(Los Angeles, California, United States) – The 11th Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival has finished and the winners of the Orpheus Awards, the festival’s top prizes, have been announced. The film, Amerika Square, took the top prize. The film, which had its west coast debut at the film festival, has the immigration crisis in Greece as its backdrop. The story is told through the eyes of a Greek racist as he tries to cope with the repercussions of illegal immigration and the refugee crisis in Greece.
According to the official website for the film festival, the event is designed to showcase, “new films from Greek filmmakers worldwide.” It also went on to say that, “Our foremost goal is to promote Greek Cinema and cultural exchange while bridging the gap between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood. Orpheus Awards are given to the most outstanding new films in the dramatic, documentary and short film categories.”
Amerika Square took the Orpheus Award for Best Film. The film, Son of Sofia, which is about a boy who came to Athens from Russia for the 2014 Summer Olympic Games, took the runner-up Special Jury Prize. The awards ceremony took place at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Also during the awards show, the CEO and President of Paramount Studios Jim Giannopoulos presented Alexander Payne, a writer, producer, and director who has won an Oscar, with the 2017 Honorary Orpheus.
The website also says that, “Our place as a center for Greek filmmakers from around the world is taking on new significance as we assume an active role not only in reflecting the blossoming of Greek Cinema but also in promoting modern Greek culture by highlighting its hidden treasures and root.” The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival is scheduled to take pace each year and will feature innovative films from or about Greece for years to come.