A feature film that documents the century-long history of one of Greece’s most successful basketball clubs is streaming online for international audiences on June 27.
“Journey to the Stars” chronicles an epic journey of a team which began with its founding in 1919 and quickly grew to become one of the country’s most beloved teams.
In many ways, Panathinaikos’ story is the story of contemporary Greek history as the team’s path is closely aligned with the country’s twentieth century.
Panathinaikos started as a football club in 1908. In 1919, basketball was still unknown in Greece. During that period Giorgos Kalafatis with other athletes participated in the Inter-Allied Games in Paris and attended basketball games between the Allies of World War I. When he later returned to Greece with the necessary equipment, he set up the Panathinaikos basketball club, led by Apostolos Nikolaidis.
In 1919, PAO played their first match against X.A.N. Thessaloniki (YMCA), another club also pioneer of basketball in Greece, a match which took place at the Panathenaic Stadium.
During the German occupation that followed, Dimitris Giannatos, a founding member of the basketball team was executed by the Nazis for his resistance activities.
Following decades of ups and downs, the Greek billionaire Giannakopoulos family took over the team in 1987.
Their role and the team’s evolution and development, which includes six European championships, is central to the film’s plot.
The cast includes top Greek actors, as well as Greek Australian Vaggelis Mourikis.
Online screening times have been set up to cater to audiences throughout the world:
June 27, 2021
4pm + 8pm (London)
6pm + 10pm (ATH)
11am + 3pm (NYC)
1am* + 5am* (Melbourne) *June 28
June 28, 2021
2am + 10am (London)
4am + 12pm (ATH)
9pm + 5am (NYC)
11am + 7pm (Melbourne)