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49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival kicked off with the Wrestler

Faithful to its annual date with cinephiles, the 49th Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece's grandest and most prestigious event for the 7th art, opens its doors on November the 14th, 2008, bringing about the transformation of the city of Thessaloniki to a youthful hive of life and creative association.

Multi-awarded Belgian auteurs Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, heretical Japanese actor and director Takeshi Kitano, unconventional English director Terence Davies, internationally renowned and two-time Academy Award winner Argentinean composer Gustavo Santaolalla and Brazilian director Walter Salles are only a few of the big names of modern cinema that are expected to honor this year's festival with their presence.

The 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival started on Friday 14th of November at Olympion Theater.
Doors were opened by the Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Margaritis Tzimas.
The opening ceremony directed by Aggelos Frantzis, based on the concept of ‘'traveling'' as a cinematic term, guided the audience of the Olympion theatre with the help of three monitors to a journey starting from the first steps of the Lumière brothers to the present and from the Atlantic ocean to Thessaloniki.
The opening ceremony was followed with the screening of Daren Aronofsky's new film ‘‘The Wrestler'', winner of this year's Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
The Festival's first international guests are expected today in Thessaloniki and will honor us with their presence at the opening ceremony. Luc Dardenne, to whom the principal tribute of this year's Festival is dedicated, will be among the guests, as well as the leading actress of the film Lihna de Passe, Sandra Corvelloni, the president of the jury Michael Ondaatje and the members Diablo Cody , Emile Dequenne and Dionisis Savopoulos.


Daren Aronofsky's latest film ‘‘The Wrestler'' has been selected as the opening film of the 49th Thessaloniki International Film festival.
Daren Aronofsky was introduced to the Greek audience in 1998 at the 39th Thessaloniki Film Festival when his first film ‘‘π'' was received with great success and earned the respect of the film community and the FIPRESCI.
In his fourth film Aronofsky gives us a powerful portrait of the veteran wrestler Randy Robinson, played brilliantly by Mickey Rourke, in one of the greatest performances of his career. His acting, charged with humorous touches, has been critically acclaimed worldwide.

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About Thessaloniki

Mcmahon Vanessa

Vanessa McMahon Covered the 13th and 14th, and 16th edition.
Catherine Esway has covered the 12th edition of Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Cécile Rittweger covered the  11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Christine Marik's reported from 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Past coverage from the 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival by Bruno Chatelin.

Through its tributes, it focuses both on discovering filmmakers with a unique cinematic point of view, and on the internationally recognized for their contribution to documentary.

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