Los Angeles Greek Film Festival Launches Global Film Initiative


The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF), now in its 17e successful consecutive year, is about to broaden its mission and scope with an ambitious program under the Framework Program Global Greek Cinema Initiative (GGFI).

GGFI is strategically designed to establish a range of new annual programs aimed at promoting cultural exchange between Greece, the United States and the Greek Diaspora, service opportunities for employment and economic growth in Greece and be the hub North American and global one-stop-shop collective for Greek film programs. and initiatives.

Lia Bozonelis, a Greek-American writer-producer and LAGFF board member who conceived the idea of ​​a multi-faceted, year-round program, said “Greece is experiencing a hard-won opportunity with the amount of international production flowing in. and valuing the work within the studio system as well as the mission and resources of our organization, we can help ensure that Greece remains a center of film production and a global base for promoting new talent.

GGFI Founders, Board Members Lia Bozonelis and Ersi Danou and Festival Director Aris Katopodis will be supported by a Board of Directors and Dignitary Group, comprised of the organization’s most trusted donors and top Hollywood professionals, such as former president and studio head Jim Gianopulos. , writer-actress Nia Vardalos, director-TV producer Greg Yaitanes, MEP and actor-writer Alexis Georgoulis, to name a few, as well as up-and-coming Hollywood professionals representing the new generations of Greek Americans in the entertainment industry.

“For long-term success, you need to adapt, change and be relevant every day,” Katopodis said. “Change is good. Casting a wider frame, Global Initiative of Greek Cinema represents the growing influence of the Hellenic diaspora in Greece, particularly at a time when Greece was becoming a major hub of film production in Southern Europe.

According to Panos Kouanis, President and Managing Director of the Greek National Center for Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME) “in less than five years, Greece has become one of the main shooting destinations not only in Europe but also in the world. entire ; in particular in 2021, more than 10 big budget productions were shot in Greece – for Amazon, Netflix, Paramount Studios, Apple TV, Millennium Films – thanks to the highly competitive investment incentive and tax incentive that are offered.

“The sudden influx of American and international film productions into Greece has resulted in the urgent need for a sustainable industrial infrastructure and well-trained crews,” added Danou, board member and co-founder of LAGFF. “The Global Initiative of Greek Cinema is there to help by coordinating efforts and offering workshops, training courses and scholarships. It will also strengthen our festival and expand into more programmatic avenues.

Under GGFI, the organization will include several new programs:

  • The creation of a crew training program for Greek professionals in the entertainment industry, administered by American professionals and technicians.
  • Strategies to facilitate the production of Hollywood films in Greece.
  • Scholarships for Greek film students to attend and participate in the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, as well as benefit from personalized professional development and networking programs.
  • As part of GGFI, LAGFF’s already established International Project Discovery Forum, an international scenario development lab and presentation forum, under GGFI, will offer workshops in Greece administered by American professionals.
  • Multiple series of online and in-person screenings/events with various relevant focus areas including: faith and tradition, diversity, women’s empowerment and LGBTQAI+.

Alexis Georgoulis – who is also a member of the cult committee of the European Parliament, co-founder of Cultural Creators Friendship Group in the European Parliament and a GGFI dignitary – said: “I am really excited about the mission of the GGFI. I strongly support this major breakthrough for the Greek film industry. There is no other initiative like this. This is exactly what Greece needs!

Nia Vardalos, GGFI dignitary and long-time LAGFF supporter, shared her excitement: “I have just completed an incredibly wonderful experience leading My Fat Greek Wedding 3 entirely shot in Greece, I can say unequivocally… on your next film… go Greek!

“As a citizen of Greece, I dreamed of shooting a series in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Rich in textures and bathed in the most amazing light, the islands and mainland Greece provide endless backdrops for enrich our narrative,” suggested Greg Yaitanes (Dragon House), who serves as a GGFI dignitary.

The GGFI team is expected to start its new programs in early 2023. For more information, please visit – https://www.lagff.org/lagff-launches-global-greek-film-initiative-ggfi/

Key words:
Amazon, Apple TV, Global Greek Film Initiative, Greece, Greek Diaspora, Greek News, Hellenic Diaspora, Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, Netflix, Nia Vardalos, Paramount Studios, USA

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