LAGFF Celebrates the 2023 Orpheus Awards as ‘Listen’ Wins Top Feature Honor

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, an annual showcase that brings films and filmmakers from Greece, Cyprus and other countries in the region to the United States, announced the winners of its 2023 Orpheus Awards at a ceremony on Sunday night at the Silver Screen Theatre in the Pacific Design Center.

Toplining the honors: “Listen,” directed by Maria Douza, which won for best fiction feature film. “Iman,” helmed Corina Avramidou and Kyriakos Tofarides, took home the special jury award for best film, and Panos Koutras won the best director award for “Dodo.”

Spiros Jacovides won an honorable mention for best director for “Black Stone,” and Efthalia Papacosta was awarded the best performance trophy for “Listen.” “Black Stone” also won the audience award for feature film, and an honorable mention for best performance went to Stephanie Atala for “Iman.”

“Listen” centers on a 16-year-old deaf girl forced to leave her progressive Athens school following financial upheavals and return to her father’s struggling island, where she’s confronted by prejudice and intolerance—including, most shockingly, her own. The film’s director and actors Efthalia Papakosta and Dimitris Kitsos were in attendance.

In the documentary category, the award for best doc went to “The Other Half,” by Giorgos Moutafis (from the online slate), and the special Jury prize for documentary directing went to “Queen of the Deuce” by Valorie Kontakos. “Venizelos: the Struggle for Asia Minor” took the audience award.

In short films, “Pebble,” by Karina Logothetis, won for best short, and a special jury award was bestowed on “Air Hostess – 737,” by Thanasis Neofotistos. “5 pm Seaside,” by Valentin Stejskal, received in honorable mention.  The audience award went to “Share For Me.”

In animation, “My Mother the Sea,” by Aspasia Kazeli, won for best animation, with an honorable mention going to “Trojan Horace,” by Scott Graham.

The 2023 Orpheus ceremony was emceed by AFI’s Chris Schwartz. Guests included assorted VIPs, jurors, sponsors and filmmakers from Greece and Cyprus. The ensuing reception was catered by Nick the Greek.

In addition to screenings, LAGFF 2023, which ran from June 2-11, included workshops, panels, LGBTQ Programming, an inaugural LAGFF Film Student Fellowship, a Los Angeles City College Masterclass and 28 Online Screenings – plus a virtual program of screenings following the Festival.

“Over the past 17 years, LAGFF has screened over 650 films and hosted over 550 filmmakers supporting their films,” said Festival Director Aris Katopodis. “The Festival is getting bigger, stronger and bolder. Over 80 films were either screened or available on our platform. While looking outwards, LAGFF is expanding its collaborations with a host of U.S.-based and international institutions.”

In late 2022, the org launched the Global Greek Film Initiative (GGFI) to establish an array of new annual programs to promote cultural exchange between Greece, the U.S. and the Hellenic Diaspora, as well as to boost economic growth within Greece.

Pictured above: The LAGFF red carped on opening night, June 3, where novelist and producer George Pelecanos was honored. Left to right: Chris Diamantopoulos, actor/rapper Kevin Zans Ansong (“Black Morris”), actor Zina Wilde, Orpheus honoree George Pelecanos and son Nick Pelecanos.

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