LAGFF launches Global Greek Film Initiative (GGFI)


The Global Greek Film Initiative (GGFI) is strategically designed to establish an array of new annual programs to promote cultural exchange between Greece, the US and the Hellenic Diaspora, service opportunities for employment and economic growth within Greece and be the North American hub and global one-stop collective for Greek film programs and initiatives. GGFI is founded by LAGFF Board Members Lia Bozonelis and Ersi Danou, and LAGFF Director Aris Katopodis.


  • The GGFI Council of Trustees and group of Dignitaries are comprised of the most trusted LAGFF/GGFI donors and top¬†Hollywood professionals, such as former studio head Jim Gianopulos, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, writer-actress Nia Vardalos, director Alexander Payne and more; as well¬†as up-and-coming Hollywood professionals, representing the new generations of Greek Americans.
  • The new, annual Crew Training Program (CTP) fulfills a great need for better infrastructure of the Greek film industry. CTP¬†brings American professionals to the ground in Greece, who offer hands-on training to Greek film professionals and technicians, better equipping them for employment opportunities.
  • GGFI develops strategies in order to promote Hollywood film production in Greece. These include panels, promotional¬†events and active liaising between American and Greek studios and film production companies.
  • GGFI arranges up to two scholarships per year which give selected Greek film students the unique opportunity to attend Los Angeles¬†Greek Film Festival (LAGFF), showcase their work, engage with the festival and the IPDF team, receive screenplay consulting and enjoy a personalized educational program with key industry mentors.
  • Expanding LAGFF‚Äôs International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF) under GGFI, IPDF offers story and screenplay development as¬†well as pitching training workshops to young professionals in Greece.
    In partnership with the Archdiocese, GGFI brings faith-based content to the US-based community and beyond, through an annual screening/event series.
    An annual screening/event program is especially designed to nurture and promote the works of Greek women creators.
    A pioneer annual workshop explores and supports diverse perspectives by diverse Greek filmmakers.
  • Around mid-winter each year, GGFI offers the community of Greek, Greek American and¬†Philhellene patrons of the arts & culture,the opportunity to attend a black-tie event and enjoy entertainment, the GGFI Community Awards and a special presentation with the aim to honor and present achievements as well as raise funds for future activities.
  • Under the GGFI, LAGFF‚Äôs Orpheus Awards ceremony expands to a significant,¬†entertaining, stand-alone event.

Matching challenge up to $500,000

  • All donations to GGFI will be matched dollar for dollar up to $500,000.
  • At least one third of the funds raised annually is to be invested in order to ensure the longevity of LAGFF and GGFI.
  • Major donors are invited to join the GGFI Council of Trustees.

Donate and...

  • Become a GGFI Patron of the Arts, and ensure the longevity of our endeavor to cultivate the arts & culture within our national and international communities.
  • Witness and participate in the proliferation of Greek film culture.
  • Contribute to the economic growth of Greece.
  • Enjoy tax benefits, gift annuity opportunities, donor benefits and more.
  • Name a scholarship, award, program or fund after you or your company.
  • Design your own donation package with the GGFI/LAGFF team and financial experts.


  • The most influential Greek film festival operating outside Greece, and a prime model for all other Greek festivals in the United States, Canada and Europe.
  • The first Greek-American cultural organization to develop and maintain direct ties to Greece and the new generation of Greek filmmakers.
  • Based in Los Angeles, at the heart of the American film industry, with access to studios, production companies and professional experts.
  • LAGFF has screened over 600 Greek films from its inception and engages 60-100 filmmakers every year.
  • Has successfully mastered virtual technology.
  • Has incorporated the values of diversity, equity and inclusion in programmatic activities.
  • Successfully organizes professional development programs.
  • Attracts significant press coverage nationwide and internationally.
  • Collaborates with major educational institutions such as University of California¬†Los Angeles (UCLA), Loyola Marymount University (LMU), University of Southern California (USC) and American Film Institute (AFI).
  • Showcases all subject matter mirroring the contemporary climate in Greece, USA and worldwide.
  • The International Project Discovery Forum (IPDF) is a world-class program designed¬†to support emerging and mid-career film professionals to advance their feature film projects in development.
  • Honors major contributors to the film industry such as Jim Gianopulos, Alexander Payne,¬†Phedon Papamichael, George Chakiris, Valory Massalas, Gena Rowlands and many more.
  • Maintains active relationships with a group of LAGFF dignitaries comprised of top¬†professionals, including Ted Sarandos, Jim Gianopulos, Greg Yaitanes, Nia Vardalos, Kary Antholis and many more.
  • Actively supports and campaigns on behalf of the Greek Oscar entries, including Oscar-nominated DOGTOOTH and APPLES by Christos Nikou.
  • Offers the prestigious annual Orpheus Awards.
  • Maintains good standing as a 501c3 charity organization that receives tax-deductible¬†donations.
  • Offers sponsors a very unique extension of gratitude with VIP & red carpet events,¬†step-and-repeat recognition and unmatched Hollywood experiences.

The resiliency of the worldwide Greek community is undeniable. We are brought together for common causes, bridged by humanity, culture and the arts. Art represents preservation and progress in our culture and acts as the connective tissue for the global Greek Diaspora and Philhellene community. It is our sincere hope to partner with you and spread the gift of art and culture while bringing economic opportunity to Greece and international exposure to our storytellers. Any contribution to us is a contribution to the growth and progress of Greece, the arts and the bridges we need to keep building within the Diaspora.

Lia Bozonelis, Ersi Danou, Alex Kalognomos, Aris Katopodis