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FESTIVALS Greece

Thessaloniki unveils festive line-up for jubilee anniversary

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Celebrating its 50th edition with the existential motto “Why Cinema Now?”, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November 13-22) plans to answer that question through its massive line-up of guests, events, round tables, masterclasses and, most of all, its selection of over 250 films.

The fest will raise its curtains with Fatih Akin’s Soul Kitchen [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and close with Alain ResnaisWild Grass [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
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Romanian director’s Calin Netzer’s Medal of Honor and Dancing on Ice by Greece’s Stavros Ioannou will be making their world premiere, in the International Competition section, where 15 debut or sophomore projects will compete for the prestigious Golden and Silver Alexander awards, worth €40,000 and €25,000 respectively.

Kiriakos KantzourakisSmall Revolts will be the second local entry in the competition, where, among others, Seo Lee’s Missing Person (Korea), Samantha Morton’s The Unloved (UK), Susan Schneider’s The Day Will Come (Germany), Rigoberto Perezcano’s Northless (Mexico/Spain), David Lowery’s St Nick (US) and Ahmad Abdalla’s Heliopolis (Egypt) will have their European premieres.

Theo Angelopoulos will head the international jury, while Werner Herzog will lead the festival’s impressive roster of guests. The German director will be honored by a retrospective, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Golden Alexander, and will hold a masterclass. As will Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic, who will also present his newest film, Honeymoons [+see also:
Interview with Goran Paskaljevic, dire…
film profile
]
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French composer Alexander Desplat, British screenwriter Tony Grisoni, British producer Jeremy Thomas and Mexican production designer Eugenio Caballero will also be presenting their own masterclasses.

Although the majority of this year’s Greek production will abstain from the festival due to the FoG group’s embargo (see news), Thessaloniki will feature eight local titles in its Greek section, and seven more in the DigitalWave competition. The Students’ Films section will also be inaugurated, featuring eight shorts made by the Film Studies students of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University. However, all state funded local films will be available for industry screenings at the festival’s market section, the Agora.

The country’s Minister of Culture is furthermore expected to announce that there will be no State Awards handed out this year, due to lack of competitors.

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