PRESS

2021 PRESS RELEASES

Always on Sunday Monthly Greek Film Series Continues
As Hellenic Film Society USA Presents Fantasia
At the Museum of the Moving Image, Sunday, December 12 at 4pm

Astoria, NY – November 30, 2021 – The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) will present a screening of Fantasia on Sunday, December 12 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. The film is part of the monthly Always on Sunday Greek film series which began in 2018.

Written and directed by Alexis Kardaras, Fantasia is a musical drama that follows a talented young singer’s rise to stardom and the toll it takes on her personal life, while capturing the sometimes-seedy atmosphere of the 1990s Greek club scene. The film had its US premiere last year during HFS’s Greek Film Expo on Demand, the film festival presented virtually in July 2020 when the pandemic forced movie theaters to close. The film stars Rena Morfi, a popular singer in Greece, in her feature film debut. Morfi received the Expo’s 2020 Alexis Mouyiaris Memorial Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film. Fantasia is in Greek with English subtitles.

“The memorable Fantasia soundtrack captures the period perfectly,” says Jimmy DeMetro, president, Hellenic Film Society USA. “And Morfi’s performance is spot-on as she brilliantly conveys the ambition and heartbreak that drove her character’s rise to stardom.”

or further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497 and follow on Facebook and Instagram. When purchasing film tickets, please use discount code SUNDAY20. The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, is conveniently located near public transportation. In keeping with City and State public health protocols, the Museum requires proof of vaccination and masks for all visitors. For details, please visit the Museum of Moving Image website.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

In addition to collaborating with the Museum of the Moving Image for its series of monthly Greek film screenings, HFS presents the annual New York Greek Film Expo film festival annually. When the pandemic forced movie theaters to close, HFS began streaming Greek films worldwide and created a YouTube channel to satisfy audience demand for Greek film.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. Additional support is provided by the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Kallinikeion Foundation, and Queens Council on the Arts. For additional information, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

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The Hellenic Film Society will present Fantasia at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on Sunday, December 12 at 4pm. Directed by Alexis Kardaras, the musical drama captures the sometimes-seedy atmosphere of the 1990s Greek club scene as it follows a talented young singer’s rise to stardom and the toll it takes on her personal life. For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org.

Download the press release in its pdf version

Always on Sunday Monthly Greek Film Series
Resumes After Pandemic Hiatus—
Hellenic Film Society USA Presents Digger
at Museum of the Moving Image, Sunday, November 14 at 4pm

Astoria, NY – November 3, 2021 – The Hellenic Film Society USA will present a screening of Diggeron Sunday, November 14 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. The film is part of the monthly Always on Sunday Greek film series which has been presented at the Museum since 2018, but which has been on pause since March 2020.

Digger is the winner of ten 2021 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Actor. The film is also Greece’s contender for Oscar consideration as Best International Feature. Written and directed by Georgis Grigorakis, and starring Vangelis Mourikis, Digger is about a reclusive farmer in the lush backwoods of northern Greece who battles a giant mining company that is digging up the forest and threatening his property. The greatest threat comes with the unexpected arrival of his estranged son, who appears after a 20-year separation to claim the family land. Cineuropa said, “Digger is one of the more accomplished films in recent Greek cinema.” The film is in Greek with English subtitles.

“The strong turnout for the New York Greek Film Expo last month convinced us that people are ready to go back to movie theaters,” said Jimmy DeMetro, president, Hellenic Film Society USA. “And Digger is an excellent film to come back to. It’s well made, the performances are brilliant, and the subject matter is topical.”

For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497 and follow on Facebook and Instagram. When purchasing film tickets, please use discount code SUNDAY20. The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, is conveniently located near public transportation. In keeping with City and State public health protocols, the Museum requires proof of vaccination and masks for all visitors. For details, please visit the Museum of Moving Image website.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

In addition to collaborating with the Museum of the Moving Image for its series of monthly Greek film screenings, HFS presents the annual New York Greek Film Expo film festival annually. When the pandemic forced movie theaters to close, HFS began streaming Greek films worldwide and created a YouTube channel to satisfy audience demand for Greek film.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. Additional support is provided by the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Kallinikeion Foundation, and Queens Council on the Arts. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

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The Hellenic Film Society will present Digger at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria on Sunday, November 14 at 4pm. Winner of ten 2021 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Actor, Digger is Greece’s contender for Oscar consideration as Best International Feature.

Download the press release in its pdf version

It’s a Wrap!
Audiences Came Back to Theaters for
Hellenic Film Society USA’s NY Greek Film Expo 2021

Astoria, NY — October 11, 2021 — After a one-year absence due to the pandemic, Greek films were back in movie theaters for the New York Greek Film Expo 2021 presented by Hellenic Film Society USA. Following public health protocols, 13 screenings of eight feature-length films and five film shorts were held at the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Three screenings were sold out, prompting the Museum to schedule an additional screening, which also sold out.

“We were unsure what to expect when we decided to present in-person screenings, but we felt it was important to get back into movie theaters to show films where they were intended to be shown,” said Jimmy DeMetro, president Hellenic Film Society. “We really didn’t know if people were ready to return to theaters, but the turnout was better than we could have imagined, and it was truly inspiring.”

The films presented were the best of what Greek filmmakers have created over the past two years, including two films and a short subject written and directed by women. The films, including award-winning features and New York theatrical premieres, were The Audience, Digger, Green Sea, In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand, The Man with the Answers, My Name is Eftyhia, Senior Citizen, and Tailor.

