Translation By Lisa Darilis
Who would have imagined that such a renown theater as the Ziegfield Theater on Broadway in New York City would present to audiences a Greek made film! This was accomplished by actor, director, and writer, Christopher Papakaliatis with his film "What If " (or "Av" in Greek) as part of the 7th Annual New York City Greek Film Festival, which is running from October 3rd through October 16th.
This film has managed to amass a great amount of "buzz" in just a few days after its premier at the Museum of Moving Image in Long Island City, NY.
As Papakaliati was overwhelmed with handshakes at the theater's entrance, he enthusiastically commented "It is very moving to see these people here. Certainly, I never imagined that we would get to this point - to have a premier at the Ziegfield on Broadway. All of this gives us great optimism and courage in facing the next steps."
English subtitles were a foreseen addition to this film, which was ideal for a Greek-American audience, especially for those not familiar with Greece or the Greek language. This proved to be the case when the audience directed questions to Papakaliatis, following the film's screening, illustrated their unfamiliarity with Greece.
The return of this film to American theaters was accredited to a growing amount of interest by audiences and its having become a "hot" topic in film related conversations.
Following the screening of the film was a reception at Loi Restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where famous Greek chef, Maria Loi, warmly received Christopher Papakaliatis. In reference to the film's success, Loi commented "For me, Christopher, in these particular circumstances, is Greece. This young man's accomplishments are amazing...at such a young age. The restaurant Loi could not have missed out in being a part of this endeavour."
There were also some famous Greek celebrities, as well as prominent diplomatic representatives at this reception. Greek Consulate General in New York, Mr. George Iliopoulos was in attendance, as well as actress Anthoula Katsimatides, who emotionally expressed her excitement in seeing a Greek film hit Broadway.
The 7th Annual New York City Greek Film Festival will end on October 16th. It is believed, however, that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFSA) will be considering this film for a possible nomination for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.