Conversations About Film

At the Hellenic Film Society, we’re about more than just presenting screenings of the best Greek films. We also host interviews with Oscar-winning actors and directors, conversations among film historians and filmmakers, and panel discussions on filmmaking.

Interviews

A Conversation with Sonia Liza Kenterman

Sonia Liza Kenterman, whose award-winning film, Tailor, was presented at the Hellenic Film Society’s New York Greek Film Expo 2021, discusses the making of her debut feature-length film, from script, to filming, to financing and distribution. As a filmmaker, she is intrigued by characters who are considered losers by society and by their families, and suffer loss, but manage to break free and survive amidst crisis. In this conversation with HFS board members Jimmy DeMetro and Eva Mallis, the writer/director also discusses the state of Greek cinema today.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Harris Mylonas

Harris Mylonas, associate professor of political science at George Washington University, co-directed the documentary, SEARCHING FOR ANDREAS: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis, about Andreas Papandreou, one of the most controversial European political leaders of the 20th century. In this conversation, he sits down with distinguished Greek journalist Katerina Sokou to discuss Papandreou’s legacy in the aftermath of the Greek debt crisis. This interview was part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Van Ling and Cliffs of Freedom Cast Members

Van Ling, the director of Cliffs of Freedom, joins the film’s lead actors–Tania Raymonde. Jan Uddin, and Costas Mandylor– to discuss how they turned a story about the Greek Revolution into a mainstream Hollywood movie. This interview was part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Dean Karnazes

Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathon runner who has competed in the Spartathlon, the grueling 153-mile foot race between the Greek cities of Athens and Sparta. The course is similar to the route run by Pheidippides during the Battle of Thermopylae in 490 BC. The Road to Sparta is a documentary focusing on four runners who ran this long and brutal course under the blazing Greek sun in a triumph of the human spirit. In this conversation, Karnazes and co-director Barney Spender discuss the making of the film and how they hoped to capture the grit and determination that kept the runners going. This interview was part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Foster Hirsch and Kary Antholis

Renowned film scholar Foster Hirsch sat down for a one-on-one with Oscar- and Emmy-Award-winning writer and producer Kary Antholis. Most recently, Antholis is the publisher and editor of Crime Story Media, which he founded in 2019 after retiring as president of Miniseries and Cinemax Programming at HBO, where he oversaw Oscar- Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning projects. He began his film career as a documentarian, winning the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for his film One Survivor Remembers, about the Holocaust.

In this conversation, Antholis and Hirsch discuss the significance of Elia Kazan’s award-winning film, America America, shown as part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Stavroula Toska

Stavroula Toska is an award-winning writer, director, producer and actress, known for pushing boundaries through her unique perspective and unconventional storytelling. Her work, available on platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Roku, and Flixa TV, has received global recognition, including top honors from New York Women in Film and Television and film festivals around the world. She has collaborated with industry veterans including Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, Harris Yulin, Frankie Faison, Teddy Sears, Emmy winner Cady McClain and others. Stavroula is a mentor for underserved youth at Reel Works, is on the board of Film Fatales, and advocates for survivors of domestic violence. For more info visit www.thetoskamatrix.com. This interview was part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder is a prominent director, producer, and writer, best known for his comic-book and superhero films, including Watchmen, Man of Steel, and Justice League. His 2007 hit, 300, about the ancient Greek Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas led his 300 Spartans against a massive invading Persian army, grossed more than $456 million at the box office. The Hellenic Film Society presented the movie—and this interview—as part of its program of history-inspired films to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Greek independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Vlas and Charley Parlapanides

Vlas and Charley Parlapanides are writers and executive producers known for the hit Netflix series, Blood of Zeus, which they created, and films including Immortals and Death Note. In this conversation they discuss the show’s origins and their plans for Season 2; how two brothers from a big Greek family in New Jersey, one an investment analyst and the other a law school graduate, broke into the movie business; and how being Greek has influenced their filmmaking over the years. This interview was part of the Hellenic Film Society’s film celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence in March 2021.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Writer-Director Zacharias Mavroeidis

During the 2020 Greek Film Expo on Demand, Mr. Mavroeidis, whose film, Defunct, was a centerpiece of the film festival, provided insights into the making of the film which won the Fischer Audience Award for Best Picture at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 2019. The live interview was seen worldwide via Zoom on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Writer-Director Basile Doganis

Appearing live from Greece, Mr. Doganis discussed Meltem, a film that skillfully intertwines the stories of the refugee situation in Greece with a young woman coming to terms with her past. Meltem was the winner of the Hellenic Film Society’s 2020 Greek Film Expo on Demand Audience Award. The live interview was seen worldwide via Zoom on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Writer-Director Stavros Pamballis and Actress Daphne Alexander

The writer-director discussed what led him to make his feature film debut, Siege on Liperti Street, as well as the collaboration with his long-time friend, actress Daphne Alexander. The film was the winner of five Best Picture Awards at the 2019 Thessaloniki International Film Festival, including the coveted FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Critics) and the People’s Choice Award. The live interview from Greece was seen worldwide via Zoom on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Writer-Director-Editor Giorgos Georgopoulos

