The Modern Greek Studies program
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
in collaboration with the FilmHellenes
Urbana-Champaign (18 February 2013) – Modern Greek Studies Program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the FilmHellenes in Chicago announced today the lineup and schedule for the 2nd Annual Greek Film Festival in Champaign, to take place March 9 – 10, 2012. The event comes almost a year after the very successful First Greek Festival in Champaign, March 2-3 2012, and has attracted wide support across the University campus, the wider community in Champaign and the Greek community of Illinois and US Mid-west. This is well reflected on the wide range of sponsors who support the event and include various and diverse academic units across campus, student organizations, the private sector and many others. The Festival will feature contemporary, juried-selected films (feature-length, documentaries, shorts and student films) from Hellenic filmmakers worldwide. The two-day event will include screenings of 12 films at the Art Theater in Champaign (Downtown). The films were selected by a committee appointed by the Modern Greek Studies Program and were screened in the second Annual Film Festival in Chicago, October, 4-8 2012.
The festival will open on Saturday March 9 at 11:15am with short welcome introductions by Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of the Modern Greek Studies Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a founding member and Chair of the Film Hellenes Mr. Nikos Franghias, followed by three short films, The Visit, Foreigner and Playing with the Shadows.
FISH N’ CHIPS, directed by Elias Demetriou who won the Best First Time Director Award at the 2012 Hellenic Film Academy Awards in Athens, Greece. The film follows a hard-working Cypriot immigrant in London who decides to move back to Cyprus to open his very own chip shop – but his dream turns into a nightmare when he realizes that Cyprus isn’t London. FISH N’ CHIPS received a special presentation also at the Gene Siskel Film Center by the Film Festival in Chicago on Wednesday, October 10th 2012. After these short films, Kisses to the Children, a strong documentary about the five Jewish children saved by Christians during the Nazi occupation in Greece, will be screened. PARADISE features four interlocking stories about relationships set against the Patras Mardi Gras On Sunday March 10th, the second day of the event, will film screening will start at 13:30PM with the film WELCOME TO ALL SAINTS, which will explore the absurd world of work in the Greek public sector through the eyes of a medical intern at “All Saints” Hospital. The Festival will close with the film SUPER DEMETRIOS, a superhero in a journalist for the Golden Jerusalem magazine who fights for truth, justice and the ‘Greco-Christian’ ideal.
These films along with other documentaries and excelelnt student films and shorts will be shown throughout the two-day festival. All non-English language films include English subtitles. For more details on the program, summary of he films to be shown, sponsors, etc, please browse this webpage
On behalf of he Organizers,
Dr. Stefanos Katsikas
Director of the Modern Greek Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Mr. Nikos Franghias,
Founding member and Chair of the Film Hellenes at Chicago
Greece, 2012, 24 min
Writer/Director: Stella Alisanoglou
Musician Vangelis Papageorgiou, along with a friend, visits his 98 years old grandmother. The old lady has been painting leaves in a special way all of her life. During the visit she narrates stories of the past while painting. Her memories unfold aspects of her life during the World War II and the Civil War in Greece.
US, 2011, 16 min, Chicago Premiere
Writer/Director: Alethea Avramis
A remote Greek village must increase its population by one person in order to avoid their public services being cut off by the prefecture. When an Englishman ‘stumbles’ into town, the Mayor rallies the distrustful villagers to overcome their pride and prejudices and welcome the outsider as their savior. The villagers in doing so discover a new way of life.
Cannes Film Festival 2012, Short Film Corner
PLAYING WITH SHADOWS (TA KOLITIRIA)
Greece, 2012, 52 min
Directors: Agnes Sklavos, Stelios Tatakis
Is the Karaghiozi shadow theater dying art? No, according to Athanasiou family. Costas, Yannis, Argyris and Eleni Athanasiou experienced the magic of the shadow theater at performances by Yorgos Haridimos one of Greece's legendary shadow theater players. And they did not remain mere spectators. They gradually ventured behind the curtain, first as assistants, holding the figures of the Kolitiria (Karaghiozi's collective name for his three children), until they were finally able to ‘embody’ their childhood heroes. The shadow theater is not just a job for them; it's a way of life. The passion and dedication of these people to their childhood love is keeping a Greek tradition alive.
KISSES TO THE CHILDREN
Greece, 2011, 115 min, US Premiere
Writer/Director: Vassilis Loules
Introducing our new outreach initiative: Cinergies
Greek Film Fest Chicago! welcomes the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece
Five Greek-Jewish children saved by Christians in German occupied Greece. Childhood was their Garden of Eden, even though they spent it in hiding - even though they lost it in the shadow of the Holocaust.
