The 15th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is celebrating the breadth and depth of Greek Cinema today. The LAGFF virtual edition will offer New Greek Cinema with curated features, shorts, documentaries, animations on a secure platform accompanied by a host of webinars, live and pre-recorded Q&A sessions. Due to COVID-19, the festival will run on-demand only for this year from May 10 to May 30th. The virtual component allows this year’s Festival to reach a global audience. With over 60 features, shorts, docs, and animated films, LAGFF 2021 is the largest online Greek Film Festival outside of Greece. LAGFF showcases new films from Greece and Cyprus and includes works by international filmmakers of Greek descent. The Festival promotes Greek cinema, cultural exchange and helps to bridge the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. Among the webinars to be announced and free of charge are a workshop pointing to a novel film set management approach with mediation professional Carina Rosanna Tāutu; a panel on how the necessity for diversity is rapidly changing the business, moderated by renowned LA-based film critic Elvis Mitchell; two panels about the new and unprecedented film production opportunities in Greece; an extended live Q&A session with the cast and crew of MAN OF GOD as well as a panel with new Greek filmmakers.
LAGFF is a non-profit organization that focuses its attention on showcasing films and filmmakers from Greece, Cyprus and the rest of the world to the US. During the last 15 years, LAGFF has screened over 520 films and hosted over 500 filmmakers supporting their films.
All festival films are either in English or with English subtitles. They are grouped in seven thematic collections:
Realities and Fictions, Festival Darlings, History and Tradition, Liquid Visions, Animation- Family, Animation – Older Kids, and Special Screenings
Film Festival Darlings Collection
|A collection of short films that won a lot of distinctions in international film festivals:
“Antivirus”, Greece, 2020, 15 min
Athens, Greece 2020. Quarantine days. Daphne, a young female jazz singer, decides to "break down" the wall that separates her from her annoying neighbour.
“BELLA”, Greece, 2020, 24 minutes, LA Premiere
Greece, late 80s, a little before the fall of State Socialism and just at the end of the Cold War. In front of Anthi’s eyes, the country is changing, the world is changing and with them, Christos seems to be changing too.
“Draw With Me, USA”, 2020, 25 min, North American Premiere
The coming out journey of Brendon Scholl, a youth who identifies as Trans, and about how art became their outlet for self-expression.
“The End Of Suffering (A Proposal)”, Greece, 2020, 14 min
Sofia is panicky, again. The Universe decides to contact her in an other-wordly dialogue. A planet symphony for Mars, where people dream while awake and fight for love.
“Escaping The Fragile Planet”, Greece, 2020, 17 min, LA Premiere
A boy-meets-boy tale, a few hours before the world ends.
“Madonna F64.0”, Greece, 2020, 17 min, LA Premiere
While Maria’s body starts healing, a deeply hidden desire of hers surfaces.
“Melatonin”, Greece, 2020, 13 min, US Premiere
A small love story about electronic music and sleep disorders.
Realities and Fictions collection consists of twelve films among which:
“Daniel ‘16” (feature), Greece, 2020, 101 min, US Premiere
In a remote village near the Greek border with Turkey, Daniel, a German juvenile offender, experiences unprecedented emotions and has to solve difficult dilemmas... His final decision will surprise everyone.
“Digger” (feature), Greece/France, 2020, 101 min, LA Premiere
A farmer’s young son returns after a twenty-year separation. Father and son confront each other head-on, with nature as their only observer, a showdown that ultimately yields an unexpected redemption for both.
“Green Sea” (feature), Greece/Germany, 2020, 95 min, US Premiere
In the kitchen, amidst the scents of spices and old, forgotten recipes, Anna struggles to reconstruct her past. Her simple but delicious food awakens memories for the regulars who in turn help her to reconnect with herself.
“Kala Azar” (feature), Greece/Netherlands, 2020, 91 min, LA Premiere
A young couple’s job routine of collecting and cremating roadkill is challenged when they cause an accident themselves.
“The Man With The Answers” (feature), Cyprus/Greece/Italy, 2020, 80 min, LA Premiere
On the way to Germany, Victor and Matthias find common emotional ground as their summer road trip takes unexpected turns. A tender story of self-discovery, love and family, in its many forms.
”Pari” (feature), Greece/France/Netherlands/Bulgaria, 2020, 111 min, LA Premiere
Pari’s search for her son will follow his rebellious footsteps, taking her on a journey from the darkest corners of Athens and the hidden depths of her soul to her ultimate freedom.
History and Tradition collection consists of sixteen documentaries and features including:
“Amalgamation” (doc), Cyprus, 2020, 19 min
A soulful portrait of a female choir revisiting traditional songs in a contemporary way, bridging past and present, with a strong voice and a deep sense of community and friendship.
“Heroes Of Salonika” (doc), Greece/Israel, 2020, 69 min, North American Premiere
A moving and monumental story that sheds light on the practically unknown destruction that befell Jews in the Greek city of Thessaloniki during the Holocaust.
“The Journey Of Askavlos” (doc), Greece/Germany, 2020, 88 mins, World Premiere
The ancient Greek bagpipe is being assimilated into the contemporary music scene and is integrating with modern sounds, beyond the realm of traditional festivals, thereby gaining a younger audience and enjoying great resonance around Greece and worldwide.
“KE*HA*’JAS - Man Of The Land” (doc), Greece, 2020, 62 min, World Premiere
Memories, oblivions, silences, and identities help to illuminate the rural, economic, and social history of the Aegean island of Lemnos.
“Markos” (doc), Greece/Serbia/Italy, 2020, 93 min, LA Premiere
Α company of musicians travel to the Greek island of Syros, the birthplace of legendary folk musician Markos Vamvakaris, where they are invited to perform in homage to his work.
“Once Upon A River” (feature), USA, 2019, 90 min
It's 1978 and Margo Crane, a 15-year-old part Native teen, must take to the Stark River on an odyssey. Akin to Huck Finn, this is a heroine like no other. Based on the best selling novel ONCE UPON A RIVER by Bonnie Jo Campbell.
“Persephone” (feature), Greece, 2020, 88 min, North American Premiere
The Greek myth of the abduction of Persephone comes alive before the eyes of a Japanese group in an Athenian hostel.
“Spiros and the Circle of Death” (doc), Greece/Belgium, 2020, 56 min
A human portrait of an old-school lover of speed and risk in a rapidly changing world.
Liquid Visions consists of nine short films among which multi-awarded “Goads” (2020) by Iris Baglanea.
Special Screenings collection includes “Tailor” by Sonia Liza Kenterman.
Read also: LAGFF Director Aris Katopodis on Modern Greek Cinema and the adventures of Going Online