Award-Winning Greek Film
"Hard Goodbyes: My Father"
to Open in NYC

ATLANTA – The critically-acclaimed and award-winning film from Greece, HARD GOODBYES (Official title: HARD GOODBYES: MY FATHER) will open in New York at the Village East Cinemas, at 2nd Avenue and 12th St., for an exclusive engagement beginning September 16th.

HARD GOODBYES tells the story about a lonely and imaginative 10-year-old child in Athens, Elias Manolopoulos. He and his father love to embark on tales of the imagination. They derive particular joy from Jules Verne’s From Earth to the Moon. The two make a pact that they will watch together the televised broadcast of man’s landing on the moon. The year is 1969.

But this nighttime promise will go unkept. And Elias must rely on their shared love of storytelling and the imagination to transcend the unimaginable.

HARD GOODBYES has traveled to more than 40 cities across the United States and garnered critical acclaim – The Washington Post named it an “Editor’s Pick;” The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Eleanor Ringel-Gillespie wrote, “A tender elegy of childhood’s end, this is a luminous, funny and deeply moving movie.” The BBC gave the movie four stars.

The movie has won a number of international prizes, including the FIPRESCI Prize (“for its acute symbiosis of daily routine and metaphorical sense of life”), the Best Actor Award and the Greek Film Critics’ Prize at the International Thessaloniki Film Festival. Athens-based writer/director Penny Panayotopoulou also won the Best Directorial Debut Award at the Greek State Cinema Awards.

Giorgos Karayannis, who stars as the film’s 10-year-old hero, won the Locarno International Film Festival’s Leopard Prize for Best Actor. His fellow contenders: Gerard Depardieu, Robin Williams and Matt Damon.

The Children’s Jury of the Olympia International Film Festival awarded the film its Best Feature Prize.
More recently, in September, HARD GOODBYES picked up the Best Screenplay prize at the 1st International Film Festival of Sale (Morocco), one of the first film festivals in Africa to highlight women filmmakers.

In November HARD GOODBYES won the St. Louis International Film Festival’s Interfaith Award for its “artistic merit, contribution to the understanding of the human condition, and recognition of ethical, social and spiritual values.” It is the only feature film award to be decided by a jury, as opposed to an audience. The festival featured more than 165 features and shorts.

HARD GOODBYES has screened in more than 30 film festivals around the world, from Pusan and Karlovy Vary to Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto. In fact, famed Toronto programmer Dimitri Eipides called the film an imaginative, deeply insightful debut.” In his programming notes, he wrote, “The grace with which Panayotopoulou finishes her portrait marks her as a director to watch in the future.”

On a sad note, the actress Despo Diamantidou, who played the grandmother in HARD GOODBYES, died in Athens in February 2004 at the age of 88. This role was the last in a career spanning 50 years and more than 40 movies, including Jules Dassin’s NEVER ON SUNDAY. Ms. Diamantidou also performed on Broadway.

In HARD GOODBYES her character’s unwillingness to accept reality runs parallel to that of her grandson, Elias. In the end, both learn to accept the truth in their own way and in their own time.

The executive-producer of this film, CL Productions, also executive-produced Greece’s box office smash, A TOUCH OF SPICE (POLITIKI KOUZINA) by Tassos Boulmetis, and line-produced BRIDES by Pantelis Voulgaris.

For more information about this award-winning film, visit the following websites:

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