SF Greek Film Festival: Showcasing Films of Greek & Cypriot Directors

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English subtitles to be featured for all films

The 14th annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival (SFGFF) will be showcasing 27 feature films and shorts from directors of Greek/Cypriot descent from around the world October 14-22, 2017. Two shorts and one feature film will be showcased each night at the intimate Delancey Street Screening Room (600 Embarcadero Street, San Francisco). All movies will have English subtitles.

Highlights from this year’s festival include: SON OF SOFIA by Elina Psykou. A dark coming-of-age story with a fairy tale twist that won the Best International Narrative Feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; AMERIKA SQUARE by Yannis Sakaridis; and A FIPRESCI (the International Federation of Film Critics) award-winning drama with an unflinching look at the mass migration economy.

The SFGFF will also honor legendary director Nikos Koundouros who passed away in 2017, by screening the classic black and white film from 1956, THE OGRE OF ATHENS (O Drakos).

The year’s festival special guests include Yiannis Sakaridis, director, Amerika Square, Elina Psykou, director, Son of SofiaIoanna Bolomyti, producer Roza of Smyrna, and Kika Georgiou, actress, Boy on the Bridge. Award-winning director Tassos Boulmetis of Touch of Spice fame will moderate Q&A with our visiting guests

Tickets and weekly passes, as well as a full description of all the films and sponsorship opportunities, are available online at www.grfilm.com. Tickets will also be available at the door, and discounts are available for students with a valid student ID.

The San Francisco Greek Film Festival is sponsored by the Modern Greek Studies Foundation and proceeds benefit the educational initiatives of the Center for Modern Greek Studies/The Nikos Kazantzakis Chair at San Francisco State University.

The who’s who of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival

Emilios Avraam  (Director, Bad Habits)

Emilios Avraam was born in the small island of Cyprus. From an early age his passion for films took over most of his time. He is a graduate of a Diploma in Audio Visual Communication, a BSc in Media Technology and a Digital Compositing Certificate at Escape Studios in London. He immediately started working on feature films in London as a compositor. For the past decade, he has worked on many big productions in Film, TV Commercials and Music Videos as an Editor, Visual Effects Artist and a Director. He wrote and directed his first short film Bad Habits (2016), which was entered in numerous competitions in film festivals around the world and has won six awards.

Ioanna Bolomyti  (ProducerRoza of Smyrna)

Ioanna Bolomyti has been a part of Argonauts Productions since 2006, supervising the post-production phase of the films and in the last two years, she has been producing her own projects, as well as participating in the company’s shareholding since 2017. Her filmography includes, among others, the international co-productions: Roza of Smyrna, the recent box-office hit in, Stratos by Yannis Economides, which had its world premiere in competition at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. As a producer, she is currently in post production of the documentary Behind the Wall by Nefeli Sarri about Dimitris Papaioannou’s performance Still Life, and in development of two feature films: Behind the Haystacks by Asimina Proedrou and Peter and the Wolf (working title) by Thanasis Neofotistos. Ioanna is a Sarajevo Talent 2016 alumna and she has also attended the Maia Workshops 2016 and the EP2C Postproduction Workshop 2014.

Tassos Boulmetis (SFGFF 2017 Film Moderator)

Tassos Boulmetis studied Physics at the University of Athens and Film Production and Direction at the University of California (UCLA), with a scholarship from the Onassis Foundation. At UCLA he taught as a teaching assistant, classes on directing actors for film and television.

In Greece he started his career as a director/producer of TV shows. In 1990 he wrote, directed and co-produced the film Dream Factory which was shot on video and then transferred to 35mm film. The film gained eight awards in Greece and the Golden Award of Fantasy and Horror at the Houston International Film Festival. For two decades, he directed TV Commercials for Greek and European agencies.

His second feature is A Touch of Spice (Πολίτικη Κουζίνα) which he wrote, directed and co­produced. This project is a labor of love for him as the story is based, mostly, on true facts drawn from his own life. The film became the biggest hit ever in Greece and has been distributed in 45 countries throughout the world. It has also been awarded with eight Awards of Excellence in Greece. The film was Greece’s official entry for the Academy Awards of 2005. He is a member of European Film Academy.

His recent academic activities include, teaching classes on Advanced Film Directing, in private institutions in Greece. He is the first unanimously elected president of the Hellenic Film Academy. His third feature, Mythopathy (νοτιάς), a coming of age story of a young man during the 70’s in Greece, is a sarcastic comedy about the Greek political system and how it ended up in today’s crisis.

