Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dublin Greek Film Festival 2017.

On October the 19th 2017, Dublin will host its third annual Greek Film Festival. For four days, Dubliners will have the opportunity to watch features, short films and documentaries, by international acclaimed Greek directors but also emerging filmmakers.

The aim of the Festival is to promote Greek culture, through a variety of films and events and strengthen the links between Ireland and Greece. Together with a number of special events, it will take place in top cultural venues across Dublin.

The Festival is organized by a number of volunteers, but is the brainchild of Kiki Konstantinidou and Aleksandra Szymbara. Kiki, a former teacher in the Greek community’s school in Dublin, met Aleksandra while she was a pupil there.

Aleksandra’s background includes studies in culture and religion in her native Poland, plus work in various museums and other art festivals. She was already involved in a Polish Film Festival in Ireland, as marketing manager. 

Her partner is Greek, thus she developed an interest in Greek culture. Combined with her overall love for films and art, she decided to join Kiki in this project.

Kiki was always involved in various music festivals in her native Greece. After her Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management in U.C.D. in Dublin, she decided to organize a festival that would promote Greek culture in Ireland.

“I was constantly seeing events promoting other nations’ cinema and culture, so I thought to organize a Greek Film Festival,” describes Kiki. “In the beginning I attempted to organize it on my own, but it proved to be very difficult. Then I met Aleskandra and she agreed to be part of it”, she explains.

The first Dublin Greek Film Festival took place in April 2015, with “great difficulties, no support or funds,” as Kiki and Aleksandra had to invest out of their own pockets. Yet they were lucky, as they found support by many volunteers, plus a lot of the film directors showed understanding and did not ask for screening fees.

“Things have changed a bit nowadays, as we get a considerable amount of funding by the Dublin City Council, a media sponsor from Dublin City FM Radio and for the first time this year, we have the support of EOT (Greek Tourism Organization)”, says Kiki.

“The festival grows every year and we hope that it will become established in Dublin for the long term. We are delighted to see it bringing together Greeks from all over the country, but also Irish and viewers from many other nationalities”, she describes.

Kiki explains that they are trying to do something different each time, like bringing new producers and directors for the first time in Ireland. While creating an original Greek experience for their audience, so they can enjoy and become familiarized with the country’s culture.

“Every year we are striving to add more events related to Greece and its modern civilization, not only its film industry but its arts in general. Everyone is familiar with the Greek sun, sea, islands and beaches, but we are trying to introduce Dubliners to a different side of Greece’s reality,” Kiki says.

Aleksandra describes how organizing the festival is a big learning experience, but also very rewarding. “I am happy to see the festival growing and I hope it will continue to expand and reach more and more people living in Dublin and beyond”, she says.

“Many people know about ancient Greece's culture, but not about the modern one. We are giving people the opportunity to familiarize with it, plus learn about everyday life in Greece and the problems people are facing. It's especially important nowadays, when Europe is going through various crises”, Aleksandra concludes. 

You may find the program, venues and timetables of the festival’s screenings here.

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