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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. 











film still from 'BEHOLD THE LAMB' (2011)


The Irish film BEHOLD THE LAMB (2011) by writer/director John McIlduff walked away with the Golden Alexander for Best Screenplay at the 2011 Thessaloniki Film Festival (TIFF). As director John McIlduff had already departed the festival, the film’s producer Kevin Jackson accepted the award for him and carried it with him all night with it clasped tight to his heart.

Well, it seems that this black comedy is so funny that audiences love it even when they don’t ‘get it’. At the awards party on closing night, a journalist asked producer Kevin Jackson, ‘The only thing I didn’t understand was why the lamb was laying eggs. Was that some kind of arthouse film surrealism?’ Kevin practically burst into tears laughing, exclaiming:‘Those weren’t eggs! They were drugs! The lambs in the film are caught in the modern form of drug mule trafficking.’ Well, the journalist was shocked at his having been so off. Nevertheless, the misunderstanding provided for some long and hearty laughing; after all, the film is a black comedy.

We (me and the other journalist) suggested Kevin and John produce a viral for the film with an image of two lambs sitting next to each other on a plane, sweating and shaking- reminiscent of the famous drug trafficking scene from John Marston’s MARIA FULL OF GRACE (2004) when two young Columbian girls (aka 'drug mules') sit next to each other on a plane to the US, sweating and shaking with terror of being caught. Well, replace the girls with the lambs in the same scene in a viral and that way no one would mistake drug sacks for eggs. LOL.

Now this film, I cannot wait to see!


-written by Vanessa McMahon



**Stay tuned for an interview with BEHOLD THE LAMB’S producer Kevin Jackson coming soon!



  Director John McIlduff Producer Kevin Jackson

The Golden Alexander up close!



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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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