The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 8-17) has unveiled its full line-up for its 43rd edition, and will present over 160 films as well as workshops and exhibitions.
Sixteen films have been shortlisted for the main international competition, which is reserved for first or second time directors. The line-up includes Dylan Kidd's Rodger Dodger, Pablo Trapero's El Bonaerense, Hany Abu-Assad's Rana's Wedding, Carlos Reygada's Japon, Ulrich Kohler's Bungalow, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Blisfully Yours and Min Boung-Hun's Let's Not Cry.
Opening the event will be Bend It Like Beckham in the presence of the director Gurinder Chadha and the cast. Tod Haynes' Far From Heaven will be the closing film.
Twenty five local productions will have their premiere at the festival which is also launching a sales office and full market screenings. The aim of the sales office is to establish a network to broaden Greek cinema distribution abroad. Several foreign sales executives have confirmed their attendance.
A full retrospective is dedicated to the noted local director Pandelis Voulgaris.
Side sections and events are, the traditional New Horizons section, the Asian Vision held in cooperation with the Asia-Europe Foundation, an homage to attending controversial Mexican auteur Jaime Humberto Hermosillo and Shooting Stars, the European Film Promotion initiative, now travelling to other festivals after having firmly established a niche at the Berlinale.
Also being screened during three consecutive midnight to dawn screenings, is the full 15 hour-long version of Rainer W. Fassbinder masterpiece, Berlin Alexanderplatz.
The highly praised Balkan Survey section focusing on films from countries of the region gets an extra boost this year. The festival has announced the creation of the Balkan Fund (Thessaloniki Film Festival Script Development Fund), an initiative meant to encourage script development in the countries of the region. Ten projects are to be funded every year selected by an independent committee of international experts. Funding comes from the Ministry of Culture.
Visitors include Abas Kiarostami, attending his first international festival after being denied a US visa to present his latest film 10 at the New York Film Festival. He will be accompanied by Bela Tarr, Marco Bellocchio and Bob Rafelson. All three have retrospectives of their work playing at the festival, while the latter two form part of the Intenational Jury.
Other guests to visit the festival include actor-director Jean Francois Stevenin (Mischka), Otar Iosselliani (Monday Morning), Carlos Reygadas (Japon) and Alexander Sokurov and his cameraman Tilman Buttner (Russian Arc).
Occident, by Christian Mungiu, Romania.
Blissfully Yours, by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand.
El Bonaerense, by Pablo Trapero, Argentina
Japon, Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/Spain
Roger Dodger, by Dylan Kidd, USA
Woman of Water, by Hidenori Sugimori, Japan
Bungalow, by Ulrich Kohler, Germany.
Let's Not Cry by Min Boung-hun, Korea
Vivre Me Tue, by Jean-Pierre Sinapi, France
Les Chemins De L'Oued, by Gael Morel, France
Wishes Of The Land, by Vahid Mousaian, Iran
Some Secrets, by Alice Nellis, Czech Republic / Slovak Republic
Blind Spot, by Hanna A. W. Slak, Slovenia
Rana's Wedding, by Hany Abu-Assad, Palestine
Think It Over, by Katerina Evangelakou, Greece
Hard Goodbyes: My Father by Penny Panagiotopoulou, Greece
OUT OF COMPETITION
Divine Intervention, by Elia Suleiman, France/Palestine
Grill Point, by Andreas Dresen, Germany
Monday Morning, by Otar Iosseliani, France
Rusisian Ark, by Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany
The Uncertainty Principle, by Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal
OPENING AND CLOSING FILMS
Bend It Like Beckham, by Gurinder Chadha, UK
Far From Heaven, by Todd Haynes, USA
GREEK FILMS 2002
Too Late Tomorrow by Layia Giourgou
Merry Go Round by Yannis Drakos
Dancing With Raidel - The Cuban by Alexis Tsafas
Lilly's Stor, by Robert Manthoulis
Loser Takes All, by Nikos Nikolaidis
The King by Nikos Grammatikos
Let's Go For An Ouzo by Kleoni Flessa
Close'So Close by Stella Theodoraki
In The Shadow Of Lemmy Caution by Nikos Zervos
Secret November by Takis Papayiannidis
The Woman Of'And The Collector, Allegory III by Kostas Sfikas
The World Again, by Nikos Kornilios
As Long As There Is Alcohol...by Dimitris Makris
Sweet Dreams by Pantelis Pagoulatos
The Bubble by Nikos Perakis
Alexandria by Maria Iliou
Remembrance by Vassilis Mazomenos, doc
Encomium of Slowness by Yiannis Leontaris, doc
Guardians Of The Time by Margarita Manta, doc
Words Of Silence by Lucia Rikaki, doc
Fate by Zeki Demirkubuz, Turkey
Ljubljana, by Igor Sterk, Slovenia
The Judge, by Zaneta Vangeli, FYROM,
Philanthropy, by Nae Caranfil, Romania
In Nowhere Land, by Tayfun Pirselimoglu, Turkey
Frozen Stiff, by Milorad Milinkovic, Yugoslavia
God Forbid Greater Evil, by Snjezana Tribuson, Croatia
Fate As A Rat, by Ivan Pavlov, Bulgaria/ FYROM
10 Minutes (short) by Ahmed Imamovic, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Survived And Lived Through One More Day by Alma Becirovic, Bosnia & Herzegovina (doc)
Once Upon A Time In The West Of Bosnia, by Nenad Djuric, Bosnia &Herzegovina (doc)