My Name is Eftyhia was the winner of the Expo’s Audience Award for most popular film. The biographical drama about Eftyhia Papagiannopoulou, the beloved lyricist of Greece, won eight Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

The Alexis Mouyiaris Memorial Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film was given to Dimitris Imellos, who starred in the award-winning film, Tailor, about a man forced to reinvent himself as the world he knows begins to change. Imellos is well known for his work on the Greek stage, and in film and television.

After more than a year of streaming Greek films worldwide, the Hellenic Film Society will resume Always on Sunday, its series of monthly Sunday Greek film screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image on Sunday, November 14. The feature film will be Digger, winner of ten 2021 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film. Written and directed by Georgis Grigorakis, the film is Greece’s contender for Oscar consideration this year as Best International Feature.

Presentations by the Hellenic Film Society are made possible with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Additional funding is providing by the Kallinikeion Foundation, the Greek National Tourism Organization, and Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

For further information about the Hellenic Film Society, please visit hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497.

Download the press release in its pdf version

Hellenic Film Society USA Presents NY Greek Film Expo 2021—
Greek Film Screenings in Theaters in Manhattan and Astoria, October 1-10

Astoria, NY — September 16, 2021 — The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) has announced the lineup for its New York Greek Film Expo 2021, to be held in theaters, October 1-10. Selections include eight feature-length films and five film shorts, including award-winning presentations and US premieres. The screenings will be held at the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, following public health protocols. The film festival opens Friday, October 1 with the screening of the critically acclaimed film, Tailor, at the Directors Guild Theater. All films are in Greek, with English subtitles.

“While we welcomed the opportunity to keep in touch with our audience through virtual screenings for the past year and a half, it’s a real pleasure to be back in theaters, where movies were made to be shown,” said Jimmy DeMetro, president, Hellenic Film Society. “As our city makes bold steps to return to normalcy this fall, we invite our audience to come enjoy the latest Greek films and to rediscover the magic of the movies.”

The films being presented represent the best of what Greek filmmakers have created over the past two years, including two films and a short subject written and directed by women. “We take film selection very seriously,” said Jimmy DeMetro.  “We try to select the most interesting of the films that are available to us, keeping in mind the need to create a slate of films ranging from the commercial to the artistic so that every viewer will find something to enjoy.”

New York Greek Film Expo 2021 is made possible with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Additional funding is providing by the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

The Directors Guild Theater is located at 110 W 57th St, New York, NY; The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria, NY.

For further information about the New York Greek Film Expo or to purchase tickets, please visit hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497.

Following is the 2021 feature film lineup:

THE AUDIENCE, written and directed by Mariano Pensotti. US premiere
Friday, October 1, 9:20pm – Directors Guild Theater
This strikingly original film follows the stories of 11 audience members attending a play in Athens. Their personal stories reveal the transformative power of theater. Mature audiences only.

DIGGER, written and directed Georgis Grigorakis. New York theatrical premiere
Sunday, October 3, 6:45pm – Directors Guild Theater
A reclusive farmer battles a giant mining company digging up the forest and threatening his property. But the greatest threat is from the unexpected arrival of his estranged son, who appears to claim the family land. Winner of ten 2021 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Actor.

GREEN SEA, directed by Angeliki Antoniou
Saturday, October 2, 7pm – Directors Guild Theater
Friday, October 8, 7pm – Museum of the Moving Image
Anna has lost her memory but hasn’t forgotten how to cook. She gets a job in a working-class seaside taverna, where amid the aromas of old beloved recipes, she struggles to rediscover herself. This film, directed, written, and starring women, is being co-presented by New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT).

IN THE STRANGE PURSUIT OF LAURA DURAND, written and directed by Dimitris Bavellas
Sunday, October 3, 1:30pm – Directors Guild Theater
Ranging from zany to poignant, this comic road movie blends various film genres and a lively 1980s indie rock soundtrack as it tells the story of two down-and-out musicians who embark on a search for a porn star of their youth who mysteriously disappeared several years ago. Winner of seven film festival awards.

THE MAN WITH THE ANSWERS, written and directed by Stelios Kammitsis
Saturday, October 2, 9:20pm – Directors Guild Theater
Following the death of his grandmother, an uptight former Olympic diving champion heads to Germany to visit his estranged mother. En route, he meets a free-spirited German tourist. The mismatched men hit the road where they develop a surprising relationship on their way to self-discovery and reconciliation. Mature audiences only.

MY NAME IS EFTYHIA, directed by Angelos Frantzis
Sunday, October 3, 4pm – Directors Guild Theater
Saturday, October 9, 7pm – Museum of the Moving Image
This biographical drama tells the story of the indomitable Eftyhia Papagiannopoulou, who escaped the burning of Smyrna and went to Athens where she became the beloved lyricist of Greece. Winner of eight Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

SENIOR CITIZEN, directed by Marinos Kartikkis
Saturday, October 2, 5pm – Directors Guild Theater
Sunday, October 10, 4pm – Museum of the Moving Image
A lonely old man spends his nights in the outpatient department of a local hospital. Every morning, he returns home to his cat and his memories. One night he is discovered by a nurse, who tries to learn more about him and gradually, a relationship of trust begins to build between the two. Winner of 10 film festival awards.