He is currently working on the post production of his fourth project, a docufiction feature, titled 1968. It is a film on AEK (Αθλητική Ένωσις Κωνσταντινουπόλεως), a Greek underdog basketball team founded by refugees in 1924 coming from Constantinople. During the championship on 1968, they beat SLAVIA of Prague, and became the first Greek team gaining a precious international cup, since the foundation of the Greek state. The film will be released in January 2018.

Kostas Eleftheriadis (Director, The Balcony)

Kostas is a film director/cinematographer based in Greece. He was born in Athens, Greece in 1992 and completed his film studies in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2014. The Balcony is his first short and also his graduation movie.

 

Kika Georgiou (Lead Actress, Boy on the Bridge)

Kika Georgiou is an award winning actress currently living and working in Athens, Greece. She studied music at Roosevelt University (Chicago, USA) and acting at Yorgos Armenis’ School of the Dramatic Arts (Athens, Greece).

In 2016, she received the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award at the South East European Film Festival in Berlin for Dido in Silent, a film by Yorgos Gkikapeppas for which she was also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role by the Hellenic Academy of Film. In 2012 she won Best Actress in a Leading Role by the Hellenic Academy of Film for Nadine in The City of Children, by Yorgos Gkikapeppas, for which she also won Best Young Actress at the Athens International Film Festival.

In theatre, she has collaborated with the National Theatre of Greece, as well as other independent theatre groups and ensembles and has performed in Athens, Chicago, New York, and Seoul with directors such as Peter Stein, Fernando Rubio, Philip Kraus, Yiannis Houvardas, Yiannis Kalavrianos, Nikos Mastorakis, and Vassilis Papavassiliou, , among others.

Ioannis Hansen  (Director, Lube Job)

Ioannis Hansen is a Greek-American filmmaker based out of Dallas, Texas. Prior to his short film Lube Job, he most recently served as a producer for A Fat Wreck, a 2016 feature length documentary about legendary punk rock music label Fat Wreck Chords. As an assistant director, his career highlights include the 2014 Toby Halbrooks short Dig(Sundance, SXSW, Ashland Film Festivals) and the 2011 Richard Krause viral hit Fight the Foot (3+ million views).

Christos Kyriacoullis (Sound, Boy On The Bridge)

Christos Kyriacoullis was born in Cyprus in 1984. He studied Creative Music Technology (BA) and Popular Music Production (MA) at Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge and at Kingston University London respectively. He composed music for the television and for Multimedia Performances. He has worked as a sound engineer and designer in various TV series, theatrical performances, short, feature, and documentary films.

 

Elina Psykou  (Director, Son of Sofia )

Born in Greece in 1977, Elina studied filmmaking and sociology in Athens. She continued her studies in cultural history in Paris and participated in the 2007 Berlinale Talent Campus. Her first feature, The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas, won the Works in Progress Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2012 and premiered at the Berlinale Forum in 2013. During that same year, trade publication Variety singled her out as one of the “10 European Directors to Watch”. Her second feature, Son of Sofia, was selected to participate in the 2013 Berlinale Residency program, as well as the 2014 Berlinale co-production market, won the Works in Progress Award at the Les Arcs EFF in 2015, premiered in competition at the Tribeca FF in 2017 and won the Best International Narrative Feature Award. Currently Elina is researching her first documentary, Europe, oh Europe, supported by Creative Europe and EAVE, and is writing her third feature.

 

Amerika Square

Yannis Sakaridis  (Director, Amerika Square)

Yiannis Sakaridis was born in Skydra, a small town in the north of Greece, in 1968. At the age of 19, he moved to London to study Photography and History of Art at the London College of Printing and Film, at the University of Westminster. He became a member of the Legendary London Film Makers Co-Op where he started directing short films.

After 18 years in London, he wrote and directed his short film Truth, the first one shot in Greece, which won a Honorary Prize at the Greek State Film Awards, a Special Jury Prize and Best Music Award at Drama International Film Festival, and was one of the Tiscali Best Shorts Selection at Raindance Film Festival.

His film, Wild Duck, had its World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. His feature film Amerika Square (2016) won many international awards

 

Sotiris Tsafoulias (Director,  The Other Me – Eteros Egw)

Sotiris’s Tsafoulias first feature film Common Denominator was presented in several festivals receiving several awards. The film was released by FEELGOOD in Greece in December 2014. Common Denominator will be adapted for the theatre by Didier Long and will be premiered in “Theatre de l’ Atelier” in Paris in autumn 2017.

 

 

Eteros Ego (The Other Me) is his second feature film which was released in Greek cinemas in January 2017. The movie received several awards, (Thessaloniki Film Festival Audience Award, Michalis Kakoyiannis Audience Award, Los Angeles Greek Film Festival Audience Award and also received Best Director Award in Taormina Film Festival). The remake of the film in the U.S. is currently under negotiations.  The film will also be distributed in France and Italy.