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SHORTS Greece

Thessaloniki International Film Festival combats the quarantine with creativity

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- A host of international filmmakers are now taking part in the leading Greek gathering’s Spaces #3 project

Thessaloniki International Film Festival combats the quarantine with creativity
Ildikó Enyedi's short film The Conversations of Donkey and Rabbit

UPDATE (14 May 2020): Spaces #3 is now available on YouTube here, featuring shorts by Yung Chang, Ildikó Enyedi, Annemarie Jacir, Nanouk Leopold, Teona Strugar Mitevska, Victor Moreno and Albert Serra.

UPDATE (22 April 2020): Spaces #2 is now available on YouTube here, featuring shorts by Tarik Aktas, Mateo Bendesky, Denis Côté, Rachel Leah Jones, Radu Jude, John C Lynch and Jia Zhang-Ke. Previously, Spaces #1 had been made available here, featuring shorts by Giorgos Georgopoulos, Rinio Dragasaki, Zacharias Mavroeidis, Minos Nikolakakis, Marianna Economou, Stavros Pamballis, Syllas Tzoumerkas and Stavros Psillakis.

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UPDATE (7 April 2020): The Thessaloniki International Film Festival has extended its call for creativity via its “Species of Spaces” project. While all of the short films created by 11 Greek filmmakers and Hellenic Film Academy Award nominees have already been completed and uploaded to the festival’s YouTube channel, the festival has also invited international filmmakers to participate in the second part of its Spaces project, dubbed Spaces #2. So far, 14 directors have confirmed their participation, and they will shoot short films in their homes. The confirmed names are Hungarian director and Berlinale winner Ildikó Enyedi, multi-award-winning Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude, Catalan artist and filmmaker Albert Serra, renowned Dutch director Nanouk Leopold, North Macedonian writer-director and LUX Award winner Teona Mitevska, up-and-coming Spanish director Victor Moreno, independent Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté, Palestinian writer-director Annemarie Jacir, Turkish newcomer Tarik Aktaş, American actor-director John C Lynch, American-Israeli director Rachel Leah Jones, Argentinian filmmaker Mateo Bendesky, Canadian director Yung Chang and the great Chinese artist Jia Zhangke. According to the festival, more names will be added soon, and the films will be available on the gathering’s YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF), which had to postpone its Documentary Festival earlier this month owing to the COVID-19 outbreak (see the news) and has moved its industry section, Agora, online, is continuing its actions to keep creativity alive and kicking during the period of lockdown, as cinemas in Greece are also closed.

TIFF has assigned 11 directors to shoot 11 short films in their houses. The project, under the title “Species of Spaces”, inspired by the book by Georges Perec, invites the participating directors to comment on the new reality that we all live in. The main idea for each director is to create a short film of up to three minutes long, at home, using the environment, the people or the animals that exist in that space. Also, the only outdoor areas permitted are living spaces, such as balconies, gardens, terraces or stairwells. When they are completed, the films will be available on the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s YouTube channel.

The 11 Greek directors are Hellenic Film Academy Award nominees in the categories of Best Film (Defunct [+see also:
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by Zacharias Mavroeidis, Eftyhia by Angelos Frantzis, The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
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by Syllas Tzoumerkas, Not to Be Unpleasant, But We Need to Have a Serious Talk by Giorgos Georgopoulos and Winona by Alexandros Voulgaris, aka The Boy – Frantzis, Tzoumerkas and Voulgaris are also nominated for the Best Director Award), Best Newcomer Director (Rinio Dragasaki for Cosmic Candy [+see also:
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, Minos Nikolakakis for Entwined [+see also:
film review
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interview: Minos Nikolakakis
film profile
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and Stavros Pamballis for The Siege on Liperti Street) and Best Documentary Feature (Irving Park by Panagiotis Evangelidis, For No Reasons Meetings with Yorgos Maniatis by Stavros Psillakis and When Tomatoes Met Wagner [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Marianna Economou). The nominations were revealed on 18 March, and the awards will be announced by the academy on 14 April.

Furthermore, the festival is planning two competitions for children and teenagers, aiming to activate their creativity and offer them a cinematic challenge for the days that they have to stay at home.

Also, on the festival’s YouTube channel, master classes from its previous editions have already been made available, including those by cult cinema icon John Waters, renowned illustrator John Mavroudis, internationally acclaimed cinematographer and president of the Thessaloniki Film Festival Giorgos Arvanitis, Academy Award-winning director Louie Psihoyos, Palme d’Or-winning director Ruben Östlund, subversive Catalan artist Albert Serra and two-time Academy Award-winning American director Alexander Payne. It is also planned for more internationally acclaimed film professionals to offer new online master classes for the festival’s audience to enjoy.

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