2022 festival title
2022 festival date 1liner


LAGFF 2023 Events


Meet the Experts

JANE CASEY MODDERNO (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) is a Los Angeles based writer-director of TV and films. In addition to the listed work, she wrote both seasons of the Facebook Watch horror series, THE BIRCH and served as head writer + Co-EP on the Peacock series THE GIRL IN THE WOODS. She’s an out and proud trans woman, raised on a diet of ghost stories and punk music.

DREA CLARK (JURY) is a longtime film festival programmer, currently at Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival, and previously with Slamdance and LA Film Fest. As a producer, Drea has released four independent features, including A VIEW OF THE WORLD FROM FIFTH AVENUE (director Fiona Robert) which is playing festivals in 2023. She’s also produced numerous shorts, music videos, webseries, and a pilot for FX directed by Charlie Day. She is currently Producer-in-Residence at Film Independent, as well as the Nominations Producer for the Spirit Awards. Drea co-hosts Maximum Film!, a weekly movie podcast with comedian Ify Nwadiwe and film critic Alonso Duralde, on the Maximum Fun network.

JURY Drea Clark
JASON JAKAITIS (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) is an Associate Professor in the Communication Department at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he teaches digital media production and community storytelling. A creator of augmented reality and personal documentaries, much of his work explores themes of family and disability. Jason’s documentary MOTHERSBANE won the Jury prize at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival. Jason also served as Director of Independent Media at the Bay Area Video Coalition, where he supervised numerous community media programs, including San Francisco’s Public Access Television Station and the National Media Maker Fellowship. Jason lives in Oakland, California with his wife and two daughters.

PAVEL JECH (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) is a graduate of the Columbia University Film Division as well as of FAMU, The Film and Television School of the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague, where he served two terms as dean from 2008 to 2016. During his terms, FAMU was ranked among the top film schools in the world, and student films met great success at some of the world’s top festivals. Previously, Jech was the founding chair of FAMU International, a department for English speaking students, and also the faculty liaison for NYU-Tisch, American University, Yale and other programs for American students visiting Prague. He is an active instructor of screenwriting and script analysis, and works as an expert advisor for Sundance Labs, Berlinale Talents, the Mediterranean Film Institute and for the Midpoint Center, which he co-founded and serves as head of studies. Jech lectures internationally, and his manual on dramaturgy for short films, The Seven Minute Screenplay is used by film students around the world. He also worked in over ten countries as a screenwriter and script editor, including for the feature film GRANTHOTEL (Berlinale premiere 2007), has worked as a creative collaborator on some of the most recent films of Jan Nemec, and has directed a short film presented at the European Film Academy Award ceremony.

ONE ON ONE Jason Lew

JASON LEW (ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS) is a Chinese-American filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. He wrote and directed THE FREE WORLD, which premiered in Dramatic Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film stars Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook & Octavia Spencer and was distributed by IFC. His first screenplay, RESTLESS was directed by Gus Van Sant and produced by Ron Howard. Recently, Lew has been writing/producing on multiple TV projects (INSECURE, BALLERS) for HBO, including an original pilot developed for Lebron James’ banner, Springhill. Current: a scripted podcast for Qcode, a western-feature currently in development, a drama series with Tessa Thompson’s VIVA MAUDE and writing/producing credits on Damon Lindelof’s latest show for Peacock. Jason was a Cinereach fellow and is a grad of NYU, where he studied acting, directing and design for theater.

YANNIS SAKARIDIS’ (JURY) career has spanned thirty years in film production. He is the director of AMERIKA SQUARE, a multi awarded film and Greece’s official selection for Best Foreign Film for Oscars 2017, and he is Artistic Director of Drama International Short Film Festival. He has previously directed WILD DUCK which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2013. The film went on to enjoy a successful festival run. AMERIKA SQUARE was released in the US, China, Spain, UK, Turkey, Greece and has been aired by many TV stations including HBO Europe. It premiered at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival and went on to play the prestigious 2016 Chicago Film Festival and 2017 Palms Springs Film Festival. Amerika Square won: Audience Award in Beijing IFF, FIPRESCI Award in Thessaloniki IFF, Special Youth Jury Award in Thessaloniki IFF, Special Mention to the actor Vassilis KoukalaniI in Thessaloniki IFF, Erasmus Youth Jury Award in Trieste IFF, Best Feature Film in 2017 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, Best Film in Open Frontiers Contest, Best Screenplay in CineDays, IOM Special Mention in Global Migration Film Festival. Yannis has won the Best Editing Award from Hellenic Film Academy.

