SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Greek Film Festival (SFGFF) announced all film programs for the 2019 Festival which will be held October 20-26. The Opening Night film is Olympia, the documentary feature on Olympia Dukakis, screening on Sunday, October 20 at the Castro Theater (a first for SFGFF).
The Closing Night film is the poignant dramatic comedy Smuggling Hendrix, screening on Saturday, October 26 at Dolby Cinema at 1275 Market. The remaining screenings October 21-25 will be presented at the Delancey Street Screening Room. Following the formal Closing Night, there will be a Bonus Screening on Sunday, October 27, also at Delancey.
Kary Antholis is the recipient of the second annual Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award which will be awarded on Closing Night with a reception in his honor. Antholis is Founding Publisher and CEO of Crime Story Media LLC. In June 2019, he retired as President of HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming after over 25 years with the company. While he served as an HBO executive, Antholis oversaw Academy Award, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning projects, both dramatic and documentary including Chernobyl, Angels in America, Olive Kitteridge, John Adams, The Pacific, The Night Of, Generation Kill, The Corner, Elizabeth I, The Gathering Storm, Wit, Show Me a Hero and Educating Peter. As head of Cinemax Programming, he led the channel’s branding strategy, commissioning breakthrough series including Strike Back, Banshee, The Knick, Warrior, Jett and Tales from the Tour Bus. And as a filmmaker, Antholis won the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject and the Emmy for Outstanding Informational Special for his film One Survivor Remembers, about Holocaust survivor, Gerda Weissmann Klein. One Survivor Remembers was the first HBO program added by the Librarian of Congress to the National Film Registry, an honor given to “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant American films. Antholis serves on the Board of Visitors at Georgetown Law and as an adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
The Spyros P. Skouras Lifetime Achievement Award was created and sponsored by Tommy 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.
This year, Greek director Despina Mouzaki will serve as SFGFF moderator/MC, introducing films and the invited filmmakers, moderating Q&A sessions after the screenings, and providing context and history of modern Greek cinema. Mouzaki is a producer and director of films and audiovisual works, founder of the companies Alipnoos SA, Breaking Wave Ltd, Cinegram SA, and Cinegram Cairo Film & TV Productions. She is also a Professor at the Aristotle University’s School of Film, as well as the Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Mouzaki has served as Vice-President and Associate Director at the Greek Film Center, and Director of the Thessaloniki International Festival. She has produced many successful and award-winning films, including Touch Me Not by Dimitris Giatzoutzakis, Peppermint by Costas Kapakas, A Touch of Spice by Tassos Boulmetis, My Only Sunshine by Reha Erdem, Borrowed Bride by Atif Yilmaz, Ο Jerusalem by Elie Chouraqui, and A tout de suite by Benoit Jacquot.
Started in 2004, the San Francisco Greek Film Festival (SFGFF) is the first and longest-running Greek film festival in the U.S. SFGFF is dedicated to recognizing, supporting, and promoting the best film work by Greek and Cypriot filmmakers from around the world. With screenings of new, innovative, and highly acclaimed films and different events around the annual film Festival week, the SFGFF seeks to inspire, engage, and entertain its diverse audience. Throughout its history, the Festival has also featured screenings of classic films. Through the powerful medium of film, the Festival sustains, elevates and promotes Greek culture, history and language in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The SFGFF has showcased some of the most highly regarded Greek/Cypriot films produced over the past 15 years. Since its founding, the film festival has showcased nearly 300 movies, hosted nearly 50 filmmakers as guests, and inspired, engaged and entertained over 9,000 attendees from San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.