TAILOR, directed by Sonia Liza Kenterman
Friday, October 1, 7pm – Directors Guild Theater
Saturday, October 9, 4pm – Museum of the Moving Image
Changing trends in men’s fashion bring hard times to a master tailor. When the bank threatens to repossess his shop, he hits the road with a tailor shop on wheels.  Determined to survive, he manages to reinvent himself while bringing style to the brides of Athens. Winner of two Hellenic Film Academy Awards and three Thessaloniki Film Festival Awards.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. Based in Astoria, NY, the organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society. Additional support is provided by the Kallinikeion Foundation, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council. For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

Download the press release in its pdf version

Hellenic Film Society USA Continues ALWAYS ON SUNDAY ON DEMAND–
Two Greek Films Streaming Worldwide through May 31

Astoria, NY — May 5, 2021 — The Hellenic Film Society (HFS) has announced its May program. City of Children, a powerful, award-winning drama, and Jenny Jenny, a romantic comedy from the golden age of Greek cinema, will be streaming worldwide through Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.

Directed by Yorgos Gkikapeppas, City of Children (Η Πόλη των Παιδιών), interweaves four powerful stories dealing with pregnancy and childbirth, each representing a harrowing perspective of the lives of couples in a city gripped by despondency. The film was named Best Greek Film of 2011 at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Additional accolades include three Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Kika Georgiou) and the Greek Federation of Film Critics Award for Best Film. Greek audiences may be familiar with the popular actors Vassilis Bisbikis and Leonidas Kakouris, known for their work in the Greek television drama Agries Melisses. The film is in Greek and some Arabic, with English subtitles and is not suitable for young viewers.

Also being presented is Jenny Jenny (ΤζένηΤζένη), starring the incomparable Tzeni Karezi, Andreas Barkoulis, and Lambros Konstantaras, key players in the Greek film industry in the 1960s, who add special sparkle to this romantic comedy from the golden age of Greek cinema. In the film, Karezi consents to a marriage of convenience to a parliamentary candidate, to help her father, a political influencer, solve his financial problems. 

The film, directed by Dimos Dimopoulos, film is in Greek, with English subtitles.

“Each of these films represents a very different aspect of Greek filmmaking,” said Jimmy DeMetro, president, Hellenic Film Society. “As such, it’s the ideal pair of films to present as we prepare to go on summer hiatus to lay the groundwork for the New York Greek Film Expo, the film festival we’re planning for the fall.”

This month’s program is sponsored by The Greek Online School, which offers live Greek language courses online to children and adults. For further information or to purchase tickets to these films, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org.

The two films are presented as part of the Hellenic Film Society’s Always on Sunday on Demand film series, an outgrowth of the Always on Sunday film series which began at the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY in 2018. The monthly online series follows the successful virtual Greek film festival that HFS presented in July 2020 after the pandemic forced movie theaters to close indefinitely, precluding the presentation of the New York Greek Film Expo, the Society’s annual film festival in theaters around the New York metropolitan area.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. Based in Astoria, NY, the organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council through the office of Council Member Costa Constantinides.For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

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City of Children (Η Πόλη των Παιδιών), directed by Yorgos Gkikapeppas, was named Best Greek Film of 2011 at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
Jenny Jenny (Τζένη-Τζένη), directed by Dimos Dimopoulos, stars Tzeni Karezi, Andreas Barkoulis, and Lambros Konstantaras, in this romantic comedy from the golden age of Greek cinema.

Both films stream through May 31, 2021.
In Greek, with English subtitles.

Download the press release in its pdf version

Hellenic Film Society USA Streams Two Films in April –
Award-Winning Little England and Family Comedy Little Greek Godfather
Available Through Saturday, May 1

Astoria, NY — April 7, 2021 — Following a popular film program celebrating the 200th anniversary of Greek independence, the Hellenic Film Society (HFS) is returning to its successful Always on Sunday on Demand film series with two of the most best-loved Greek films in recent years. Streaming through Saturday, May 1, HFS will present the drama Little England and the family comedy Little Greek Godfather. Both movies were filmed on location in Greece.

Winner of six Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Little England is set in the decades between the two world wars and tells the story of two sisters in love with the same man and how their mother controls their relationships. The Hollywood Reporter calls Little England “handsomely mounted and impeccably acted” and says, “the trio of female protagonists is never less than mesmerizing.” Filmed on the Greek island of Andros, Little England is directed by master filmmaker Pantelis Voulgaris, based on a novel by Ioanna Karystiani. Following the film presentation, there will be an interview with lead actor Andreas Konstantinou.

Little Greek Godfather, filmed on location in Crete, is a family comedy about a Greek-American boy sent to the island to baptize the baby of a local political party boss. He finds himself in over his head as he struggles with the Greek language and peculiarities of the locals. The film is directed by Olga Malea based on a novel by Nicholas Papandreou who, as the son of former Greek prime minster Andreas Papandreou, knows something about growing up in a political family.

“These two films could not be more different, but what they share is enormous popularity and a tremendous reception they received from audiences when they were released in Greece,” says Jimmy DeMetro, Hellenic Film Society president. “It’s ironic that, coincidentally, they both have the word “Little” in the title when, in film terms, these movies are anything but little.”

This month’s program is sponsored by The Greek Online School, which offers live Greek language courses online to children and adults. Both films are in Greek with English subtitles. For further information or to purchase tickets to these films, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org.

The two films are presented as part of the Hellenic Film Society’s Always on Sunday on Demand film series, an outgrowth of the Always on Sunday film series which began at the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY in 2018. The monthly online series follows the successful virtual Greek film festival that HFS presented in July 2020 after the pandemic forced movie theaters to close indefinitely, precluding the presentation of the New York Greek Film Expo, the Society’s annual film festival in theaters around the New York metropolitan area.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. Based in Astoria, NY, the organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council through the office of Council Member Costa Constantinides.For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

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Little England, directed by Pantelis Voulgaris, tells the story of a dramatic love triangle involving two sisters. Filmed on location on the island of Andros. Winner of six Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Little Greek Godfather, directed by Olga Malea, is about the misadventures of a Greek-American boy visiting Crete. Filmed on location. Comedy suitable for family viewing.

