San Francisco Greek Film Festival Presents 24 Independent Films at 15th Annual Film Festival Oct. 12-20, 2018
The San Francisco Greek Film Festival celebrates its 15th year presenting 24 feature-length films and shorts by Greek and Cypriot filmmakers from around the world. From October 12-20, 2018, screenings run nightly at 7 p.m. at venues around San Francisco. All movies will have English subtitles. Manoussos Manoussakis, one of Greece’s preeminent filmmakers, will serve as this year’s artist-in-residence, facilitating Q&As, giving lectures, and providing context for the films throughout the week. The San Francisco Greek Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the United States to feature contemporary Greek and Cypriot cinema.
Opening night will take place at Lucasfilm’s Premier Theater at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio on Friday, Oct. 12. The evening includes a screening of THE LAST NOTE by Greek film master Pantelis Voulgaris about the execution of Greek resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation of WWII.
Closing night on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Dolby Cinema, the festival is pleased to present the first-ever Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award to Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos. The award was created and sponsored by Tom Skouras, festival Advisory Board member and nephew of the late Skouras, to honor outstanding film industry professionals of Greek descent. The award’s namesake, Spyros Skouras, was a giant in the movie industry, an international cultural ambassador, and a humanitarian. At the helm of Twentieth Century Fox (1942-1962), he introduced widescreen movies with the CinemaScope lens, reinvigorating the movie-going experience in the advent of television. He also led the Greek War Relief Association during WWII, lifting a British naval blockade so that food and medicine could make it to a starving, war-torn nation. Skouras is considered one of the most prominent Americans of Greek descent.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. // Premier Theater, Lucasfilm, Letterman Digital Arts Center, Presidio // 1 Letterman Drive, San Francisco // Opening night and screening of THE LAST NOTE.
Oct. 13-19 at 7 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Nightly film screenings by Greek and Cypriot directors. Each evening features two shorts and one feature-length film. Special guests will include filmmakers, cast and crew from several of the films. Full schedule below.
Saturday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. // Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market // Dolby Laboratories, 1275 Market Street, San Francisco // Closing night reception in the atrium. The Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jim Gianopulos. Screening of Polyxeni, to follow at 7 p.m. with director Dora Masklavanou expected to be in attendance to conduct a Q&A.
BONUS: Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Back by popular demand, the festival presents a special screening of Cloudy Sunday, a tale of two star-crossed lovers against the backdrop of German-occupied Thessaloniki. Director Manoussos Manoussakis is expected to attend this screening.
Tickets are available at grfilm.com and at the door. Single tickets are $15-40; weekly passes $150; $10 student tickets available on select nights with valid ID.
The San Francisco Greek Film Festival is a program of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation and proceeds benefit the educational initiatives and cultural presentations of the Foundation. The SFGFF is the longest-running film festival in the U.S. showcasing contemporary Greek and Cypriot films. The festival’s Advisory Board includes a roster of leading film industry pros including: Mario Diaz, Sid Ganis, Christina Kounelias, Peter Poulos, Tom Skouras and Todd Traina.
Screeners of all films can be made available upon request. Film festival directors and artist-in-residence Manoussos Manoussakis are available for interview. To attend a screening or to request an interview or screener, please contact Ellie Falaris Ganelin at 415-610-4717 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Press packet can be downloaded here
* SCHEDULE *
Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. // Opening Night at Premier Theater, Lucasfilm, Letterman Digital Arts Center // 1 Letterman Drive, San Francisco // Tickets: $20
THE LAST NOTE
Greece, 2017, 117 min
Directed by Pantelis Voulgaris
Four years after the success of award-winning Little England (Μικρά Αγγλία), director Pantelis Voulgaris returns to the big screen with The Last Note. In his new film, Voulgaris deals with one of the most important chapters of modern Greek history: the execution of 200 Greek resistance fighters by the German occupiers on May 1st, 1944 in Kaisariani, as reprisal for the Greek Resistance ambush against the Nazis.
* 2018 Hellenic Film Academy – Iris Award for Makeup, Sound, Costumes, Best Actor
Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Cyprus, 2017, 13min35
Directed by Myrsini Aristidou
Athens, today. Seventeen-year-old Aria, who is working at Jimmy’s local kebab place is waiting for a driving lesson with her father. When he finally arrives, it is not to go for a drive. Instead, he entrusts in her the care of a young Chinese immigrant who speaks neither Greek nor English.
* 2018 Sundance Film Festival
* 2017 Venice International Film Festival
Cyprus, 2018, 8min55
Directed by Emilios Avraam
When Leonidas pursues a home renovation contract from wealthy homeowner Martha, he quickly comes to find that his potential new client is very insistent that everything must be done her way.
