The Oscar winner (“Whiplash”) stars in the fest’s closing night film, Christopher Papakaliatis’ “Worlds Apart,” in its debut outside of Greece.
“Worlds Apart” is the highest grossing Greek film since 2009, surpassing box office numbers in Greece for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Spectre.” In the Greek film, three separate narratives each follow a love story between a foreigner and a Greek.
LAGFF’s opening night film will be Tassos Boulmetis’ bittersweet comedy “Mythopathy,” in its North American premiere. Set in the 1970s during the rule of the military junta in Greece, the film follows a young boy as he copes with the changing social and political climate by creating his own versions of Greek myths. The director, a former UCLA assistant professor and film school alum, will be in attendance.
“For a decade now, we have brought new Greek Cinema to Los Angeles,” said festival co-founder Ersi Danou. “Greece has seen the burgeoning of a new generation of filmmakers who are willing to step out of the box and approach their audience in bold ways. LAGFF is a chance for Los Angelinos to experience Greek cinema, and our filmmakers benefit from the bridging effect between Greece, the Balkans, and Hollywood.”
In addition to showcasing a record number of films, LAGFF will include Q&A’s and various festivities – including a collaboration with the Athens International Culinary Film Festival and a “gastronomical sidebar,” complete with cuisine-themed entertainment and top-chef cooking demos and tastings.
This year’s offerings include films from Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, the U.K., Greece, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. representing 15 narratives, nine documentaries, and 31 shorts. LAGFF will introduce four world premieres, 25 North American premieres, and 13 Los Angeles premieres to the Hollywood audience. Forty-two films will vie for LAGFF’s “Audience Choice” Orpheus Award.
Simmons will be among the recipients of Orpheus Awards at the closing night ceremony, hosted by Mena Suvari.
Pictured above: J.K. Simmons and Maria Kavogianni in “Worlds Apart”