The 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival is back, including films from Greece and Cyprus. Read on to find out how to get discounted tickets.
20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival
The largest film festival in the U.S., the Chicago European Union Film Festival showcases films from European Union nations, kicks off March 3 in Chicago. The 20th anniversary festival presents Chicago premieres of 62 new feature films representing all 28 EU nations. This year’s lineup includes four Greek-language films — 3 from Greece and 1 from Cyprus. All films are shows at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.
Per tradition, opening night features a film from the nation in the presidency of the European Union. This years opening night festivities will be hosted by Pierre Clive Agius, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta, and by Herbert Quelle, Consul General of Germany, Chicago. The opening film is the delightful romantic comedy 20,000 REASONS, representing Malta’s newly emerging film industry.
The fest closes on March 30 with the French film, LOUISE BY THE SHORE, an animated fantasy of a woman’s Robinson Crusoe-like adventure.
Greek & Cypriot films at Chicago European Union Film Festival
Read on or synopses of the Greek and Cypriot films included in the 20th Chicago European Union Film Festival. Then we’ll tell you how you can win free passes!
Cyprus: BELOVED DAYS
2015, CONSTANTINOS PATSALIDES.
In 1971, Raquel Welch and her Hollywood cohorts took over the Cypriot village of Karmi, a time recounted with affection in this documentary that alternates between the past and the present with behind-the-scenes film footage and present-day reenactments and interviews. The production of the George Cosmatos film THE BELOVED, a violent story of adultery, dazzled the locals with movie-world glamour and daily glimpses of the gorgeous and demanding star, as well as providing a host of residents with an enduring claim to fame through work as extras. Director Patsalides tempers the nostalgia of surviving participants for those heady days with the political reality that Karmi is now an occupied village on the Turkish side of the Cyprus partition. In English and Greek with English subtitles. Courtesy of Walking Around the World. DCP digital. (BS) Trailer.
Show times: March 6, 7:45 pm; March 9, 8:15 pm
2016, STERGIOS PASCHOS, GREECE, 94 MIN. WITH IRO BEZOU, HARIS FRAGOULIS.
This quirky quasi-comedy ricochets entertainingly between hilarious and queasy when a jilted boyfriend with an ulterior motive extends a too-good-to-be-true invitation to his ex. Claiming that he harbors no hard feelings over the breakup, Nikos, a shaggy-haired hipster and freelance musician housesitting a producer’s country villa, invites former girlfriend Sofia for a platonic vacation at the luxury estate. Revealed in a series of slapstick confrontations, it seems that neither thirty-something party to the broken romance is a model of maturity. Nikos raises the stakes when he takes Sofia hostage for a wacked-out postmortem on their relationship. In Greek with English subtitles. Courtesy of Heretic Outreach. DCP digital widescreen. (BS) Trailer
Show times: March 11, 8:30 pm; March 13, 8:15 pm
2016, ARGYRIS PAPADIMITROPOULOS, GREECE/GERMANY, 104 MIN. WITH MAKIS PAPADIMITRIOU, ELLI TRINGOU.
A middle-aged doctor falls hard for a brazen young beach nomad and throws caution to the winds in this drama of obsession and self-delusion. Forty-something Kostis (Papadimitriou of CHEVALIER) arrives on a small Greek island for a job that has the air of a dead end posting for the chubby, balding man. Summer comes and the island blooms into a youth paradise for uninhibited counterculture drifters, including blonde golden-girl Anna (Tringgou) whose affections can be had for the price of a round of drinks. Viewed as a gullible buffoon by Anna and her friends, Kostis nonetheless attaches himself to their hard-partying entourage, embarking down a treacherous path to tragedy. In Greek and English with English subtitles. Courtesy of Strand Releasing. Note: Contains nudity and sexual activity. DCP digital widescreen. (BS) Trailer
Show times: March 18, 8:15 pm; March 22, 8:00 pm
ΝΟΤΙΆΣ / NOTIAS / SOUTH WIND
2016, TASSOS BOULMETIS, GREECE, 99 MIN. WITH YIANNIS NIARROS, THEMIS PANOU.
Little Stavros is obsessed with the myth of the Trojan horse, and he shocks his parents and teachers by weaving his own perversely defeatist fairy tales around the heroes of Greek history in this humorous film that director Boulmetis (A TOUCH OF SPICE) terms “a sarcastic comedy.” The Trojan horse is an apt metaphor for the film itself, which arrives in the guise of a high-flying fantasy, with young Stavros at the center of a sequence of whimsical mythic scenarios, and morphs into a coming-of-age story involving first love, his father’s conjectured relationship with Aristotle Onassis, the unmasking of a secret agent, and the hero’s youthful discovery of seventies-era political activism. In Greek with English subtitles. Courtesy of the Greek Film Center. DCP digital widescreen. (BS) Trailer
Special discount for WindyCity Greek readers!
We’ve teamed up with the Gene Siskel Film Center to provide a special discount to films of the 20th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival, just for our readers! $7 admission to any film with the code WINDY CITY GREEK, in-person only (online codes not accepted at this time) at the Film Center box office. You can buy your tickets in advance, too, but only from the Film Center box office.
Discounted parking is available for $18 for 10 hours at the InterPark SELF-PARK at 20 E. Randolph St. A rebate ticket can be obtained from the Film Center Box Office.
The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. Nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146.
For more information about the Film Center, call 312.846.2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312.846.2600 (general information, 9:00 am-5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday), or visit the website.