Executive Producer, Shelly Papadopoulos, of The New Greek Americans 1960-2018
By Giuliana Harris
After much dedication and years of production, the documentary trilogy by the Greek Heritage Society of Southern California premiered its third installment in May 2019. Executive Producer Shelly Papadopoulos shared her thoughts and reflections on the Part 3 Premiere, The New Greek Americans 1960-2018, as well as the film production for all three films as a whole.
How does it feel to have the Part 3 Documentary completed?
I feel a huge sense of accomplishment having completed The New Greek Americans 1960-2018. This final chapter completed the trilogy we started back in 2000. At that time, our board members realized there was a need to document our cultural and societal influences within our Greek-American community for current and future generations. We discussed producing a documentary series utilizing the interviews we had conducted to that point.
In 2002, we premiered The Pioneers 1900-1942 recounting the history and struggles of pioneer Greek families who settled in the greater Southern California area.
In 2009, we premiered The Promise of Tomorrow 1940-1960 which centered around the first generation which faced the challenge of duality (Greek at home, American outside).
The first generation had it easier than their parents, and they had many more opportunities open to them. Completing Part 3 gives me pride knowing GHS [Greek Heritage Society] has provided our community with a product that details our SoCal history from the early 1900s to 2018.
What thoughts did you have on the night of the premiere?
On the night of our sold-out premiere, I initially felt nervous. As guests arrived, I was greeted by smiles, kind words and hugs. While I know a great number of our supporters, it was such a joy to see so many new faces. The atmosphere was vibrant, and everyone was having a great time. I’ve chaired many events, but this one truly was magical!
Our board and production team were in awe by the love and support from our community. Following the screening, we were thrilled and overwhelmed by congratulatory remarks, positive comments and endless compliments! It was truly a wonderful evening for us!
What are some special memories that you have from making and finalizing Part 3?
The special memories I have from making Part 3 include attending interviews of some special Greek Americans. Our community is fortunate to have influential people in business, academia, sports, entertainment, etc. As we progressed to pre- and post-production, I was pleased to see how our board members and production team worked so well together. Our board is made up of volunteers, and many on the production team gave willingly of their time and talents. I am grateful to be a part of a group of dedicated individuals who worked together to make this documentary series a reality.
What was the most rewarding experience through the whole process for you?
The most rewarding experience through the whole process was seeing how our board members and advisory committee pulled together time and time again to make this documentary trilogy a reality. Even through some rocky moments, we stuck together and overcame our obstacles. Over the years, we have had unwavering support of hundreds in our community who have supported us in so many ways, and for this we are eternally grateful.
Email the author: Giuliana