JURY Yannis Sakaridis

IAN SAMUEL’s (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) hybrid work has screened internationally at festivals and venues including Sundance, SXSW, Telluride and Slamdance. He has worked for the Jim Henson Company and Sesame Street. Ian received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in film directing, a BFA from Bard College in film / video, and is a 2014 Film Independent Project: Involve fellow. Ian’s latest film Amazon’s Original Movie, THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS starring Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton was nominated for a 2022 Critics Choice Award. Ian’s previous films include SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER which premiered on Netflix in 2018 and MYRNA THE MONSTER which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

TERRIE SAMUNDRA (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) is a Director and Screenwriter whose debut feature, the Netflix Original film KAALI KHUHI, was released globally in October 2020. Samundra’s short films have screened internationally, garnering accolades. Samundra is an alum of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, the Sundance WIF Finance Lab and is a current directing fellow of ReFrame Rise; a partnership between the Sundance Institute and Women in Film. She is a SFFILM Rainin fellow, a Princess Grace recipient and a member of the WGAW. She recently wrapped the writer’s room for an undisclosed Netflix series. A multicultural artist, Samundra grew up between a rural village in India, a small farming town in Missouri, and along the coast of California. She is represented by the Gersh Agency and Circle of Confusion and teaches at AFI.
GROUP INTRO Jeff Stockwell

Screenwriter JEFF STOCKWELL’s (GROUP INTRO) produced credits include Sundance film THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and A WRINKLE IN TIME for Disney, Writer’s Guild Award-nominated WILDER DAYS for TNT and, most recently, IVY & BEAN for Netflix. He has done uncredited work on a range of films including ARTEMIS FOWL and PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF. Jeff has worked as a consulting writer at several major animation companies, including a year’s residence at Pixar. He has a range of unproduced projects in various stages of development – from “happening soon – we promise!” to “stored in that warehouse somewhere next to the Lost Ark.” Jeff is a longtime active instructor/mentor for labs and programs sponsored by Film Independent, Global Media Makers, USC’s American Film Showcase and the Writers Guild of America. He is currently on strike!

MARTINE SYMS (JURY) is an artist who has earned wide recognition for a practice that combines conceptual grit, humor, and social commentary. She has shown extensively including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, ICA London, and The Hammer Museum, among others. She is the recipient of a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film-Video and the recipient of the 2022 Herb Alpert Award. She is also the recipient of a creative Capital Award, a United States Artists Fellowship, the Tiffany Foundation Prize, and the Future Fields Art Prize. She is in a band called Aunt Sister and hosts CCartalkLA, a monthly radio show on NTS. She also runs Dominica, a publishing imprint for artist books.

JURY Martine Syms by Heidi Slimane
ONE ON ONE Matthew Takata

MATTHEW TAKATA (ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS) is the Manager for the Feature Film Program’s international work at Sundance Institute. His focus is on international outreach and selection for the Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs in Utah, FFP’s international labs and workshops in Greece, Cuba and Japan, and the annual Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Awards and Sundance/NHK Award. Previously, Takata worked in development at GK Films, following a stint at Key Creatives and International Creative Management. Takata attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a native of the San Francisco bay area.

DANIEL TALBOTT (SCREENPLAY FEEDBACK) is an award-winning writer and director, a Lucille Lortel Award winning theater producer, and the artistic director of Rising Phoenix Rep. His first feature film co-written and co-directed with Samantha Soule, MIDDAY BLACK MIDNIGHT BLUE premiered at SIFF in Seattle in 2022 and will be released in June 2023 by Good Deed Entertainment. His horror drama pilot ROME, GEORGIA (starring Mary-Louise Parker) is in development with Vertigo Entertainment. His feature script GRAY is in active development in Denmark with Motor Productions, with Martin de Thura attached to direct. Other TV writing includes THE MIST based on the Stephen King novella, and THE CONNERS on ABC. He is a graduate of Juilliard.

