San Francisco Greek Film Festival Astron Award

Astron Award

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival introduced the Astron Award in 2012 to honor and encourage achievements in Greek filmmaking and to enhance the movie experience of the film festival’s moviegoers. Inspired by the ancient Greek word “astir” which means scattered or spread in the sky, astron carries more than its celestial meaning of star. It is used to describe an individual distinguished for his/her talent, abilities, and personality in the field of arts, politics and professional arenas. Our audience votes for the best movie in the feature length films and shorts categories.

Past Astron Award Winners

2017

Memories of a Doll
Directed by Michail Charalampidis
Drama, 2017, 9 minutes, 7 seconds

Roza of Smyrna
Directed by George Kordellas
Drama, 2017, 97 minutes

2016

Cloudy Sunday – Ouzeri Tsitsanis
Directed by Manousos Manousakis
Drama, 2016, 116 minutes

Bread & Olives
Directed by Alexander Jaschik and Iordanis Orfanidis
Drama, 2016, 30 minutes

2015

Forever Young
Directed by Spiros Charalambous
Drama, 2015, 20 minutes

Xenia
Written by Panos Koutras
Drama, 2015 2 hours, 14 minutes

2014

Nicoleta
Directed by Sonia Liza Kenterman
Written by Tracy Sunderland
Drama, 2012, 19 minutes

A Place Called Home
(The Tree and The Swing)
Written/Directed by Maria Douza
Social, Drama, 2013 105 minutes

2013

The Foreigner (Φόρεϊνερ)
Written and Directed by Alethea Avramis
Short, Social, 2011, 16 min

J.A.C.E.
Directed by Menelaos Karamaghiolis
Drama, 2011, 145 min

Past Honorary Astron Award Winners

Thanasis Veggos (2012)

Awarded to actor Thanasis Veggos (1926–2011) in recognition of his lifelong creative contributions and outstanding artistic significance in the Greek film industry. Thanasis Veggos performed in around 130 films, predominantly comedies starring in more than 50 among them. He is considered one of the best Greek comedy actors of all time. His son received the award on his behalf.



Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award

On 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.

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Spyros Skouras made Marilyn Monroe a star
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Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jim Gianopulos
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Spyros Skouras with President Eisenhower (a personal friend) and Archbishop Iakovos.

About Jim N. Gianopulos

Jim Gianopulos is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Pictures Corporation, a role he assumed in April 2017. In this position, he oversees the studio’s film and television operations worldwide, including production, marketing, distribution and all other facets.

Prior to joining Paramount, he served for 16 years as Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, overseeing all feature film production, marketing, and global distribution of film and television content in all media for Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions and Twentieth Century Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios.

During his time as Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox, the studio had its most profitable years ever, stemming from a broad range of successful films, including Hidden FiguresDeadpool,The MartianThe RevenantKingsman: The Secret ServiceSPY, theX-Men and Planet of the Apes films, Life of Pi, The Fault in Our StarsThe Descendants, Black Swan, the Night at the Museum picturesthe Taken series, The Simpsons Movie,BoratThe DayAfter Tomorrow,Walk the LineStar Wars Episodes 1-3,Minority Report,andMoulin Rouge, among many others. Under his leadership, the studio released the Academy Award-wining Best Pictures Titanic, Braveheart, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave andSlumdog Millionaire.

Mr. Gianopulos also has the unique distinction of having championed two of the biggest gambles, and the two highest grossing films of all time: Avatarand Titanic.

Additionally, from 2009-2012 Mr. Gianopulos oversaw Twentieth Century Fox Television Studios, producers of The Simpsons24and many other successful shows.

Previously, Mr. Gianopulos served as President of Twentieth Century Fox International. Before joining Fox, Mr. Gianopulos held senior management positions at Paramount and Columbia Pictures.

Mr. Gianopulos is a Governor and the Treasurer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, a member of the Board of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, as well as a Trustee of the American Film Institute. He is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities including serving as Chairman of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, on the National Entertainment Advisory Council for the Anti-Defamation League and on the Board of the X-Prize Foundation.

AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT


About Spyros P. Skouras

Spyros Skouras was a giant in the movie industry, an international cultural ambassador, and a humanitarian.

Mr. Skouras was born in 1893 in the village of Skourochori in the Peloponnese. He came from a family of farmers and herders, and life was harsh. When the family’s crops were destroyed in 1907, the young Skouras and two brothers left for better opportunities elsewhere. They ended up in St. Louis, where they worked long hours at several hotels. The Skouras brothers eventually saved up enough money to buy their first movie theater, which they called “Olympia.” Their empire expanded as they bought up more theaters, becoming the top theater operator in St. Louis by 1923. Mr. Skouras continued to move up in the ranks, becoming the general manager of Warner Brother’s 500+ theaters, and later National Theatres.

In 1935, he was a major force in the merger of Fox Film Corporation and Twentieth Century. He would eventually be elected president of the new Twentieth Century Fox (1942-1962) turning into a global film leader. At the helm of TCF, he introduced widescreen movies with the CinemaScope lens, reinvigorating the movie-going experience in the advent of television. “Don’t Bother to Knock,” “The Seven Year Itch,” “The Hustler,” “The King and I,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Robe” are some of the classics he oversaw during his two-decade reign. Films like “It Happened in Athens” and “The 300 Spartans” were instrumental in positioning Greece as a tourist destination. Mr. Skouras is famous for signing an unknown model to Twentieth Century Fox making Marilyn Monroe a household name as well as the creation of Century City in Los Angeles.

He also led the Greek War Relief Association during WWII, aimed at supporting Axis-occupied Greece. Mr. Skouras successfully lobbied to lift the British naval blockade so that food and medicine could make it to the starving, war-torn nation. Under his leadership, the GWRA was one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts in American history.

As a respected businessmen, Mr. Skouras served on several presidential committees and had relations with the White House under six different administrations. He was a personal friend of President Eisenhower. With his presidential connections, he lobbied for Greece’s interests, solving the Cyprus problem, and keeping stability in the region.
After retiring from Twentieth Century Fox he concentrated his efforts on his long-term shipping interests (Prudential Lines) and in 1969 completed the acquisition of The Grace Lines, establishing Prudential-Grace as a major U.S. flag carrier.

Mr. Skouras passed away from a heart attack in 1971, leaving a magnificent legacy as one of the most prominent Americans of Greek descent.