Danish ADHD doc Four Letters Apart wins Thessaloniki
- Becoming an Actor takes home Greek section prize; French doc On the Edge of the World and local title Kalavryta win over FIPRESCI jury
Erlend E Mo’s Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD [+see also:
film profile] came out on top on Saturday night, as the big winner of the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. Focusing on a Danish school implementing alternative therapies for children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the film won the Peter Wintonick Audience Award in the international selection.
On the Greek side, multi-award-winning director Dimitris Koutsiabasakos added yet another prize to his trophy case by winning the Audience Award for a Greek Film with Becoming an Actor. “It was an independent film that spent over three years in production, and we all know what independent means in Greece,” sighed Koutsiabasakos, before dedicating the award to his late brother, novelist Petros Koutsiabasakos.
Marked by the absence of local officials as well as newly appointed festival president Yiannis Smaragdis, the fest’s closing ceremony was a short and solemn affair. “We reached the goals we had set, the screening rooms were filled up, and Thessaloniki has been established as a go-to location for global film-lovers,” noted festival director Dimitri Eipides, who avoided his usual references to movie attendance statistics, but earmarked the dates for next year’s event, even though budgetary concerns make it seem a less-than-certain affair.
Following Eipides’ November decision to keep the Greek Critics’ Guild as far from the festival events as possible, no local members were included in the FIPRESCI jury, which was chaired by Sweden’s Annika Gustafsson. The jury tapped Elias Yannakakis’ Kalavryta – People and Shadows as its favourite Greek submission, while Claus Drexel’s French entry On the Edge of the World picked up the International Award.
Presented by local travel journalist Maya Tsokli, the closing gala also honoured Emil Langable’s Beach Boy as the Audience Favourite in the international short doc section. Thekla Malamou and Alexandra Saliba’s Social Conservatory – Notes picked up the Audience Prize for short Greek doc, while Turkish-Italian co-production Capulcu – Voices from Gezi won the Amnesty International Jury Prize and Russia-produced Winter won the WWF Award.
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