A boisterous Greek-Canadian troubadour, who entertains in perfect Chinese, attempts to anoint himself Olympic good-will ambassador in high-spirited but cumulatively grating docu "Chairman George." Runner-up at the recently-wrapped SilverDocs fest, the docu could tap its feel-good vibe for fest and tube play, but is a long shot for theatrical.

A boisterous Greek-Canadian troubadour, who entertains in perfect Chinese, attempts to anoint himself Olympic good-will ambassador in high-spirited but cumulatively grating docu “Chairman George.” Runner-up at the recently-wrapped SilverDocs fest, the docu could tap its feel-good vibe for fest and tube play, but is a long shot for theatrical.

George Sapounidis is an Ottawa-based statistician and musician who lives with his mother and has a multilingual repertoire that includes “Red River Valley.” He believes that as “the only Greek artist in the world, maybe, who sings in Chinese,” he’d be the perfect guy to transition the Olympics from Athens to Beijing. Officials don’t immediately see it that way, so George decides to do a media blitz on China. Helmers previously worked together on 2001 Toronto social-problem docu “SPIT: Squeegee Punks in Traffic,” and while Sapounidis is infinitely more refined and talented than denizens of that scruffy milieu, the suffocating force of his personality is equally exasperating and admirably energetic. Tech credits are crisp on a shoot that spanned the globe. In a tellingly shrewd marketing move, the shingle’s website already offers the “previously unreleased directors’ cut” DVD.

Chairman George

Canada

Production

An EyeSteelFilm production. Produced, directed by Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross.

Crew

Camera (color), Aung-Thwin, Cross; editors, Aung-Thwin, Max Chalifoux, Brett Gaylor; music, George Sapounidis, Jeremy Moyer. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, Australia, June 19, 2006. (In SilverDocs Film Festival, Silver Spring, Md.) English, Mandarin, French, Greek dialogue. Running time: 72 MIN.
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