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21st Greek Australian Film Festival kicks off tomorrow

Greek Film Festival - Australia begins 14 October in Sydney, and the program is jam-packed with goodness.

Sydney and Melbourne will be home to over two weeks of Greek cinema with a program that handles Greek family tragedies, carefully crafted dramas and tense thrillers with a strong resilient hand.

The Delphi Bank 21st Greek Film Festival will open with Pantelis Voulgaris’ award-winning melodrama LITTLE ENGLAND (MIKRA AnNGLIA), a period film that brings to life a best-selling novel of romance, betrayal and loss as penned by Voulgaris’ wife, Ioanna Karystiani. The novel MIKRA ANGLIA (published in English as THE JASMINE ISLAND) achieved the Greek National Book Award for Literature for Karystiani’s documentation of the difficult life of seafarers’ families. Women were left to raise their children alone, while plagued with a constant anxiety that their husbands and sons may never return home.
LITTLE ENGLAND tells the story of two Greek sisters who both fall for the same sea captain, landing them in a consequential love triangle on the island of Andros during World War II. LITTLE ENGLAND producer Giannis Iakovidis and lead actor Andreas Constantinou are guests of the festival and will be in attendance for the Opening Night of the 2014 Greek Film Festival in Sydney on October 14 and Melbourne on October 15.
Following its warm reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard strand, Panos H. Koutras’ queer road drama XENIA follows a flamboyant gay teenager and his golden brother as they journey together to reunite with their estranged wealthy father to avoid deportation while attempting the audition rounds for a popular television talent show as an escape route from the realities of modern Grecian life.

Film noir hit-man thriller STRATOS follows a middle-aged bakery worker living a double life as a con man who guns down strangers and passes on all his money to his underground boss from his prison years to help fund an escape plan for him as a sign of gratitude for the protection he provided during his jail time. The fourth feature from Yannis Economides is a perversely lingering study of moral and spiritual decay in recession-era Greece told through the eyes of a brooding hired killer.

Returning as part of the Delphi Bank 21st Greek Film Festival, the Greek-Australian Short Film Festival will celebrate its fifth year with a program expansion to include a session dedicated to international short films from Greece and beyond for the first time. Filmmakers will compete for Best Short Film prizes in local and international categories.

The inclusion of Greek-Australian voices has always been important for the festival, whether through feature films like Dead Europe, and Greek-Australian short films. According to Festival Director Penny Kyprianou there are a myriad of unique stories that come from Greek-Australian filmmakers, and it’s important these have their place in the festival too.