Monday, June 6, 2011

Los Angeles Greek Film Festival: June 9-June 12

The fifth annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is set to take place from June 9 through June 12, and it promises a weekend of innovative, enlightening films by Greek filmmakers from all over the world. The goal of the film festival is to showcase new films by Greek filmmakers and promote the preservation of Greek culture. Winners of the festival receive Orpheus awards in three categories: dramatic, documentary, and short films. Acclaimed filmmakers from the LAGFF go on to receive awards and praise at such prestigious film festivals as Cannes, Venice, and Sundance.

This year's festival will feature films such as Pyramids of Athens by Yolanda Markopoulou and A Woman's Way by Panos Koutras, but the favorite film seems to be Knifer by Yannis Economides. Knifer was the winner of several Greek Academy Awards in May, and the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival will host its U.S. premier.

For tickets and more information, please visit:

Greek National Soccer Team to Play in New York

On Tuesday, June 7, fans will witness an event never before seen at New York's Citi Field: a soccer match. Citi Field, the home stadium of the New York Mets, will host the much-anticipated match between the national soccer teams of Greece and Ecuador. Many Greeks are expected to come out to cheer on their nation's team, especially since Citi Field is located so close to Astoria - the area which contains the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece.

Michael Gianaris, State Senator of New York, was named honorary captain for the team and was presented with a team jersey. Greece's national team is currently ranked 12th in the world.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This month's film in the Panorama of Greek Cinema series at the Avalon Theater, Peppermint, was the winner of the 1999 Thessaloniki Film Festival, as well as numerous other awards. On Wednesday, June 1 at 8:00pm, Greek film enthusiasts have the opportunity to see this acclaimed film by director Kostas Kapakas at the Avalon Theater in Washington D.C.

A forty-five year old visits his dying mother. The memories, smells, and flavors of the innocent years of childhood and adolescence are awakened. The ’60s decade is revisited and retrospectively reappraised. There’s a feeling of nostalgia for relationships in the family, erotic, social, and political milieus; nostalgia for smells and flavors; nostalgia for another life that seems so distant but also so indelible. Peppermint is a ‘vintage’ liqueur. It’s a moving comedy about childhood memories filtered through the passage of time.

Kostas Kapakas attempts to reconstruct that era, in a simple manner and on the strength of authentic experience, through the child’s perspective: an innocent perspective of good and evil, at a time when Greece strove to find its feet after the odyssey of wars. The child – the focal point – filters events and sets them at a distance, lending them the texture that only a child is capable of, that of innocence and playfulness. The adults around him seem like the protagonists of a lengthy theatrical play.

With professional adeptness, a well-tuned pace, narrative density, aesthetic simplicity, and without excesses and loud emphases, Kapakas presents a nostalgic film by simply opening the door to a child’s soul. The well-wrought characters, honestly presented, and the delicate deliveries create a world that’s familiar and identifiable. The film is alternately humorous and moving in appropriate measures, which creates a bittersweet backdrop.