One of the most common conversations between a Greek language teacher and learners includes the extra-curricular activities or things a learner can do on their own and outside of the classroom to assist their language learning and progress and give themselves a boost towards an easier comprehension of moden Greek. One of the most popular ideas is for the learner to watch movies in Greek. Movies that will help them hear the language spoken in a natural way, in everyday instances by native people. Movies they can watch with subtitles in their first language in order for them to connect sounds with meaning and learn new words easily and without even realizing it. But also movies that will give them a taste of the Greek lifestyle and culture and an inside look into Greece and its people.
The Greek language ally you were looking for…
When these movies are hand-picked by the Hellenic Film Society USA for the Greek Film Expo film festival and can be found this year, due to the pandemic, on a virtual platform, there is truly no better way to assist your Greek language learning.
Greek LOL contacted the Hellenic Film Society to learn more about this year’s film festival and how it is different since it is being held online. Ms Nicolelis told us that “until this year, the Hellenic Film Society USA has presented the New York Greek Film Expo film festival in the spring in New York City movie theaters.” However, this had to change this year, when movie theaters started closing in March due to the pandemic. Nicolelis adds, “we knew we couldn’t disappoint our loyal fans, so we took the bold step of creating a virtual film festival. Our on-demand format also allows us to bring Greek films to a national US audience for the first time.” As people look for safe ways to be entertained, Nicolelis continues, “we are proud to break new ground with the first-ever virtual Greek film festival in the US.”
“Our mission is to preserve the film heritage of Greece”
The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) is a non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization presents high-quality, well-crafted feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that depict the rich culture and history of Greece and Cyprus. After our communication with Ms Nicolelis we note something really important she told us about the HFS mission that completely agrees with the mentality and mission behind our online Greek School and community as well. She says “the Hellenic Film Society USA is dedicated to promoting Greek cinema through the US. Our mission is to share the richness of Greek films with a wider American audience, to showcase Greek movies and to preserve the film heritage of Greece.” You can find out more about the ways they do that, here.
Did you ever try practising Greek watching award-winning Greek films?
This year and while we are all looking for ways to safely entertain, educate and amuse ourselves you can have a look at the first-ever virtual Greek film festival in the US and practice Greek watching award-winning Greek films. You will have the chance to watch films “from the latest by award-winning director Costa-Gavras to a digitally remastered version of a Vougiouklaki comedy classic, we offer something for everyone,” Nicolelis adds. Click here to read about the 10 films they are streaming. Please note that the festival ends on July 20th and that Greek Film Expo on Demand is only available for streaming in the US, except California.
Watching a Greek film is an excellent way to support your Greek language learning
When we asked Ms Nicolelis what would the HFS like to say to our Greek learners and why they should have a look at this year’s virtual film festival she said: “We see what we do as a way to perpetuate Hellenism in America.” One way to do that is by helping to preserve the Greek language. According to Nicolelis, and the Greek LOL teachers agree, “watching a Greek film with English subtitles is a great way for Greek-language learners to hear the language spoken, to learn idiomatic expressions and inflections in a way that they can’t by reading a book or a newspaper or a website.”
Nicolelis concludes, “to listen to the way people actually speak in conversation is to understand—and appreciate—the richness of the Greek language,” and we couldn’t agree more.
If you are looking for ways to support your Greek language learning and entertain yourselves with great art that promotes Greece and the Greek lifestyle, culture, and language you should definitely check the Greek Film Expo film festival. You can find out more about the Hellenic Film Society USA here.