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The International Thessaloniki Film Festival has become the Balkans' primary showcase for the work of new and emerging filmmakers, as well as the leading film festival in the region. The event features the International Section, the panorama of Greek films, the New Horizons program, the Balkan Survey, and numerous retrospectives and tributes to leading figures in the world of film.

The Festival

Since 1992, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival has striven to present the most innovative independent films from around the world.

The International Competition section consists of new directors' first or second films.

The non-competitive panorama of Greek films, an overview of the recent local production, followed by the presentation of the State Film Awards by the Greek Ministry of Culture.

Independence Days non-competitive section is the cutting-edge showcase for the latest trends in independent film production.

Balkan Survey, created in 1994, stands as a unique program, which offers audiences a window on the cinema of this region of the world.

Today, president of the Thessaloniki Film Festival is the Paris-born Greek actor Georges Corraface.

Retrospectives and tributes look at both historic masters, and emerging artists. Since 1993, numerous directors have been represented in the retrospective/tribute programs, including: Pedro Almodovar, Theo Angelopoulos, Bernardo Bertolucci, John Boorman. Michael Cacoyanis, John Cassavetes, David Cronenberg, Jules Dassin, Atom Egoyan, Takis Kanellopoulos, Abbas Kiarostami, Krzysztof Kieslowksi, Nikos Koundouros, Ken Loach, Nanni Moretti, Nagisa Oshima, Lucian Pintilie, Jean-Daniel Pollet, Arturo Ripstein and Jerzy Skolimowski.

In addition to the rich film offerings, the Festival hosts panels, exhibitions, and other artistic events such as:

The Nam June Paik "Video & Television Art" exhibition, "The Strange Objects of Desire of David Cronenberg" Ingrid Caven's concert, Paintings & Collages by Sergei Paradjanov, "Periplanissis" Photo Exhibit by Josef Koudelka, "Peter Greenaway's Paintings, Drawings & Collages" exhibit; and Jazz master Gato Barbieri in concert.

Over the last five years the Festival has also spotlighted significant, leading directors such as,

Olivier Assayas, Charles Burnett, Paul Cox, Manoel de Oliveira, Atom Egoyan, Philippe Garrel, Lana Gogoberidze, Michael Haneke, Hal Hartley, Otar Iosseliani, Jim Jarmusch, Jon Jost, Karel Kachyna, Chen Kaige, Vitali Kanevski, Aki Kaurismaki, Nikita Mikhalkov, Kira Muratova, Gleb Panfilov, Amos Gitai, Nicos Papatakis, Goran Paskaljevic, Sergei Paradjanov, Raul Ruiz, Daniel Schmid, Istvan Szabo, Andre Techine, Edward Young, John Waters, Frederick Wiseman, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Mark Rappaport, Joao Cesar Monteiro, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Omer Kavur, Michelangelo Antonioni, Benoit Jacquot, Abolfazl Jalili, Daniele Dubroux, Jan Sverak, Bab Rafelson, Clarie Denis, Dariush Mehrjui, Jacques Doillon, and Sergei Bodrov.

The Festival has promoted the work of emerging young filmmakers from all over the world such as Artur Aristakisjian, Gregg Araki, Wolfgang Becker, Paolo Benvenuti, Xavier Beauvois, Paddy Breathnach, Gerardo Chijona, Pedro Costa, Antoine Desrosieres, Andrei Doinchyk, Boro Draskovic, Sara Driver, Ebrahim Forouzesh, Carl Franklin, Flora Gomez, Sotiris Goritsas, Andreas Gruber, Yeh Hung-Wei, Pinh Ho, Pericles Hoursoglou, Ilkka Jarvilaturi, Andras Jeles, Panos Karkanevatos, Tom Kalin, Fred Kelemen, Lodge Kerrigan , Tian Zhuang Shuang, Justin Kerrigan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Dino Tsinadze, Lukas Moodysson, Marziyeh Meshkini, Pavel Pawlikowski, Samira Makhmalbaf, Petr Zelenka, Don McKellar, Cedric Khan, Fatih Akin, Darren Aranofsky, Constantine Giannaris, Neil LaBute, Kenny Glenaan, John Gianvito, Lucrecia Martel, Daniel Burman, Marco Bechis, Jia Zhang-ke, Yasim Ustaoglou, Christian Petzold, Zhang Yang, Laurent Cantent, and Pablo Trapero.


First held in 1960 as a modest "Week of Greek Cinema", the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become, 41 years later, an annual event focused on the discovery and promotion of new directors from all over the world; a true celebration of film.

For ten days in mid-November, audiences numbering approximately 70,000, as well as hundreds of Greek and foreign Festival guests, attend screenings of more than 150 films in the city's cinemas.

Newcomers in the competitive section meet veteran filmmakers whose work is celebrated through retrospectives and special screenings. All films are screened before the young, vital, cinema-loving Thessaloniki audience, while in the Festival's parallel events, such as concerts and art exhibitions, cinema is brought together with the other arts.

The Festival assumed its present dynamic, international character in 1992, under the direction of Michel Demopoulos, with the financial support of the Greek Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and other local institutions, and with the unanimous support of the city's population.

The international recognition enjoyed by the Festival is illustrated by the participation in its jury of celebrities such as Francis Ford Coppola, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Istvan Szabo, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Chantal Akerman, Ivan Passer, Goran Paskalijevic, Yoichiro Takahashi, Nikos Papatakis, Paul Leduc, Jerry Schatzberg, Georgi Chenguelaiia, Dariush Mehrjui, Elliot Stein, Pascal Bonitzer, Lino Micciche, David Thewlis, Aurore Clement, Maia Morgenstern, Dean Tavoularis, Adrienne Mancia, Beki Probst, Giuglielmo Biraghi, Eric Heumann, Jerzy Skolimowski and many others.


Thessaloniki International Film Festival - official website

See also

Greek Films

Ancient Greece

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Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire

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Modern Greece

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