st Athens International Film Festival ‘Opening Nights’,Christos Liakouris’ family drama and festival circuit favorite “Pet” and “Stutterer” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage’s 2016 Oscar Winner for Short Film (Live Action). Michael Paledimos, “Stutterer’s” Producer will be in attendance for the film with Q&A to follow.
On Thursday June 2 and Saturday, June 4, LAGFF proudly hosts the films of the Athens International Culinary Film Festival (AICFF.ORG). The Gastronomical sidebar will offer savory treats like the moving yet joyful coming of age documentary from director Angelos Abatzoglou’s “Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams”; Taso Boulmetis award-winning relationship drama “A Touch of Spice” starring George Corraface as a forty-year-old chef who returns to Istanbul after years of exile.
World-renowned award-winning chef, Doxis Bekris will be on hand to offer up a tantalizing cooking demonstration in the Egyptian courtyard with tastes of Greek cuisine for all in attendance.
New this year, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Professor of Classics Katerina Zacharia instituted an Interdisciplinary Core course on “Representations of Greece: Ancient and Modern” with embedded student internships at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. The 16 LMU-LAGFF interns and Prof. Zacharia assisted in the selection of this year’s program. LAGFF designated an LMU Special Selection slot at 10 pm on Saturday, June 4th 2016, during which the LAGFF-LMU interns selected Angelos Frantzis modern fantasy drama “Symptom” and the short “Pet” by Christos Liakouris for their screening.
For the first time in Festival history, LAGFF is opening its screenings free of charge to all college students with a valid student ID. Discounted tickets to the Opening and Closing Night Galas for eligible students will also be offered.