SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Greek Film Festival (SFGFF) has announced a partial list of their films for their 2020 event, which will take place October 3-10.
SFGFF’s press release included the announcement of the in-person drive-in screening of Topkapi as well as a portion of the rest of the Festival films that will be shown. Additional films and the specific schedule of events will be confirmed in the coming days. With the exception of the drive-in event, all other screenings will be online and available free of charge. During this time of need, SFGFF is giving back to the community that has supported them for the past 17 years, with this year’s free, virtual Festival.
These are the films that have been announced to date:
Topkapi (USA), 1964, 120min, Directed by Jules Dassin
The classic 1964 Oscar-winning film Topkapi. The film is an entertaining heist comedy-adventure which stars legendary Greek performer Melina Mercouri. The screening celebrates the 100th anniversary of her birthday. In addition to Mercouri’s success as an actress and singer, she was an important Greek politician and public figure who was always devoted to her country and culture. She famously said, "I was born a Greek and I will die a Greek.” Among her many legacies is her steadfast commitment to the effort to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. The Greek Culture Ministry honors this culture champion by having declared 2020 the Year of Melina Mercouri.
The SFGFF drive-in screening of Topkapi will take place on Sunday, October 4, 7:00 PM, at Par 3 at Poplar Creek in San Mateo, allowing for a completely safe in-person moviegoing experience. All ages are encouraged. Admission is $30 per car entry fee. Food and beverage will be available to pre-order. Tickets can be purchased at: https://sfgff-topkapi.eventbrite.com
Partial list of other 2020 SFGFF Featured Films and international film festivals where they were featured:
Entwined (Greece), 2019, 88min, Directed by Minos Nikolakakis
City doctor Panos relocates to a remote village in order to offer his services to the community. It’s love at first sight when he sets eyes on Danae, who lives in isolation, with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was and time is of the essence for both of them.
Toronto International Film Festival: World Premiere: My Name is Eftihia – Greece, 2019, 122min, Directed by Angelos Frantzis. Inspired by the life of the most prolific Greek female poet and lyricist, Eftihia Papagianopoulou, the film chronicles an extraordinary woman and artist who has created a massive volume of timeless and popular songs.
Hellenic Academy Award Winner for Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Make-Up.
Siege on Liperti Street (Greece, Cyprus), 2019, 88min, Directed by Stavros Pamballis
Austerity took everything but the roof over their heads, and today it will come for that too. But this time, they will finally fight back, like a family with nothing left to lose … Set beside the UN Buffer Zone that divides the city of Nicosia, Siege on Liperti Street tells the story of one bankrupt family's struggle to hold on to their home, no matter the price.
Thessaloniki International Film Festival: Winner of the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Award, Greek Federation of Film Critics Award, Audience Award (Greek Section) and ERT (National Broadcaster) award.
When Tomatoes Met Wagner (Greece), 2019, 72min, Directed by Marianna Economou. Do tomatoes taste better when they listen to the music of Richard Wagner? Elias, a small farming village in central Greece, is dying out. But two cousins team up with the village grannies to cultivate tomatoes. With a little help from Wagner’s music, the villagers export their little jars with organic tomato recipes across the world. The film follows the protagonists of this unlikely story, as they struggle to make their dream come true. Humorous and bittersweet, this surreal story speaks to us about the importance of reinventing oneself in times of crisis and the power of human relationships.
Berlinale: World Premiere – Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Documentary. Window to the Sea (Spain, Greece), 2019, 105min, Directed by Miguel Ángel Jiménez
Faced with life changing news, Maria, a fifty-five year old Spanish woman from Bilbao, chooses to take a trip to Greece with her closest girlfriends against the advice of her son and doctors. A spontaneous decision leads her to the island of Nisyros, a tiny haven of peace and calm that immediately feels like home. While exploring the beautiful island and soaking in its hidden treasures, she meets Stefanos and finds herself falling in love against all odds. What seemed like a brief escape from reality soon turns into an unexpected chance at happiness, in a luminous story of a woman, who takes a leap of faith and dares to live for the moment on her own terms.
San Sebastian International Film Festival: World Premiere – Partial list of Short Films in 2020 San Francisco Greek Film Festival.
A Jar of Nuts (Cyprus), 2019, 17min, Directed by Savvas Stavrou. Isolated in his apartment, the lonely forty-year old Giorgos meticulously devises an intricate plan to take his life after his beloved mother chokes to death on a pistachio.
As the day progresses, Giorgos allows excuses, obstacles and people to hinder his final deadly leap from the balcony, completely oblivious to the true reason behind all his stalling.
Tirana Film Festival: Best Balkan Film Award – Electric Swan (Argentina, France, Greece), 2019, 40min, Directed by Konstantina Kotzamani. Buildings are not supposed to move. But on Avenida Libertador 2050, a building moves and the ceiling shivers, causing a strange nausea that devours its residents. Those who live on the top are afraid they'll fall – the ones who live beneath are afraid they'll drown.
La Biennale di Venezia: World Premiere – Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Short Film. In the Room – Greece, 2019, 14min, Directed by Yeorgia M. Sotirchou
When God is absent, someone has to take his place. In a modern day urban environment, three characters come together: an old ill man, the young woman who looks after him, and his unemployed middle-aged daughter. All face the fine line that separates ethics and freewill.
Drama International Short Film Festival:
World Premiere – Last Stop – (Cyprus), 2019, 6min, Directed by Christos Zeniou. Trying to find his way back to where he belongs, the stimulus for the outside world is a bus stop.
Rouge (Greece), 2019, 18min, Directed by Kostis Theodosopoulos. A sexist violent incident fires tension in Danai's friendship with Ilona and Toufa. Torn between theory and practice, the three friends realize that patriarchy won't die with bottles (only), and they now have marks to prove it.
Drama International Short Film Festival: National Premiere; Best Newcomer Director, Best Screenplay, Best Make-Up.
International Film Festival Rotterdam: International Premiere – The Distance Between Us and the Sky (Greece, France), 2019, 9min, Directed by Vasilis Kekatos. Night, national road. Two strangers meet for the first time at an old gas station. One has stopped to gas up his bike, while the other is just stranded. Lacking the 22.50€ he needs to get home, he will try to sell him the distance that separates them from the sky.
Cannes: World Premiere; Short Film Palme d’Or and Short Film Queer Palm –
The Dude (Greece), 2019, 17min, Directed by Alexandros Kakaniaris
Stratis, a 12 year old boy, is the greatest dude in his 'hood. He is such a great dude, that everybody calls him The Dude. Almost everybody, that is. All he has to do is prove himself. To those who don't believe him. Almost everybody, that is.
As additional SFGFF programming and details are confirmed, they will be announced on the organization’s website, and Facebook page.