The Greek Film Festival is back for 2022, more promising than ever
The 2022 Greek Film Festival returns to Australia with iconic films from October 13-23, celebrating the best in contemporary and classic Greek cinema.
In Melbourne, the festival will take place at the Astor and Palace Cinema Como, and in Sydney at the Palace Cinema Como on Norton Street.
Thirteen narrative feature films, three documentaries and the Student Film Festival make up the festival’s varied line-up which will transport Greek moviegoers to an exuberant Athens, explore generational history with several references to Smyrna and highlight ambitious local art with movies like ‘The Greek Bar Jacket’.
This year’s festival is special as it is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the disaster in Asia Minor. Event described as ‘changing the face of modern Greece’
“We are thrilled to present another eclectic lineup that is just a small sampling of the rich stories that come from Greece,” said festival president Nia Karteris.
“This is not just a celebration of strong Greek voices from around the world with a program that we know will resonate, inspire and bring joy to Australian audiences; but also a reflection of the life-changing events that shaped and altered many Greek lives.
The festival will open on Thursday October 13 with the iconic film “Eftihia”. Inspired by the life of lyricist Eftyhia Papagiannopoulou who took risks and swore to live her life on her own terms. Directed by Angelos Frantzis and starring Kariofilia Karabeti, Katia Goulioni, Pigmalion Dadakaridis, Thanos Tokakis and Dina Michailidou, the film celebrates timeless popular songs written by Eftyhia and set to music by Tsitsanis, Kaldaras, Hiotis and Hadjidakis among other musos legendary.
Closing the festival on Sunday, October 23, Gregoris Karantinakis’ “Smyrna My Beloved” follows Filio, an elderly Greek-American woman whose family diary recounts the turbulent story, shaped by international developments, and brings together past and present. The film chronicles the cosmopolitan life of Smyrna and its destruction by the Turkish army in 1922 and is based on a play by Greek actress Mimi Denissi who filmed successfully in Athens for three years. The film draws parallels between the 1922 refugee crisis and the current Syrian refugee crisis, as it begins in the present when a young Greek-American woman, Helen, travels to Mytilene with her grandmother Filio Williams (Jane Laportaire) to help Syrian refugees fleeing the civil was in their country. In the process, she uncovers her own family history and their experiences of fleeing Smyrna a century earlier.
Eftihia and Smyrna aren’t the only gems of Hellenic cinematography featured at the Greek Film Festival this year, there’s something for everyone.
THE 2022 FILM SELECTION
Dog (2021) – Young Dimitris, on the verge of adulthood but very childish, has romanticized his absent father to mythic proportions. When his father is finally released from prison, Dimitris’ desire to enjoy some family happiness with him becomes even more intense, but while fighting for everything he wanted, he must face a form of violence. unprecedented.
All the Pretty Little Horses (2020) – Following a disaster, Aliki and her husband Petros take their young son Panagiotis to a provincial coastal town, seeking refuge. Working temporary jobs, Aliki and Petros attempt to rebuild their lives so they can return home to Athens. When Aliki begins to realize that the plan isn’t working – or worse, that it may not even exist – the distance between her and Petros begins to widen.
Apples (2020) – As an unpredictable and widespread pandemic causes sudden amnesia, a man finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help him build a new life. His treatment: perform the daily tasks prescribed by his doctors on tape, and capture these new memories with a Polaroid camera. Greek screenwriter and director Christos Nikou’s feature debut is a surreal and enigmatic work, a seductive exploration of identity and reality.
Broadway (2022) – Nelly escapes from her rich and authoritarian family. While dancing in a strip club, she meets Markos, a small but charismatic gangster, who quickly becomes her protector and lover. He brings her to Broadway, an abandoned entertainment complex in Athens squatted by a small community of dancers, tramps, thieves and a captive monkey. When Markos is arrested and imprisoned, a mysterious newcomer, wanted for death by Athens’ most dangerous mafia, will take a surprisingly large place in the gang.
Sleep (2022) – In their luxurious villa near Athens, Mariella and Pavlos, a couple on the verge of financial ruin, prepare to celebrate the long-awaited wedding of their daughter Sofia to a wealthy heir. It is then that a dodo, a bird that disappeared 300 years ago, appears, dragging all the protagonists into absurd situations.
