CULTURE

4 Greek movies head to Toronto film festival

Four Greek films will be presented at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, one of North America’s most renowned, along with the Sundance Festival. The four films have been slotted into three categories. Two of the country’s most celebrated directors, Theo Angelopoulos and Pantelis Voulgaris, will have screenings of their latest work in the festival’s «Masters» category. Angelopoulos, a top prize-winner at the Cannes Film Festival, will take to Toronto «The Weeping Meadow,» the first part of a trilogy. The new Voulgaris film, «The Brides,» produced by Martin Scorsese, stars Damian Lewis as an American war photographer returning from Asia Minor early last century. Relative newcomer Panos Koutras will be represented in the festival’s «Contemporary World Cinema» category with «Real Life,» his second feature film. Alexandros Voulgaris, the 22-year-old son of the senior Voulgaris, will have his 2002 debut feature «Crying?» screened in the festival’s «Discoveries» category. The Toronto festival, to run from September 9 to 18, is a solid supporter of the European film industry and is considered a gateway for European films toward the US market. It is a non-competition event which makes for a casual atmosphere, governed by a focus on artistic detail. This year’s entries from Greece and the entire Balkan region were culled by Dimitris Eipidis, head coordinator of the successful «New Horizons» section at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. For Voulgaris, the Toronto festival marks his new film’s first venture abroad. It should prove particularly gratifying for him considering his son’s simultaneous participation with his own debut feature film. Angelopoulos’s Toronto stop will be the second on his itinerary in Canada. It will be preceded by a career-spanning tribute in Montreal. Koutras, back with his second feature film, «Real Life,» following the debut of his «Attack of the Giant Moussaka,» once again examines modern Athenian society in his new film. However, for this film, Koutras has adopted the melodramatic form as his tool. In «Crying?» the 22-year-old junior Voulgaris portrays today’s local young adult generation and the capital’s central district of Exarchia in Athens in the new millennium with freshness and heightened sensitivity. The young director creates a puzzle of characters, situations and emotional states. This year’s Toronto International Film Festival, then, will carry a Greek flavor provided by established and emerging filmmakers, with two international productions from celebrated directors, as well as two films by young directors with a unique perspective on life and Greek reality which they depict through the demands of a finely balanced tragicomic mix.