Both films stream through May 1, 2021.
In Greek, with English subtitles.

Download the press release in its pdf version

Hellenic Film Society USA Celebrates 200 Years of Greek Independence
With Eight Features Inspired by Greek History Through the Ages
March 19-28, 2021

Astoria, NY — March 15, 2021 —The Hellenic Film Society (HFS) is marking the bicentennial of Greek independence with a special program of eight features. Seven films and an original Netflix episode, all inspired by Greek history, from the Persian Wars to the present, will stream worldwide March 19-28. Each presentation will be accompanied by conversations with filmmakers to provide historical context and insights about the making of the film.

To celebrate this milestone in Greek history with its loyal audience, HFS is presenting two features free of charge: Cliffs of Freedom, set during the Greek War of Independence in 1821; and the pilot episode of the hit original Netflix series, Blood of Zeus, based on Greek mythology. Viewers may purchase tickets for the remaining six films individually or buy a pass to all for the special price of $18.21.

The eclectic offerings include the work of distinguished Greek-American filmmakers, past and present, from Elia Kazan (America America) to Charley and Vlas Parlapanides (Blood of Zeus creators). Selections range from Hollywood epics to indie documentaries, an original Netflix episode, and two films that focus on the Greek Revolution of 1821. 

 “The Hellenic Film Society is committed to marking this important milestone in Greek history with a film celebration that honors the Greek struggle and the journey of the Greek people since gaining their independence from the Ottoman Turks,” says Jimmy DeMetro, Hellenic Film Society president. “Through the years, Greek history has captured the imagination of filmmakers, and we are happy to present this terrific lineup of eclectic selections.”

This special program is sponsored by The Greek Online School, which offers live Greek language courses online to children and adults. Cliffs of Freedom is made available, free of charge, courtesy of the National Hellenic Society. Blood of Zeus is made available, free of charge, courtesy of Netflix.

For further information or to purchase tickets to these films, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. Based in Astoria, NY, the organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council through the office of Council Member Costa Constantinides.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

AMERICA AMERICA, written and directed by Elia Kazan |In English |1963 | 174 minutes

Available for streaming March 19-21 only

In the late 1890s, a young man leaves his impoverished village in Turkish Anatolia for Constantinople and eventually fulfills his dream of coming to America, but not before he faces cruelties and betrayals along the way.  Based loosely on the life of his uncle, this was Kazan’s favorite among his 19 feature films.

BENEATH THE OLIVE TREE, directed by Stavroula Toska|In Greek and English with English subtitles

2020 |76 minutes

This award-winning documentary unearths the story behind secret diaries found buried on the Greek island of Trikeri. Written by female political exiles during the Greek Civil War in the late 1940s, the journals reveal inspirational stories of thousands of women imprisoned in Greek concentration camps. Narrated by Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis. Awards include Best Documentary, Santa Fe Film Festival.

A CALL TO ARMS (BLOOD OF ZEUS: Episode 1), created and written by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides |2020 | 28 minutes

A commoner living in ancient Greece, Heron discovers his true heritage as a son of Zeus, and his purpose: to save the world from a demonic army. Blood of Zeus, shown free of charge, is made available courtesy of Netflix.

CLIFFS OF FREEDOM, directed by Van Ling | In English |2019 | 137 minutes | Rated R

Story of an ill-fated romance between a young Greek village girl and a conflicted Turkish officer at the dawn of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821. Cast includes Patti LuPone and the late, great Christopher Plummer. Cliffs of Freedom is made available courtesy of the National Hellenic Society.

GOD LOVES CAVIAR, directed by Yannis Smaragdis |

In English and Greek with English subtitles | 2012 |101 minutes

The epic story of Greek patriot Ioannis Varvakis (1745-1825) who became a confidante of Catherine the Great and an early benefactor of the new Greek nation. Cast includes Catherine Deneuve and John Cleese.

THE ROAD TO SPARTA, directed by Roddy Gibson and Barney Spender | In English | 2016 |60 minutes

Award-winning documentary about four runners, including ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes, competing in the Spartathlon, the grueling 153-mile foot race between the Greek cities of Athens and Sparta.

SEARCHING FOR ANDREAS: Political Leadership in Times of Crisis

Directed by Harris Mylonas and Theo Prodromidis | In Greek with English subtitles |2018 | 95 minutes

Documentary exploring the legacy of Greek Prime Minister Andreas G. Papandreou, one of Europe’s most controversial political leaders of the 20th century. A cautionary tale about the danger of overreliance on charismatic leaders and the challenges that democracies face in replacing them.

300, directed by Zack Snyder | In English |2006 |117 minutes|Rated R

Available for streaming March 26-28 only.

In 480 BC at the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas leads his 300 Spartans against the invading Persian army. Though certain death awaits them, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their common enemy. Award-winning Hollywood spectacle.

Download the press release in its pdf version

Hellenic Film Society USA Announces Greek Films
Streaming Worldwide Through March 6—
Committed and The Tree and the Swing

Astoria, NY — February 5, 2021 — Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) will stream two Greek films worldwide, as part of its Always on Sunday on Demand monthly film series. The romantic comedy Committed and the drama, The Tree and the Swing, will be presented through March 6. Both films have English subtitles.

