A multifaceted and intriguing tribute to observational documentary, titled “the Art of Reality: Beyond Observation” is hosted by the upcoming 25th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (2-12 March, 2023), accompanied by a special bilingual edition. Masterpieces of world cinema redefine our perspective and interpretation of life and the world, while masterclasses from acclaimed international and Greek filmmakers unfold the secrets of this fascinating cinema genre.
Within the context of observational documentary, filmmakers fully permeate the world they study, permitting their topic to unfold with the bare minimum intervention, giving the viewers the time and space to reach their own conclusions.
Drawing inspiration from the principles of documentary pioneer and director of the legendary Nanook of the North, Robert Flaherty, Italian neorealism, the French cinema verité, the American direct cinema and the working methods implemented by the science of social anthropology, the genre of observational documentary is not confined to simple recording and documentation. On the contrary, by placing emphasis on the unseen details, it outlines the deeper truth behind the subjects and the world it observes. The subject of observation cannot exist separately from the conditions that surround and shape it, while the filmmaker becomes a researcher of life and the human condition.
The films included in the tribute “The Art of Reality: Beyond Observation” explore both the historical beginnings of the genre, through milestone films by iconic creators, as well as its evolution over time, bringing to the fore the countless aspects, versions and images of our world, which escape from the established look and thinking. A total of 20 landmark films directed by iconic filmmakers will be screened within the framework of the tribute. Among them stand out:
The tribute will be accompanied by a special bilingual edition, with articles written by distinguished theorists and authors, among whom stand out the names of the documentary filmmaker and anthropologist, David MacDougall, the recently deceased academic and former chairman of the School of Theater, Film & Television at UCLA, Colin Young, documentary filmmaker and professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens’ Department of Communication and Media Studies, Eva Stefani, director Zacharias Mavroeidis, director and professor at the Film School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Apostolos Karakasis.
The full lineup of the tribute will be soon announced.