Discover the Best of Greek Cinema in NYC at the 2017 New York City Greek Film Festival :: September 28-October 15
The New York City Greek Film Festival returns for its 11th year on September 28. The festival takes place through October 15th at various places around NYC. The festival’s self-proclaimed mission is “to establish a presence for Greek films in New York City and environs. The festival aspires to bring the best work of Greek filmmakers, past and present, to New York and to show the films in the most up-to-date screening facilities.”
The festival feels more highly anticipated than usual, given the mounting international buzz surrounding Greek cinema. This past year, three Greeks were nominated for Academy Awards. Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark, absurdist film The Lobster (Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay) received widespread critical acclaim, including a nomination for the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, the highest possible prize at Cannes.
The organizers’ words echo this observed evolution in Greek film, one which also provides a nuanced look at the effects the economic crisis has on Greece’s creative community. Director Jimmy DeMetro says “Selecting films is always a challenging process, but this year was even more difficult.” Ultimately, the festival will feature fewer selections than usual with a focus on showcasing the highest quality films. According to DeMetro, “This year’s films are exceptionally strong and varied in their subject matter. We’ve even managed to find a comedy or two, a very difficult thing to do since Greek filmmakers, still suffering from the economic crisis, are not necessarily in a laughing mood.”
Aside from Greece’s EU and economic woes, the country has become something a press darling thanks to its hosting of refugees and a boom in tourism. The New York Times just shared a video on Athens that’s hitting social media heavy, and “the Greek islands” won Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Award for best islands this past month. Will all of this media buzz about Greece bleed into its films? Perhaps the festival will tell.
One thing is for certain, it feels like now more than ever, one need not be Greek to have an interest in the festival!
There will be 16 films shown, total, several of which have multiple screenings. The selection is wide-ranging, from the little-seen 60s film Phaedra, starring Greece’s darling Melina Mercouri, to the fast-moving comedy Perfect Strangers (an adaptation of an Italian film). I’m particularly excited about IN THE MOUNTAIN PASTURES, a movie that focuses on the lives of Greece’s nomadic shepherds (something we city-folk don’t see much of…).
We’ll be sharing a more film-centric preview of what NOT to miss in the coming week… till then, check out the full list of films here.
Delphi Reclaimed will be attending many of the screenings… be sure to follow us on Instagram for more stories and insider looks.
Check out the New York City Greek Film Festival Facebook page here, which is an excellent way to plan your selections. While most of the festival requires tickets, there are several free events and screenings.
Below is a selection of the press release from the 2017 New York City Greek Film Festival’s website with more info on select films. We’ll be sharing our picks to look out for closer to the festival! ::
Romantic dramas, mysteries and documentaries explore contemporary Greece and pay homage to its past. A forbidden love inspires ROZA OF SMYRNA. In THE OTHER ME, a professor uses Pythagorean theory to track down a serial killer. One of Melina Mercouri’s rarely seen films, PHAEDRA, will screen at the Museum of the Moving Image. In THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE., a youngster finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. In AFTERLOV, a spurned lover finds it hard to let go of the woman he loves. Greece’s current dilemmas inspired several of the films.
AMERIKA SQUARE, for instance, zeros in on a hipster, a refugee and a xenophobic nationalist in a troubled Athens neighborhood . In SON OF SOFIA, a Tribeca Film Festival winner, a young Russian boy has trouble adjusting to life in Greece.
Film-goers can count on artful surprises, including the documentaries BORDER SOULS, about a Halkidiki monastery feeding refugees, and DOGS OF DEMOCRACY, focusing on Athenians who care for the city’s stray dogs. THE PATRIARCH’S ROOM reopens the case of the first patriarch of Jerusalem in 2000 years of Church history to be relieved of his duties. IN THE MOUNTAIN PASTURES captures the beauty of the Greek outdoors and listens as nomadic shepherds talk about their lives and flocks.
As a special bonus to film aficionados, the festival will offer four nights of free screenings at the Wells Fargo Center, 150 East 42 Street, in Manhattan. October 2 will feature ISTORIA, a documentary about an expatriate with Alzheimer’s returning to Greece. On October 3, Christos Godas presents the world premiere of his debut film, APOCALYPSE AGAIN, about the island of Paros. On October 4, LIFE OF SIGNIFICANT SOIL starring Alexis Mouyiaris, will have an encore presentation. On October 5, a program of short subjects, BREAD AND OLIVES AND OTHER DELECTABLES, promises to be a special treat.
In addition to the Wells Fargo screenings, the festival has scheduled two Manhattan Weekends: September 30 – October 1 at the Directors Guild Theater; and October 13-15, at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway. The Museum of the Moving Image hosts the Astoria Weekend, October 6 – 8. The Long Island engagement will be at the Bow Tie Manhasset Cinema on October 9, 10, and 11.
The New York City Greek Film Festival is presented by the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, the Greek National Tourism Organization, and the Hellenic American Cultural Foundation. It is made possible by a generous grant from the Onassis Foundation USA.