The Delphi Bank 24th Greek Film Festival (GFF), an event of the Greek Community of Melbourne, is delighted to announce the Opening Night film for its 2017 edition.
“This year’s program is bursting with films exploring human connections and stories that will take audiences on endless emotional rollercoasters. Our Opening Night film, Roza of Smyrna, is a stunning example of our connection to the past and the, at times, obsessive need for reconciliation. We are in awe of the resilient Greek film industry and are proud to be supporting Greek stories and filmmakers through our Festival“, said Jorge Menidis, Director of the Greek Centre.
Continuing as proud Naming Rights Sponsor, Head of Delphi Bank Jim Sarris said: “Delphi Bank is delighted to continue our involvement with a standout event that is of great cultural significance for our organisation, our people and our communities, with our support helping to make available the best that Greek film has to offer”.
In George Kordellas’ remarkable debut feature Roza of Smyrna, Tasos Nousias (Lines GFF’17, Tungsten GFF’12) plays Dimitris, a collector from a renowned Athenian museum who uncovers a story of star-crossed lovers while searching for artefacts in the lost city of Smyrna.
During a research trip to the Turkish city of Izmir – formerly known as Smyrna before the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922 – Dimitris stumbles upon three historic curiosities buried in the depths of a small antique shop: an old photograph, a wedding dress stained with blood, and a letter.
The items lead Dimitris and his girlfriend Rita (Youlika Skafida, Apnea GFF’11) to the enigmatic Roza (esteemed theatre actress Leda Protopsalti) and her granddaughter Marianna (Evgenia Dimitropoulou, The Two Faces of January, The Island). Roza is the matriarch of a once powerful lineage, and has been keeping a secret from her family for decades. With his accidental find, Dimitris unearths a passionate love story dating back to 1921, before the expulsion of the Greeks from Anatolia, now known as Turkey.
Greek newspaper Kathimerini has described Kordellas’ film as the “Greco-Turkish Romeo and Juliet” in the way it follows a romance set against the turbulence of Greco-Turkish relations in the 20th century.
With stunning cinematography across Istanbul, Izmir, Lesvos and Athens, and based on the novel Ismael and Roza by Giannis Giannellis, Roza of Smyrna features two original songs by Greek icon Haris Alexiou.
Roza of Smyrna was nominated for the Orpheus Award for Best Feature Film at the 2017 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.
OPENING NIGHT GALA
The Astor Theatre
1 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Wednesday 11 October, 2017
6.30pm arrivals for 7.00pm screening, followed by after-party
The full program of films will be announced in mid September.
The Delphi Bank 24th Greek Film Festival runs 11-22 October 2017 at Palace Cinema Como and The Astor Theatre, and also travels to Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane.