×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Amerika Square’ and ‘Son of Sofia’ Bookend Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

Director Alexander Payne to receive Orpheus Award at event’s 11th edition, which runs June 7-11 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will open with the West Coast premiere of “Amerika Square” (pictured above), Yannis Sakaridis’ tragic story set in modern Greece as the country copes with dual crises of financial collapse and overwhelming immigration.

The fest takes place June 7-11 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. It will showcase 13 features, 22 shorts, and 15 documentaries from the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, Cyprus and Greece. This year’s program includes a record 40 premieres: 19 U.S., 10 West Coast, seven Los Angeles – and four world premieres.

“We carefully selected a program that embodies the 2017 festival theme, Building Bridges,” says LAGFF head Aris Katopodis. “Each title represents creating a bridge – whether it is between relationships, races or countries, and the problems and triumphs encountered in reaching the goal.”

Amerika Square,” which won the Fipresci award at the 2016 Thessaloniki Film Festival, centers on an ensemble of characters: Nakos, a racist bent on harming the thousands of refugees in his Athens neighborhood, the film’s titular Amerika Square; Tarek, a Syrian ex-military doctor looking to smuggle himself and his daughter out of Greece; and Billy, a tattoo artist at the film’s center who falls in love with Tereza, an African singer also looking to escape. As time runs out, the three stories merge.

The festival close on Sunday evening will feature the West Coast premiere of Elina Psykou’s drama “Son of Sofia,” which took the best picture prize in the international narrative feature category at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.

Psykou’s film is a dark fairy tale featuring 11-year-old Misha, a young Russian boy who, brought to live in Athens by his mother, is surprised to learn she has remarried. Misha’s imagination soon takes over to protect him from his new life.

The fest will also screen Nikos Koundouros’ “The Ogre Of Athens,” voted number-one film of all time by the Hellenic Film Critics’ Association. It marks a departure role for comic actor Dinos Iliopoulos, who plays a timid man embroiled in a life-and-death situation. The screening is LAGFF’s homage to the director and his works following his passing in February at age 90.

Other film include: Petros Charalambous’ “Boy On The Bridge,” a drama based on a novel by Eve Makis; Michele Poulos’ documentary “A Late Style Of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet”; Babis Tsokas’ documentary “Our Own Maria Callas”; and the L.A. premiere of writer-director Clio Fanouraki’s first feature, “Xamou.”

In addition, fest-goers will be able to see “Swing Away,” starring John O’Hurley and Shannon Elizabeth, and Sofia Exarchou’s new feature “Park,” set in Athens’ Olympic Village ten years after the Games, where wilding youths, injured retired athletes and stray dogs roam among the ruins and decaying sports venues.

Shorts at LAGFF include Daphne Matziaraki’s Academy Award-nominated “4.1 Miles,” Giannis Ziogkase’s “Ethnophbia,” the west coast premiere of Phedon Papamichael’s dramatic short “A Beautiful Day,”co- written by Angeliki Giannakopoulos and Casey Cannon who also produce, starring James Brolin and Francis Fisher, which will screen with the U.S. premiere of Sotiris Tsafoulias’ feature crime thriller “The Other Me.”

Documentary screenings include the premiere of “Frozen Ambrosia,” from sports filmmaker Constantine Papanicolaou, about his skiing adventure on Greece’s Mount Olympus; and the premiere of George Lagdaris’ “With the Hoes and the Terrarium Forks.”

At the festival close the Orpheus Awards will honor the best of LAGFF’s feature, short and documentary films as voted by the 2017 Jury, with one film receiving the Orpheus Audience Award honor.

The festival selects one filmmaker or actor for exceptional contributions to the entertainment industry. This year, the honoree is Oscar-winning writer/producer/director Alexander Payne (“The Descendants,” “Nebraska”), who will receive the Orpheus for his contributions to worldwide entertainment and the preservation of film itself.

More Film

  • Macon Blair27th Annual Gotham Independent Film

    Macon Blair to Direct and Write 'Toxic Avenger' Reboot for Legendary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Macon Blair has been tapped to write and direct Legendary’s reboot of the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger,” sources tell Variety. Legendary acquired the feature film rights in December and have quickly made the project a high priority at the studio. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers with Alex [...]

  • Danny Boyle Bond 25

    Danny Boyle Calls His Exit From 'Bond 25' a 'Great Shame'

    Director Danny Boyle has finally spoken out after leaving the upcoming 25th James Bond movie over creative differences. After splitting from the new 007 flick last August, Boyle told Empire in a story published on Thursday that the script he penned with his “Trainspotting” co-writer John Hodge “wasn’t finished, but it could have been really [...]

  • Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    Film Review: 'Everybody's Everything'

    An elegiac documentary exploring the brief life of rapper Lil Peep, “Everybody’s Everything” certainly doesn’t lack for perspectives. Interviewing virtually everyone who knew the musician (born Gustav Ahr), directors Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan cover the waterfront, from Peep’s family to his girlfriends, his innumerable collaborators, his managers and his fans, trying to distill exactly [...]

  • A Brinks armored truck pulls into

    Layoffs Hit Fox After Disney Completes Deal

    Layoffs have hit Fox following the entertainment company’s sale to Disney. The staff cuts are hitting employees at the SVP, EVP, and president level. Senior staff is expected to be among the first to be impacted. However, the cuts will be deep, with the ax falling hardest of Fox’s film team. There could be as [...]

  • Emily Blunt in Talks for Inspirational

    Emily Blunt in Talks to Star in Annapurna Drama 'Not Fade Away'

    Emily Blunt is in negotiations to star in Annapurna’s inspirational drama “Not Fade Away” with David O. Russell and John Krasinski producing. The project is based on Rebecca Alexander’s 2015 memoir “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found.” Alexander was born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher syndrome type III and [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Alfonso Cuaron's 'Roma' Nabs Nine Nominations for 6th Premios Platino

    As was widely anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s triple Oscar-winning “Roma” dominated the 6th Premios Platino nominations, unveiled Thursday at Hollywood’s legendary Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Oscars. It snagged a total of nine nominations, including best film, director, art direction, cinematography, and acting for its two Oscar-nominated actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de [...]

  • Stephen Bruno

    Stephen Bruno Exits Netflix for Top Marketing Job at MGM

    Netflix global marketing chief Stephen Bruno has exited his post for MGM, where he has been named chief marketing officer. His departure follows that of Netflix CMO Kelly Bennett and marks a major shake-up for the streaming giant. Bruno had been with the streamer since 2014, and is known as an innovator. He joins MGM [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content