Greek Film Fest Chicago Opens Today

The 1st annual Greek Film Fest Chicago! will take place September 29 – October 2, 2011 at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, the new National Hellenic Museum and the Portage Theater (Sunday only) in Chicago. The four-day event will include screenings of internationally-acclaimed films, as well as works from up-and-coming filmmakers. Over the course of the 4 days – 49 films will be presented.

Tonight, Greek director Margarita Manda will open the festival with the screening of her film GOLD DUST, an intense family drama about three estranged siblings at odds over what to do with the home of their deceased mother; a story told with great psychological precision and tremendous emotional impact.  This screening will be followed by a VIP reception in Park Ridge from 9pm-11:30pm, hosted by Chicago’s well known Miller’s Pub.

On September 30, the new National Hellenic Museum will open its doors for the festival, showing  a full slate of historical documentaries. Beginning at 1:00pm, shorts and student films will be shown. The official ‘Flashes of History’ reception will start at 7:00pm followed at 7:30pm by MY SWEET CANARY, on the life and music of Rosa Eskenazi.

On Saturday October 1st, A SONG FOR ARGYRIS will take us through the eyes of a 4 year-old boy to the 1944 Distomo Massacre in Greece, while CAPTAIN KEMAL will narrate his extraordinary journey of how he started as a devout nationalist Turk, fanatic enemy of the Greeks, to end up fighting in the Greek Civil War on the side of the Greek Guerrillas (Communists) in 1947.

On Sunday October 2nd, WOMEN OF CYPRUS will guide us through the eyes of two women during the failed U.N. referendum attempt to reunite the divided island to their present search for reconciliation and common ground. Also on this night, Greek director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos (THE GUARDIAN’S SON) will appear. FilmHellenes will host an open conversation with both visiting directors at the new National Hellenic Museum at 11:30am.

The Festival’s program categories are: Hellenic Current (recent narrative features, short subjects, animation, feature and short length documentaries); Flashes of History (historical documentaries); Young Ambition (student entries); and Chrysotheke, by festival invitation only, which salutes films that have put Greece on the map.

Click to view a complete schedule and film synopses.