SILVERDOCS Announces Festival Winners : CHAIRMAN GEORGE wins film award

George Sapounidis is that crazy Greek-Canadian who sings in Mandarin Chinese.  George was featured in the CBC television performance special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy,” and I got to meet him last year.  I hope to start up a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Ottawa and Toronto so he can perform with me.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Washington D.C.   June 20, 2006

SILVERDOCS Announces Festival
Winners : CHAIRMAN GEORGE wins film award

The fourth annual SILVERDOCS:
AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Film Festival

came to a close Sunday with a Sterling
Feature Grand Jury Honorable Mention

awarded to CHAIRMAN GEORGE directed by Daniel Cross and
Mila Aung-Thwin.

The
film follows Greek-Canadian statistician George Sapounidis

who is passionate about singing in
Chinese. Determined to perform at the

Olympics, George travels to Beijing where he gains
popularity,

self-confidence and a true sense of belonging.  

The Jury noted that CHAIRMAN
GEORGE received special mention as

“an inspiring fairytale, which ends firmly planted in
reality.”

SILVERDOCS 2006 took place June
13-18 in the Washington, DC area,

presenting 100 films from 22 countries selected from 1,687
submissions

with 13
World, 12 North American, six US and four East Coast premieres.

The Canadian Embassy in
Washington sponsored all travel arrangements for

Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin and George
Sapounidis.

The SILVERDOCS award winners
were chosen by an eminent Festival jury

including film executives from the U.S., France and South
Africa.

The Best Music
Documentary Jury included Peter Gabriel, musician and WITNESS founder.

The Festival honored the
legendary director Martin Scorsese in person

for his extraordinary body of documentary work.

Former Vice President
Al Gore also gave a keynote address.

Now in its fourth year,
SILVERDOCS is the most talked about documentary festival

in the United States. 

www.SILVERDOCS.com.
www.chairmangeorge.com

CHAIRMAN GEORGE – Synopsis

Daniel Cross, Mila Aung-Thwin

CANADA, 2005, 72 minutes (available on
DVD)

US Premiere

George Sapounidis has a distinctive talent:
he is a Greek-Canadian who sings

in
perfect Mandarin Chinese. Driven by loftier ambitions than those his day

job as a statistician can gratify,
George sets out on a journey across China

with his sights aimed high-performing at the Olympics. Having learned
that

the Olympic flag is to be passed
to Beijing at the end of the 2004 Games in

Athens, he is convinced that this symbolic gesture mirrors his own
artistic

schism, and that he above
all others, a Greek singing Mandarin, would be the

perfect conduit between the two cultures. The only
trouble is, can he get

others to
agree?

George sets off through China making his way
towards Beijing, where he hopes

to
convince the Olympic organizers of his talent and necessity. Stopping in

many small villages along the way, he
enchants all the locals he meets by

revealing himself to be that rare Westerner who has taken the time to
learn

and perform their traditional
songs with emotion and sincerity.

With an increasing sense of purpose and
esteem, George eventually arrives in

Beijing, only to wonder if he'll ever realize his Olympic-size goals-or
if

perhaps they have already been
realized.

-Sky Sitney , Silver Docs
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