Festival Hellenika to host ‘Magna Graecia’ film screening in SA

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Festival Hellenika will host the ‘Magna Graecia: The Greko of Calabria’ talk and short film screening on Friday, May 31 at 7pm. The event is free.

The film is by Adelaide native Basil Genimahaliotis and Sydneysider Billy Cotsis under the banner of the excellent cultural program of the Festival Hellenika South Australia.

Cotsis has been to 81 countries looking for Hellenes, producing six books and a contribution to a new book, “Whose song is this?”, 20 documentaries, a Greek blog and a YouTube channel: BillyWood Greek Stuff and Beyond.

Basil Genimahaliotis has worked across ten countries as an architect and short filmmaker, including eight projects with Cotsis in Greece, Italy, Australia and London.

The film and talk will take the audience on a journey through the 2,800 years of Greko history, with Calabria the focal point.

“Basil and I want the audience to gain an insight into the Greko and their history over 2,800 years, their challenges, how the numbers have dwindled and what we can do help save the dialect before it is extinct. You will find a mixture of elderly and younger Greko,” Cotsis explained.

The Festival Hellenika event is supported by the Magna Graecia Network Australia, which is Adelaide based. Many of their members will visit Calabria within the next two years for the annual Greko trilingual classes in the heart of Calabria’s Aspromonte region.

Magna Graecia

The last remaining Greko villages are Bova Marina, Vua, Galliciano, and Roghudi New as well as Melito Town, Condofuri Marina, Roghudi Vecchio (which was in essence a ghost town), and Reggio (where there are hundreds of Greko and Greek speakers).

Cotsis is happy to take questions on Greeks of Magna Graecia and other Greek communities on the day.

Magna Graecia

The screening will be held at the hall of the Greeks of Egypt & Middle East Society of SA (56 Richmond Road, Keswick).

Cotsis said the venue is poignant.

“I have been to Alexandria and other Greek communities in the Middle East, such as in Palestine and Jordan, and it goes without saying that supporting language and showing interest as an outsider helps keep these small communities going. We can do more for them, and for the Greko, or we will lose these connections, living history to our ancient and Byzantine past. I’m ecstatic that Festival Hellenika chose this venue and I thank the venue, President and Committee for accepting us,” he said.

Magna Gracia

Italy has a long association with Greece. Venice, Genoa and Rome provided a significant legacy in many parts of Greece including ancient ruins and architecture. Greeks have similarly left a legacy in Italy especially in Southern Italy where hundreds of Greek colonies and settlements formed in ancient and medieval times. Their descendants remain in parts of Calabria and Apulia to this day where over 20 towns speak Greko or Griko – dialects of ancient and Byzantine Greek.

Event Details:

  • What: ‘Magna Graecia: The Greko of Calabria’ talk and short film screening
  • When: Friday, May 31 at 7pm.
  • Where: Greeks of Egypt & Middle East Society of SA – Hall, 56 Richmond Road, Keswick.
  • Price: Free
  • For more more information contact: Adoni Fotopoulos adoni@dealwithit.com.au

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