By Nick Christophers
In the recent event presented by the Hellenic Film Society entitled the NY Greek Film Expo, director / screenwriter, and actor Renos Haralmbidis presented a retrospective of films. The event presented the latest in Greek films which were screened at the Village East Cinema in NYC and the Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee, NJ. Renos was a guest speaker at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. The 10 ten-day programs ran from October 5-15th.
There were fourteen film screenings which eleven were features and the rest film shorts. Renos offered what was termed as the Master Class in film where he discussed details on the production of the art form and where it is today. Renos’ inspiration to follow into film came from his parents who shared numerous stories with him when he was young. These tales shaped him into the film narrator he had become.
His debut film was called “No Budget Story” (1997)which set the stage for his string of other gems. At the Expo they showed four of his projects, “Four Black Suits”, “No Budget Story”, “The Heart of the Beast” and “Cheap Smokes”. Since he began his journey into filmmaking he never ventured out of his native Greece. But currently, he is looking to open his talents internationally.
“The truth is that I have not made any serious effort to work abroad. Deep down I believe that the artist can only express himself in the local culture, which dominates his unconscious. Even when we talk about cinema, which is a more international language, I believe that if I find my mature and authentic voice as a Greek creator, I will also be able to find a path of communication with the global audience. I consider that I have entered my period of maturity and slowly with my next film I will spread my wings for bigger foreign markets.”
At the Expo Renos also joined jazz vibraphonist and composer Christos Raphaelidis in a musical performance at the venue Sanford in Astoria, Queens. Currently, Renos has a new project in the wings titled “Athenian Midnight Radio” which is due out in 2024. The new project is full of archetypes. The film embodies a love story between a ballerina of the national lyrical scene with a presidential guard eunuch in the early 90s. This story comes from the memories of a radio announcer who searches through his broadcast for a love that was lost 30 years ago, somewhere in Syntagma Square. It sounds like a powerful film which is due to capture the hearts of many. One the many things that Renos appreciated was how the Greek Americans reacted and embraced his work. It was a test for him to see whether his works can communicate with a foreign-language audience over time. This was the gift New York gave him. On the horizon he is revisiting scripts that were written during the quarantine that are waiting their turn to the big screen. He is also gearing up for his daily talk show on EN LEFKO 87.7 where he discusses his love for cinema and Greek culture.