Producer Ioannis Hansen is expected to attend this screening.
France, 2017, 1h37
Directed by Tony Gatlif
Djam, a young Greek woman, is sent to Istanbul by her uncle Kakourgos, a former sailor and passionate fan of Rebetiko, on a mission to find a rare engine part for their boat. There she meets 19-year-old Avril, who came from France to volunteer with refugees, ran out of money, and knows no one in Turkey. Generous, sassy, unpredictable and free, Djam takes Avril under her wing on the way to Mytilene — a journey full of music, new encounters, friendship and hope.
*2017 Cannes Film Festival
Sunday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Greece, 2017, 16min15
Directed by Dimitris Nakos
Tassos, a man in his 50s with a career in the corporate world, has been unemployed for three years now. Too old for a new beginning, but also too young to retire. His closest relationships are being tested, and his psychological state is questionable. His number-one goal: to get out of the “freezer.”
*2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Silver Dionysus Award and Best Script
THE GROCERY STORE
Greece, 2017, 13min21
Directed by Michalis Mathioudakis
Achilles works at his father’s grocery store, still living with his parents. Today, a day just like any other, he has one more problem: he has the evil eye. Mrs. Voula will need Achilles’ help carrying the groceries. On the way to her kitchen, Achilles comes face-to-face with his two problems and will try to solve them both.
Actress Fotini Baxevani is expected to attend this screening.
Greece, 2017, 1h22
Directed by Lefteris Charitos
DOLPHIN MAN tells the real-life story of Jacques Mayol, the greatest free-diver in recorded history, whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson’s cult-movie Le Grand Bleu. The documentary draws us into Mayol’s world, capturing his compelling journey, while immersing viewers into the sensory and transformative experience of the sea. Mayol was the first diver to reach 100 meters below the sea, revolutionizing freediving and promoting an urgent vision of our need to reconnect with nature.
* 2018 Hellenic Film Academy – Iris Award for First Time Director, Best Documentary
Director of Photography Stelios Apostolopoulos is expected to attend this screening.
Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Greece, 2017, 19min
Directed by Faidon Gkretsikos
During the World Cup, 11-year old Boyko will do anything to obtain “Brazuca,” the Official World Cup ball, to get out of always being the goalkeeper in matches with his friends.
* 2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Special Jury Mention
MUM, I’M BACK
Greece, 2017, 4min40
Directed by Dimitris Katsimiris
A woman returns after 40 years to the village of her birthplace. The cause is the death of her mother. She keeps an old photograph in her hands: a mother with her two sons. Arriving at the cemetery, she encounters the faces of all those she left behind.
Cyprus, 2017, 1h52
Directed by Adonis Florides
A burned-out soap opera writer, under pressure to deliver new episodes, turns his gaze upon his dysfunctional neighbors. Transforming their tragic everyday encounters into a lighthearted serial, he gets more than the inspiration he bargained for.
*2017 Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Greek Film Critics Association Award
Tuesday, Oct. 16 // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Greece, 2018, 20min
Directed by Ioannis Monastiropoulos
An ambitious reporter follows a dark path towards success. Unbeknownst to her, this path leads her to a life-changing confrontation with her grandmother. As told through the eyes of these women who have served and nurtured the system, Anchorwoman explores the mass media system and how it affects our lives.
Greece, 2017, 23min16
Directed by Giannis Haritidis
In a few days, Minas is going to participate in a TV show called “Talent of the Year.” A TV crew follows him through his everyday life interviewing him and his closest people, until the big day of the show. Minas must win to fulfill his dream. What is his talent? He is a cowboy. In Athens.
* 2017 Athens International Film Festival – Best Male Actor in Short Film
THE BULLET WITHIN
Cyprus, 2018, 1h2
Directed by Petros Charalambous
A 35-year-old son buries his 27-year-old father. This true story about Andreas takes place the day before his wedding in today’s divided Cyprus. He struggles with the absence of his father, missing since the war — but his father might be closer than he thinks.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Greece, 2017, 17min12
Directed by Christos Sagias
Michalis, unable to accept his wife’s loss, cooks every day and places two dishes on the table, trying to keep her memory alive. Despite efforts by his friend Vassilis, he remains locked in the house, only with his cooking routine. One day, life catches up with him in the most unexpected way.
* 2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Best Actor
Greece, 2017, 12min
Directed by Chrysanthi Karfi Koi
A middle-class Greek family meets for the usual Sunday meal. Among various conversations about the food, the weather and everyday gossip, family members start behaving violently but nobody seems to notice.
