The Film: AMERIKA SQUARE !

Awards, Events, Film Industry, Immigration, Insight, People and Places — By on February 25, 2018 at 11:59 PM
AMERIKA SQUARE at The Hellenic Centre on Sunday 25th February, 2018

How do the fates of a local tattoo artist, a Syrian refugee from Aleppo and a young xenophobic man intersect? What happens when the fountain of your local square becomes the symbol of your identity, when you start to rediscover your neighbourhood street benches only after the immigrants start using them as beds, when you start counting how many Greeks and how many foreigners live in your block of flats? Directed by Yannis Sakaridis and based on the book ‘Victoria does not exist’ by Yannis Tsirbas, AMERIKA SQUARE looks at the human side of the immigration debate and reveals the answers through a bracing and morally complex tale.

l to r: Agatha Kalisperas, Sophie Kydoniefs, George T. Lemos,  Yiannis Christodoulou, Ksenia Dania, Yannis Sakaridis and Victoria Hislop

The film was selected by Greece to be its representative at the Academy Awards in 2018 in the category of Best Foreign Language Film and it was hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as ” One of the best European Films to date on the subject of immigration in all its painful implications.”

The Hellenic Centre in association with Oinoussai Benevolent Fund and Marblemen Productions organised a double screening of this enthralling drama where ‘borders are business’ and this event was sold out a month before the event date. This event was also part-sponsored by Aegean Airlines and Argo Travel.

The enthusiastic audience enjoyed the screenings along with the Q&A sessions that followed, mediated by George T. Lemos, producer of the film, who asked questions of the director Yannis Sakaridis and to Ksenia Dania who made her acting debut in the film.

Ksenia Dania performing accompanied by Yiannis Christodoulou

A lively debate ensued from the questions asked from the audience to the panel which ranged from the issues of immigration to the film’s success in countries like China and America and to the playing of the film at Human Rights Film Festivals in Europe and at the United Nations at their IOM Migration Agency Festival in December 2017.

Between the screenings, the audiences were treated to a live musical recital from Ksenia Dania (whose father is the prominent Greek stage actor Zano Danias) accompanied by the respected jazz pianist Yiannis Christodoulou . Ksenia’s jazz singing, using her powerful and soulful voice, captivated the crowds and she was asked to perform a double encore such was her success in the room.

From the unique Q&A moderated by George T. Lemos; to his left Ksenia Dania and Yannis Sakaridis

George T Lemos commented: ” Cinema and Migration. It’s a magical bond that began over a century ago when filmakers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies about a world on the move. These films brought dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants to diverse audiences through a language of images and emotions that were meaningful to every culture”.

The film is now scheduled to achieve a UK distribution in the next few months so that it can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

For more information about the film, please visit the official web site:  www.amerikasquare.com

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