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GREEK FILMMAKERS ‘GO FOR THE GOLD’ IN HOLLYWOOD AT LOS ANGELES GREEK FILM FESTIVAL (May 31 - June 3, 2012)

In the spirit of the ongoing global
‘quest for the gold' born in Athens, Greece, over two centuries ago, filmmakers
will experience their own moment of triumph as they step onto the red carpet at
Hollywood's famed Egyptian Theatre, May 31st, for the opening night
of the 2012 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, to culminate June 3rd
with the prestigious Orpheus Awards ceremony.

 

While
the people of Greece confront unprecedented challenges, their heartache shared
by Greek people worldwide, filmmakers from near and far are converging in
Hollywood this week for the 2012 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, fully intent
on "Defeating the Crisis through the Viewfinder."  Knowing it would be more challenging than
ever to pull off this year's event, organizers set out to "go for the gold" at
all levels months ago, and are arriving on the red carpet triumphant, with an
impressive number of filmmakers in attendance and a record number of tickets
and Gold Passes sold for the critically-acclaimed films and intriguing
programs.

Filmmaker
Liaison Eleni Arvaniti, a four-year veteran of LAGFF, expressed, "A common
sentiment among all the filmmakers is hope-hope that, in spite of what present
circumstances may indicate, a way to something new will materialize; and it
has.  Because of hardships, it seems that
the filmmakers are embracing this experience and the opportunities they may
find in Los Angeles with greater appreciation and enthusiasm. Having
experienced our own hardships and obstacles as well, we are even more
enthusiastic and excited to welcome them."

LAGFF
Co-Founder and Artistic Director Ersi Danou added, "We like to think of LAGFF
as a hub for filmmakers and professionals in Hollywood at this time of the
year. We take pride in the caliber of talent we gather and we certainly want to
bring filmmakers in touch with those who have been successful in the
entertainment industry."

Opening
the 2012 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival May 31st at the Egyptian
Theatre is a story of experience, strength and hope that challenges people to
rise in the face of adversity, and inspires them to find new and different ways
to live lives infused with integrity and grace while making the world a better
place.  A GREEN STORY, the narrative
feature from writer/director Nika Agiashvili and Paramyth Films, is the
triumphant true tale of Van Vlahakis, a Greek immigrant who arrived in America
with only $22 in his pocket, but eventually founded the multimillion dollar
Green company, Earth Friendly Products.

Walking
the red carpet in celebration of the world premiere of A GREEN STORY will be
Van Vlahakis and the man who portrays him, Ed O'Ross; Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks and
the woman who portrays her, Shannon Elizabeth; and the creative team including Producer/Writer/Director
Nika Agiashvili, Executive Producer David Agiashvili, Producers John Edward Lee
and Dimitri Birbilis, Producer/Casting Director Chadwick Struck, Producer/Unit
Production Manager Deanna Plasscencia and Co-Producer Pablo D'Adamo.

Adding
to the occasion, actors George Finn (who portrays the young Van Vlahakis),
Louis Mandylor, Anthony Skodri, Eve Mauro, Thaao Penghlis, Talia Jackson and
Alexis Georgoulis;  along with Music
Composer Elton Ahi, Editor Jason Zeni, Production Designer Mark Macauley, Art
Director Lasha Zambakhidze, Director of Photography Tari Segal, Costume Designer
Alicya Blake and Makeup Artist Tara Hiljus.

A
highlight of this year's LAGFF is a tribute to the great filmmaker Theo
Angelopoulos who was killed in a road accident five months ago while filming
THE OTHER SEA.  Added LAGFF Executive
Director Craig Prater, "Due to the fact that there has not yet been a Los
Angeles tribute for the iconic Theo Angelopoulos, we have decided to open our
doors to the public for free.  This
includes both a panel discussion and a screening of ETERNITY AND DAY, getting
underway Saturday, June 3rd at 10:00 a.m. at the Linwood Dunn
Theater."

Filmmakers
attending LAGFF this year in support of their films include WASTED YOUTH Director
Argyris Papadimitropoulos;  SUPER
DEMETRIOS Director/Writer/Co-Producer Giorgios Papaionnaou, Writer/Co-Producer
Dimitris Papavasiliou, and Writer/Actor Charalampos Papapostolou;  TUNGSTEN Director Georgios Georgopoulos;  THREE DAYS OF HAPPINESS Director Dimitris
Athanitis, Art Director Stella Kaltsou and Composer Alexis Grapsas.

THE
PALACE Director Anthony Maras; ABARIZA Director Elena Dimitrakopoulou; INTERSECTION
Director Yeesum Lo and Writer/Producer Dorothea Paschalidou; F-K Producer Tasos
Mouhteros; SACRED WHISPERS Director Constantinos Isaias, Actress Alexia
Vassiliou and Cinematographer Alexandro Isaias; 
SUN DON'T SHINE FOR US Co-Directors Pete Stamatelatos and Scott
Ackerlund, Producer Joey Allen, Actress Anna Giannotis and Actor George
Christopoulos; FORTUNATE SON Actor/Director Tony Asimakopoulos and Producer
Benjy Moran; and SAYOME Director Nikos Dayandas.

VIP guests hitting the red carpet
opening night include LA Congressman Brad Sherman; Gil Artzyeli, Deputy Consul
General of Israel, with wife Vivianna; actors Jesse Woodrow, Stratos
Tzorzoglou, Alexis Varouxakis, and Patricia Kara; Greek actor, dancer and
legend George Chakiris of West Side Story
fame; composer Farhad Behroozi; Sasha Bronner, LA Editor for Huffington Post;
STARZ network executive Theano Apostolou; jury and panel members Bob Arentz,
Klara Beverly, Andrew Crane, Mark Esola, Mark Halperin, Alexia Melocchi, Steve
Muller, Katerina Zacharia and Kevin Iwashina; singer Vassy; and from the Bravo
reality series Shahs of Sunset, GG
Charachedaghi, Reza Farahan, MJ Javid, Asa Rahmati, Mike Shouhed and Sammy
Younai.

