Chris Vlahonasios

Vice- President Chris Vlahonasios is the Founder and Festival Director of Byzanfest, an international film festival. Established in 2014, Byzanfest screens dynamic short-films and features across Australia and streams world-wide. The Festival also hosts multiple networking opportunities for budding filmmakers. Chris is a member of Vatopedi Monastery’s International Association of Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care (DMOPC). Chris regularly speaks at events and conferences about film, creativity and social media. He was also a proud sponsor of St Ypomoni Children’s Short-Film Competition 2021. Chris graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons)/Bachelor of Marketing. Whilst at university, Chris made several short-films and worked on the sets of many others. He also established and directed Queen St Film Festival from 2005-2009.

Our Vision

At GAFS, we profoundly understand the ebbs and flows of culture. We recognise that in a time of increasing globalisation, attachment to external customs in an effort to preserve cultural identity is bound to fail. In our case, we believe it is pivotal to uncover something deeper if we wish to revive and continue the inheritance of Greek-Australia. Beyond our dances, language, food and other ethnic idiosyncrasies, we need to resurrect the principles that give birth to and sustain our way of life.

At the very least, GAFS is a network of Greek-Australians in the film industry – a place wherein ideas can be shared about similar themes relating to the
Greek-Australian experience, and a channel through which Greek-Australian artists can be contacted for professional purposes. Second to this, we want GAFS to present past Greek-Australian films for the sake of maintaining our cultural legacy in the arts world.

Most importantly, as the final stop for our project, we want GAFS to create its own films based on our core values for the sake of actualising the tremendous artistic potential in our community, and to vitally reaffirm our identity through this storytelling medium.

We see ourselves as a memory bank for future generations of Greek-Australians – through the restoration of historical Greek-Australian narratives and the creation of innovative works, we can ensure the flourishing of our ethnos.
GAFS is committed to fostering a dynamic film body that embraces both the enjoyment of our history and the exploration of new pathways.

Our Values

Philotimo: the disposition towards overwhelming generosity and hospitality.

Leventia: constitutes a spirited soul, the person who is willing to risk it all for the sake of his neighbour and kin.

Agapi: the divine Love, a burning flame of the heart that spurs people into self-sacrificial acts of compassion.

Eros: the primal yet transcendent desire towards all that is beautiful, both in this world and the heavens.

Philoxenia; the love of the stranger, the bravery to embrace the outsider despite the possible risk in doing so.

Elpis; the necessity and triumph of hope in all things, despite the unavoidable tragedies of life


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