Melbourne’s Greek Film Festival Announces Opening Night Film

Melbourne, Australia’s Greek Film Festival. File photo, credit: SBS

From award-winning Greek Director Tassos Boulmetis, the heart-warming docudrama “1968,” chronicling the epic basketball game between A.E.K. Athens and the Chechoslovakian team Slavia, will open the 26th Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival on October 9 in Melbourne, Australia.

Two special screenings will be held, including the opening night Gala at The Astor Theatre, which will be followed by an afterparty including live entertainment, and the opening night celebration at Palace Cinema Como.

The film tells the story of the Greek basketball team A.E.K. and their David and Goliath-like battle to win the first-ever European championship by any Greek team. It takes place during a time of great political instability in Greece and around the world, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the escalating Vietnam war.

Interwoven into the film is original footage from the 1964 European final, interviews and commentary from the players of both teams, and the personal stories of the people who were involved in this legendary sporting achievement.

Also highlighted in the film are the historic events that led to the epic win, including the formation of AEK in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople.

“We are thrilled to screen this nostalgic, uplifting film as our Festival Opening Night offering as it is a befitting start to a festival featuring some of the most acclaimed and awarded contemporary Greek story tellers in the industry,” said Festival co-chairs Jim Bossinakis and Leonidas Vlahakis.

“’1968′ is a film that highlights one of the most important sporting achievements in Greek history, that needs to be acknowledged, promoted and celebrated,” they added.

The Greek Community of Melbourne is one of the sponsors of the 26th Delphi Bank Greek Film Festival, which returns with an injection of Greek culture, history and stories over twelve days. The Festival will run until Sunday, October 20.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Greek Australian Short Film Festival, which will feature a “BEST OF” program. Synonymous with this Festival is the Greek Student Film Festival, which is making a comeback this year as well. A full Festival program will be released soon.

Tickets for the Greek Film Festival’s opening night screenings are on sale now at www.palacecinemas.com.au