Committed, written and directed by Stelana Kliris and filmed on location in Cyprus, is a bittersweet romantic comedy about a runaway bride who meets a young man on the road. He, too, has commitment issues.

Filmed on location in Greece, The Tree and the Swing, written and directed by Maria Douza, tells the story of a cardiology professor who returns to Greece to reconcile with her estranged father. Winner of eight Cyprus International Film Festival Awards, including Best Feature Film.

“What better time than the month of Valentine’s Day to present two films about love,” says Jimmy DeMetro, president of the Hellenic Film Society. “Whether it’s romance or familial love, the powerful emotions unleased in these films will strike a chord in the hearts of our audience.”

This month’s films are sponsored by The Greek Online School, which offers live Greek language courses online to children and adults. For further information or to purchase tickets to these films, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org.

The two films are presented as part of the Hellenic Film Society’s Always on Sunday on Demand film series, an outgrowth of the Always on Sunday film series which began at the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY in 2018. The monthly online series follows the successful virtual Greek film festival that HFS presented in July after the pandemic forced movie theaters to close indefinitely, precluding the presentation of the New York Greek Film Expo, the Society’s annual spring film festival in theaters around the New York metropolitan area.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. Based in Astoria, NY, the organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council through the office of Council Member Costa Constantinides.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Press Contact for information or photos: Nancy Nicolelis/718-898-7002/nancy.nicolelis.hfs@gmail.com

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Hellenic Film Society presents
ALWAYS ON SUNDAY ON DEMAND, monthly streaming Greek film series

Two new films to stream Sunday, January 3, 2021—Saturday, February 6, 2021

Committed, written and directed by Stelana Kliris and filmed on location in Cyprus, is a bittersweet romantic comedy about a runaway bride who meets a young man on the road as she escapes her wedding.
Filmed on location in Greece, The Tree and the Swing, written and directed by Maria Douza, tells the story of a cardiology professor who returns to Greece to try to reconcile with her estranged father and finds nothing as she expects it. Winner of eight Cyprus International Film Festival Awards, including Best Feature Film.

Download the press release in its pdf version

2021 MEDIA COVERAGE

A scene from the film Digger, directed by Georgis Grigorakis. Photo: Courtesy of Hellenic Film Society USA

ASTORIA – Digger, the award-winning film Greece is submitting for Oscar consideration as Best International Feature was screened at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in Astoria on November 14. The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) presented the film as part of the monthly Greek film screening series Always on Sunday. Digger impressed the audience with its strong characters, compelling plot and the dynamic performances of the cast members including this year’s Hellenic Film Academy Best Actor winner Vangelis Mourikis.

HFS president Jimmy DeMetro gave the welcoming remarks, noting that Digger won 10 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Actor. Written and directed by Georgis Grigorakis, who also picked up awards for Best Young Director and for Best Screenplay, Digger is about a reclusive farmer in the lush backwoods of northern Greece who battles a giant mining company that is digging up the forest and threatening his property. The greatest threat comes with the unexpected arrival of his estranged son, who appears after a 20-year separation to claim the family land.

Nature is another main character in the film and the rugged, autumnal landscapes are perhaps not what most people think of when they think of Greece, but still have a sublime beauty that Grigorakis captured in the film. It reminds the viewer that most of Greece is mountainous and trying to make a living in this unforgiving environment is not for the faint of heart but also inspires the profound love of the land and nature that is so moving in the film. Mourikis is especially deft at portraying this love with great nuance. Even in his interactions with the farm animals he shows sensitivity, wit, and strength that keeps the audience riveted throughout the film. Under Grigorakis’ direction, the actors shine, bringing to life their characters with an authenticity that is powerful.

“The strong turnout for the New York Greek Film Expo last month convinced us that people are ready to go back to movie theaters,” said DeMetro. “And Digger is an excellent film to come back to. It’s well made, the performances are brilliant, and the subject matter is topical.”

He also noted that the film has been picked up for distribution in the U.S. by Strand Releasing, so it anyone who missed the screening can look forward to seeing it once it opens wider in theaters.

Among those present for the screening on Sunday were Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and his wife Penelope Tsilas, filmmaker Minos Pappas, and members of the Greek community who were delighted to see the Always on Sunday film series back at MoMI.

Hellenic Film Society USA president Jimmy DeMetro introduced the award-winning film Digger, directed by Georgis Grigorakis, at the screening at the Museum of the Moving Image on November 14. Photo: Eleni Sakellis

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

In addition to collaborating with the Museum of the Moving Image for its series of monthly Greek film screenings, HFS presents the annual New York Greek Film Expo film festival annually. When the pandemic forced movie theaters to close, HFS began streaming Greek films worldwide and created a YouTube channel to satisfy audience demand for Greek film.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. Additional support is provided by the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Kallinikeion Foundation, and Queens Council on the Arts. For additional information, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 347-934-9497.

ASTORIA, QUEENS — A couple of film festivals are returning to Astoria this Oct. with in-person screenings for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The events, including the month-long Astoria Film Festival and the ten-day-long New York Greek Film Expo, both kick off on Friday Oct. 1.

Screenings for the Greek film festival, which is entirely in-person, will be split between the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. The Astoria Film Festival, by contrast, will divide its lineup between online and in-person events.

The Astoria Film Festival

The bulk of the Astoria Film Festival’s in person-events are slated for the first weekend in Oct., starting with an opening night of youth films at Heart of Gold’s backyard theater on Friday, followed by a lineup of screenings, workshops, and panels at Kaufman Astoria Studios’ backlot and Zukor Theater throughout the weekend.

