Inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival celebrates cinema and heritage next month

May 11 2022, 11:21 pm

Greek Heritage Month is just around the corner in Vancouver, with many highly anticipated events on the calendar for this year’s celebration. Now we can add an event for cinema connoisseurs to the list.

The inaugural Vancouver Greek Film Festival (VGFF), presented by The Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC and The Cinematheque, takes place from June 16 to 19.

The festival is described as a celebration of film as art and organizers say that it will feature an eclectic offering of contemporary and classic Greek films.

Vancouver Greek Film Festival

Digger by director Georgis Grigorakis

“When people think of Greek culture, they often associate it with the ancient past,” said VGFF co-founder and artist Christos Dikeakos. “We hope that the Vancouver Greek Film Festival will introduce a more contemporary experience to diverse audiences in the Lower Mainland.

“In particular, Greek cinema has been making breakthroughs in storytelling in recent years, with female directors leading the way. We’re proud to be able to share a curated program that offers a unique chance to discover milestones.”

Vancouver Greek Film Festival

Zorba the Greek by director Michael Cacoyannis/Submitted

VGFF 2022 is curated into four streams. From the Archive presents forgotten classics such as the opening night film Zorba the Greek and Oi Apachides Ton Athinon (The Apaches of Athens) from 1940.

Celebrating Greek Auteurs and Artists will spotlight internationally-renowned filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari by screening Chevalier, Attenberg, and The Capsule. Maria By Callas by director Tom Volf will also be part of VGFF, including an introduction by Canadian soprano Lambroula Pappas.

Vancouver Greek Film Festival

The Capsule by director Athina Rachel Tsangari/Submitted

Contemporary Greek Cinema will screen Digger by Georgis Grigorakis and The Distance Between Us and The Sky by Vasilis Kekatos, recent movies that garnered attention at international film fests.

And Greeks in Diaspora is showcasing Harry Killas’s Greek to Me. The North American premiere is also the closing night film of VGFF and will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

Vancouver Greek Film Festival

Apaches of Athens by director Dimitrios Gaziades/Submitted

“From its inception, the festival’s aim was to focus on the contributions that Greek filmmakers have made to film history and culture,” said Harry Killas, co-founder and head programmer of VGFF. “The program presents a myriad of stories about the human condition, offering insight into the minds of Greek filmmakers that is at once intimate and universal.

“The films include a classic tale of living life to the fullest, a modern-day drama about resource extraction and corporate values in a post-debt crisis Greece, a look at the meteoric trajectory of opera singer Maria Callas, Greek-Canadian fathers and sons, and much more.”

Tickets for VGFF 2022 go on sale on May 19 at thecinematheque.ca.

Vancouver Greek Film Festival

When: June 16 to 19, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: The Cinematheque – 1131 Howe Street, Vancouver
Cost: Single tickets: general (18+) $14, senior (65+) $12,  student $10. Ticket packs: 5 pack for $50 or 10 pack $90. Purchase online starting May 19.

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