This weekend the 23rd Greek Film Festival comes to an end for another year, with the screening of well-known Greek Australian journalist Helen Kapalos’ documentary A Life of its Own and their Closing Night Celebration on Sunday, with the popular and in- demand film What If.
A LIFE OF ITS OWN: THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA →
After a high-profile television journalism career, Helen Kapalos took out a loan for kitchen renovations that never happened, and invested the money into her first feature film – a deeply personal documentary about medical marijuana.
The project was born from one of her reports: a young man called Dan Haslam, his battle with cancer and his usage of marijuana to relieve excruciating physical pain. Couple that story with the one of Helen Kapalos’ mother who also suffered for many years at the mercy of cancer, and Kapalos found herself propelled on an international fact-finding mission that would lead her from Australia’s black market to radical (yet legal) research in Israel.
Born in Newcastle, Helen Kapalos is known to many for her work as an Australian journalist and TV presenter. She joined the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program as a senior correspondent in 2014 where she conceptualised A Life of Its Own after reporting on a series of stories on medical marijuana.
WHAT IF →
A recent Greek classic and the Opening Night feature of the 2013 GFF returns by popular demand for a very special encore festival screening.
Two opposing perspectives are masterfully teased out in Christopher Papakaliatis’ Sliding Doors-inspired style of storytelling: One perspective from a confirmed bachelor, and the other from a couple in love.
Demetris (played by Papakaliatis himself) shares his relatively normal life with a German Shepherd dog. When his canine friend begs to be walked one night, he unwittingly stands on the precipice of a life-changing decision – something the audience knows, even if he does not. Will Demetris go out tonight and meet Christina (Marina Kalogirou), the love of his life? Or will he just stay home?
Whatever Demetris’ decision, the results are anything but black and white in this duet of contrasting tales that come with their own kind of happiness… and tragedy.
Born and raised in Athens, Christopher Papakaliatis is an instantly recognisable household name and much-admired star in Greece. Having appeared on TV since high school, he has starred, directed and written numerous top-rated and acclaimed television drama series. His latest feature Worlds Apart also screens at this year’s GFF.