ONE ON ONE Colin West

COLIN WEST (AUDIOVISUAL WORKSHOP) is an award-winning writer and director from Columbus, Ohio and now based in LA & NYC. His films include LINOLEUM (SXSW Film Festival, 2022) starring Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn, Katelyn Nacon, Michael Ian Black and Tony Shalhoub, and DOUBLE WALKER co-written by and starring Sylvie Mix. He also produced the Stacy Keach led film SURVIVAL SKILLS, sponsored by Film Independent.

For a decade, ALESIA WESTON (ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS) ran Sundance Institute’s International Feature Film Program, spearheading the international labs and grants program for emerging filmmakers from the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Asia. She shepherded both US and International writer-directors through the Sundance/NHK Award Program. In 2013, she was appointed Executive Director of the Jerusalem Film Festival, Cinematheque and Archives where she oversaw the international festival and year-round programming. She has since been a guest curator for the Beirut International Film Festival and New Zealand International Film Festival, a mentor at screenwriting labs at TIFF, New Zealand and the pop up first cut lab. In 2018, she co-founded Starfish, a creative accelerator for mid-career BIPOC storytellers. She currently serves as an advisor and thought partner to foundations funding arts programs. She is part of a team of curators developing a program that brings together investigative journalists with industry creatives for adaptations. A trained coach, her practice is devoted to supporting creatives, executives and leaders. She is a founding member of the Advisory Boards of the Torino Film Lab and Jerusalem International Film Lab.
ONE ON ONE Alesia Weston

2023 Films

2023 Virtual Screening Schedule

Gold Pass offers all-inclusive access to:

  • All theatrical screenings and live Q&As at Regal LA Live, June 4-10, 2023
  • Opening Night Gala including the George Pelecanos Tribute at UCLA James Bridges Theater, June 3, 2023
  • Orpheus Awards and Closing Night Gala at Pacific Design Center, June 11, 2023
  • Filmmaker Brunch (exclusive) at the Consul General’s house, June 10, 2023
  • All panels and industry events, June 3-11, 2023
  • Discovery Days auditing (exclusive), June 11, 2023
  • All virtual screenings, June 12-18, 2023

2023 Theatrical Schedule

Gold Pass offers all-inclusive access to:

  • All theatrical screenings and live Q&As at Regal LA Live, June 4-10, 2023
  • Opening Night Gala including the George Pelecanos Tribute at UCLA James Bridges Theater, June 3, 2023
  • Orpheus Awards and Closing Night Gala at Pacific Design Center, June 11, 2023
  • Filmmaker Brunch (exclusive) at the Consul General’s house, June 10, 2023
  • All panels and industry events, June 3-11, 2023
  • Discovery Days auditing (exclusive), June 11, 2023
  • All virtual screenings, June 12-18, 2023

2023 Jury

Adam Montgomery

Adam Montgomery

Adam Montgomery is senior manager of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, where has overseen the selection process since 2005, with over 14,000 submissions received annually. In addition to programming feature films and documentaries, Adam also programs the Festival’s Midnight section and lends his past experience in television development to Sundance’s Indie Episodic program. Prior to joining the Institute, he spent five years at Imagine Entertainment, where he worked on acclaimed series such as Arrested Development and 24. From 2014–2017, he served as director of programming for CIMMfest, a film and music festival based in Chicago.

Angelo Hatgistavrou

Angelo Hatgistavrou, or Angelo “Hat” for short, is a Los Angeles-based animation director, producer, and writer. He has worked as a supervising director for series at Netflix and Amazon and as a consulting director for Fox. His work has been nominated at the Annie Awards and has been shown at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Other notable studios he has worked with include Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, Comedy Central, and Disney. Outside of the animation industry, he enjoys making his own absurd animated films, one of which was recently licensed by FX. Through his production company, Ionian Productions Inc, he plans on developing original content by himself and others, with an emphasis on harnessing and expanding personal experiences

Angelo Hatgistavrou
Anthony Y Kim

Anthony Yooshin Kim

Anthony Yooshin Kim, a Korean American storyteller hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, is presently in digital programming and curation at American Documentary, the producer of the critically acclaimed nonfiction film series ‘POV’ and ‘America ReFramed.’ Anthony earned a doctorate in Literature from the University of California, San Diego where his research focused on documentary cinema at the intersection of historical crisis and change, and he previously served as visiting faculty in American Studies at Williams College. In his spare time, Anthony is an avid long-distance runner and can out-Sinatra anyone under the table at karaoke.