As
if the experience of stepping onto the red carpet opening night isn't sweet
enough already, filmmakers and festival goers are in for a treat at the
post-screening dinner reception, Under the Stars, as Ben & Jerry's unveils
its new line of "greekin" good Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors - Strawberry
Shortcake, Raspberry Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter and Blueberry Vanilla
Graham.

While
Ben & Jerry's new Greek Frozen Yogurt flavors don't own a proverbial tux,
per se, as a values-led, socially-minded business, the company will be at
LAGFF's opening night film, A GREEN STORY, to recognize and applaud a life
chronicle that resonates with Ben & Jerry's mission and values.  For over 34 years Ben & Jerry's has
operated on the idea of linked prosperity: that everyone who the company
interacts with - suppliers, employees, farmers, franchisees, customers, and
neighbors alike - are all affected by the brand, and thus, as the company
prospers, so should its employees and the community. Of course, they dish out
some pretty great ice cream too. Be sure to check out Ben & Jerry's
refreshing and fruity Greek Frozen Yogurt concoctions.

While not a
gold medal, the big prize at LAGFF is the Orpheus Award-named for the legendary
Greek poet and "father of songs"-an annual prize to honor the best in Greek and
Greek inspired cinema. The 2012 Orpheus Awards
presentation has been merged with the exclusive party at Greek Consul General
Elisabeth Fotiadou's residence, and will take place June 3rd, following
the closing night reception and film (SAYOME). The Orpheus Awards is an
exclusive event for the festival's supporters and Gold Pass holders-along with
sponsors, VIPs and filmmakers-who will be treated to a three-song set by Greek
singer Vassy, whose new album Beautiful
Day
is gaining in worldwide popularity (see www.kissmyvassy.com).

The
majority of LAGFF will take place at the Linwood Dunn Theater on the campus of
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion
Picture Study in the heart of Hollywood, California.

Produced
by the nonprofit Eastern Mediterranean and Balkan Cultural Center (EMBCC) with
the support of sponsors worldwide, the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival promotes
awareness of Greek culture through the art of cinema.

In the face
of the global economic crisis hitting Greece, the cost of the 2012 LAGFF Gold
Pass has been reduced by $100 (33%) to only $200, but must be purchased online
in advance. To purchase a Gold Pass or individual tickets, and for more
information, visit www.lagff.org

Friends and
fans worldwide are encouraged to follow the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival at www.Facebook.com/lagff, www.Twitter.com/lagff and at www.youtube.com/LAGreekFilmFestival.  

ABOUT OUR SPONSORS 

 

The 2012
Los Angles Greek Film Festival is grateful for the support of numerous key
sponsors, many of which are mentioned here. 

Gold Patron
Earth Friendly Products (www.ecos.com) is the leader in the
development and production of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies for
household and commercial use, with over 150 products manufactured, distributed,
and sold in the USA, Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. All Earth
Friendly Products are created with only replenishable and sustainable
plant-based ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and the planet. 
The company proudly adheres to its strict "Freedom Code", a list of
harmful and toxic ingredients that are not found in any its products. 
Earth Friendly Products has proudly received the 2010 GEELA Award for
Sustainable Business Practices, 2009 Green PatriotTM Green 100TM Designation
and the Champion level recognition from the US EPA, through the Design for the
Environment (DfE) Program's Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative.  The company's solar division, Progressive
Power Group, is just another example of how Earth Friendly Products is a
sustainable business leader. 

Gold Patron
Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation-ERT
S.A.
(www.ert.gr/ertae/en/etaireia/etaireia.asp)
was founded in 1938 and is the largest radio and television broadcasting
organization in Greece.  As the country's
first broadcaster, it has an unrivalled audio and visual archive which captures
much of the history of modern Greece. 
ERT has three broadcasting television stations with national coverage
(ET1, NET and ET3), one satellite channel (ERT World), four terrestrial digital
channels (Cine+, Prisma+, Sport+ and Info+), six radio programs with
headquarters in Athens (NET, Second Program, Third Program, FILIA, KOSMOS, ERA
Sport), two international radio stations based in Thessaloniki (95.8 and 102
FM), and 19 regional radio stations throughout Greece.  ERT has been an ardent supporter of LAGFF
since 2008. 

Gold Patron
Pabst Brewing Company / The Metropoulos
Family

We are very
proud to welcome the Pabst Brewing Company and the Metropoulos Family as Gold
Patron of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival 2012. 
Pabst Brewing Company is an award-winning American company that was
founded in 1844.  It brews over two dozen
brands of beer, including the much-loved Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR).  The Company supports several community events
and worthy organizations.  This year, it
is presenting LAGFF's Industry Panel: Representation in Hollywood, and the
Closing Night Film SAYOME.  The screening
will be preceded by Pabst beer and hors d' oeuvres reception.

LAGFF
Welcomes Ben & Jerry's as a
Silver Patron.  G. P. Kolovos & Associates returns this year as Silver Patron.
Bronze Patrons include Hollywood Foreign
Press Association
and West Coast Investors.
Media Sponsors include ERT and NotesFromHollywood.com.  Supporters includes HBO, Astro Burger, Greek Film
Centre,
and Delphi Greek Restaurant.
LAGFF receives support from European
Language Movies in America (ELMA)
.

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