There will also be movie screenings at Heart of Gold on Sunday evenings throughout the month, concluding with a “Halloween horror fest” on Sunday Oct. 31.

This wide-ranging lineup of festival events will also take place online, including movie screenings and filmmaker meet-and-greets alike.

“Astoria Film Festival is very much a hybrid organization, as committed to education and community as we are to independent filmmaking,” said the festival’s executive director Nina Fiore in a statement, alluding to the month-long event’s extensive lineup.

The festival tickets range from free of charge to $125 for a festival-long pass.

The New York Greek Film Expo

While the New York Green Film Expo kicks off on Oct. 1, screenings won’t come to Astoria until the following weekend, when films will screen at the Museum of the Moving Image from Friday Oct. 8 through Sunday Oct. 10.

Screenings include four feature length films and three shorts. Movies that aren’t made in English will include English subtitles.

Since the movies are being shown indoors at a museum, all movie goers must be vaccinated in order to watch the films, per the city’s indoor vaccine mandate. Attendees should bring proof of vaccination and a photo ID.

Also, everyone at the screenings needs to wear a mask during the movies.
Tickets cost $15 per-person, with a reduced fee of $11 for seniors and students, $9 for kids ages 3-17 and $7-11 for museum members. Festival goers can also use the code NYEXPO21 to get a 20 percent discount.

A scene from Swing Away, filmed on Rhodes. (Photo: Courtesy of the Hellenic Film Society USA)

ASTORIA – Swing Away, the story of a burned-out golfer who visits Greece to regroup and reconnect with her roots, will be presented outdoors in Astoria on Saturday, August 22, 8:30 PM. The screening is part of the Bel Aire Diner’s summer film series, which premiered during the pandemic to offer viewers safe, socially distant entertainment. The pop-up drive-in is in the diner’s parking lot located on the corner of Broadway and 21st Street, 31-91 21st Street in Astoria, Queens.

The film, directed by Michael Achilles Nickles and starring Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, That ‘70s Show) and John O’Hurley (Seinfeld), is about a troubled professional golfer who travels to her grandparent’s village in Greece and is shaken out of her funk by mentoring a young girl determined to become a golf sensation. While there, she also rallies the townspeople to stand up against a greedy real estate developer who wants to turn the local course into 5-star golf resort and waterpark.

“While most people cannot travel to Greece at this time, watching Swing Away is the next best thing to being there,” says George Stephanopoulos, the film’s producer and a board member of Hellenic Film Society USA, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Greek films and those made by Greek and Greek-American filmmakers to American audiences. “Swing Away was shot on location on the island of Rhodes in and around the town of Lindos so the setting and cinematography create a Greek island experience that is unique in terms of its natural beauty, ancient history and mythology.”

The film was released in theaters and on demand in October 2017 and premiered at numerous international film festivals in Greece, Cyprus, the UK, Canada, Australia, and the U.S., including the Savannah Film Festival, Bentonville Film Festival, Chesapeake Film Festival, and notably the 2018 Greek Film Expo presented by the Hellenic Film Society USA.

“We’re delighted that the Bel Aire is showing Swing Away,” said Jimmy DeMetro, Hellenic Film Society president. “The message of following your dreams and standing up for what you think is right is especially timely right now. It’s the perfect film to watch as a family on a summer night.”

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization presents high-quality, well-crafted feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that depict the rich culture and history of Greece and Cyprus. HFS presents the annual New York Greek Film Expo film festival every spring. They also present Always on Sunday, a series of monthly Greek film screenings, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY, as well interviews with filmmakers and panel discussions about filmmaking that inform, enlighten, and inspire audiences of all nationalities.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. The Greek Film Expo on Demand is made possible with support from the Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, and the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. For additional information, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org or call 646-844-1488.

Think of how many people in the world learn English or at least improve it by watching movies or TV shows. Why can’t we just do the same thing with Greek?

Of course we can! Sure, maybe Greek cinema cannot even compare to the amount of Hollywood movies that are culturally exported all over the world, and one could claim that the Greek language could be more challenging to learn, but all experts agree that any learner can significantly improve their language skills watching movies in the language they are learning.

The biggest online Greek School, The Greek Online School, and Hellenic Film Society USA have partnered up to help promote this amazingly interesting connection between films and language.

With the certainty that Greek cinema is wonderful to watch and can also be a great way for a learner to hear the language being used in context, the Greek Online School has created a video series. The series discusses how Greek movies can be used in and out of the Greek classroom to help a learner hear the language spoken in the most authentic way, get some cultural insight into the particularities of the Greek language and even practice with it.

For the month of May, the video discussion focuses on “Tzeni Tzeni” by Dinos Dimopoulos, the 1966 sophisticated Greek rom com with some of the most beloved Greek film stars, Tzeni Karezi, Andreas Barkoulis, Dionisis Papagiannopoulos and Lambros Konstantaras.

In the video the Greek Online School teachers give ideas of specific grammar phenomena that can be taught using this film, they discuss techniques to use the movie in class with students and they also analyze the important cultural references that a Greek student will grasp after watching “Tzeni Tzeni” and its authentic take on the Greek society of the 60s.

In “Tzeni Tzeni,” Greek politics, family feuds, Greek dances, and underlying anxieties about the position of women and sexual liberation all merge together with humor, love and a critique of Greek conservatism with the breathtaking island of Spetses in the background. The result is an unforgettable comedy that will bring a smile to your face, muffle you with a warm nostalgic feeling of Greek summers and teach you Greek when you are not even trying to learn it.

