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AHI Honors Oscar Nominated Director Michael Cacoyannis At Awards Dinner In New York City
June 15, 2001 No. 32/01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Honors Oscar Nominated Director Michael Cacoyannis At Awards Dinner In New York City

On Saturday, June 9, 2001, the American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) honored the world-renowned Greek Cypriot film director Michael Cacoyanniswith its Hellenic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award. The gala dinner, held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, drew an audience of distinguished guests and featured American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC) ChairmanNicholas E. Chimicles, Esq. as Master of Ceremonies and George Veras,President of Veras Communications, Inc. as the evening's special guest speaker.

The evening's ceremony commenced with remarks from AHI Executive DirectorNick Larigakis with the invocation delivered by the Very Reverend ArchimandriteSavas Zembillas, the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Mr. Chimicles then thanked attendees and recognized the tremendous contributions and achievements of Michael Cacoyannis whose "works have left an indelible imprint on the artistic world, and he is regarded as the filmmaker most responsible for bringing worldwide attention to Greek cinema."

In Mr. Veras' subsequent tribute to the honoree, he commented that, "In the typical Greek fashion, out of chaos, [Michael Cacoyannis] has the vision to deliver a crystal clear image of what it means to be Greek. Using the simple tools of the written word, Greek music, and smart cinematography, he translated feeling into visual format to help us understand who we are....It's a wonderful gift that he has."

Following Mr. Veras' tribute, Peter Tiboris, General Director and Musical Director of MidAmerica Productions and the Manhattan Philharmonic, introduced the evening's entertainment. A series of four songs were performed in tribute to the honoree by Phillip Cokorinos, Bass-Baritone of the Metropolitan Opera, who was accompanied by pianist Kathy Olsen. This performance provided a brief preview to the successful concert held by Mr. Tiboris and MidAmerica Productions Inc. on the afternoon of Sunday, June 10, 2001 at Carnegie Hall.

The evening's events culminated with the presentation of the Hellenic Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award by Gene Rossides, Founder of the AHI to Mr. Cacoyannis. In accepting his award, Mr. Cacoyannis extended his thanks to the organization for the honor and recognition of his work. He also thanked the Greek and Greek American public, as well as the American public at-large for being a key factor in being so receptive and supportive of his work throughout the years.

Also delivering brief comments at the event were: Evan Lambrou, Managing Editor of The Hellenic Times, on behalf of the evening's Honorary Dinner Chairpersons,Margo and John Catsimatides; and Andonios Neroulias, Dinner Chairperson.

Other distinguished guests included: Dina Hassabi, Bank of Cyprus; Nick Lyras,Atlantic Bank of New York; Dr. Spiros Macris, Former Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA; Former Ambassador of the U.S. to Greece Michael Sotirhosand Mrs. Sotirhos; Former Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. and current Executive Director of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA)Loucas Tsilas and Mrs. Tsilas; Former Ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S. and the UN Andrew Jacovides and Mrs. Jacovides; Former Member of Congress and President Emeritus of New York University Dr. John Brademas and his wife Dr. Brademas; Mr. Chris Semos, former member of the Texas State Legislature; Dr. Constantine P. Karakousis, a leading oncologist; and Publisher of the Hellenic News of America and President of Hermes Expo International Paul Kotrotsios and Mrs. Kotrotsios.

Co-Chairpersons for the event were: Nicholas Chimicles (Philadelphia, PA);James H. Lagos (Springfield, OH); James L. Marketos (Washington, DC);Chris C. Pappas, Esq. (New York, NY); Gene Rossides (Washington, DC);Peter Tiboris (New York, NY); Amb. Loucas Tsilas (New York, NY); George Spyropoulos (Caracas, Venezuela); and Ted G. Spyropoulos (Chicago, IL).James and Niki Lagos helped to underwrite the event.

For additional information regarding the event or the work of the AHI, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430, and visit our Web site at