David Derks

David Derks is an executive at Paramount, working alongside Paramount+, Showtime, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, TV Land, CMT, Awesomeness TV, and Nickelodeon. A member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Society of Composers and Lyricists, David is producer of digital content for EuroPacific Films. He is also currently the CEO and president of the La Mirada Symphony and vice president of ASIFA-Hollywood. He was previously at Twentieth Television and ABC Studios and was on the studio teams for projects such as Desperate Housewives, LOST, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, According to Jim, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Divorce Court, Judge Alex, The New Ricki Lake Show, and Dish Nation, as well as television miniseries like Muppets’ Wizard of Oz and Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. Additionally, David’s online Web comic String Theory Cartoons looks at the lighter side of life.

David Derks
Hugh O Gorman

Hugh O’Gorman

Hugh O’Gorman is an actor, director, author, and teaching-artist active in professional theater for over 30 years. Since 2002, he has been the head of acting at California State University Long Beach, where he oversees the BA, BFA, and MFA actor training programs. Hugh is the author of Acting Action: A Primer for Actors and The Keys to Acting. He is a faculty member of MICHA: the Michael Chekhov Association, as well as MCE Michael Chekhov Europe, and he runs his own acting studio in Los Angeles, The Praxis Studio. He is a co-executive director of the National Alliance of Acting Teachers. Hugh has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and at over a dozen of the nation’s regional theaters and Shakespeare festivals. He is a founding member of New York City’s Mint Theatre Company. Hugh portrayed Jeff Singer on AMC’s Remember WENN. His other television appearances include John Adams, Still Standing, That’s Life, The 10th Kingdom, Law & Order and ER, and his films include Killers, Upstate, and The Bend. Hugh earned a BA from Cornell and an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington. www.hughogorman.com

Jenna Suru

Jenna Suru is an auteur and programmer based in Paris. Suru kickstarted MIP x Canneseries Connection and runs the Paris International Film Festival (PIFF). In six years, Jenna has grown PIFF to an eight-day annual celebration of cinema at Le Champo, screening more than 100 films and television series from around the world. Under the label of her company Belle Époque Films, Jenna has created scripted and unscripted comedy content, working with actors such as Robert Sheehan and distributors such as StudioCanal and Pathé Films. Jenna’s auteur debut, L’Age d’Or screened at Cinequest in San Jose, California. parisintlfest.com
Jenna Suru
Jose Garcia Moreno

Jose Garcia Moreno

Jose Garcia Moreno (1961) was born in Mexico City and studied at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). He completed his education with an MFA at UCLA. During the 1980s, he was the producer and creative director of radio stations in Mexico City. His films have been screened and awarded in film festivals around the world, and he has received the Fulbright Scholarship and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grant. He has served as chair of the animation department at Loyola Marymount University, and in 2012, he was appointed to the Loyola Marymount University Strategic Planning Committee and also chair of the Strategic Committee for Internationalization. In 2020, he was appointed director of the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination (ACTI) at Loyola Marymount. In 2023, his film Long Is the Way to Heaven was programmed at the Annecy International Film Festival “as part of the history of Mexican animation and its legacy.”

Valorie Massalas

Valorie Massalas co-produced and cast the acclaimed Gods and Monsters, nominated for three Oscars, including Ian McKellan for best actor, Lynn Redgrave for best supporting actress, and Bill Condon for best screenplay. The movie also won Best Feature Film of the Year from Independent Spirit Awards. In Chaplin, Massalas cast Robert Downey Jr., who received an Oscar nomination. For her work on Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story produced by Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close, she won the Artios Award, the Casting Society of America’s highest honor. In Amazing Stories, Massalas cast for various directors including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Clint Eastwood. Soon after, she cast Sharon Stone in Total Recall directed by Paul Verhoeven. In 2005, Massalas joined with Ron Digman to cast feature films, including Obsessed, Walking Madison, Into Temptation, and the TV movie, Outlaw Prophet, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Valorie Massalas
Michael FX Daly