Echoes of the Past (2021) – A fictional drama based on a real event, the massacre committed by invading German troops at Kalavryta, Greece, in December 1943. When the Greek government launches a demand for war reparations, Caroline Martin, a high-flying lawyer , travels to Kalavryta to investigate. An unexpected encounter with the last survivor of the tragedy, Nikolaos Andreou, drags them both into a dark chapter of history. As the traumatic past resurfaces, its painful echoes become stronger than ever.
Eftihia (2019) – A film inspired by the life of Eftyhia Papagiannopoulou, a lyricist who created a massive volume of timeless popular songs, set to music by Tsitsanis, Kaldaras, Hiotis and Hadjidakis, among others. She traveled from Smyrna to Greece, with only one small pillow clasped in her arms. Aboard the ship that took her away from home forever, she decided she would never let life pass her by. She swore to live on her own terms. Her name means Happiness but fate has ensured that she knows very little about it.
Fantasy (2019) – Greece, October 1993. The Greek Socialist Party (PASOK) has just won the elections, TV is dominated by trashy entertainment shows, and every night you can escape reality in bouzouki clubs. Fotini, a talented young singer, arrives in Athens to work in one of them. This musical drama captures the sometimes seedy atmosphere of the 1990s nightclub scene as it follows Fotini’s rise to stardom. As her popularity grows, her personal life is shattered, mostly due to the machinations of her jealous old mentor, a man she naively trusts.
I love Greece (2022) – Jean and Marina, a Franco-Greek couple, go to Athens for their summer vacation. There they meet Marina’s exuberant Greek family and a country in economic crisis. As they prepare to spend a romantic getaway on a small island in the Cyclades, Marina’s whole family decides to accompany them. Nothing will go as planned under the blazing sun of the Aegean Sea.
Monday (2020) – Mikey and Chloe, two Americans in their thirties living in Athens, meet in the heat of summer during a whirlwind weekend. When Chloe’s time in Greece draws to a close, she decides to ditch her high-flying job at home and explore if the passion of a weekend can handle the reality of the inevitable Monday.
Smyrna (2021) – Filio Baltatzi, an elderly Greek-American woman, travels to the island of Lesvos to help refugees. Almost a century earlier, her family had lived on the island when they themselves were refugees, fleeing Smyrna after the city was destroyed. Flio’s grandmother’s diary chronicles the family’s turbulent history, shaped by tragic international developments. Filio is accompanied to Lesvos by her reluctant granddaughter, and different generations of women from the same family come together in space and time, as past and present become one.
Tailor (2020) – The old age story of an eccentric tailor who doesn’t quite fit in with the world and has isolated himself in the attic of the family tailor shop. On the verge of losing everything, he reinvents his life and his profession by creating a tailor shop on wheels. He brings style and confidence to the women of Athens and first falls in love in his fifties.
The Greek Bar Jacket (2021) – The Greek Bar Jacket offers a unique insight into the making of Dior’s iconic Cruise Show 2022 at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The documentary shows how the worlds of haute couture and local folk art come together to produce a very ambitious parade, marked by an astonishing display of local craftsmanship.
Icon George Bizos (2021) – An insightful chronicle of the life of legendary human rights defender, George Bizos, produced with wide access to Bizos’ close associates and rich in archival footage. From his early friendship with Nelson Mandela to his pivotal involvement in the Rivonia Trial and many other landmark legal events, Bizos’ life has been intertwined with key political events in South African history.
Marcos (2019) – A group of musicians travels to Syros to participate in a tribute to Markos Vamvakaris. Alongside this journey, composers, musicologists and artists from all over the world highlight the musician’s legacy in the 21st century. A documentary about Markos’ influence on the contemporary soundscape in Greece and across Europe.
Sundays (2020) – After thirty years of service as a Greek Orthodox priest in the United States, Tom Avramis decides to leave the priesthood, shocking his united family and admiring the parishioners. When his daughter discovers an old video he made of his life detailing the burdens and secrets he carried, she turns the camera to him, revealing more secrets about her father’s past.
When: Thursday October 13 – Sunday October 23, 2022
To book VIC and NSW tickets, go to www.greekfilmfestival.com.au