Los Angeles - Any endeavor begins with an idea. But a successful endeavor is an endeavor whose idea continues to grow in spite of the growing pangs and challenges, whether financial and/or logistic. The LAGFF is without doubt of no exception to this theorem of success, especially in an industry as competitive as the movie business has and is, going all the way back to Thomas Edison, the inventor of the projection system that in its fundamental science projected a series of consecutive still images on a flat vertical one dimensional surface, thus creating the illusion of movement.
But we are not here to review the origin of film projection nor the mechanics behind the illusion of movement using Edison's ingenious inventive device that spawned a multi-billion dollar global business, but focusing rather in stead on the people who make LAGFF possible year after year. Those unsung heroes and heroins who make the 4 to 5 day film event in the heart of Hollywood the much anticipated venue of the summer.
Founded by Ersi Danou and Angeliki Giannakopoulos nearly 10 years ago and personally helmed by them during its nascent years with a vision to bring Greek Cinema to Hollywood and Hollywood to the Greek Cinema; the festival has evolved into an annual parade of notable talent and emerging talent from the world of entertainment in Greece, Cyprus and the diaspora. An early component was and continues to be the ongoing networking effort that is at the heart of this Hellenic media entertainment show piece.
Since then a number of notable directors have picked up the reins, most recently Aris Katapodis, a soft spoken intellectual connoisseur of the dramatic arts with a bit of wonderment when it comes to film. You really have to love what you do and Aris never lets us down when it comes to his love affair of movies and the movie making process. Craig Prater, a veteran of many film festival directorial assignments and a giant in this field, assumed the day to day operation of the festival for several years bringing a level of polish and sophistication to a venue experiencing growing pains.
And then you have Alex Kalognomos, who looks more like a matinee idol than the Executive Producer, who brought with him industry savvy when it came to organizational techniques honed heading the ARPA International Film Festival, that explores experiences of living in the Diaspora, exile and multiculturalism within the growing Armenian community of Southern California.
None of this makes sense if you don't have a good PR team and Beve Regas has been for several years the go to gal whenever the "word" needs to hit the wires. Without a competent public relations person "you ain't got nottin"! True! They are your liaison and mouth piece that puts your event front and center and brings in the buzz to move your agenda forward. Without them it would be difficult if nearly impossible to achieve the notoriety, attendance and sponsorship. Beve this year out did herself and I offer this plug for her because the woman put up with my over the top antics, never once questioning my motives, always congenial and supportive and still came through time and time again as I worked on deadline. That is one individual you want on your team.
Ok we are not going down the roster of everyone who contributed these nine years and counting otherwise I will be stuck in run on sentence hell, one of the sinful habits I am trying to break. So for our consolation, here is a mug shot of staffers from 2014, most of whom worked the 2015 venue.
That is a wrap for 2015. See you next year...if I get a pass after eating the staff's Doritos and raiding the pop corn machine with a gazillion freebie samplers (just kidding, I over dosed on a large bag...BOY WAS IT LARGE). Go to the movies!
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