Giorgios Georgopoulos is the founder of Multivision, an Athens-based production company that specializes in feature films, documentaries, commercials and music videos. He won the Best Screenplay Hellenic Film Academy Award in 2020 for Not to Be Unpleasant, But We Need to Have a Serious Talk, featured in the 2020 Greek Film Expo on Demand. The film won the JP Costopoulos Foundation Award for Best Greek Film at the Thessaloniki International Greek Film Festival. The live interview from was seen worldwide via Zoom on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Writer-Director Vardis Marinakis

Vardis Marinakis’ debut feature film, Black Field, won international awards and was hailed by Variety as “undeniably handsome and delicately crafted.” His second film, Zizotek, featured in the 2020 Greek Film Expo on Demand, is the winner of a Hellenic Film Academy Award. The live interview from was seen worldwide via Zoom on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

You can watch this interview here.

A Conversation with Greek-American Hollywood Producer Celia Costas

Ms. Costas is the winner of two Primetime Emmy Awards, for Angels in America and Warm Springs. Her more than 40 Hollywood credits include producer of films including The Girl on the Train, August: Osage County, and The Intern, starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway. Her current project is tick, tick…BOOM!, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, on which she is the executive producer.

Sunday, March 8, 2020
Museum of the Moving Image

You can watch this interview here.

Conversations with Oscar-Winning Director Costa-Gavras (Z) and the Creative Team Behind Adults in the Room

In a rare New York visit and a sold-out screening of the Costa-Gavras political thriller, Z, the director sat down for an interview with Eric Hynes, Curator of Film at the Museum of the Moving Image. He also took questions from an enthusiastic audience, who gave the Oscar winner a standing ovation.

The following day, following the sold-out New York premiere of Adults in the Room, based on Greece’s tense economic negotiations with Europe, the director and the film’s creative team took questions from film historian Foster Hirsch. Also on stage were producer Michele Gavras and actors Christos Loulis and Alexandros Bourdoumis, who star in the new film.

February 8-9, 2019
Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY

A Conversation with Oscar-Winning Actress Olympia Dukakis

Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis

Following a sold-out screening of Olympia, a documentary about the life of Olympia Dukakis, Foster Hirsch, film historian and film professor at Brooklyn College, interviewed the Academy Award-winning (Moonstruck) Greek-American actress. She reflected on her career and shared her experiences and outspoken opinions with refreshing candor. A lovestruck audience gave the actress a long and heartfelt standing ovation.

Sunday, March 31, 2019
Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY

Webinars

Taking Advantage of Greece Production Incentives

Production still for Swing Away (2017), Lindos, Rhodes, Greece. Photo © Petros Chytiris

The top film producers in Greece discussed the financial incentives the Greek film community is offering to filmmakers for shooting on location. The panel included Vasiliki Ch. Diagouma, Head, Communication & International Relations Department, EKOME, S.A. (National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication); Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Heretic Films; Nikos Moustakas, Bad Crowd; Venia Vergou, Director Hellenic Film Commission; Greek Film Centre; Fani Skartouli, Faliro House. The interview was part of the Greek Film Expo on Demand and took place on July 16, 2020.

You can watch this webinar here.

Filming On Location in Greece

Production still for Swing Away (2017), St. Paul’s Bay, Rhodes, Greece. Photo © Petros Chytiris

Filmmakers Steven Bernstein, Alexandros Pitoulis, and George Lemos spoke with independent film producer and media attorney George Stephanopoulos about the many creative and financial benefits of filming in Greece. They cite Greece’s diverse locations, consistent weather, and highly skilled cast and crew, including top artistic and technical personnel, production service companies, and post-production facilities. Speakers gathered over Zoom from California, Athens, London, and New York. The interview was part of the Greek Film Expo on Demand and took place on July 17, 2020.

You can watch this webinar here.

Panel Discussions

The Life, Times, and Works of John Cassavetes

A tribute to legendary the Greek-American director, screenwriter, and actor John Cassavetes on the 90th anniversary of his birth included a panel discussion on his contributions to American independent film and a screening of his film, Gloria. A three-time Academy Award nominee, Cassavetes was renowned for using improvisation and a cinema verité style. Panelists included independent filmmaker John Sayles; film historian Foster Hirsch; Nicholas Alexiou, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Hellenic American Project at Queens College; and actor, producer, filmmaker George Zouvelos. The panel was moderated by George Stephanopoulos, independent film producer and media attorney. The panel and screening were presented by Hellenic Film Society USA, in association with EMBCA and AHEPA.

Thursday, December 12, 2019
3 West Club, New York, NY

For more details on the panelists please click here.

Filming in Greece–The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

A look at how filmmakers can take advantage of new financial incentives for on-location filming in Greece, while helping to boost the Greek economy. Panelists discussed Greece’s diverse locations and highly skilled cast and crew, including top artistic and technical personnel, production service companies, and post-production facilities. Moderated by independent film producer and media attorney, George Stephanopoulos, panelists included entertainment attorneys Carol Contes and Maria Miles, producer Stamatios Tom Hiotis, and cinematographer/director/screenwriter/author Steven Bernstein.

Part of the 2019 New York Greek Film Expo
Saturday, May 4
Borough of Manhattan Community College

For more details on the panelists please click here.