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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. 



Films in competition at 51st Thessaloniki Film Festival on December 07, 2010


December 07, 2010 51st Thessaloniki Film Festival presented films in competition:

1) Zephyr (2010) Turkish film by director Belma Bas.


Summary: "Zephyr, a strong-minded and somewhat peculiar 11-year-old girl, lives with her grandparents in their home in the countryside. She has no father and her activist mother is absent for long periods of time, imbuing Zephyr's outlook on life with an enduring sense of loss, a skewed sense of the future and a rebellious, almost cruel streak. When her mother does finally show up, it is only to say goodbye to her again, and consequently to crush her hopes for the family structure she so longs for. Zephyr's emotionally violent coming-of-age is captured precisely, eloquently and without excess, resulting in an atmospheric and poignant piece of filmmaking."


2) Little Rock (2010) American film by director Mike Ott

"Summary: Lack of communication and the dissonance between appearances and reality take their toll in Mike Ott's Littlerock, which paints a portrait of an unknown and undiscovered, off-the-tourist-track American landscape. Atsouko and her brother Rintaro travel from Japan to the United States to visit the Manzanar camp, where their grandfather died during WWII. When their car breaks down en route, the two siblings are forced to stay in Littlerock, a small desert California town. The two of them react differently to the sudden change of events - Rintaro insists that they keep going, while Atsouko prefers to stay put and get better acquainted with this strange place and her new friends, listen to their music, fall in love and possibly make her new home there. However, she soon discovers that her dream has little to do with the plain and disappointing state of things."

3) Attenberg (2010) Greek film by Athina Rachel Tsangari

Summary: "Marina has grown up with her architect father in a small industrial community, almost cut off from the reality of the rest of the world. With the exception of her bizarre friendship with Bella and the companionship she shares with her ill father, Marina observes human behaviors from afar, almost with repugnance. Her guides in this world of humans are Sir David Attenborough's documentaries on mammals, the music of Suicide and the awkward sexual awakening lessons she receives from Bella. Until a young mechanic arrives in town. On this strange and simultaneously ideal canvas, namely an environment from which "normal" life is absent, Attenberg plays with a fresh - and deceptively detached - formalism, only to develop into a moving study of characters and relationships."


4) With a Special screening of 2010 Palme d'Or winner:

*Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) by director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, produced by UK-Thailand-Germany-France-and Spain.

Summary: "Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave - the birthplace of his first life... "

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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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