You can enjoy the interesting video discussion with specific examples and techniques on how to use “Tzeni Tzeni” in and out of the Greek classroom here.  You can also find the video below.

You can stream “Tzeni Tzeni” through Hellenic Film Society USA until May 31, 2021.

You can also watch the video discussion series on the HFS USA April films “Little England” by Pantelis Voulgaris (linked here) and “Little Greek Godfather” by Olga Malea (linked here).

And don’t forget! Greek cinema is alive and strong and can be a great way to learn Greek while having fun!

Watch the “Tzeni Tzeni” Video Discussion

Watch the “Little England” Video Discussion

Watch the “Little Greek Godfather” Video Discussion

A still from the classic 1963 film “America America” by Elia Kazan, which will be offered for free to viewers in celebration of the Bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence. Credit: Still from America, America/Youtube

The Hellenic Film Society USA will celebrate the Greek Bicentennial of the War of Independence this month with a series of Greek films streamed and offered for online viewing.

“America America,” written and directed by Elia Kazan, is only one of the classic films portraying the Greek experience that will be available for streaming from March 19-21.

The film follows the story of a young man leaving his impoverished village in Asia Minor for Constantinople in the 1890s, eventually fulfilling his dream of emigrating to America.

Elia Kazan’s favorite film

This classic black and white movie was Kazan’s favorite among all his 19 feature films.

Produced and written by Kazan himself, the work was adapted from his own book, published in 1962. Seen in the light of the Greek bicentennial, it is a moving story of the Greek struggle to survive in the modern world.

Inspired by the life of his uncle, Avraam Elia Kazantzoglou, Kazan used little-known cast members, with the entire storyline revolving around the central performance of Greek actor Stathis Giallelis, who was twenty-two years old at the time.

Gialellis was in virtually every scene of the nearly three-hour-long movie.

Chosen for preservation by Library of Congress

In 2001, “America, America” was included in the annual selection of 25 motion pictures added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, after it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and recommended for preservation.

The Hellenic Film Society (HFS) is marking the bicentennial of Greece’s Independence with a special program of eight such classic features.

Seven films and an original Netflix episode, all inspired by Greek history, from the Persian Wars to the Greek bicentennial to the present day, will stream worldwide from March 19-28. Each presentation will be accompanied by conversations with filmmakers to provide historical context and insights about the making of the film.

2019’s “Cliffs of Freedom” Celebrates Greek bicentennial of War of Independence

To celebrate this milestone in Greek history, the HFS is presenting two features free of charge: the recent “Cliffs of Freedom,” set during the Greek War of Independence in 1821, and the pilot episode of the hit original Netflix series “Blood of Zeus,” which is of course based on Greek mythology.

Viewers may purchase tickets for the remaining six films individually or buy a pass to all for the special price of $18.21.

The eclectic offerings include the work of distinguished Greek-American filmmakers, past and present, from Kazan to Charley and Vlas Parlapanides, the minds behind the Blood of Zeus series.

Selections will appeal to nearly everyone, ranging from Hollywood epics to indie documentaries, the original Netflix episode, and two films that focus on the Greek Revolution of 1821.

“Beneath the Olive Tree” documentary on female political prisoners

“Beneath the Olive Tree,” directed by Stavroula Toska, offered in Greek and English with English subtitles, is from just last year. This award-winning documentary unearths the story behind secret diaries found buried on the Greek island of Trikeri.

Written by female political exiles during the Greek Civil War in the late 1940s, the journals reveal inspirational stories of thousands of women imprisoned in Greek concentration camps. It is narrated by Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis. Awards that this film have garnered include Best Documentary at the Santa Fe Film Festival.

“The Hellenic Film Society is committed to marking this important milestone in Greek history with a film celebration that honors the Greek struggle and the journey of the Greek people since gaining their independence from the Ottoman Turks,” said Jimmy DeMetro, Hellenic Film Society president.

“Through the years, Greek history has captured the imagination of filmmakers, and we are happy to present this terrific lineup of eclectic selections.”

This special program celebrating the Greek bicentennial is sponsored by The Greek Online School, which offers live Greek language courses online to children and adults. “Cliffs of Freedom” is made available, free of charge, courtesy of the National Hellenic Society. The “Blood of Zeus” episode is made available, free of charge, courtesy of Netflix.

A scene from the Tailor to be screened at the New York Greek Film Expo. Credit: Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA is launching the New York Greek Film Expo 2021 this weekend. The organization announced its complete lineup of feature length films and shorts on Thursday in advance of the festival’s opening night this Friday. The festival runs from October 1-10.

The screenings will take place at the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan and the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Astoria is perhaps the largest enclave in the city for Greeks and Greek Americans, and the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the most respected and prestigious film venues across the five boroughs.

Film-goers must be vaccinated in order to attend screenings at either site. Both sites will also follow New York safety protocols, which means that masks may probably be required indoors as well.

The festival will be premiering new works as well as showing award winning pieces, and constitutes the Expo’s first return back to theaters since the pandemic.

Here is a list of the festival’s feature film lineup along with venues and screening dates, with descriptions courtesy of the Hellenic Film Society:

New York Greek Film Expo 2021 Feature Film Lineup

THE AUDIENCE, written and directed by Mariano Pensotti. U.S. premiere

Friday, October 1 at 9:20pm — Directors Guild Theater

This strikingly original film follows the stories of 11 audience members attending a play in Athens. Their personal stories reveal the transformative power of theater. Mature audiences only.

