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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 October 2019
12 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER 2019 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Crowds gathered to the Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival H undreds attended the opening of the Delphi Bank 26th Greek Film Festival in Sydney and Melbourne this week. The popular annual event kicked off in Sydney on Tuesday, and in Melbourne on Wednesday evening. To cater to demand, the opening night was hosted across two venues in Melbourne, with the Gala taking place at The Astor and an additional celebration at Palace Cinema Como. The foyer of the Astor was abuzz, as members of the community and lovers of Greek cinema arrived. Before the film commenced, festival co-chairman Leonidas Vlahakis addressed those gathered, followed by speeches from Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP; Member for Oaleigh, Steve Dimopoulos MP; Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Dimitris Mihalopoulos; Member for Haltemprice and Howden, David Davis MP; Head of Delphi Bank, Jim Sarris; and Greek Community of Melbourne President Bill Papastergiadis. Attendees were treated to a screening of Tassos Boulmetis' 1968, a docudrama based on the epic basketball game between AEK and Slavia of Prague, that left many viewers feeling nostalgic. The after party followed with drinks flowing, live music and catering by Bahari's The Gringlish Co, offering up favourite Greek flavours with a twist. The beginnings of Greek cinema from 1897 onward G reek cinema has a long history, and goes and in hand with developments in Greece. It all began n 1897 when Greek cinema was born in Athens. The first film was from the Manakia brothers and French filmmaker Leons, and the focus of the short film was news of the Olympic Games of Athens. Two years later, the first movie theatre started operating, followed by cinema halls which sprouted around the country. In 1910, director Spyros Dimitrakopoulos created comedy films. Four years later, Asty Film was also founded. At that time, the first full length film of Greece appeared in movie halls. It was the story of Golfo, a dramatic tale of love. During WWI, film production was limited to war news, and a number of directors managed to capture timeless images of the catastrophe of Asia Minor which still stand as important documentation. Greece's first blockbuster was Villar, in 1920, however Love and Waves was viewed by more than 40,000 Athenians in 1927. It's director, Dimitrios Gaziadis, founded Dag Film with his brothers and father and went on to enjoy local popularity with a number of films including The Storm (1929) and The Apaches of Athens (1931). Unfortunately the excessive costs caused the company to go bust, The next phase of Greek Cinema started in the days of the Nazi Occupation. At the time, Greek refused to watch Italian and German films. This was a prelude to the Golden Age of Greek Cinema when a number of amazing actors, directors and composers received world acclaim, including Melina Mercouri, Michael Cacoyannis, Katina Paxinou, Elli Lambeti and many more. Filopoemin Finos created the first modern film called The Voice of the Heart (1942), featuring Dimitris Horn and Lambros Konstandaras. It sold 102,000 when it debuted in Athens. And from there, Finos started churning one film after another, though he and his father were arrested as members of the resistance from the Germans. He managed to escape, however his father was executed in 1944. Finos Films hold a special place in the history of Greek cinema. Films like Stella (1955), with Melina Mercouri portraying the modern woman gripped moviegoers and left their mark on Greek cinema while also enjoying success in Cannes. Aliki Vougiouklaki became a household name, and films by Alekos Sakellarios still make people laugh. There were other famous films that were created during this Golden Age. In 1964, Anthony Quinn Aliki Vouyiouklaki signs autographs. starred in Zorba the Greek, which is one of the most famous films in Greek history. Another popular film was Never on a Sunday which was nominated for several Academy Awards in the United States. Today, Greek cinema is still going strong with each passing decade leaving its mark.
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