Los Angeles.- By Vasilis Papoutsis
The 15th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) that is taking place May 10th to May 30th will not be at the grounds of the iconic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood like it had been in previous years, but it will be entirely on-line and on-demand due to the pandemic. And although we will not have the pleasure to watch the films on the big screen, this virtual edition will feature an impressive lineup of over 50 features, shorts, docs, and animated films, making it the largest on-line Greek Film Festival outside of Greece. The lineup will include 4 world premieres, 23 North American and 5 US premieres.
One of the 2 feature films that were shown in press previous was the Green Sea by director Aggeliki Antoniou. The film that was based on the best-selling book of Eugenia Fakinou, Gia na dei ti Thalassa (Για να δει την θάλασσα) it is a story of exploration and self-discovery. Anna, the protagonist of the film, has lost her memory and in her travels around Athens ends up in a working-class seaside tavern. Thankfully, she has not forgotten her cooking skills and she convinces the lonely owner, with the unusual name Roula, of the taverna to give her a job as a cook. His risk paid off handsomely! Anna has magical cooking abilities, and the working-class customers are amazed of her delicious foods and most importantly those foods bring up childhood memories and past experiences.
Director Aggeliki Antoniou in our conversation said that she liked the fact that she was cooking traditional Greek cuisine rather than modern dishes “as the traditional foods are more likely to invoke memories of the past”. Antoniou who has studied architecture had a clear vision of what the establishment should look like. “I spent a year looking for the right location and finally found a location in Aspropirgos that was burned down, and we had to rebuild it. In my view it was vital that Anna lived upstairs from the restaurant, as it signals a physical attachment to her place of employment”. Anna’s character was brilliantly portrayed by Angeliki Papoulia, an exceptional Greek actress known for the work on Dogtooth and The Lobster by director Yorgos Lanthimos.
Papoulia brought vulnerability and feistiness to the character, both elements necessary for her to thrive in her new environment. Yiannis Tsortekis delivered an exceptional performance in his portrayal of the lonely and enigmatic Roula. The supporting cast delivered fine performances as well. Green Sea (ΠρασινηΘαλασσα) is an exceptional offering not to be missed. The second film of the pressprevious, Tailor by Sonia Liza Kenterman, is a well-crafted story of survival and reinvention worth checking out.
The festival will also be offering a number of webinars along with live and pre-recorded Q &As and at the festival’s web site https://lagff.org you can locate all the relevant information.
See you at the virtual Greek movies!