DIGGER, written and directed Georgis Grigorakis. New York theatrical premiere

Sunday, October 3 , 6:45pm — Directors Guild Theater

A reclusive farmer battles a giant mining company digging up the forest and threatening his property. But the greatest threat is from the unexpected arrival of his estranged son, who appears to claim the family land. Winner of ten 2021 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Feature Film, Best Director, and Best Actor.

GREENSEA, directed by Angeliki Antoniou

Saturday, October 2, 7:00pm – DirectorsGuildTheater

Friday, October 8, 7:00pm — Museum of the Moving Image

Anna has lost her memory but hasn’t forgotten how to cook. She gets a job in a working-class seaside taverna, where amid the aromas of old beloved recipes, she struggles to rediscover herself. This film, directed, written, and starring women, is being co-presented by New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT).

IN THE STRANGE PURSUIT OF LAURA DURAND, written and directed by Dimitris Bavellas

Sunday, October 3, 1:30pm — Directors Guild Theater

Ranging from zany to poignant, this comic road movie blends various film genres and a lively 1980s indie rock soundtrack as it tells the story of two down-and-out musicians who embark on a search for a porn star of their youth who mysteriously disappeared several years ago. Winner of seven film festival awards.

THE MAN WITH THE ANSWERS, written and directed by Stelios Kammitsis

Saturday, October 2, 9:20pm — Directors Guild Theater

Following the death of his grandmother, an uptight former Olympic diving champion heads to Germany to visit his estranged mother. En route, he meets a free-spirited German tourist. The mismatched men hit the road where they develop a surprising relationship on their way to self-discovery and reconciliation. Mature audiences only.

MY NAME IS EFTYHIA, directed by Angelos Frantzis

Sunday, October 3, 4:00pm – Directors Guild Theater

Saturday, October 9, 7:00pm — Museum of the Moving Image

This biographical drama tells the story of the indomitable Eftyhia Papagiannopoulou, who escaped the burning of Smyrna and went to Athens where she became the beloved lyricist of Greece. Winner of eight Hellenic Film Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor.

SENIOR CITIZEN, directed by Marinos Kartikkis

Saturday, October 2, 5:00pm – Directors Guild Theater

Sunday, October 10, 4:00pm – Museum of the Moving Image

A lonely old man spends his nights in the outpatient department of a local hospital. Every morning, he returns home to his cat and his memories. One night he is discovered by a nurse, who tries to learn more about him and gradually, a relationship of trust begins to build between the two. Winner of 10 film festival awards.

TAILOR, directed by Sonia Liza Kenterman

Friday, October 1, 7:00pm — Directors Guild Theater

Saturday, October 9, 4:00pm — Museum of the Moving Image

Changing trends in men’s fashion bring hard times to a master tailor. When the bank threatens to repossess his shop, he hits the road with a tailor shop on wheels. Determined to survive, he manages to reinvent himself while bringing style to the brides of Athens. Winner of two Hellenic Film Academy Awards and three Thessaloniki Film Festival Awards.

Cloudy Sunday (Ouzeri Tsitsanis), directed by Manoussos Manousakis, is a drama set in the Nazi-occupied Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1943. Photo: Courtesy of Hellenic Film Society USA

NEW YORK – Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) announced that it will stream two Jewish-themed Greek films throughout the month of January to mark Holocaust Remembrance. The drama, Cloudy Sunday, and documentary, My Sweet Canary, began streaming worldwide on Sunday, January 3 through Saturday, February 6.

Cloudy Sunday (Ouzeri Tsitsanis), directed by Manoussos Manousakis, is a drama set in the Nazi-occupied Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1943, when during an alarming escalation of Jewish persecution, a young Christian resistance fighter falls in love with a Jewish woman. Traditional Sephardic music and the melodies of Vasilis Tsitsanis add to the poignancy of this enthralling drama about love and the horrors of war. The Forward calls it “a powerful, melancholy text that has important implications for contemporary struggles.”

My Sweet Canary, a Greek/Israeli co-production written and directed by Roy Sher, is a rousing documentary about the life of legendary Greek singer Roza Eskenazy, a Sephardic Jew who is widely credited with popularizing the musical genre of rebetika, considered a form of Greek blues, during a 50-year career that began in the 1920s. Both films will be shown with English subtitles.

“The Hellenic Film Society is proud to recognize, during Holocaust Remembrance, Jewish contributions to Greek culture, and to pay tribute to the tens of thousands lost in concentration camps,” says Jimmy DeMetro, president of the Hellenic Film Society. “The moving films we’ve selected capture the joys as well as the horrors of that time and will resonate with today’s audiences.”

Nearly 60,000 Greek Jews died in the Holocaust during the Nazi occupation of Greece during World War II.

January’s programming is made possible by a generous donation from the Koslosky Family Foundation.

My Sweet Canary, a Greek/Israeli co-production written and directed by Roy Sher, is a rousing documentary about the life of legendary Greek singer Roza Eskenazy. Photo: Courtesy of Hellenic Film Society USA

The two films are presented as part of the Hellenic Film Society’s Always on Sunday on Demand film series, an outgrowth of the Always on Sunday film series which began at the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria in 2018. The monthly online series follows the successful virtual Greek film festival that HFS presented in July after the pandemic forced movie theaters to close indefinitely, precluding the presentation of the New York Greek Film Expo, the Society’s annual spring film festival in theaters around the New York metropolitan area.

The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA, the Kallinikeion Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, and the New York City Council through the office of Council Member Costa Constantinides.

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