Thessaloniki Film Festival director Dimitri Eipides resigns
by Joseph Proimakis
- The upcoming Thessaloniki Documentary Festival will be his last, says outgoing director Dimitris Eipides in an open letter published on Monday
“It’s time to pass the torch to the younger generation,” noted Dimitri Eipides, who announced his resignation from the post of artistic director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) through an open letter made public on Monday. The outgoing director, who will hand over his post straight after the upcoming Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (11-20 March), will thus be ending his 24-year tenure, having provided his services to the institution through various positions.
Eipides, who was appointed as artistic director of the TIFF in 2010 (see the news), had originally served as programming advisor under director Michel Demopoulos’ tenure at the TIFF in 1992. When Demopoulos was dropped, Eipides resigned in order to take over the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which he helped set up in 1999, raising its profile and garnering international acclaim with it during the following years, all the while serving as senior international programmer of prestigious festivals in Toronto, Montreal and Reykjavik.
Eipides was brought back to the TIFF in 2010 in order to replace Despina Mouzaki, and help downsize an event that was seemingly spiralling out of control. His efforts were mainly focused on rebranding the festival as a gathering for independent cinema from around the world (as opposed to the glamorous event that Mouzaki had envisioned), as well as resolving its numerous financial woes caused by previous administrations. He managed to help the institution to maintain its footing in the toxic environment of the crisis-ridden local economy, as well as implementing a modest development plan through an efficient use of EU funds.
His tenure was not without controversy, as an unprecedented rupture between the TIFF and the Greek Critics’ Guild marred the 2013 edition of the festival (see the news), with journalists being blacklisted after criticising some of Eipides’ choices, though the tension seems to have gradually subsided.