10th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival Announces Annual International Project Discovery Forum Details

Posted by Carlos Aguilar


Now in its fourth edition, the International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF), Los Angeles Greek Film Festival’s Industry Section and development workshop will present six impressive new projects by filmmakers from the Balkans and the Middle­ East region.

IPDF Director Araceli Lemos, in talking about this year’s selections remarks,"For this edition,we chose projects which are bold, diverse and thought­provoking. We are excited to meet all the filmmakers in person and work with them."

The 2016 IPDF projects are from both new and established filmmakers. They are Alexis Alexiou’s (“Wednesday 4:45”) third feature project "As Long As You Bleed." Vassilis Katsoupis and producer Giorgos Karnavas present "Inside," Katsoupis’debut fiction feature. His documentary “My Friends Larry Gus” is screening on Friday, June 3rd.Karnavas is a prominent Greek producer, whose previous work “The Eternal Paraskevas of Antonis Paraskevas” and “Boy Eating Bird’s Food” were worldwide festival favorites and screened in past editions of LAGFF.

Sol Goodman,an American producer with projects in the Middle East and NorthAfrica, will present "The Taste of Apples is Red," a Syrian film by Ehab Tarabieh.

Three debut features will also be pitched: from Turkey, Nazlı Elif Durlu andand her producer Anna ­Maria Aslanoglu present
"Zuhal." From Greece’s Harris Raftogiannis,comes "The River," and Serbia’s Stefan Malešević will offer up "Usud."

A four­ member jury of entertainment professionals will decide the winning project after hearing the final pitches on Sunday, June 5th. The 2016 IPDF Jury member sare producer at Gunpowder & Sky, David Harris, Rebecca Katz from the Creative Producing Initiative of the Sundance Institute; Participant Media’s Ioanna Varikos, and producer and co­founder of Extraordinary Renditions, Kelly Thomas (“Spa Night”).

The winnersof the competition will receive the Aegean Award and a scholarship to attend the MFI Script2Pitch Workshops during the Orpheus Award Ceremony on Closing Night, June 5th. 

Before the Jury pitch, each filmmaker will receive group training and one­-on-­one meetingswith a diverse group of professionals sharing expertise in financing, directing, writing, producing, marketing and distribution. This year’s experts include: K Street Pictures’ president Charles Agron; writer/producer David Ariniello (“Arcadia Lost”), acclaimed director and cinematographer Steven Bernstein (“Decoding Annie Parker”), co­founder of L.A.­based La Panda Productions Pau Brunet, director of creative initiatives for technology leader Bittorrent Missy Laney, film festival programmer and strategist Kathleen McInnis, manager for the feature film program’s international work at Sundance Institute Matthew Takata, and writer/Producer of the award­-winning “Innocent Voices” (Voces Inocentes), Oscar Torres.

"We strive to change and grow every year, looking at what is happening in the independent film world around us, and pair our filmmakers with the best experts that can help them. Not only with these projects but for their careers as independent filmmakers," adds IPDF ProducerGiulia Caruso.

The IPDF Industry Events, free and open to the public, take place on Saturday, June 4.

At 12:30 p.m. the Writing for Diversity in TV panel will take place. During this group session esteemed television writers, and personalities discuss and share their experiences, challenges and efforts to promote diversity on TV – both within the writer’s room and the characters they create. Panelists are; writers Aida Croal ("Luke Cage"), Julia Fontana ("Lucifer"), Maikiko James from the newly launched Women In Film’s Women Writing Lab, musician/ writer Our Lady J ("Transparent"), producer Benoni Tagoe ("Awkward Black Girl") and director/ producer Greg Yaitanes ("Banshee," "House M.D.").


At 3:00 p.m. How a Director Finds Her Characters presented by writer/director Athina Tsangari. Tsangari, one of the principal instigators of the New Greek Wave, offers a unique Masterclass on directing. Her latest award­winning feature "Chevalier" is screening at the festival on Thursday, June 2. The masterclass will be moderated by film critic Carlos Aguilar, who has written for outlets such as Indiewire, MovieMaker Magazine, and Variety Latino.

"Every year we are amazed at the variety and quality of projects that filmmakers submit for consideration to IPDF. It’s a complicated selection process, and we always struggle to let some great projects go. To best serve the participants and their projects, we select only six films from the hundreds we receive each year.," notes Lemos.

For more information on the IPDF projects and filmmakers go to http://lagff.org/festival/international­project­discovery­forum

The International Project Discovery Forum is the industry program of Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

The International Project Discovery Forum is a Los Angeles pioneer in the promotion of international independent film development and co­production. Utilizing the innumerable resources that exist in Los Angeles, the festival aims to create a bridge between two very different worlds – the American Independent Film and the Greek/Balkan Independent Film.

They look for films that have an original approach, made by independent producers and filmmakers that have a unique voice. The stage of development of the selected projects varies from inspiring and promising scripts in an early stage, which they want to nurture through their journey, to more advanced projects in the financing stage that they connect with producers, distributors, sales agents and programmers that can actively support the film. The festival wants to create a circle of collaborators who share the same vision – a network of creative professionals from Greece, the Balkans and the US that share the same idea of how they want to make films.

Besides their open call for entries, they look for projects in other industry forums in the Balkan region such as Thessaloniki IFF’s Crossroads, Sofia Meetings, MFI Script Workshop.

The Forum includes a development lab only for IPDF selected Filmmakers and a series of roundtables that are free and open to the public.

The goal is not only to promote Greek and Balkan filmmakers by helping strong, local stories with international appeal get told, but they also want to create an occasion for a true and lively exchange between European and American cinema. The forum provide a venue where dialogue is encouraged and creative collaborations are formed


This article was written by Carlos Aguilar for SyndeysBuzz.



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