Michael F.X. Daley

Michael F.X. Daley is a television writer whose credits include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Reaper, for which he wrote the series finale. He’s worked for Netflix on Maniac, HBO on The Leftovers and Big Love, ABC on Secrets and Lies and Resurrection, TNT on Murder in the First, STARZ on Boss, NBC on Crossing Jordan, Comedy Central on That’s My Bush! And FOX on The X-Files. Michael has an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University, where he now teaches screenwriting and serves as the graduate director for the Writing and Producing for Television program. He’s writing a book titled The Writers Took Television, interviewing TV show runners including Norman Lear, Carol Mendelsohn, Chris Carter, Damon Lindelof, Tom Spezialy, and Vince Gilligan. He originally hails from Syracuse, New York, where he got his BA in English Communication from Le Moyne College.

Patricia K. Meyer

Patricia K. Meyer, a screenwriter, producer, and educator, has sold and written numerous feature screenplays, from dark comedy to true crime drama, for Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and major studios. In addition, she has written network miniseries and movies-of-the-week, as well as an original drama pilot for CBS. Meyer launched her career by optioning Gloria Naylor’s novel, The Women of Brewster Place, which she produced as mini-series starring Oprah Winfrey. Next, she executive produced Nora Ephron’s feature directorial debut, This Is My Life. Following a decade teaching screenwriting at the AFI Conservatory, Meyer has enjoyed serving for seven years as associate clinical professor and graduate director of screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. In 2019 she was named one of the top film educators in the country by Variety. Meyer is a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. She earned a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Boston University. www.patriciakmeyerwriter.com

Patricia Meyer
Richard Ray Perez

Richard Ray Pérez “Rick” Pérez

Richard Ray Pérez “Rick” Pérez (he/him/his) is the former executive director of the International Documentary Association (IDA), where he oversaw all IDA programs and operations, including filmmaker services, funding, educational programs, and the IDA Awards. Prior to leading IDA, Pérez was director of creative partnerships at Sundance Institute, where he developed, designed, and led artist-based filmmaking programs. As a filmmaker, Pérez directed and executive produced the feature documentary Cesar’s Last Fast, a project that premiered in US Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and which the New York Times recognized as one of 20 essential films that capture the Latinx experience.

Sunil Sadarangani

Sunil Sadarangani is a Mumbai-born, Los Angeles-based producer and writer with more than 15 years of experience in the global film and series industry. He’s worked with top studios in the United States, India, Sweden, Germany, Lebanon, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom, including First Look Media, Al Jazeera, Shorts T.V., and Swedish and German National T.V. He founded the Ojai Short Film Festival, curated and programmed diverse films focusing on South Asian and female filmmakers, and included Oscar-nominated and winning works. Sunil serves on the programming committees of Outfest and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. He’s a member of the Programmers of Colour Collective and was on the jury of the 2019 Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Sunil also co-founded Omagination Pictures, securing content and forging industry relationships.
Sunil Sadarangani

Discovery Days Team

TEAM Araceli Lemos.

ARACELI LEMOS (DISCOVERY DAYS – Co-Founder / Director) is a film director, writer and editor based in Athens and Los Angeles. Her debut feature HOLY EMY, a Greek / French / US co-production, had its world premiere at the 2021 Locarno Film Festival in the Cineasti dei Presenti section where it received a Special Mention Award from the Jury for First Features. Variety described the film as an “excellent debut about faith, mysticism and displacement.” HOLY EMY screened at festivals worldwide (including AFI Fest, Goteborg, Thessaloniki, New Orleans, Seville, and Sun Valley), was nominated for two 2023 Independent Spirit Awards (Someone To Watch, and the John Cassavetes Award), 15 Hellenic Academy Awards where Araceli won the Best Director award, and was distributed by MUBI. As an editor and producer, Araceli has frequently collaborated with the filmmaker Panayotis Evangelidis on his documentary portraits of intimate relationships. Their latest feature film, IRVING PARK, won the Mermaid Award at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival. As an editor, Araceli’s work also includes the documentary THEY GLOW IN THE DARK (dir. P. Evangelidis), which received the Hellenic Film Academy Award for Best Documentary, and LOST LA (Season 2) for the Los Angeles based public television station KCET, which was nominated for a regional Emmy Award. Her 2012 graduate thesis film from CALARTS, the dark comedy short MIGUEL ALVAREZ WEARS A WIG, screened at festivals worldwide including Tampere, Drama, Leeds and Outfest. Araceli is the founder of Discovery Days (formerly the International Project Discovery Forum), an annual development lab for Balkan feature filmmakers held annually in LA in conjunction with the LA Greek Film Festival. She holds an MFA in Film Directing from CalArts and is an active member of the underground comedy scene in LA.

