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FESTIVALS Greece

Thessaloniki fest ready to charm the Balkans

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Thessaloniki fest ready to charm the Balkans

"Hollywood has no place in Thessaloniki," said Festival Director Dimitri Eipides, setting the mood for the 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which will be raising its curtains on November 4 to screen Alexander Payne’s latest indie, The Descendants. Its short but tight schedule of just over 90 new films will end on November 13, with Sean Durkin’s Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene.

Menelaos Karamagiolis’ Tokyo-screened J.A.C.E. [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
and Panayiotis Fafoutis’ world premiere of Paradise [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
will be the Greek entries in the festival’s international competition section, comprised of 15 directorial debuts or sophomore projects by directors from around the globe, ten of which are European productions and co-productions. John McIlduff’s Behold the Lamb, Michele Boganim’s Land of Oblivion [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Zuzana Liova’s House [+see also:
trailer
interview: Zuzana Liová
film profile
]
will also be vying for the Golden and Silver Alexander awards, which will be handed out by an international five-member jury.

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Christoffer Boe’s Beast [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Michel Ocelot’s Tales Of The Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michel Ocelot
film profile
]
, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Chicken With Plums [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and Marcus Schleinzer’s Michael [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
are some of the titles showcased in the fest’s main international programme, which will also be screening the Dardenne brothers’ Cannes entry The Kid with a Bike as well as Alexander Sokurov’s Venice winner Faust.

Kamen Kalev’s Cannes entry The Island [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Konstantin Bojanov’s Ave [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Konstantin Bojanov
film profile
]
will be representing Bulgaria in the festival’s Balkan Survey section, which has also secured Cannes-screened Katalin Mitulescu’s Loverboy [+see also:
trailer
interview: Ada Condeescu
film profile
]
and Adrian Sitaru’s Best Intentions [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
from Romania, as well as a focus on Turkish director Erden Kiral.

Constantinos Giannaris’ body of work will be showcased in the festival, which will be screening a new edit of the Greek director’s Berlin-premiered Man At Sea, while Sara Driver, Paolo Sorentino, Ole Christian Madsen and Ulrich Seidl will also be enjoying the festival’s spotlight with selections from their fimographies.

Trying to set Thessaloniki up as the cinematic centre of the Balkans, the festival’s director Dimitri Eipides stated his intention to move all activities to the northern metropolis. “The festival belongs to Thessaloniki both organically and logistically,” he said. “For practical reasons, some of its sections were developed in Athens, but Thessaloniki can sustain its own festival” he said, noting that he’s managed to cut the organization’s debt of €6 million euros down to €1.5m since he was placed in charge, and vying to clear that as well.

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