60th THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL || 31/10-10/11/2019
Τhe 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival presents the Greek films of this year’s edition:
26 feature films and 17 short films
• 17 films produced in Greece and in co-production with other countries will have their Greek premiere in Thessaloniki (“First Run” section, part of Greek Film Festival 2019 program)
• 7 rare and beloved Greek films (6 feature films and one short film)
• 2 films inspired by Greece and Greek subjects, directed by foreign filmmakers will also be screened in this year’s edition (“Beyond Borders”, part of Greek Film Festival 2019)
• 1 film that has already had its Greek premiere will be presented as well
(“A Second Viewing”)
• The 16 award-winning films of the 2019 International Short Film Festival in Drama.
Greek Film Festival 2019
A three-member committee consisting of Amanda Livanou (producer), Nikos Labôt (director) and Thodoris Koutsogiannopoulos (film critic) assisted the festival in the pre-selection phase of the Greek films participating in the Greek Film Festival 2019.
TIFF collaborates this year with Cinando; Greek films of the 60th TIFF will be available in the online platform up to three months after the Festival, thus giving to film professionals worldwide the opportunity to watch them.
These are the Greek films that will be screened in the 60th TIFF:
Newcomers as well as established filmmakers have entrusted us with their latest works. These are (in alphabetical order) the 17 Greek films that will have their premiere in Thessaloniki, three of which participate in the International Competition. Two Greek films participate in a new competition section, that will be announced soon.
@9: At nine by Angelos Spartalis: An urban legend has it that a nine-year-old ghost girl occupies foreclosed apartments in downtown Athens and violently attacks real estate agents and prospective buyers. A young couple in love, eager to start their life together, will try to take advantage of the little ghost for their own benefit.
Born on the 8th of March by Lyberis Dionysopoulos: Women have taken over the world and have executed all men. A misogynistic male manages to survive. One day, he will stumble across a rebellious girl named Ophelia who decides to help him and they will soon bond over their mutual love for cinema.
Cosmic Candy by Rinio Dragasaki: Anna, an eccentric supermarket cashier, lives in Athens, alone in her parent’s big apartment. One day she will be forced to take in the ten-year-old girl next door, after her father goes missing. At the same time, she will be confronted with her possible dismissal and the overwhelming scenario of a workplace romance. And all this, under the influence of excessive Cosmic Candy consumption. The film participated at the Crossroads co-production Forum 2013 and the Agora Works in Progress 2016.
Defunct by Zacharias Mavroeidis: 30-something failed businessman Aris finds shelter into his grandpa Aristides’ house, a WW2 veteran, deceased long ago. Soon, he reunites with an old friend of Aristides. In his effort to live up to Aristides’ legacy, Aris progressively identifies with his grandfather. The film participated in the Crossroads co-production Forum 2013 and in the Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes Works in Progress 2019.
Entwined by Minos Nikolakakis: City doctor Panos relocates to a remote village in order to offer his services to the community. It’s love at first sight when he sets eyes on Danae, who lives in isolation, with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was, and time is of the essence for both of them.
Exile by Vassilis Mazomenos: Aris, a desperate man, attempts to leave Greece with an almost wrecked boat. After being rescued from certain drowning by some Coast Guard men, he now returns as a foreigner to his own ruined country. There he experiences every kind of “sin” and extreme as an outcast of the system. He steals; he becomes a slave and kills. He tries, willingly, to survive off the beaten track. Is this the story of a modern Ulysses or the nightmare of an ordinary man?
The Interrogation by Panayiotis Portokalakis: A performance artist who uses self-torture as an art form realizes that the relationship with her father is poisoning her behavior discouraging anyone who is trying to love her. She decides to explore the past of her, tortured by the military junta, father.
The Lair by Vassilis Noulas: Athens. The last day of a female member of a terrorist organization. Despina shoots, kills, wanders around the city, tries to find help, fails in every attempt, gets shot, dies in her apartment. The movie attempts a personal portrait of the city of Athens through the drifting of the main character. The Lair – a low budget production with DIY aesthetics and queer elements – is an existential road movie.
Not to be unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk by Giorgos Georgopoulos: Aris, a very successful sales manager, is going through the most crucial week of his life. Starting from a random blood donation, womanizer Aris finds out he's carrying a rapidly spread sexually transmitted virus, that is lethal for women. Trying to find out who the woman who gave him the virus is by meeting a different one each day of an entire week, Aris will have to face the consequences of his past choices and actions. The film participated in the Agora Works in Progress 2017.
