Some have been around for a few years, some for a quarter of a century or more, presenting Greek cinema abroad, bringing Greek communities together, serving as bridges between cultures and people, Greek films and foreign distributors. Take a quick look at the Greek Film Festivals of the Diaspora.
Greek Film Festival – Australia
Founded in 1988, the Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival in Australia has now been running for over a quarter of a century, bringing Greek films to cinema lovers in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne – the latter boasting the largest Greek population of any city in the world outside of Greece. Australia’s Greek Film Festival runs for almost three weeks each October. Organisers are also very much focused on engaging with non-Greek Australians, sharing not only cinema treats, but Greek culture and food, along with Q & A sessions following screenings.
San Fransisco Greek Film Festival
Established in 2004, the San Francisco Greek Film Festival is sponsored by the Modern Greek Studies Foundation and all proceeds benefit the educational initiatives of the Center for Modern Greek Studies and the Nikos Kazantzakis Chair at San Francisco State University. In its fourteenth edition the Festival showcased 27 feature films and shorts. Eligible films for the San Francisco Greek Film Festival include works of all categories by Greek/Cypriot filmmakers and filmmakers of Greek/Cypriot descent around the world; films about Greece; Greek/Cypriot productions or co-productions; films by Greek/Cypriot directors, screenwriters and producers; and films by actors in starring roles, co-directors, co-writers and co-producers. The San Francisco Greek Film Festival introduced the Astron Awards in 2012 to honor and encourage achievements in Greek filmmaking and to enhance the movie going experience. The audience votes for the best movie in the feature length films and shorts categories.
New York City Greek Film Festival
The eleventh annual New York City Greek Film Festival screenings (September, 28 – October, 15) were attended by 6,000 people. Its mission is to establish a presence for Greek films in New York City and the NY greater area. The festival aspires to bring the best work of Greek filmmakers, past and present, to New York and to show them in the most up-to-date facilities. It is presented by the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) in conjunction with the Hellenic American Cultural Foundation (HACF) and funded by supporters. The NYC Greek Film Festival is made possible by support from the Onassis Foundation USA.
Los Angeles Greek Film Festival
Launched in 2007, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival showcases new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide and seeks to promote and facilitate co-productions between Greek and US Production Companies. LAGFF’s fundamental purpose of existence is to raise awareness of contemporary Greek culture in Los Angeles and Southern California, while bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. The Orpheus Awards, voted by the jury, are awarded to the most outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film categories. Past festival participants include award-winning directors and filmmakers such as Alexander Payne, Penelope Spheeris, Phedon Papamichael and Olympia Dukakis. Studio executives such as Jim Gianopulos (Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman) and Kary Antholis (President, HBO Films) serve on LAGFF’s Advisory Board.
Greek Film Week Munich
The Greek Film Week Munich is the oldest continuous Greek cultural event of its kind in Germany. Initiated by a Greek student who loved films and organized by the Greek Film Forum Munich, since 1987, it has been an integral part of Munich’s cultural life. The Greek Film Week shows 15 to 20 feature and short films by Greek filmmakers as part of the inter-European cultural exchange. The screenings, in which directors and contributors are invited each year to discussions, take place in the Gasteig lecture hall of the library. The organizers of the Greek Film Week Munich are the Greek Film Forum Munich e.V., member of the Filmstadt München association, and the Munich City Library. The film series is sponsored by the Cultural Department of the City of Munich.
Edinburgh Greek Film Festival
The Edinburgh Greek Film Festivalwas launched in 2001 and has offered audiences at Edinburgh Filmhouse a comprehensive account of Greek Cinema highlights and new developments. The festival aimed to reach and consolidate the core of Scottish Philhellenism evident in the strong tradition of Classical Studies and the network of Scottish Hellenic Societies as well as to appeal to the general audience of cinema-goers interested in exploring the film culture of a European neighbour. The festival has developed into an authentically Scottish-Greek experience and is now run by the Edinburgh Greek Festival Trust, a recognised charity. The 2017 festival edition took place December, 1-6.
London Greek Film Festival
The programme of screenings of the the 10th annual London Greek Film Festival 2017 (14 to 20 May) included 12 feature fiction films, 31 short fiction films, 32 documentaries and 18 video art and experimental films. The London Greek Film Festival aims to be an international meeting point for Greek films from around the world and a crossroads between East and West for Greek filmmaking, introducing contemporary Greek cinema to an international audience. The “Odysseus Awards”, as voted by the jury, are awarded to the best films by category and to best actors, screenwriters and filmmakers. There is also a special screenplay contest section. The 11th London Greek Film Festival will take place from 7 to 12 May 2018.
Beirut Greek Film Festival
Beirut Greek Film Festival is a non-profit cultural event founded in 2008, organized by the league of Lebanese Graduates from Greek Universities (LLGGU) and placed under the patronage of the Lebanese Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of Greece in Beirut, with the support and collaboration of the Greek Film Center and the Greek Community of Beirut. The initiative which started as an effort to bring the Lebanese public closer to Greek contemporary cinema, has developed to become a cultural platform for Greek cinema in Lebanon, thus contributing to enhance the cultural bonds and exchanges between the two countries.In this year’s tenth edition the Beirut Greek Film Festivallaunched its first short film competition.
Montreal Greek Film Festival
The Montreal Greek Film Festival (MGFF) was founded in 2009 as a platform for Greek film directors, producers, screen writers and actors to showcase their work in Montreal. In its first 4 years of existence, the Greek community as well as the Greater Montreal community at large developed an interest in Greek foreign films, and the festival rapidly grew in size and popularity. In association with New York City Greek Film Festival, the Montreal Greek Film Festival took place in 2017 under the auspices of the Hellenic Republic and in partnership with the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal (HCGM).
New Kids on the Block
Dublin Greek Film Festival
The aim of the Festival is to promote Greek culture through a variety of films and events and highlight the links between Ireland and Greece. The third Dublin Greek Film Festival (19-22 October) presented features, documentaries and short films by both internationally established directors and emerging filmmakers along with special events in top cultural venues of Dublin.
Hellas Filmbox Berlin Festival
Hellas Filmbox Berlin was established in 2015 as an opening for constructive dialogue between Greece and Germany and an affirmative artistic response to the wave of negative coverage of Greek news in Germany. The festival programme for 2017 consisted of 56 films (fiction, documentary, short and feature) as well as a rich programme of side events, competitions, tributes and special screenings. The 2018 edition will take place January 24-28 with the main objective to highlight the current, highly artistic Greek film scene and present it to the German audience, while a warm-up event ahead of the festival is taling place January 1-17.2018 with the projection of 30 Greek films.
Mostra de Cinema Grego (São Paulo)
The second Greek Film Festival was organized by the Consulate General of Greece in São Paulo October 6 to 16, 2017, featuring ten films from the collection of the Greek Film Archive directed by renowned Greek directors that dated back to the 20s and the 2000s onwards.
Read more via Greek News Agenda: London Greek Film Festival 2017: independent, creative and optimistic, Hellas Filmbox Berlin Festival: Cinema as a Bridge.
See also: Greek Film Festivals Abroad by Greek Film Centre.