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Consulate General of Greece, Community Members Celebrate Papakaliatis’ Maestro (Vid)

NEW YORK – The Consulate General of Greece in New York hosted a celebration on March 15 at the Chiotes Hall of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan in honor of  ‘Maestro’, which received the first ever exclusive global distribution deal for a Greek scripted television series on Netflix.

The event acknowledged the success of Mega TV’s acclaimed Greek television series, Maestro, with a screening of the series teaser, followed by a Q&A with the creator and star Christoforos Papakaliatis, and a cocktail reception.

The series is set in Greece on the island of Paxos and centers around the main character, a musician, Orestis, who is invited to the small island after the pandemic to produce a music festival with the locals. He is soon confronted by the closed society of the island and finds himself involved in an unexpected love story. Besides the creator and star Papakaliatis, the cast includes Haris Alexiou, Maria Kavoyianni, Fanis Mouratidis, Marisa Triantafyllidou, Giannis Tsortekis, Antinoos Albanis, Stefania Goulioti, Klelia Andriolatou, Orestis Halkias, and Giorgos Benos.

Papakaliatis spoke with The National Herald at the event, noting that ‘Maestro’ aka ‘Maestro in Blue’ will launch worldwide on Friday, March 17, on Netflix, a first for a Greek series, and it’s a happy feeling and also touching for all the hard work we put in, but also there is an anxious feeling bout how non-Greeks will view the series.

Hellenic Film Society USA President Jimmy DeMetro and Christoforos Papakaliatis at the event in honor of Papakaliatis’ television series Maestro available on Netflix March 17. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Of the evening in honor of the series, Papakaliatis said that he “has always had a very good relationship with the Greek-American community in New York because they were always a supportive community, always humane, always helpful, and always effective in communicating my work to the wider world. I am always very grateful to New York.”

Olga Bornozi, Managing Director of Capital Link, gave the welcoming remarks at the event, thanking all the supporters including the media sponsors from Greece as well as the Greek-American organizations- AHEPA, the Daughters of Penelope, Hellenic American Association for Professionals in Finance (HABA), The Hellenic Initiative, Hellenic American Women’s Council, Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS), Hellenic Professional Women, and Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce. She also thanked the Greek National Tourism Organization, noting that tourism will definitely get a boost from the beautiful locations featured in Maestro.

Left to right: Jimmy DeMetro, Christoforos Papakaliatis, and Olga Bornozi during the Q&A session. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Consul General of Greece Dinos Konstantinou then gave his greetings and welcomed Papakaliatis to New York. “Extremely popular, extremely talented, Christoforos is one of the most beloved actors in Greece,” he said. “The success came early in his life but not only did he cope with fame, his impact as an actor, screenwriter, creator has been tremendous in the Greek TV and film industry. His stories, always fascinating and captivating are masterfully narrated.”

“His latest work, Maestro in Blue, actually feels very Greek,” Konstantinou continued. “It has amazing cinematography… but it also deals with very important universal issues like abuse, family, relationships, and other social issues. Maestro shows the Greek excellence in storytelling, so the high standards of the series drew the attention of the great platform Netflix, so we are really proud to announce the global launch on Netflix. Everyone with an account can have a fantastic weekend and watch the whole series at home”

Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou welcomed Maestro creator and star Christoforos Papakaliatis at the event on March 15. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

“Against the stunning backdrop of the beautiful island of Paxos, Maestro gives the opportunity to the international audience to see the impeccable beauties of our beloved homeland Greece. So I hope the international crowd will embrace the series as the Greek public did.

In Greek, Consul General Konstantinou also shared his best wishes for the series, noting that he is sure it will do well and he was “very pleased to see everyone present which is proof that the Greek-American community is alive in New York and supports such worthy efforts that make Greece known all over the planet and I’m sure this series will be a springboard for other Greek series to reach international audiences like Maestro in Blue.”

The teaser was then screened and received enthusiastic applause from the crowd which filled Chiotes Hall.

Papakaliatis then thanked everyone because, he said, throughout his career and at every phase of his life, the Greek community is always with him. “From the film ‘An’ (‘What If…’) [in 2012] and Worlds Apart [2015] we were here again, the same people, more have come, more were born as the years have passed, and we’re even more people, and from my soul I want to thank you all,” Papakaliatis said, adding specifically the Consul General, Olga Bornozi and Yanna Darilis for organizing the event.

“This is an important step for all of us in Greece to have a series that will play worldwide and it’s nice that this journey begins here,” Papakaliatis noted.

In the Q&A session, he was asked about the inspiration for the series, which he said “was and still is reality and what’s happening around me.”

The Consulate General of Greece in New York hosted a celebration on March 15 at the Chiotes Hall of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan in honor of ‘Maestro’ available on Netflix worldwide on March 17. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

When asked what is up next for him, Papakaliatis said: “The second season of Maestro,” which received applause and cheers from the audience.

Jimmy DeMetro, president of HFS, joined Papakaliatis onstage, noting that they sold out 1100 seats at the Ziegfeld Theatre when they first brought Papakaliatis to New York. “He understands what the public want to see, that’s vey, very important,” DeMetro said of Papakaliatis. He then shared a recollection of Academy Award-winning actor J.K. Simmons who told him that when he arrived in Athens for his role in Worlds Apart, Papakaliatis picked him up at the airport. “I’ve been flying to locations all my life and never ever has a director picked me up,” Simmons told DeMetro.”

Among those present were Consul of Greece in New York Dimitris Papageorgiou, Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and his wife Penelope, Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, Nancy Papaioannou, Prof. Constantinos Daskalakis, Ted Klingos, Costa Tsourakis, and Nikos Kartalis.

Follow on Instagram @ChristopherPapakaliatis.

Watch Maestro on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81644787.


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