Pencil Knife Baton by Konstantinos Kakogiannis: A black quantum comedy. Four roommates in Berlin are looking for meaning and identity. Forgotten sick gods, in an almost parallel universe, are trying to fight injustice. Can people get along with their injured ideals? Can the pursuit of personal truth go hand in hand with social justice? Perhaps solidarity and humor are the only baton between the two worlds.
Persephone by Costas Athousakis: A Greek-Japanese cine-operetta, where the ancient Greek myth of the abduction of Persephone comes alive before the eyes of a Japanese group, as the arrival of a stranger forces the family members of the hostel “Persephone” to identify themselves with the fate of the mythological heroes. The film participated in the Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes Works in Progress 2019.
The Rocket by Stefanos Sitaras: Known to be a liar, Stathis is forced to gather all his friends and take them to a “top-secret location,” to prove the existence of a supposed rocket. Shot entirely with non-actors over four years, the Rocket tells the true story of 2015’s last summer night.
Siege on Liperti Street by Stavros Pamballis: Austerity took everything but the roof over their heads, and today it will come for that too. But today, they will finally fight back, like a family with nothing left to lose.
We No Longer Hear the Songs by Takis Papanastasiou: Nick and Nora invite Angelos, an escort, for the night. The main “menu” includes burnt flesh from a clothing iron, musicals, and westerns, children’s games and dark nightmares, Elvis and Dietrich. Once upon a time, Nick and Nora fell in love at first sight; like all couples that fall in love at first sight, now they’re almost happy.
Winona by Alexandros Voulgaris (The Boy): It appears as if it is an ordinary outing to a beautiful beach: four women - none of which is “Winona” - enjoy the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the sea. What secret hides behind their games?
Zizotek by Vardis Marinakis: After nine-year-old Jason is abandoned by his mother at a folk festival, he takes refuge in a cabin in the middle of the forest belonging to a mute loner named Minas. Although at first the man won’t take him in, a series of circumstances eventually leads them to form a family – something both of them have lacked for a long time.
From Berlin to Thessaloniki
The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea by Syllas Tzoumerkas: In a small eel-farming town in the west of Greece two women live solitary lives while dreaming of getting away. One of them is Elisabeth, a once- ambitious policewoman forced to relocate from Athens ten years ago and now living a joyless, hung over life; the other is Rita, a quiet, mysterious sister of a local music star. When a mysterious death upsets the town and turns the local community upside-down, the two women, who have been ignoring each other’s existence so far, begin drifting towards each other.
COMMON BIRDS by Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson (freely inspired by Aristophanes' The Birds): Refusing to pay for the debt, two Athenians decide to leave their city. Guided by mysterious crow calls, they wonder through a desolate urban landscape until they reach a zone of passage and are spirited to an ancient forest, the Realm of the Birds. Here they meet the Hoopoe, half-bird half-woman, who tells them how the birds live by sharing their resources amid the magical forces of the forest. However, one of the men has other plans for the birds. Though far from easy, the inter-species encounter will be illuminating for all.
I Will Cross Tomorrow by Sepideh Farsi: It is about the encounter between two sensitive and fragile people at a difficult time in their lives. Maria, a Greek police officer transferring to Lesvos island, and a Syrian Refugee arriving at the island. Their relationship will be short but intense, and will change the way they see this world.
A Second Viewing
Meltem by Basile Doganis: One year after her mother’s death, Elena, a young French woman of Greek origin returns to the island of Lesbos with her friends Nassim and Sekou. But the holiday takes a new course when Elena and her friends encounter Elyas, a young Syrian migrant of their age.
From 1 to 60
Seven rare and beloved films from the history of Greek cinema will be screened at the 60th TIFF.
Five films from the 1st Week of Greek cinema, held in 1960, return to the Festival: The River by Nikos Koundouros, Madalena by Dinos Dimopoulos, Murder Backstage by Dinos Katsouridis, Macedonian Wedding by Takis Kanellopoulos, Thieves Rejoice Only Once by Dimitris Ioannopoulos will be screened at the Festival.
Honoring late director Takis Spyridakis, the Festival will screen the film The Garden of God (1988). The Thessaloniki International Film Festival continues to share the magic of cinema with all viewers without exception for yet another year during the 60th TIFF. Accessibility conditions are implemented in collaboration with the Movement of Disabled Artists. The 60th TIFF will host two accessibility format screenings for two films: The River by Nikos Koundouros and In the Shadow of Fear (1988) by late director Giorgos Karypidis.
Greek short films
■ The 16 award-winning films of the 2019 International Short Film Festival in Drama.