The Greek Film Society Sydney was inaugurated on 4 April 2012 after a number of informal meetings amongst a group of friends and acquaintances who for years had tossed about the idea of setting up a film club that would cater for those interested in Greek cinema, both contemporary and historical. The aim from the beginning was more than just a Greek film society for Greeks nostalgic for the cinema of the 1950s or 1960s. The idea was to showcase and present films that had signposted the specific cultural and artistic journey of Greek cinema to as wide an audience as possible, both Greek and English-speaking through subtitled films.
We interpret Greek cinema in the broadest way to include films that relate to Greek diasporic life and its contact with other cinemas and cultures. In the local context, this includes Greek-Australian and culturally-related films and stories. The Society has from the beginning programmed documentaries in its screenings and from 2013 struck up a collaborative relationship with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival with an annual screening in July of participating documentaries through its ‘Regional Events’ program. Since May 2013, it has also presented a selection of award-winning short films from the National Short Film Festival in Drama through its travelling program ‘The Festival on the Road’.
We were lucky to be able to begin screenings from our first meetings, having been granted rights to the features and documentaries of the veteran director Thodoros Maragos. We were also fortunate to have been offered a space in the restored original Marrickville Town Hall at the Greek Atlas Community and Cultural Centre. Since 2014, we have moved to the hospitable Cyprus Community Club of NSW which has offered its large upstairs hall for screenings as a gesture of support for Greek film culture.
Of course, without the development of digital formats and projection, such a film club would have been unrealisable in the past. Even so, the major challenge we have faced is to track down film rights and subtitled digital formats directly from Greece. In this we have had to break new ground by communicating directly with directors, producers, distributors and film bodies in Greece. We have been met with an enthusiastic and generous response, particularly from film makers and rights holders.
Our membership has grown quickly, and we feel that there is still great potential to expand this considerably. Screenings are followed by open and informal discussion, often in both Greek and English, and we extend an open invitation to members or interested speakers to provide a short introduction to the screenings.
The Society strives to create an inviting and friendly space for our audience to view and discuss films from Greece and other parts of the world. Our aim always is to offer interesting on-going programs and film events that will allow members to acquire a deeper insight into the past, present and, why not, future of Greek and Greek-related cinema.
PRESENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
President: Petro Alexiou
Vice president: Con Spiropoulos
Secretary: Gaëlle Emvalomenos
Treasurer: Yannis Fliorkos
To download the Constitution by which the Greek Film Society is governed, click here: GREEK FILM SOCIETY SYDNEY CONSTITUTION