2018 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival Announces Premieres

The 12th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) has revealed its 2018 program selection after reviewing a record 175 film submissions. The Festival runs June 4-10 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and includes 11 feature films, 15 documentaries, 27 shorts, as well as industry-lead round tables, panels and masterclasses.

Aristotle Katopodis

LAGFF celebrates the best new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide and promotes Greek cinema and cultural exchange while bridging the gap between the filmmakers and Hollywood. “Greek Cinema continues to impress and produce,” explains Artistic & Festival Director Aristotle Katopodis. “Greek filmmakers keep winning major awards at international film festivals and we are proud to host over 50 of the best and most innovative Greek films from around the world, for the 12th time. Greece is vigorously entering the incentives arena for international productions, and filming in Greece is one of our themes to explore this year.”

Themes for the 2018 Festival include Music and how it informs Greek films; Greeks in the Academy, a tribute to the Greek artists who have received an Academy Award or Oscar Nomination since 1935; and, Filming in Greece, the new financing laws, incentives and rebates.

Opening Night (June 4 at 7 p.m.) begins with a screening of the West Coast premiere of “1968” directed by Tassos Boulmetis at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater. “1968” is the story of how the well-known Greek basketball team A.E.K. founded in 1924 by refugees from Constantinople, beat SLAVIA of Prague to win the European Cup at Kallimarmaro Stadium, and changed Greek history forever.

The evening launches the strategic collaboration of LAGFF and the newly established UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture. The screening will be followed by Q & A with Boulmetis (a Bruin alumnus) and a reception in his honor.

Ariana Savalas

Opening Night (June 6 at 7 p.m.) – The West Coast premiere of Marios Piperides‘ comedy “Smuggling Hendrix” will open LAGFF at the Egyptian on June 6. The award winning film recently garnered “Best International Narrative Feature” at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Filmmakers will be in attendance, and the red carpet evening includes the screening, a catered reception in the Egyptian’s iconic courtyard and a special performance by popular singer Ariana Savalas.

In “Smuggling Hendrix,” Yiannis, a fading musician, is planning to leave crisis-ridden Cyprus for a better life abroad. His plans are put on hold when his dog Jimi runs away and crosses the UN buffer zone to the occupied side of the island. Through the simple story of a man who searches for his dog, “Smuggling Hendrix” gives a vivid demonstration of how the fences we build, both real and imagined, between ourselves and others, can be broken down once we recognize the familiarity in the face of the unknown.

Closing Night (June 10) – The West Coast premiere of Thodoris Atheridis‘ “Perfect Strangers” will close LAGFF at the Egyptian, followed by the star-studded Orpheus Awards Ceremony, a catered Greek reception and live entertainment (TBA) under the stars in the courtyard. This delightful comedic film involves seven friends who meet for dinner on a Friday night. An idea emerges. Every text and call they receive through the night must be shared with the whole group. When the game forces complete transparency, secrets are revealed and relationships are deeply threatened.

Rita Moreno

George Chakiris

The Orpheus Awards are given to the outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film category. The theme of this year’s ceremony is “The Academy of Greeks”, paying tribute to Greek artists who have received an Academy Award or Oscar Nomination since 1935. The Best Supporting Actor of “West Side Story”, George Chakiris, will be one of the honorees this year with actress Rita Moreno presenting his Award.

LAGFF is sponsored by Platinum Patrons Aegean Entertainment and The Metropoulos Family; Co-Presenter The Onassis Foundation (USA); Gold Patrons G.P. Kolovos & Associates; Silver Patrons Earth Friendly Products and West Coast Investors; Grand Contributor Good Greek Grill; and many additional Bronze Patrons and Supporters. For complete details and ticket information, visit lagff.org.

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Email the author: The Hellenic Journal

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