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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. 






This year's winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Apichatpong Weerasethakul delivered a masterclass on Wednesday, December 8th at John Cassavetes Theater, within the framework of the 51st Thessaloniki International Film Festival and presented his entire body of work as a filmmaker, as well as a short film and multimedia project artist.

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival Director, Mr. Dimitris Eipides welcomed the artist and expressed his joy over the filmmaker's presence in the 51st Festival. "After a lot of efforts, we managed to ensure the presence of the awarded director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a really important artist who is in the limelight of international attention.", noted Mr. Eipides.

The artistic director of the "Independence Days" section Lefteris Adamidis, presented the artist to the audience and informed the spectators that they would have the chance to admire almost the entire body of his work as an artist, including short films and clips.

"It was very hard to gather all my short films so as to present them to you, but I pulled it through thanks to the help of the people of the Festival. I will show you a part of my work that is not widely known to the public.", underlined Mr. Weerasethakul. The curtain went up with the screening of an extract from his new project, entitled "Primitive", where he focuses on young people living in Thai villages and on their everyday habits.

The director revealed that he spent most of his childhood years in the hospitals of his homeland, where his parents worked as doctors. School and cinema had their share too, as the cinema hall represented a way out of the everyday reality. Even though he studied architecture, cinema was the art that won his heart and in particular experimental cinema, with which he got acquainted for the first time in the USA. "I was wondering for a long time whether I could survive financially and professionally by making movies, a strictly personal process, as I far as I was concerned. My introversion, my perceptions of life led me to experimental cinema, where the artist is completely free to express himself.", explained Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Moreover, the director described to the audience the singular way with which he works with his actors: "I always talk with them, I ask them to be themselves and the film evolves through an exchange of views and the shaping of a common perspective.", he remarked....


To read more, click here on the TIFF press release...







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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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