LOS ANGELES – The red carpet Closing Night of the 13th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) was held June 9 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The West Coast premiere of Nikos Labot’s Her Job was followed by the Orpheus Awards Ceremony and an elegant reception in the outdoor courtyard of the Egyptian. Guests enjoyed delights from Good Greek Grill, Georgos Wine, Pietris Bakery, Bakersland, and Sugarista, and danced to live music performed by Dimitris Mann & The Greek Rebetiko Trio.
Festival Director Aris Katopodis opened the ceremony with a warm welcome to guests including the filmmakers, industry professionals, Greek VIPs, and dignitaries. The Awards were co-hosted by popular actresses Patricia Kara and Elena Evangelo.
Emmy-nominated casting director and producer Valorie Massalas was the 2019 Orpheus Award Honoree and received a standing ovation and cheers from the audience. She is a longtime LAGFF Advisory Board member and co-produced and cast the acclaimed Gods and Monsters, which was nominated for three Academy Awards. Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor-dancer and 2018 Orpheus honoree George Chakiris presented the Orpheus to Massalas.
A special tribute video for Massalas included heartfelt messages from A-list entertainers and friends such as Thaao Penghlis, award-winning casting director- producer Ronnie Yeskel, and prominent director Randal Kleiser. The tribute video was directed by Constantinos Isaias.
“There were so many incredible films and talent this year,” said Festival Director Katopodis. “Our distinguished jury panel looked at the films very closely. The awards, especially the audience ones, were very close.”
Awards presenters were Kelly Vlahakis Hanks, Sunil Sadarangani, Bobby Roth, James Axiotis, David Streit, Panos Vlahos, Ioanna Triantafyllidou, Soudabeh Moradian, and George Chakiris. Several of the presenters also served on the LAGFF Jury.
The list of the winners follows:
Best Feature Film: Pause by Tonia Mishiali
Special Feature Jury Award: Still River by Angelos Frantzis
Best Documentary Film: Olympia by Harry Mavromichalis
Special Documentary Jury Award: Obscuro Barroco by Evangelia Kranioti
Van Vlahakis Best Short Film: I Am Mackenzie by Artemis Anastassiadou
Best Director: Maria Lafi for Holy Boom
Best Performance: Marisha Triantafyllidou for Her Job
Audience Award for Feature Film: 1/2 New Year directed by Tom Morash
Audience Award for Documentary: Obscuro Barroco by Evangelia Kranioti
Audience Award for Short Film: Flickering Souls Set Alight by Iakovos Panagopoulos
International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF) Winners:
IPDF Award: Elina Psykou, Patrimonial Fears and other symptoms
Honorable Mention – Telemachos Alexiou, The Voice of an Angel
MFI Scholarship – Cat Papadimitriou, Zagorohorror
LAGFF is a 501c(3) non-profit organization and open to all filmgoers and patrons of the arts. More information is available online: www.lagff.org.
Social Media: @lagff #LAGFF2019