Director-writer Elia Kazan will be honored at the 7th annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival with the screening of his 1963 Oscar-winning drama “America America.” The film, which is loosely based on Kazan’s Greek uncle’s struggle to emigrate from Anatolia to America in 1893, will be shown June 7. Kazan died in 2003.
“We are very excited to screen this epic masterpiece on the 50th anniversary of its first release for a generation that has not had the pleasure of experiencing it in the cinema,” said Ersi Danou, LAGFF creative director and co-founder. “It has been a dream of ours to celebrate Kazan’s work, and this seems to be the right moment.”
This year’s festival runs from June 6 to June 9 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. Opening night will feature Spiros Stathoulopoulos’ period drama, “Meteora,” which debuted at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. It stars “True Blood’s” Theo Alexander as a Greek Orthodox monk and follows his illicit love affair with a Russian Orthodox nun.
Seasoned director Kimon Tsakiris’ documentary “Mitsigan – Hardships and Beauties” will close the festival on June 9. The story follows a modern-day Greek cowboy, Mitsigan, on a journey throughout that region’s farming area, as he meets with old and new friends and comes to the realization that his country will never be the same again.
This year’s fest examines the hardships faced during Greece’s economic downturn and how cinema has become increasingly important in the world scene.
“These filmmakers have responded powerfully with a redefinition of values and principles,” said Aristotle Katopodis, LAGFF director of programming. “They are raising their voices and shedding light on pressing issues, with anger, pathos and even humor.”
More than 30 features, documentaries and short films representing the Greek diaspora in over 11 countries will be shown at this year’s event. Another award-winning film, Thanos Anastopoulos’ thriller “The Daughter” will make its U.S. premiere at the festival, along with Ektoras Lygizos’ critically acclaimed and award-winning drama “Boy Eating the Bird’s Food.”