GR US

Greek-Americans in the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

The National Herald Archive

The 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) official poster. (Photo by TDF)

THESSALONIKI – The 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) takes place March 5-15 this year, presenting an extraordinary line-up of films from around the world. Among the films are three Greek-American-related films, two by Greek-American directors and one about a Greek-Cypriot-American: Sundays by Alethea Avramis, The Projectionist, The New Greek Americans by Anna Giannotis, and The Projectionist by Abel Ferrara.

Sundays by Alethea Avramis recounts how after thirty years of serving as a Greek Orthodox priest in the U.S., Tom Avramis decided to leave the Church, shocking his tight knit family and admiring parishioners. When his daughter discovers an old video he made about his life detailing the burdens and secrets he carried, she turns the camera on him, revealing further secrets about her father’s past.

The Projectionist by Abel Ferrara features Nick Nicolaou who moved from Cyprus to the USA at the age of 12 and grew instantly infatuated with the noble routine of movie-going. Over the past decades, he has endeavored to keep art-house and neighborhood movie theaters alive in various boroughs of New York, standing up to the multiplex omnipotence. Natural born provocateur Abel Ferrara, an old acquaintance of Nicolaou, addresses a love letter to a-last-of-the-Mohicans friend and kneels in respect before a sworn guardian of a distant romantic era. The film is an invigorating, yet solemn, homage to the fading sensation of a vanishing art.

The New Greek Americans by Anna Giannotis is a chronicle of the Greek diaspora in the United States, starting from the 60s, when young Greek Americans, despite their conservative and uptight upbringing, started to embrace the flow of change in mentality. Each decade, this community assimilated staggering historical events: from the Civil Rights Movement all the way to the Michael S. Dukakis presidential nomination in 1998, a benchmark for the Greeks population in the USA. Narrated and hosted by Olympia Dukakis, this heartfelt documentary unfolds humorous and touching stories of second and third-generation immigrants, reflecting the multilayered aspects of “growing up Greek” in the USA.

The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, a leading force in Southeast Europe, celebrates the art of documentary through a program of films, events and initiatives. TDF is an Oscars eligible Festival.

TDF has three competition sections, the International Competition, the Newcomers Competition Section (with first or second films of directors) and the VR / Virtual Reality Competition Section. TDF also presents the large annual Greek documentary production, aims to inform and mobilize the audience about critical issues. The festival’s industry section, the Agora Doc Market has established itself as a meeting point of film professionals from all over the world, through Docs in Progress, the Doc Market and now the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum. TDF presents a series of parallel events -masterclasses, discussions among them, attracting more than 80,000 people.

More information is available online: https://www.filmfestival.gr/en/festivals-en/tdf-en.