LA Greek Film Festival Announces Film Selections

The logo for the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Photo: (Courtesy of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival)

LOS ANGELES – After reviewing a record 182 film submissions, the 13th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) programming team revealed the film selections on May 9. The 2019 Festival runs June 3-9 and includes fiction feature films and documentaries, short films, animation, industry-led panels, and workshops in VR and distribution.

“LAGFF is committed to exploring new avenues and collaborations in the world of film,” explains Artistic & Festival Director Aristotle Katopodis. “We continue to encourage and expose new filmmakers and offer new educational programs as we embark on our 13th year. Our slate of 47 feature films includes many first-time directors and multiple-awarded films, while four of our main films were created by women.”

The UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center educational collaboration proudly returns this year with the premiere screening on June 3 of The Right Pocket of the Robe by first-time feature film director Yiannis Lapatas, following its premiere at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

The Opening Night at the Egyptian Theater on June 5 features another first-time director Basile Doganis, who has screened several short films at LAGFF and will present the North American Premiere of Meltem. Actress Daphne Patakia, who graduated from the Greek National Theatre and is recognized as one of the top five rising stars in Europe, stars in the film.

Meltem, directed by Basile Doganis and starring actress Daphne Patakia, makes its North American premiere at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Photo: courtesy of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The Closing Night film on Sunday, June 9 is by first-time director Nikos Labot with the West Coast Premiere of Her Job, a Greek-French production. This film has already been recognized and awarded for its acting talent. The award-winning film by Steve Krikris, The Waiter, makes its North American Premiere, Holy Boom by Maria Lafi makes its West Coast Premiere, and Pause by Greek-Cypriot filmmaker Tonia Mishiali makes its LA Premiere. Another film with a stellar cast making its North American premiere is Still River by Angelos Frantzis. Award-winning filmmaker Evangelia Kranioti’s much-anticipated documentary Obscuro Barroco makes its U.S. Premiere at this year’s LAGFF.

The complete line-up for this LAGFF is available online: http://lagff.org/festival/films/.

LAGFF announced a collaboration this year with AnimaSyros. Established in 2008, Anima Syros is the premier animation event in Greece and among the top 20 animation festivals worldwide. Encompassing educational programs and tours of its program internationally, Anima Syros animates the beautiful island of Syros every September.  LAGFF is honored to work with AnimaSyros and ASIFA Hellas (Association Internationale du Film D’ Animation), with special thanks to Vassilis Karamitsanis and Stephen Kollias.

The International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF) under the direction of Araceli Lemos has an expanded program this year. As a result of many quality submissions, this Forum will host more projects than ever before, whose participants are award-winners and filmmakers with a treasure trove of films already under their belt.

Another addition to the weeklong Festival is the “Aspiring Local Filmmakers” section, featuring films that are worth taking a look at and films that show promise for their freshness and attitude. In this new section, Epiphany by Koula Sossiadis Kazista and Katina Sossiadis, as well as 1/2 New Year by Tom Morash, written by Georgia Menides, are the latest local films to rock the Egyptian Theater.

Featured in the Special Screenings section is the historical drama Cliffs of Freedom, which portrays the Greek revolution of 1821 and is based on a book by Marianne Metropoulos, is directed by Van Ling, and features music by George Kallis. The cast and crew will be attending the red carpet event.

Keeping with tradition, the Festival includes three Red Carpet Events – including the Orpheus Awards Ceremony, a Filmmaker’s Reception, and a Brunch hosted by the Consul General of Greece – the International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF), Industry Panels, as well as premieres and screenings. Dimitra Kasdagli is the Festival’s new Programming and Festival Manager and Filmmaker Liaison.

More information about LAGFF is available online: www.lagff.org

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