The documentary “Olympia,” a revealing look at the life and career of Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, will join the other films screening at the 13th annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, which will take place at UCLA and at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre on June 3-9.
The event will kick off June 3 at the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center with the U.S. premiere of “The Right Pocket of the Robe,” the feature directorial debut of Yiannis Lapatas, a portrait of loss and loneliness that premiered the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Opening night will take place on June 5 at the Egyptian with the North American premiere of “Meltem,” a film by another first-time feature helmer, Basile Doganis, who has previously screened several shorts at LAGFF. It stars Daphne Patakia as a woman whose life takes a new turn when she returns to her late mother’s home on Lesbos.
The West Coast premiere of French-Greek coproduction “Her Job” will close the fest on June 9. Also from a first-time director, Nikos Labot, it depicts the struggles of a 37-year-old woman who takes on her first job at the time of Greece’s economic hardships.
“Olympia,” pictured above, which traces the struggles of Dukakis as she seeks a sense of belonging between her American values and those of her immigrant parents, will screen on June 6. It was directed by Harry Charalambos Mavromichalis and written by the director and Sam Eggers. Producers include Sid Ganis, Anthoula Katsimatides, Muriel Moraes, Harry Mavromichalis, Andrew Ford and Keren Seol. In addition to Dukakis, the cast includes Lynn Cohen, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Linney, Austin Pendleton and Mimi Denissi.
“LAGFF is committed to exploring new avenues and collaborations in the world of film,” says LAGFF artistic and festival director Aristotle Katopodis. “We continue to encourage and expose new filmmakers and offer new educational programs as we embark on our 13th year.”
Katapodis notes that the fest’s slate of 47 feature films includes many first-time directors, plus “four of our main films were created by women.”
The festival has also announced a collaboration with AnimaSyros, the premier animation event in Greece and among the world’s top 20 animation festivals, which takes place on the island of Syros every September.
Other initiatives include an expanded program of The International Project Discovery Forum under the direction of Araceli Lemos; and the addition to LAGFF of an Aspiring Local Filmmakers section encompassing films that show promise for their freshness and attitude.
Featured in the Special Screenings section is the historical drama “Cliffs of Freedom,” a film by Greek-American creators set during the Greek revolution of 1821.
Keeping with tradition, the Festival includes three red carpet events, including the Orpheus Awards ceremony, a Filmmakers Reception, a brunch hosted by the Consul General of Greece, and industry panels. Dimitra Kasdagli is LAGFF’s new programming and festival manager and filmmaker liaison.
LAGFF includes narrative features, documentaries, short films and animation. This year the fest received a record 182 film submissions.
Support comes from several sources, including the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Onassis Foundation, GP Kolovos & Associates, West Coast Investors, Elios Charitable Foundation, European Languages & Films in America (ELMA), and the Los Angeles Country Arts Commission.