Awards: Audience Award and Best Director Award of the International Jury at the AGON, International Meeting of Archeological Film 2012. Best Direction, 2nd Best Documentary, Best Music at the Halkida Greek Documentary Festival 2011. Best Feature Length Documentary Award of the International Jury and Best Feature Length Documentary Award of the Children’s Jury at the Olympia International Film Festival for Children & Young people 2011.
The film is produced with the collaboration of The Jewish Museum of Greece and the support of the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation, Greece, the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, Greece, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the American Sephardi Federation, the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece, the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research (I.T.F.)
Greece/France, 2010, 56 min, Chicago Premiere Writer/Director: Nikos Dayandas
Happily married to a handsome Greek sailor in the island of Crete, Sayome hears news of her mother’s death and returns to Japan to reunite with her estranged family after 35 years.
Awards: Awards: URTI Grand Prix for Author’s Documentary, Monte Carlo International TV Festival. International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award, 2012 Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival. Orpheus Award for Best Documentary and Audience award at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival 2012.
Greece, 2011, 105 min, Chicago Premiere
Writer/Director: Panagiotis Fafoutis
Adam and Eve, exotic birds, creepy crawly snakes and juicy red apples dancing to samba and techno: four interlocking stories about people desperately trying to rescue or escape their relationships during the Patras Mardi Gras’ intoxicating atmosphere. Marianna secretly returns from Britain to surprise her boyfriend, only to find out she is the one to be surprised; Eugenia hesitates to tell her daughter about her relationship with a much younger man when she realizes her daughter is secretly infatuated with him; Nikos is using the carnival as an excuse to confess his love to his unsuspecting boss; Ilias, in middle-age-crisis, does whatever it takes trying to make his cavorting wife come home.
FISH N’ CHIPS
Cyprus/Greece, 2011, 102 min, Chicago Premiere
Writer/Director: Elias Demetriou
Andy, a hard-working Cypriot immigrant in London who deep-fries his way into oblivion, decides to return to Cyprus. Having slaved away his entire life, he finally opens his very own chip shop. But his dream turns into a nightmare, as he seems to have overlooked a small detail: Cyprus just isn’t London!
Awards: Best first time director at the 2012 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, Audience Award and Best actor at the 2012 Cyprus Film Days, Best script at the 2nd Corinthian Film Festival.
Greece, 2011, 77 min, Chicago Premiere
Writer/Director/Producer: Stelios Kammitsis
It’s August in Athens. Three friends during their last night before they leave for Berlin and a new life, come face to face with unpredictable events that reveal aspects of their characters, which they have kept hidden from each other.
WELCOME TO ALL SAINTS
Greece, 2011, 88 min
Writer/Director: Sotiris Goritsas
A young medical intern begins his career at the “All Saints” Hospital. It is here that he discovers that everyone who works in the Greek public sector is part of an absurd tragicomedy. He finds out how a system, designed for the well-being of everyone, has become an insane instrument of torture that grinds people down, whether they’re a saint or not.
THE OTHER TOWN
Turkey 2011, 45 min, US Premiere
Director: Nefin Dinç
Why do neighbors fight? Why do the world’s ethnic or religious groups experience mutual hatred and suspicion? The documentary explores the negative feelings of Greek town, Dimitsana, and a Turkish town, Birgi, towards the “Other.” Bitter sentiments and prejudices are widespread in both societies. Locals of all ages are caught in a web of stereotypes that impedes bilateral relationships between Turkey and Greece. Similar situations exist in many other societies around the world.
“The Other Town” examines the key issues of why peace is sometimes so difficult to achieve, and why hate is constantly reproduced in public life. While visiting the two towns and talking with the inhabitants during the span of a year, the documentary’s makers come to understand that bad relations between the nations exist not so much due to the turbulent past, but due to contemporary nationalistic mentalities and education.
Greece, 2011, 59 min, US Premiere
Writer/Director: Menelaos Karamaghiolis
Αll the way from Astoria N.Y., Theodoros Kolokotronis, a second-generation Greek-American, returns to Greece, seeking the historical traces of his name-sake, the glorious General of the Greek War of Independence (1821). This search becomes a concise guide to the multi-faceted identity of the Greeks: ancient symbols that have survived or are being revived, proud descendants of the 1821 heroes, students’ parades and pageants, paint a vivid picture of the contradictions of modern Greece, a country that copes with a huge crisis, armed with her memories.
SUPER DEMETRIOS Greece, 2011, 109 min, Chicago Premiere Director: Georgios Papaioannou
In a surreal, parallel Universe, Thessaloniki has its very own superhero: Super Demetrius. Posing as Dimitris Christoforides, journalist for the Golden Jerusalem magazine, he fights for truth, justice and the ‘Greco-Christian’ ideal!
Award: Audience Award at the 52th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.