GSFF EST. 2017
If the vision matters, the journey matters.
2022 marked our return to Gagarin, with a new concept which we introduced over two dates in March and April.
GSFF Pop Up Mondays launched with two specially curated nights, dedicated to two iconic artists with a huge following and a cult status in Greece: Rory Gallagher and PJ Harvey. Mondays are back! Mondays are cool!
For the inaugural Pop Up Monday and Greek Premiere of Ian Thullier's "Ghost Blues - The Story of Rory Gallagher", we welcomed a sold out crowd and some distinguished guests.
Rory's nephew, Daniel, flew all the way from New York, to join us for one of the warmest, most wholesome Q&As ever to grace ous stage.
And Deuce, a tribute band from Cork, who opened the night with a full set, spanning Rory's whole career (yeah, they played some Taste, too). Local singer/songwriter Kostas Livadas joined Deuce on stage for what was his own tribute to an insipiration.
A few days later, on the first Monday of April, another opening act, local duo The Noise Figures, took to the stage for their first live performance after 2,5 years and their second time at GSFF.
The day was dedicated to the uniquely intimate journey through the inspiration, writing and recording of a PJ Harvey record,
as portrayed in Seamus Murphy's " A Dog Called Money". After a brief but very enlightening Q&A with film critic Poly Lykourgou and writer / uber-fan Vasia Tzanakari, it was time for the filmmaker himself to join us from Pittsburgh for a video Q&A. And for the next 20 mins or so, he took us on a journey through Polly's world and their own travelogue, in what was the best possible intro for what would follow. The Athenian premier of ADCM came as the ideal ending to yet another beautiful GSFF night.
There was no stopping us now! Neither the postponements of the previous months nor the tropical thunderstorm earlier in the day!
It was time for our first ever open-air event, GSFF Technopolis Edition!
For three summer nights under the stars,
it was all about breaking ground and making it happen. It was about getting back together; about bringing back the magic, our missing mojo and everything we’ve been
Our live act, Remember Lizzy, the first band to hit an Athens stage after months of silence, officially declared the start of the summer festival season with an amazing setlist of iconic Thin Lizzy hits, played their hearts out and opened our appetite for what would follow. Next up, our guest panel. A fascinating discussion, complete with a guest video appearance by film director Emer Reynolds, that took us all to a journey down memory lane and into the depths of Philo's beautiful and tormented soul.
It was time for our eager audience to enjoy the Greek Premiere of Songs For While I'm Away, and it was well worth the wait. An intimate and inspiring portrait of the legend that is Phil Lynott, directed with pure love and utmost respect by Emer Reynolds.
A film that warmed our hearts and left everyone in awe. From his rough childhood to the rock stardom and everything in between, SFWIA paid tribute to the legacy of a true Irish icon. What a night! What a start to our festival! And this was only the beginning.
Bands can still change your life and IDLES is the living proof. Day 2 was all about "an entertaining and thought provoking study on modern masculinity". About a film that "finds an even stronger story in the community the band has created around them".
Kicking off the proceedings, a young local band full of raw energy. Bazooka stormed the stage as the sun was setting over Athens, fuelled by pure punk attitude , original materialand strong relatable lyrics in their native language.
The best warm up to a night for the books!
On this day, GSFF paid tribute to the vision and legacy of his founder Nikos Triantafyllidis. Two legendary artists, Momus and Blaine L. Reininger shared memories and paid tribute to their late friend and collaborator, whilst a video curated and directed by Marina Danezi took us on a retrospective journey to his life and career.
Alex Bolpasis and Dimitris Papandreou took the stage, with a little help from IDLES' drummer Jon Beavis (on video), in an attempt to introduce us to the earnestness, sensitivity and energy of the band, represented in the film we were about to watch.
Director Mark Archer sadly couldn't join us for the Greek Premiere of his film due to travel restrictions, but his story about finding strength in vulnerability, touched all of us that night.
Don't Go Gentle documents the journey behind IDLES' music and captures the 10 year journey of their struggle, grief and moving determination. Greece was the first country to screen DGG after its world premiere in London and, on that summer night in Athens, the reasons why these five individuals have connected with legions of people across the world, became more than obvious.
Closing day was a true celebration of the local rock scene. With two live bands, an all-star guest panel, a huge crowd and a World Premiere, we couldn't have dreamed of a better way to wrap!
Honeybadger opened the day with a scorching hot live set, but it was Whereswilder with their jaw dropping performance, who confirmed why they are considered one of the best bands around!
GSFF panel discussions are known to be controversial and eye-opening, and this one lived up to this reputation (and then some).
Film co-director Christos Daniilidis shared doozy BTS stories from shooting with Nightstalker and members from Planet of Zeus, whilst local scene icons Eva Kolomvou and Dimitris Panagiotarakos shared thoughts and predictions about the past, present and future, causing cheers and applause.
Such fan to watch and participate!
Whilst the panel discussion left us wiser and somehow bemused, it was The Age of the Denial of Death that had us on the edge of our seats and received a standing ovation.
A film project that started as a dissertation by two university students, found its way to the GSFF screen after two young guys attended one of our screenings at Gagarin and promised themselves that their doc would end up here! And today, their dream came true. Proud of you, guys! What a story! This is what GSFF is all about, people!
So many firsts for us at GSFF Technopolis Edition. And among those firsts, FADE AWAY Photography Exhibition was a true groundbreaker. A project we hope you enjoyed as much as we did.
For the first time ever, GSFF curated and presented an exclusive photo exhibition introducing works by three artists: Jo Brent, Lindsay Melbourne & Chris Kissadjekian.
GSFF is about music.
GSFF is about films.
GSFF is about people.
And for three summer nights under the stars,
it was about breaking ground and making it happen. It was about getting back together; about bringing back the magic, our long lost mojo and everything we been missing for so long.
GSFF is returning to Gagarin in February 2022 with more films, more music, more fun
and of course, Fade Away 2.0!
Huge shout out to everyone who attended,
to our bands and guests, and above all to Technopolis City of Athens, our home from home!
That's a wrap for now. See you all at Gagarin.
It's coming home!
Our opening night proved to be one more jewel on the GSFF crown. The much anticipated ‘Greek Rock Revolution’ made its Athenian debut in front of a sell-out crowd, together with panel discussion led by none other than the director of the film: Miguel Angel Cano Santizo.
As a fan of rock music living in Berlin, he noticed the quality, popularity and frequency of greek rock bands touring there and took to documenting it. Following bands in the area, he didn’t see the typical gritty and wild rock & roll lifestyle.
Instead, he captured regular people on the road, who love their art and were very familiar with their audience. This inspiring documentary on our flourishing local rock scene and the circumstances that birthed it did not disappoint. Neither did our band, Electric Feat!
It was also the second time David Bowie graced GSFF screens. This greek premiere, showed how Mick Ronson, “the Yin to Bowie’s Yang”, instigated and inspired the most creative phase of Bowie’s career & how the two of them changed music forever. The screening was complimented by a vibrant a set by
local David Bowie tribute band, ‘Heroes’.
The only greek movie in GSFF 2019 detailed an unexpected yet romantic story about 4 teenagers from Ilion, West Attica & their band 4 Levels of Existence. They have a tale like no other - we had to feature this local story!
Can you imagine forming a psychedelic rock band in your teens in Ilion, making only one record together and winning a Grammy for it on a Rihanna song 35 years later in Hollywood? Band Otus (also from Ilion) took to the stage with Thanasis Alatas and played the band’s songs for the first time in 45 years.
© Chris Kissadjekian