Friday, 11 January 2008

focus on the greek diaspora

ACMI cinemas is proud to present Focus on the Greek Diaspora, a unique season of films that have stories of migration and immigration at their core, and present an insight into how related issues have been tackled by Greek film makers over the past fifty years. 

Tales of travel, dislocation, searching for identity, love and humour; the social phenomena of immigration and its surrounding issues have long provided a source of inspiration for filmmakers as they seek to share the compelling experiences of migrants the world over.

Focusing specifically on films by directors of Greek origin, and sourced direct from the prestigious Thessaloniki International Film Festival's one-off retrospective Immigration in Greek Cinema (1956 - 2006), ACMI's Focus on the Greek Diaspora season is of particular relevance to Melbourne audiences. Sister-city for 23 years, Thessaloniki and Melbourne have long shared an important relationship, while Melbourne is commonly recognised as both the world's third largest Greek community and the largest outside of Greece.

Comprising of feature length dramas, comedies, documentaries and short films, the retrospective will be of significance to a large cross section of the Greek-Australian community and Melburnians at large. While the majority of the program's stories are not specifically concerned with Greek migration to Australia, narratives from many of the films will resonate with Melbourne audiences as tales told on screen will resemble those of their own, their families or friends.

Program highlights include Constantine Giannaris' internationally acclaimed Hostage, which examines the country's relations with neighbouring Albania. Based around the real life story of a 1999 hijacking that shocked the nation, the film provoked extreme responses on its 2005 release and has become of the most talked about films in contemporary Greek Cinema. The director will be in Melbourne to personally introduce his work in a special screening event on January 19.

Other highlights include international 2004 hit Brides, Pantelis Voulgais' tale of doomed love, family ties community and honour, and Marseilles, a Greek Profile -  an award winning documentary that explores the universal question of identity for those who have two homelands. Nestoras Matsas' 1965 film The Immigrant is a classic melodrama set in rural post-war Greece, festival opener Dollars and Dreams is a snappy, romantic comedy shot in 1956 based around a Greek/American bond, while 1966 film To the Ship charts the journey of a villager that sets sail on the long journey for Australia, and is credited as contributing to the emergence of New Greek Cinema.

The season also features a panel discussion featuring Gianaris (Hostage) alongside local commentators discussing national identity, acceptance, and artistic representations of multiculturalism.

Information & bookings: / (03) 8663 2583

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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