KARINA LOGOTHETIS (DISCOVERY DAYS – Producer) is a filmmaker based in Athens and Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Photography and Audiovisual Arts, later on studied Filmmaking and Cinema Theory and has obtained several diplomas throughout the years like Set & Production Design, Directing Actors at Sundance Lab and more. For the past decade Karina has been working in the film industry mostly as a director and script supervisor in Greece, LA and Mexico. Karina has directed 5 short films which have won numerous awards in festivals around the world, and has written the first 3 of them: VOURVOUROU (2018), DEAR VICTOR (2022), PLEASE WAIT (2023), NEXTING (2021) and PEBBLE (2022). Karina is also a fine arts and fashion photographer having her work printed in magazines like VOGUE and featured in solo and group exhibitions. She is the Producer of Discovery Days marking her 7th year in the lab.

TEAM Karina Logothetis
TEAM Joel Garber

JOEL GARBER (DISCOVERY DAYS – Producer) is a filmmaker from Milwaukee based in Los Angeles. As a Writer-Director, his films have screened widely including at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Miami International Film Fest, San Francisco Shorts, Wisconsin Film Fest and at NewFilmmakers New York and LA. Joel recently collaborated, as Consulting Producer, with Director Araceli Lemos on the critically acclaimed feature film HOLY EMY which premiered internationally at the Locarno Film Festival, at AFI Fest in the US, and was distributed by MUBI. HOLY EMY has received numerous accolades including a nomination for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards and a leading 15 nominations at the 2022 Hellenic Film Academy Awards. He is currently developing the feature film BIG BABY BETTY (co-written with Araceli Lemos) which recently received development funding from the Greek Film Center. As an Editor and Producer, Joel has worked extensively on fiction and non-fiction films and television programs for platforms that include Disney+, Amazon, HGTV, and CBS. He holds degrees in Cinema from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (BA) and San Francisco State University (MFA).

NASOS GATZOULIS (DISCOVERY DAYS – Programmer / Production Coordinator) is a Greek Film Director based in Los Angeles. Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Athens, Greece, he earned a degree in Political Science and Public Administration at the Kapodistrian University of Athens and a Directing MFA at the American Film Institute. His AFI thesis project called TIM OF THE JUNGLE has screened in many festivals including Camerimage International Film Festival, LA SHORTS International Film Festival and is an official pick in Short of the Week. He received an honorary mention for his feature project called TWO RACCOONS at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival as part of the IPDF Project of 2018. He has been a part of the LAGFF Programming Team since 2019.

TEAM Nasos Gatzoulis

Meet the Filmmakers

A Girl Named Zeus Director Nikos Dayandas

NIKOS DAYANDAS (A GIRL NAMED ZEUS, Director / Writer) was born in Crete, and studied Archaeology & Filmmaking in London. He has directed some of Greece’s most acclaimed international documentary co-productions LITTLE LAND, SAYOME and blue-chip TV series, and is the only Greek filmmaker to have helmed a NATGEO TV production to date, BURIED SECRETS OF KEROS (2020). His films have been supported by ARTE, ZDF, ERT, Greek Film Center, National Film Board of Canada, AVRO, History TV et.al and have been distributed worldwide, as well as having won many awards including the FIPRESCI award, the WWF award, and even best documentary at the LAGFF in 2012. His fiction feature project for kids and families, A GIRL NAMED ZEUS, is the first Greek project ever selected by the prestigious Cinekid Writers Lab.

