January 22, 2024, marked a cinematic milestone at ACG. The Academy-Award-nominated film, “The Holdovers,” had its official premiere in Athens. The latest work by two-time Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne has already achieved significant awards and nominations, garnering praise from both critics and audiences. The cinematic reunion of Payne with the recently Golden Globe-winning Paul Giamatti is set in an empty New England campus during the distant winter of 1970. The packed hall at the Pierce Theater that hosted the glamorous premiere provided the ideal environment to transport the audience into the film’s atmosphere.
Before the screening, the Greek-American director and screenwriter met distinguished figures from the artistic and journalistic fields in a warm reception. Following a screening that elicited plenty of laughter and emotion, Payne participated in an enjoyable Q&A, answering questions from the audience and students of the Cinema Studies program at Deree.
Under the expert moderation of ACG faculty member Dr. Spyros Gangas, inquisitive minds delved into various facets of filmmaking, exploring topics such as the significance of film history in contemporary cinema, the intersection of AI technologies and acting, adapted screenplays, and the intricate art of character creation in films. Payne graciously shared insights into his personal journey, drawing inspiration from experiences in prep schools that served as a wellspring for “The Holdovers.” He provided valuable guidance on the professional trajectory that graduate cinema studies students should navigate for success in high-caliber productions. Payne’s pearls of wisdom transformed the path to cinematic success into an exciting journey, emphasizing the need for disciplined time management. It was a clear directive: buckle up for a highly organized ride in film production, pouring your heart into the art. “If I had one piece of advice for Greek filmmakers, it would be the same for everyone: Make comedies! Don’t forget that comedies are a serious genre,” said Payne, among other things.
Delving into the past, Payne highlighted the hidden gems in old movies, suggesting they are not just history but foundations for modern film magic. Effective dialogue emerged as the unsung hero of cinematic triumph, and the director intriguingly hinted at the potential synergy with AI technologies in the scriptwriting realm. It was not just guidance; it was the recipe for a blockbuster adventure in the film world. Payne reflected on the disciplined time-management environment in film production, the necessity of pouring one’s heart into the craft, the enduring quality of classic films, and the pivotal role of dialogue in a movie’s success.
The memorable evening concluded with a group photo, capturing the shared excitement and inspiration between Alexander Payne and the Cinema Studies students, creating lasting memories for everyone involved.
Curious about the world of Cinema Studies at Deree? Dive into the art of storytelling, film production, and visual narratives. Click here to learn more about our Cinema Studies major and start your journey into the captivating realm of cinema.
Grab some popcorn and get ready for the highlight reel of the night! Enjoy 🙂