A new Greek film festival hits theaters in Vancouver

By inaugurating this festival, the organizers want to highlight the contribution of directors of Greek origin to film culture, while celebrating the rich history of Greek cinema and the talent of its new artisans.

We want to discover the diversity of Greek cinema and make known the new voices of the field, including those of women filmmakers says Harry Killas, Greek-Canadian filmmaker, co-founder and programmer of the festival.

A four-part program

This four-day event offers a unique and varied program, mixing classical and contemporary works. In all, seven feature films and two short films will be screened.

It was difficult to make choices. There are so many good Greek films that we would like to present to the public says Mr. Killas.

The film “Zorba the Greek” is presented at the opening of the VGFF.

Photo: Courtesy: VGFF

The four-part festival opens Thursday evening with the cult 1964 film Zorba the Greek, by director Michael Cacoyannis. This first part of the festival entitled From the Archive offers a look at forgotten classics.

Spectators will also be able to attend the Canadian premiere of Oi Apachides Ton Athinon (The Apaches of Athens)a silent film by director Dimítrios Gaziádis dating from 1930, considered lost for decades, before being found in 2016 in the archives of the Cinémathèque française.

This movie is pure bliss!says Harry Killas. It has been completely digitally restored, from the image to the soundtrack.

“Oi Apachides Ton Athinon” (1930) addresses the theme of social inequalities.

Photo: Courtesy: VGFF

The blind Celebrating Greek Authors and Artists highlights the stories of Greek artists, both in front of and behind the camera. Audiences will have the chance to watch three films by internationally renowned filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari; feature films Attenberg (2010) and Knight (2015) and the short film The Capsule (2012).

The documentary Maria by Callas by director Tom Volf will also be part of this section and will be presented by Canadian soprano Lambroula Pappas. This film is made up of archival documents that really allow you to see all the liveliness, beauty and grandeur of the character. explains Harry Killas.

“La Capsule” by Athina Rachel Tsangari is part of the VGFF program.

Photo: VGFF

The blind Contemporary Greek Cinema highlights a selection of recent works, such as the film Digger (2022) by Georgis Grigorakis, winner of 10 Greek cinema awards, including best film, as well as The distance between the sky and us by Vasilis Kekatos, a Greek-French production that won the Palme d’Or for short films at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

The Greek-French short film “The Distance between Heaven and Us” is one of nine films screened at the inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival.

Photo: VGFF

Finally, the shutter Greeks in Diaspora will close the festival on Sunday with the presentation of the autobiographical comedy Greek to Me (2019) by Harry Killas.

This last presentation will be followed by a period of discussions and questions with the Vancouver filmmaker and artist of Greek origin and co-founder of the festival, Christos Dikeakos.

A new way to celebrate Greek culture

With the establishment of this festival, the organizers hope to offer a new meeting place for the Greek community of Vancouver and all lovers of arts and culture.

We want to help expand the Greek Heritage Month celebrations beyond the festivities people are already familiar with, by offering a new event for moviegoers, and maybe even incorporate other art forms eventually.

Harry Killas invites people from all walks of life to come to the festival to experience and celebrate Hellenic culture.

We hope that people will come in large numbers, and that the event will become an annual event.

The inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival runs June 16-19, 2022, at the Cinematheque.

The Greek Heritage Month festivities will end on June 26 with the annual celebration of Greek culture on Broadway, Greek Day on Broadwayback in attendance after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

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A new Greek film festival hits theaters in Vancouver