James DeMetro is the director of the New York City Greek Film Festival. “We don’t just show Greek movies, we show Greece.” he says. Born in New York to teachers who came from Karpenisi and Samos, he learned Greek at home.
The NYC Greek Film Festival, now in its 10th year, opened this year with a screening of Tassos Boulmetis ‘Notias‘. “We started very humbly and we have reached a very good level,” says De Metro. “We try to support and help Greek filmmakers to promote their films in the American market.”
“There is great interest from the Greeks, but not just from them.” noted DeMetro. The NYC Greek Film Festival is supported by the Organization of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, and among the main sponsors is the Onassis Foundation. “When we first started, the budget was $17,000. Now it’s $123,000. We choose the best venues and pay about $6,000 a night for two screenings.”
Film venues include the Chelsea Cinema, The Director’s Guild Theater, the NYIT Auditorium, the Museum of the Moving Image and the Bow Tie Manhasset Cinema.
Between now and October 19, a carefully selected range of contemporary Greek productions will be presented to the audience. “Our selection aims to cover the entire range from the artistic to the more commercial, to offer different aspects of life in Greece so as to expand our audience every year.” explains the director.
In all, 15 features and seven documentaries will be shown: the psychological drama, Silent; the suspense thriller, Blind Sun; a drama from Cyprus about a family struggling to make ends meet, Family Member; Journey Through Smyrna, a documentary about the music of Asia Minor; and a story about middle-aged obsession and young beauty, Suntan.
For the full schedule, venues and tickets, visit http://nycgreekfilmfestival.com/