GSFF EST. 2017
If the vision matters, the journey matters.
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!
© Chris Kissadjekian
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.
The final movie was one the local metal band Memorain could relate to. They performed a high energy set for us that blew the lid off GSFF for its final night. The movie, Murder In The Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story, revealed a central truth about rock
and roll. More than a documentary on the infamous metal scene, the movie exposed the stories and the humanity behind it all… and that’s something we at GSFF identify with too. It was a perfect way to close out our favourite year of the festival yet. In its 3rd year, GSFF
settled into its rhythm and identity as a festival. With great line ups on stage, great team work behind the scenes, and great feedback from our audience... what can we say? We can't wait for 2020!
Opening night saw a milestone in GSFF history as the mighty Nightstalker took to the stage for something they’d never done before: an acoustic set. Trading their usual amped up rig for a candlelit stage, they played their most-loved hits to a mesmerised audience. The local rock
legends enjoyed the intimate experience so much it inspired their 2020 summer tour.
We then welcomed Jason Georgiadis to the stage for a Q&A. As the director of Desert Age: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Scene
History, he brought his experience, knowledge and behind the scene stories of Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and other desert rock stars we all love to hear about. This was definitely one to remember for GSFF history.
A night full of heart tugging moments opened with an amazing live tribute to Bruce Dickinson by Iron Beast, one of the best Iron Maiden tribute bands around. The movie of the night, Scream For Me Sarajevo, shows Bruce, a charismatic artist on a mission and a city under
siege during the civil war. Bruce had just been interviewed by Metal Hammer magazine in the UK about the making of the movie, so we decided to bring in Hakos Pervanidis (Chief Editor, Metal Hammer Greece) and Kostas Chronopoulos (Managing Editor, Metal
Hammer Greece) to join the expert panel with their inside knowledge. They were joined by Sakis Tolis (Frontman, Rotting Christ) who elaborated on his own experience playing Sarajevo having just landed in Athens that evening from his European Tour.
Our third Monday of the festival was the birthday of none other than the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. How could we not celebrate? We screened the movie that chronicled the wind down of the biggest
metal band of all time: The End of The End and even went for our first double-bill. A packed out venue was treated to bands Electric Feat and Karma Violens each performing their take on a
number of Black Sabbath personal favourites. To top it all off, we had Gus G (guitarist to Ozzy for several years) raise a glass and make a birthday toast via video link.
Creativity, inspiration, and friendships are all pretty essential to rock ‘n’ roll as we saw in the screening of American Valhalla with. Iggy, Josh and Anthony. The Noise Figures played some of their new material that night; joined on stage with their new band members for the first time too.
Finally, we experienced the magic that is Pearl Jam live. With the screening of Let’s Play Two, the live album concert film, we saw them bring some of this magic to Gagarin on closing night. As we put GSFF to bed for 2018, from the GSFF team to the panelists on stage, we
acknowledged on all fronts what it takes to dare and how it feels to bring your dream and vision to life: f*cking awesome.
The first year of Gimme Shelter Film Festival and the memory of our inaugural night is a sweet one. The venue was sold out and the vibe was high. As the lights went out and the movie hit the screen, GSFF was well underway with a Greek premiere and an opening night we could be proud of.
Here’s some of the highlights from our first year:
As the GSFF Mondays commenced, we had a number of Greek premiere’s including The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane, Desert Age, Scorpions: Forever and a Day, All Things Must Pass, American Artifact, Kurt Cobain: About A Son, Last Days Here, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister and Queen: A Night In Bohemia.
People of all ages danced to the Bowie live tribute by “Heroes”. Maria Markouli (music journalist & author) introduced the significance of ‘David Bowie Is’ to an audience of fans. The film was curated and narrated by David Bowie himself and presented for the first time in Greece.
TRIP TO MERCURY
We had a night dedicated to the greatness of Freddie Mercury and Queen, with a screening of The Great Pretender and all of its archival footage prior to the premiere of A Night in Bohemia - truly an historic live performance including the first ever live rendition of the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody. Panelists Giannis Bach Spyropoulos (Songwriter / Producer) and Giannis Giakoumakis (Radio show host, Red 96,3) had much light to shed that night on Mercury’s personal and professional feats.
Things then got into a punk mood with two iconic films, ‘No Asylum Here’ about the Greek Punk/New Wave scene of the 1980’s and ‘The Filth and The Fury’ about the Sex Pistols, directed by the mighty Julien Temple. With a panel to suit the evening, the room was full of laughs, memories and great stories. The panel consisted of:
(Radio/TV show host; Drummer, Yeah!)
Giannis Drenogiannis (Journalist/Columnist; Guitar, Yeah!)
(Director, No Asylum Here).
Each of our panels brings something unique in the topic they're discussing or in the combination of industry experts and talent. This panel took the shape of things to come in the GSFF vision. To have iconic mix of greek rock scene pros on stage is one thing, and the privilege of enjoy live discussion between them is another. On the panel:
(Singer, Puta Volcano)
(Bassist, Planet of Zeus)
(DJ, Psychograndmammas as moderator)
A SPECIAL MENTION
We have to mention the pleasure of screening ‘Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: I Put a Spell On Me’ directed by the late founder of Gagarin and visionaire for the festival itself: Nikos Triantafylidis. A devoted life long fan of one of the most influential and pioneering figures in rock ‘n’ roll, he began filming the movie just one year before Jay Hawkins’ death. The icon gave what was to be his last performance just two months before passing and how fortunate we are that this performance was in Athens, December 1999. He would’ve played all night, but he left us with these words of love and devotion:
“WE'RE OUT OF TIME.
BUT IF GOD IS WILLING
AND I HAVE THE STRENGTH
AND IF I'M STILL ALIVE...
I'LL COME BACK.
AND I'LL DO IT AGAIN,
Screamin' Jay Hawkins
OVER AND OUT
Finally, there was the night of desert grooves both on screen with ‘Lo Sound Desert’ and on the stage. For our closing night we switched things up for the sake of a good time with Puta Volcano post screening. The up-and-coming powerhouse of a band took the stage for an electric set within seconds as we whisked the seats away in no time.
Breaking our own ‘rules’ on closing night was ultimately the best way to promise you that we’ll always be the most laid back film festival you go to.
HERE'S TO MANY MORE YEARS OF CELEBRATING FILM, LIVE MUSIC, GREAT PEOPLE AND RULE BREAKING.