* 2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Best Student Film
Greece, 2018, 1h34
Directed by Tassos Boulmetis
April 4th, 1968. The Kallimarmaro Stadium is abuzz, with thousands of people gathered and millions listening through their radios. The AEK vs. SLAVIA of Prague basketball game has just begun. A girl in love is dreaming of her wedding day, while the future husband becomes more desperate with every Greek ball going through the hoop. An elderly husband and wife remember the home they left behind. A young communist prisoner cheers from his jail cell and a PROPO betting shop becomes the place where old and new wounds resurface. Years before this night, three Constantinopolitans decided to create an athletic union that will tell their story. At the end of this night, Greek history will have changed forever.
Thursday, Oct. 18 // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
USA, 2017, 19min35
Directed by William Kioultzopoulos
Cole is a fry-cook at a greasy burger joint who finds himself stuck at work late into the night. Across town, Jim and his employee Billy finish wrapping up an under-the-table gig when their van is hijacked by a masked robber.
Director William Kioultzopoulos is expected to attend this screening.
USA, 2017, 15min45
Directed by Artemis Anastasiadou
Valeria, a Mexican-American seamstress and mother of a mentally challenged man is sexually assaulted one night by her employer. The film explores the next few hours after the event and the struggles of Valeria to take care of her son till she makes the final call.
*2017 Austin Film Society Grant Recipient
Greece, 2016, 1h27
Directed by Clio Fanouraki
When Johnny suddenly loses his job as a hotel manager amid Greece’s economic crisis, his response is to retreat into his own cave. Coaxed out by his wife and children, and carried away throughout Crete by circumstance and fellow travelers, Johnny finds himself in unfamiliar, unpredictable and often invigorating experiences, bringing him face to face with his own willpower and with all the things that surround us that we’ve stopped being able to see.
Friday, Oct. 19 // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $15, Student tickets: $10
Greece, 2017, 16min
Directed by Despoina Kourti
Ourania is a middle-aged woman who has neglected herself. An unknown young man who suddenly appears in her life will help her rediscover her feminine nature.
* 2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Best Female Director, Actress in a Leading Role, Greek Film Center Award, Best Movie Award from the Greek Association of Film Critics.
Actress Fotini Baxevani is expected to attend this screening.
Greece, 2017, 17min
Directed by Haris Stathopoulos
We follow the course of a public transportation ticket as it passes from hand to hand. Each person that holds the ticket carries his own story and set of problems: a tale of the Greek crisis.
* 2017 Drama Short Film Festival – Best Sound and Best Film by the Organization of Greek Cinema Clubs
Greece, 2017, 1h35
Directed by Andreas Morfonios
A redemptive story full of humor and love for life, Akis and Timos are two siblings who were close during their childhood but ended up growing apart. They are the main heroes of a film that explains the sweeping power of life and the sibling love that overcomes all misunderstandings of the past.
Saturday, Oct. 20 // 5:30 p.m. Reception, 7 p.m. Screening // Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market // Dolby Laboratories, 1275 Market Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $40
Join us before the screening for a reception in the atrium. The festival is pleased to present the first-ever Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award to Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos. The award was created to honor outstanding film industry professionals of Greek descent.
Greece, 2017, 14min21
Directed by Yorgos Angelopoulos
A young boy thinks his new goldfish is gay, much to the horror of his conservative father.
* 2017 Olympia International Film Festival – Best Short Film (Children’s Jury)
* 2018 BFI Flare
Greece, 2017, 1h40
Directed by Dora Masklavanou
In 1955 a couple of prominent Greek Istanbulites adopt an orphan Greek girl from the town of their origin. They offer her a powerful family name and ensure her devotion. Twelve-year-old Polyxeni is separated from her younger brother. She embarks on a new life and a future that looks bright. She receives an education, comes of age and falls in love. She has a lust for life, while unsuspicious of the devious plan of annihilation that others are weaving behind her back, targeting her large inheritance.
* 2018 Hellenic Film Academy – Iris Award for Cinematography, Original Music, Best Actress, Supporting Actress
* 2017 Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Youth Award for Best Film
Director Dora Masklavanou is expected to attend this screening.
BONUS: Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. // Delancey Street Screening Room // 600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco // Tickets: $20
Greece, 2015, 1h56
Directed by Manoussos Manoussakis
Back by popular demand, the festival presents a special screening of Cloudy Sunday. During the tumultuous 1943, against the backdrop of a German-occupied Thessaloniki, two star-crossed lovers struggle to surmount prejudice and fear, as the brutalities against the town’s persecuted Jewish community escalate.
* 2016 Hellenic Film Academy – Iris Award for Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup
Director Manoussos Manoussakis is expected to attend this screening. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Studies Department at San Francisco State University.