IRIS BAGLANEA (ACHINOS, Director / Writer) grew up in Corfu, Greece, and is a director and performer. As a director, GOADS was her first film that has been awarded and special mentioned in many International and Greek festivals, Drama IFF, Athens IFF, Trieste IFF; Best short film at BUFF; Further, GOADS has been officially selected by Zinebi-Bilbao International Short And Documentary Film Festival, Riga IFF, Go Short IFF Nijmegen, Rhode Island IFF, while it continues its festival adventure. Her next short film ZANGE will be filmed in January 2023. Recognizing the therapeutic aspect of performing arts, she studied Dramatherapy in Berlin and has worked with mentally ill patients and unaccompanied refugee children in Greece. As a performer, she has won the Grand prix Europa 2015 with AndCompany&Co for the performance «Orpheus in der Oberwelt» and has participated in numerous International Theatre Festivals such as HAU Hebbel am Uffer, Mousonturm, Forum Freies Theater, Hippodrome, Steirischerherbst, Belluard Bollwerk International.

Achinos director Iris Baglanea
Black Water Director Isabella Margara

ISABELLA MARGARA (BLACK WATER, Director / Writer) is a Greek director and medical doctor. Her first short film THE BLIND TURTLE AND THE ENDLESS SEA (2020) screened in Oscar-qualifying festivals, and following its festival run it was acquired by CANAL+ in Central Europe and COSMOTE TV in Greece and Cyprus. Her second short script NOTHING HOLIER THAN A DOLPHIN was awarded by one of Europe’s largest environmental organizations as a story offering great environmental insight. The film premiered in January 2023 at Clermont-Ferrand where it received the International Audience Award. Isabella obtained funding by the Greek Film Center for her third short film, currently in pre-production. She is interested in the therapeutic aspect of art and the transformation point between reality and fantasy.

DIMITRIS TSAKALEAS & LIDA VARTZIOTI (FRIENDS, BIRTHDAYS, MURDER, ECT, Directors / Writers) are a directing duo currently based in Athens (Greece). They have directed a number of shorts including SAD GIRL WEEKEND (2019), HAPPY ENDING (2022), and GOOD GIRLS CLUB: A VIRGINITY ODYSSEY (2023), which have traveled to film festivals around the world (Karlovy Vary IFF, Palm Springs ISF, Cairo IFF, Sarajevo IFF, Trieste IFF, etc) and were screened at Directors Notes. They are graduates of the School of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Stavros Niarchos Artworks Fellows, Sarajevo and Berlinale Talents Alumni. Right now, they are in the funding process of their first feature film FRIENDS, BIRTHDAYS, MURDER, ETC, produced by Atalante Productions, while they are dealing with their coming-of-age and post-university realness.

Friends,Birthdays,Murder Etc Directors Lida Vartzioti and Dimitris Tsakaleas
Green Director Fokion Bogris

FOKION BOGRIS (GREEN, Director / Writer) was born in Athens, Greece in December 1979. He never attended any film school, obtained his BA in Communications, and started making his own DIY movies in 2002. He Made his first independent feature film titled CATHARSIS (starring Vangelis Mourikis) which premiered at the Athens International Film Festival in 2009. He has won the Best Newcomer Director Award at the Drama International Short Film Festival for FAMILY TREE (2012), and his independent feature film AMERCEMENT (2020) won a Best Supporting Actor Award at the Hellenic Film Academy Awards, having a highly successful theatrical run in Greece and receiving great reviews from Variety and Screen Daily. Fokion Bogris has also directed music videos, documentaries for Greek National Television, and recently a trailer for Onassis Foundation.

ALKI POLITI (STORY FROM A SOUTHERN COAST, Director / Writer) was born in Athens in 1988 and grew up in Rethymno, Crete. She studied at the Cinema Studies Department of the School of Fine Arts in AUTH and obtained her MA in Direction, Screenwriting and Producing at the University Panthéon / Sorbonne Paris I. She has co-written and co-directed the mini series GEFYRA (ANT1+, 2022) and is currently working as a director for the ΑΝΤ1 series MAGISA. She has written and directed various short films like GÉNÉRATION PERDUE (2017) and HOMO PERFECTUS (2022) which have been featured at the Angers European First Film Festival and the Drama ISFF respectively. Her feature project STORY FROM A SOUTHERN COAST was granted with the development fund of the GFC.

Story From A Southern Coast Director Alki Politi