CINEMA: ‘Olympia’ to feature at Limassol docfest

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A feature documentary on Olympia Dukakis will be one of the highlights of this year’s week-long 14th Limassol International Documentary Festival featuring 21 productions that opens at the Evagoras Lanitis Centre on Thursday.

The feature-length ‘Olympia’, that has been labelled as a raw, unfiltered and funny documentary on Olympia Dukakis, will be screened at 8.30pm on Saturday, August 3. The director, Cypriot film-maker Harry Mavromichalis, Alexia Vassiliou (composer and singer) and Anthoula Katsimatides (executive producer) will also be at the screening.

Following its New York City premiere last November, the Hollywood Reporter called it an “uncommonly personal, cinema verité-style portrait of its fascinating, iconoclastic subject…”.

CBS News said it’s “a thoroughly captivating film, befitting its arresting star,” and Jezebel declared “Olympia Dukakis finally gets the biographical documentary she deserves.”

The star-studded documentary features Whoopi Goldberg (The View), Laura Linney (Ozark), Diane Ladd (Chinatown), Lynn Cohen (Hunger Games), Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Austin Pendleton (A Beautiful Mind), Ed Asner (Up), Armistead Maupin (author of Tales of the City) and Michael Dukakis (Governor of Massachusetts).

Mavromichalis (above, with Alexia Vassiliou) follows Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis as she takes on the roles of actor, teacher, wife, mother, and social activist. Starting on the day she turns 80 and continuing for three years, this film deals with the struggles and pains surrounding identity and the roles placed on us by society. Its cinema-verité style allows the audience to constantly move alongside Olympia as she navigates between rehearsals, workshops, family life, and finally the journey with her daughter and granddaughters to her ancestral home in Greece. Exhibiting both candor and vulnerability, the audience sees her deal with age, grief and sexuality while opening up about her past struggles with depression, suicide and drug addiction.

Mavromichalis worked with two “musical geniuses” as he called the composers who wrote the music for the film.  Paul Cantelon has composed music for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, “W”, “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” and many more. Cypriot musician Alexia Vassiliou composed part of the music for the film and she also composed and performed the theme song called “Time”.

Olympia Dukakis’ notable films include Steel MagnoliasLook Who’s Talking, Away From Her, Mr. Holland's Opus and Mighty Aphrodite. Known for her deadpan humor and motherly charm, Dukakis won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Cher's mother, Rose Castorini in Moonstruck in 1987. She was also nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Anna Madrigal in the public television miniseries Tales of the City. Her bestselling autobiography Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress was published in 2003. In June 2019, she reunited with Laura Linney, Victor Garber, and Ellen Page for the Netflix Original series “Tales of the City”, the last book by Armistead Maupin.

Watch the ‘Olympia’ trailer here.

Tickets for the 14th Limassol International Documentary Festival are €2 per film or €25 for a Festival Pass to view all screenings. All screenings with English and Greek subtitles.