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Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Dailies from the Thessaloniki international Film Festival

The 61st Thessaloniki International Film Festival was concluded with great success, receiving the audience’s love in every possible way. More than 80,000 viewers and movie industry professionals watched the films and attended the Festival’s online events, whereas a large number films of were sold out. Agora, the Festival’s development branch, also achieved a great attendance, offering support to Greek cinema through a series of new initiatives, actions, and awards.

The 61st Festival hosted a series of exhibitions and visual art events, within the framework of TIFF’s main concept, “Intimacy: a modern tyranny”. Works of art, video mapping, as well as The Glasshouse Project installation adorned the city streets and squares, as well as the Port of Thessaloniki, offering glimpses of joy and hope to the city’s residents, who had the chance to enjoy a touch of art during their scarce walks for exercise, groceries and the covering of basic needs, amidst these hard days we’re experiencing. The goal is for these exhibitions to remain in the city’s public space even after the Festival. 



53rd TIFF: Inauguration of the Thessaloniki Cinemateque (11/4/2012)

















53rd TIFF: Inauguration of the Thessaloniki Cinemateque (11/4/2012)

INAUGURATION OF THE The Thessaloniki Cinematheque was formally unveiled on Sunday, November 4, 2012. Part of the 53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, this inauguration included a tribute to “The Cinematic Life of Painting” and a special screening of Derek Jarman’s film “Caravaggio” at the Pavlos Zannas Theater. Present were Dimitri Eipides, the director of the Festival, Costa Gavras, the internationally acclaimed Greek director and president of the French Cinematheque and Ms Argyro Mesimeri, Head of the Thessaloniki Cinematheque.

Speaking first, Mr. Eipides noted: “This is a special night for us and it is the result of a great deal of work, effort and hope. The Thessaloniki Cinematheque will present quality cinema throughout the year, like a long-lasting festival. It was a dream which is now a reality”. Addressing the audience he added: “You are the first audience of the Cinematheque, and you really also deserve congratulations. We have the honour of having with us the distinguished director and president of the French Cinematheque Mr. Costa Gavras. I hope we prove to be worthy of his presence.”

Mr. Gavras declared: “I am very glad about the creation of the Thessaloniki Cinematheque. As I saw in the programme, there are very good films which make up the history of cinema. This history is not boring as sometimes History can be, it is about the enjoyment of the viewer”. He continued: “A cinematheque has films which we cannot see in commercial film theatres. In it, we can see films which remind us what cinema used to be and what it can be, we can see films for young people and children. The Cinematheque is not just an archive, it is something living. I wish you success”.

Ms Mesimeri stressed: “Tonight we are inaugurating an institution with a film about the important Renaissance painter Caravaggio, who influenced many other painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Velasquez. Director Derek Jarman is also very important. Before he became a director he was a set designer and a painter and he evolved into one of the most notable filmmakers of British cinema”. Ms Mesimeri noted that the screening print is the authentic 1988 one, which screened very little in film theatres as it didn’t find commercial distribution. She added: “We are inaugurating a very important institution and we look forward to once again presenting films, both recognized or less recognized when they were released, with the position they deserve in the history and theory of cinema. Also, we wish to give a platform to young directors who, due to the particularity of the distribution networks, cannot present their films or have only a limited release. Finally, our aim is to create a strong educational core, one which can inspire transformation and evolution. We are beginning with small but steady steps, we have much strength as well as knowledge of the difficulty of the times we live in. We are beginning by implementing the feasible, but we are planning the unfeasible.”

It should be noted that as part of the tribute “The Cinematic Life of Painting” which is opening the Thessaloniki Cinematheque, the films Egon Schiele Excess by Herbert Vesely & Leo Tichat, Pirosmani by Giorgi Shengelaya, the documentary Picasso by Luciano Emmer, as well as the short films Toulouse-Lautrec by Robert Hessens, and Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Guernica by Alain Resnais, will be screened. Focusing on famous painters, the films highlight the eclectic affinities, the timeless relationships and the visual magic that results from the osmosis between film and painting. The screenings take place at the Takis Kanellopoulos theatre of the Thessaloniki Film Museum.

The tribute “The Cinematic Life of Painting is enriched by the photographic exhibition “Freeze Frame on European cinema”, which consists of 57 black and white photos from the films of some of the most important European directors, who have influenced the development of the language and aesthetics of cinema. These are films which represent major movements in the history of the Seventh Art (soviet vanguard, French nouvelle-vague, Italian neo-realism, etc.), as well as distinguished film artists (Dreyer, Bunuel, Tarkovski, et al). The exhibition will run from November 2 to 11, 2012 and is hosted at Warehouse C, at the Port.

The Thessaloniki Cinematheque Events as well other 53rd Festival activities are financed by the European Union – European Regional Development Fund, part of Central Macedonia IMA 2007 – 2013.


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About Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Industry: CROSSROADS Co-Production Forum,AGORA, script-development BALKAN FUND. Competition for directors with 1st or 2nd films. Golden Alexander Prize 37.000 €

Coverage by Vanessa McMahon, Laurie Gordon



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