The turmoil surrounding theThessaloniki Film Festival is far from over. After terminating the contract ofveteran chief Michel Demopoulos and of president Theo Angelopoulos, thefestival is now facing the departure of yet another key programming figure, DimitriEipides - who heads the festival's New Horizons section.

Epides said yesterday that hehas decided to quit, having reached the conclusion that his work does not fitinto the new patterns of the festival.

Eipides told ScreenDaily.comhe was unhappy with his treatment by the festival's new management.

He said he suspected hispresence would be anachronistic in the new structure of the festival, mostparticularly since all the improvements he had suggested were turned down.

Though he says he resigned sometime ago, he decided to make it public now, when he was told that festivaldirector Despina Mouzaki met the press in Thessaloniki and told them he wasleaving.

Eipides began programming thenon-competitive section, New Horizons, in 2002. It featured festival favoritesfrom all over the world and was considered one of Thessaloniki's highlights,introducing for the first time in Greece such world famous filmmakers as AtomEgoyan, Abbas Kiarostami, Peter Greenaway, Hal Hartley, Alexander Sokurov andMichael Haneke.

Eipides, who is one of theregular programmers at the Toronto festival, does not intend at this time totake off his other Thessaloniki hat, as the director of its Documentary FilmFestival. He has separate contracts for the two events, with two more years forthe documentary event, which he hopes will be honored.

The festival's own positionwas made clear in another press release, published later the same day. In it,they say that Eipides presented his resignation in early May and it was acceptedby the Board of Directors on May 7. It was not made public until now, as therewas still a chance that he might take it back.

As for Eipides' intention tostay on with the Documentary event, the festival expressed its astonishmentthat since both events are taking place under one roof and administration, thesame patterns, visions and rules that appear to be unacceptable for the NewHorizons, do not affect the documentary festival.