Valorie Massalas to Receive an Honorary Orpheus Award

Greek-American casting director and producer Valorie Massalas will be honored at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Photo: Courtesy of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

LOS ANGELES – Greek-American casting director and producer Valorie Massalas will receive an Honorary Orpheus Award at the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday, June 9, at 8 PM. The Orpheus Awards Ceremony will be preceded by a screening of Her Job and followed by a Greek food and wine feast with live Rebetiko music in the courtyard. More information is available online: www.lagff.org.

Valorie Massalas co-produced and cast the acclaimed Gods and Monsters, nominated for three Academy Awards, including Ian McKellan for Best Actor, Lynn Redgrave for Best Supporting Actress, and Bill Condon for Best Screenplay. She won the Best Feature Film of the Year from Independent Spirit Awards. In Chaplin, Massalas cast Robert Downey, Jr. who received an Academy Award nomination. Her facility for tackling delicate, timely material became evident on NBC’s Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, produced by Barbara Streisand and Glenn Close, for which she won an Artios Award, the Casting Society of America’s highest honor.

Massalas was nominated for Outstanding Casting for Rob Marshall’s Annie, and again nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Casting in Amazing Stories. She has cast for various directors, including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Clint Eastwood. Soon after she cast Sharon Stone in Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall, she worked with Spielberg again casting two Indiana Jones films. In 2005, Massalas joined with Ron Digman to cast feature films including Steve Shill’s Obsessed, Waking Madison, and Into Temptation. Massalas and Digman cast several more independent features, and completed a TV movie, Outlaw Prophet, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Films about women and films created by women abound in the 2019 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Among the female filmmakers this year are: Koula Sossiadis Kazista, Evi Karampatsou, Evangelia Kranioti, Maria Lafi, Jacqueline Lentzou, Karina Logothetis, Aliki Theofilopoulos, Ioanna Tsinividi, and Oliwia Twardowska.

“It seems like a strike of chance that we have so many female creators and films about women this year,” said Festival co-founder Ersi Danou. “But it cannot be just chance. I think it is a sign of something greater, of a global movement that has turned attention to women and their issues. It is as if women from all corners of life have stepped into the sunlight for everyone to see.”

On Opening Night of the Festival, June 5, 7 PM Meltem (France/Greece) 87 min. by Greek-French director Basile Doganis examines the refugee crisis through the eyes of a young woman played by Daphne Patakia.

Also on Opening Night, Patision Avenue (Greece) 13 min. Thanasis Neofotistos’ short film takes a view of one day in the life of a young mother in Athens.

On June 6, 6:25 PM, Pause (Greece/Cyprus) 96 min. Cypriot director Tonia Mishiali’s film explores the margins of femininity as her heroine defies expectations and stereotypes.

On June 8, 9:15 PM, I Am Mackenzie (USA) 20 min. Artemis Anastasiadou’s short tells a coming-of-age story of a teenage girl growing up in rural Texas.

On June 9, 2:30 PM, 37 Days (Greece) 23 min. Nikoleta Leousi tackles another major theme in women’s lives. But this young pregnant woman is not about to give up on her working rights.

On Closing Night, June 9, 6 PM, Her Job (Greece) 90 min. Nikos Labot’s film deals with a middle aged woman’s subtle empowerment in the face of crisis and poverty.