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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 7 January 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 7 JANUARY 2017 17 ARTS Beware of Greeks bearing film Hellas Filmbox Berlin aspires to become a platform for diaspora filmmakers NIKOS FOTAKIS "Die Griechen kommen!" For any German citizen believing the myth of the 'lazy Greeks who are trying to live off other Europeans', the cry would be enough of a threat. And the people behind Hellas Filmbox Berlin wouldn't want it any other way. Launched last year, the festival returns from 1822 January, bringing the best of the Greek cinematic crop to the German capital. Hellas Filmbox Berlin was conceived by event manager Asteris Koutoulas as an affirmative artistic response to the wave of negative coverage of Greek news in Germany that was threatening to influence people's perception of the country. "The founding of Hellas Filmbox Berlin 2015 was a direct counterreaction to the unilateral and strongly transfiguring negative image of Greece, which spread from 2010, and dominated the perception of large sections of the German public," attests the festival's director, Sandra von Ruffin. "In the meantime, however, the ongoing crisis in Greece has almost no presence anymore. Last year only reported sporadically in Germany’s newspapers, usually only with reference to the European refugee crisis, and in a demand to ensure that the refugees do not travel further into Europe. Therefore in January 2017, we will show 60 films from Greece and about Greece. Films that have politically relevant themes and realities as well as new internationally-acclaimed, artistically outstanding Greek films," she says, stressing the festival's role as a bridge between Greece and Germany. "The festival contributes directly to the exchange of art and culture between Greece and Germany, as well as to the discussion and understanding process with regard to European sociopolitical issues," she continues. Hellas Filmbox describes Greek films using three powerful words: ‘Radical. Real. Emotional.’ − a body of work that the international audience can look forward to. Last year's edition proved to be a success, presenting 71 films to more than 4,000 spectators in 3.5 days, rapidly becoming Berlin's sixth biggest film festival (the city is host to 65 cinematic events of the kind). But the festival's aim is not Sandra von Ruffin, director of Hellas Filmbox Berlin. PHOTO: STEFAN KLÜTER. so much measured by numbers; it is to start a dialogue, presenting the creative side of Greece to the broader cinematic community − and hopefully becoming a platform for Greek filmmakers from the diaspora. "It would be our honour to start collaboration with the Greek Film festivals in Australia, exchange ideas and thoughts and learn from each other," says von Ruffin. "I would love to see films from Australian Greeks in our next year’s program." The 2017 edition of Hellas Filmbox Berlin comprises 56 films (fiction and documentaries, feature-length and shorts), not least among them Yannis Sakaridis' Attika Square, Argyris Papadimitropoulos' Suntan and Joyce A. Nashawati's Blind Sun. The last two were both part of Melbourne's Greek Film Festival, as was Manousos Manousakis' Cloudy Sunday, which is part of Filmbox's Special Screenings program, dedicated to Jewish history and culture in Greece. The festival will also present an honorary award to acclaimed director Costa Gavras, whose 2002 film Amen will be screened as part of the Festival. The closing film will be Christopher Papakaliatis' Worlds Apart. Among the documentaries screened will be two which have attracted much attention: The Last Resort, by Thanos Anastopoulos and Davide Del Dagan, and Golden Dawn: A Personal Affair by Angélique Kourounis. Another parallel program of Hellas Filmbox is the Outview Film Festival, showcasing Greek LGBTQI cinema, but also a program dedicated to the work of contemporary female filmmakers. Apart from the screenings, Filmbox includes a photo exhibition, 'Gesichter und Räume' ('Faces and Rooms'), featuring Nelly Tragousti's photos, taken during the shooting of Theo Angelopoulos' last film, The Dust of Time, featuring Willem Dafoe and Bruno Ganz, which was in large part shot in Berlin. The festival's director points to works which have taken on historical themes such as Mythopathy by Tassos Boulmetis, as well as disturbing films such as Interruption by Yorgos Zois, in which the viewer can no longer distinguish between reality and fiction, or a film like Impressions of a Drowned Man, about poet Kostas Karyotakis, a very special and important artist for Greece. "The reality of the financial and refugee crisis and its elementary impact on Greek society continue to play an enormous role in the works of many filmmakers," says von Ruffin. "The festival offers a unique way of ‘travelling to Greece’ − an excursion from which none of the visitors can return as an uninformed, ignorant tourist." Lianna Perdis makes catwalk debut in Greece The Perdis empire continues, with the 16-year-old also releasing her own makeup line Just four months after signing with one of Australia's top fashion agencies, Lianna Perdis has made her catwalk debut. The 16-year-old daughter of makeup guru Napoleon Perdis took to the runway on Monday 12 December as the closing model for renowned Greek celebrity designer Dimitri Petrou. Sitting proudly in the front row to watch his daughter, Napoleon was joined by his wife Soula Marie, actors Manos Gravas and Iosif Marinakis, and singer Melina Aslanidou. "I was delirious, nervous and could not watch," Napoleon told Confidential. "It was one of the few times in my life I was sweaty. I had to wait until the video to see the show and Lianna on the runway. When it was over I needed to sleep 14 hours to recuperate." While this is the first major modelling gig for the Athens-based Lianna, she also appeared in July's Girlfriend magazine and Russh, and is following in her father's footsteps with her own makeup line, Total Bae, launched last May. "It's been a part of my life ever since I can remember," Lianna told Russh magazine. "We were always talking about it at dinner, I was always coming to work ... I just think I've always been a part of it." Having been surrounded by makeup her whole life, Lianna says that while she knew a lot of time and passion went into every aspect of the products, coming on board and seeing the processes has allowed her to learn first-hand that it doesn't happen overnight. "There is so much that goes into just one product, let alone a whole range. From conception, to working out the right formula, choosing the packaging, plus the shoots and advertising, it really is a team effort. It's so satisfying seeing the range come to life!" she told InStyle Australia. The Total Bae range includes a volumising and lengthening mascara, a clear hydrating, lipplumping product, and concealer. In the meantime, however, the eldest of four girls is juggling modelling and her makeup line with finishing her final years of high school. Having been raised across three different cities − Sydney, Los Angeles and now Athens, Lianna says she is happy with the family's decision to relocate. "It was an adjustment − a good one though," she admits. "I like Athens, it's a very gritty city. It's very real. I kind of like that. It's very different from LA and Sydney." Lianna Perdis in her catwalk debut in Greece, walking for designer Dimitri Petrou.
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