Since this year’s selection of films that participate in the International Competition section was inspired by «The Need for Roots» by the French philosopher Simone Weil, one of the 20th century’s most iconic books, the Festival commissioned 14 young Greek artists to watch one film each from the competition section and produce an artwork inspired by it.
Being the first to speak, TIFF director and curator of the exhibition Orestis Andreadakis described it as the heart of this year’s Festival. “It is this year’s experiment, and aims at looking at cinema from a different angle. When the head of international program Yorgos Krassakopoulos and I started the film selection for the International Competition section, we thought of doing something different; selecting films not on the basis of our personal taste, or the number of their screenings, or if they would premiere or not, but taking inspiration from a book: one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century, The Need for Roots by Simone Weil. We then assigned to 14 Greek artists the task of making a comment for one film each, trying each time to find an artist who would fit or be challenged by the particular film”. Mr Andreadakis insisted on the subject of artistic challenge, noting that eventually it produced a fertile and creative discourse between the film and each artist.
Describing the exhibition structure, he noted that next to each artwork there is a screen showing parts or the trailer of each film. He added that his colleagues and himself had considered the possibility of organizing the exhibition in a wider space, but they finally chose a smaller venue, the Former Army Warehouse, since “the roots that comprise the films are interwoven. The films and their artworks interact with each other. This interaction will go on throughout the 58th Festival”.
Concluding, Mr Andreadakis stressed that this particular selection procedure, together with the interaction with artworks, is attempted for the first time, and asked the guests and the audience to share their approving, or even disapproving opinions. Finally, he thanked all the attendants, the artists, the Thessaloniki Port Authority for providing the space, the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, the director of the State Museum of Contemporary Art Maria Tsantsanoglou, the director of the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art Syrago Tsiara, as well as Samsung for providing the 14 screens, NEDA film for carrying out the production, and in particular Amanda Livanou and Isabella Alopoudi, and the general coordinator of the exhibition and TIFF partner Thanos Stavropoulos.
The participating artists are: R. Bellou, N. Eftstathiadi, D. Fragakis, L. Giannakopoulos, Chr. Koumianaki, M. Kriara, M. Mavropoulou, K. Nikolaou, Y. Papafigos, V. Selimas, A. Stratakis, S. Strouza, M. Tsagari and P. Vlassopoulou.
The admission-free exhibition will run until Sunday November 12, 2017.