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Canada in Greece showcase Canadian films for Canada 150

A kickoff to anniversary celebrations in Greece, the Canadian mission in Athens presented a film festival to showcase Canadian films.

Canadian film director Kim Nguyen answers audience questions on opening night.

(L-R) Kim Nguyen; Ambassador Morrill; Greek Minister of Culture Lydia Koniordou; Director of Greek Film Archive, Maria Komninou

Canada 150 invites us to celebrate Canada. At our missions abroad, the anniversary compels us to create and share occasions that portray our heritage, people, land and diversity. It is a time to reflect on what makes us proud to be Canadian, at home and around the world.

In Greece, Canada 150 celebrations coincide with the 75th anniversary of Canada-Greece diplomatic relations. A kickoff to anniversary celebrations in Greece, the Canadian mission in Athens presented a film festival to showcase Canadian films. In partnership with Greece’s Film Archive, “Canada Film Week: A celebration of diversity” was run from February 2 to 8, 2017.

Canada is known for its filmmaking heritage and Canada Film Week was a way to introduce Greek film enthusiasts to our film industry. During the week-long program, ten recent Canadian films in English, French and Inuktitut were screened. Hundreds of enthusiastic Greek cinephiles attended the screenings. They saw films that showed the work of Canadian directors and actors of varied backgrounds and origins. The films told  stories about various periods and places, within and outside Canada.  Audience-goers were invited to explore Canada’s linguistic, cultural and geographic diversity.

In conversation with Canadian and Greek filmmakers

As part of the event, panel discussions were organized with director Kim Nguyen, producer Will Woods and actress Kawennahere Devery Jacobs and director Yannis Sakaridis, producer Despina Mouzaki and actress Vaggelio Andreadaki, moderated by Greek Film Archive Executive Director Maria Komninou  Greek audiences were interested to learn about aspects of Canadian society and history. There were discussions about the legacy of the residential school system and reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples.

An award-winning independent film, “Two Lovers and a Bear,” opened the event. The film is set in a far north Canadian community. The screening was attended by the Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, Members of Parliament, representatives of the Greek cultural sector, and prominent members of the Canadian community in Greece.

Ambassador Morrill reiterated Prime Minister Trudeau’s message that “Canada’s diversity is its strength.” He emphasized the important and unique contributions of the Greek-Canadian diaspora to our success as a country. Greek Minister of Culture Koniordou recognized that Canada’s leadership is known for its respect of humankind, protection of the environment, acceptance of diversity and encouragement for open dialogue.  
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