The Athens International Film Festival ready for its 22nd edition
by Joseph Proimakis
- Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle will bookend the festival, which is this year headed by new director Loukas Katsikas
More than 100 features will be screened at the 22nd Athens International Film Festival – Opening Nights (21 September–2 October), bookended by Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta [+see also:
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile] and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle [+see also:
film profile], and featuring international festival darlings, indie break-outs and cult favourites, such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes contender The Neon Demon [+see also:
Q&A: Nicolas Winding Refn
film profile], Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden and Yeon Sang-ho’s Malaysian box-office annihilator Train to Busan.
The Cannes-awarded Toni Erdmann [+see also:
Q&A: Maren Ade
film profile] and Berlin winner United States of Love [+see also:
interview: Tomasz Wasilewski
film profile] will enjoy a special spotlight during the event, as their respective directors, Maren Ade and Tomasz Wasilewski, will be on hand to present their movies. Meanwhile, the gathering will also offer a retrospective of Louis Malle’s most prominent works, as well as a complete run-down of the works of recently deceased Nicholas Triantafyllidis, one of the most revered personalities of Athenian urban culture.
Marking Loukas Katsikas’ debut as new director of the festival (successor to new Thessaloniki International Film Festival director Orestis Andreadakis), an array of minor and major tweaks will be applied to this year’s edition: the discontinuation of the Youth Jury that has so far handed out the Golden Athena and the handing-over of prize-giving duties to a jury of film professionals are probably the most conspicuous novelties added to the festival, in order to reinforce its stature among other international film gatherings.
This year’s event will again hand out a €1,500 prize to the winner of its International Competition section, where prizes will also be handed out for Best Directing and Best Screenwriting, along with an Audience Award. The Music and Film section will continue to feature its own Best-of-show Award, as will the Greek section, where Best Directing and Best Acting accolades are given out to first-timers.
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