The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Nov 16-25)programmeis to feature230 plus films representing 40 nations accompanied by a major push in Film Market and co-production activities.
Among the 14 titles in competition - reserved to first and second films - is the world premiere ofGerman production Elli Makra by Athanasios Karanikolas.
Two competition titles gettheir international premiere:Vasermil by Mushon Salmona (Israel) and Wednesday, Thursday Morning by Grzegorz Pacek (Poland).
European premieres include Orphans by Russo Yang (USA), The Red Awn by Cai Shangjun (China) and Dolls by Karin Babinska (Czech Republic).
The International Jury is headed by the Academy Award winner Czech director Jiri Menzel. He isaccompanied by another Academy-awarded veteran master, the American DP Haskell Wexler.
Among the other members are directors Lucrecia Martel from Argentina, Nae Karanfil from Romania, Yasmin Ahmad from Malaysia and the American producer Fred Roos.
The jury will hand out the Golden and Silver Alexanders worth respectively $53,000(Euros 37,000) and $32,000 (Euros 22,000) plus a number of additional awards backed by $36,000 (Euros 25,000) in cash.
Major retrospectives are dedicated this year to John Sayles and to William Klein.Both will receive honorary Golden Alexanders.
Sayles will also introduce a masterclass. Other masterclasseswill be led bydirector Alfonso Cuaron, actors John Malkovich and Diego Luna, and co-chairman of Fox Filmed EntertainmentJim Gianopulos.
Sam Rockwell, Costa Gavras and former French minister of culture Jacques Lang join the impressive line-up of attendants. Lang will be awarded an honorary Golden Alexander for his contribution to European cinema.
The festival alsohonours Spain with a tribute to the New Spanish Cinema. A 19 titles-strong selection, compiledin collaboration with the Spanish Film Institute (ICAA) and the Cervantes cultural Institute.
The presence of ICAA's president Fernando Lara and other top executives of the institute coincides with TIFF director Despina Mouzaki's effortsto beef up the Film Market and related activities.
The umbrella Industry Centre includes the Film Market, the five-year-old regional script development Balkan Fund, the Salonica Studio/Film Students workshop as well as the Crossroads co-production initiative.
The Balkan Fund, co-funded by the French CNC and the Goethe Institute has announced a short list of 13 projects from 6 different countries. The projects will be presented to an international jury during the festival and four of them will be awarded with $14,000 (Euros 10,000) each towards script development.
Crossroads, headed by former Cannes Fortnighthead Marie-Pierre Macia, has selected 14 co-production projects coming fromsix countries of the Balkan region and Eastern Mediterranean. One project chosen by an international jury will be awarded $14,000 (Euros 10,000) offered by Nokia N series.
Crossroads will introduce a new section with a special Focus on Turkey. The prestigious 'Club des Producteurs' (European Producers Club) will again this year collaborate with Crossroads co-organising a conference on film piracy.
Thessaloniki's programme will additionally include:
- A Greek Films 2007 section spotlighting 17 new productions eligible for the State Cinema Awards
- ADigital Wave sidebar is where 11 local films shot in video compete for a $14,000 (Euros 10,000) award offered by the Greek Film Centre (GFC), sponsor of the festival.
- A tribute to the late director Nikos Nikolaidis and an homage to local 'film noir'
- A 50-title Independence Days-ID 07 side section, steered by film critic Lefteris Adamidis
- A 14-filmBalkan survey section catering to films from the region, opening with Fatih Akin'sThe Edge of Heaven
Local sponsorship comes also from such institutions as, the public radio and TV ERT, the ministries of: Culture, Macedonia and Thrace, Tourism, Interior, Development, the Greek Parliament, the Greek Film Centre (GFC) and the municipality of Thessaloniki.
Line up of the Oficial Programme
Opening FilmMy Blueberry Nights by Wong Kar Wai, China / Hong Kong Closing Film
The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson, USA
PVC-1 by Spiros Stathoulopoulos, Colombia / Greece / USA
La Influenciaby Pedro Aguilera, Spain / Mexico
Ano Unaby Jonas Cuaron, Mexico
Orphans by Ry Russo Young, USA (European premiere)
Dolls by Karin Babinska, Czech Republic (European premiere)
Elli Makra- 42277Wuppertal by Athanasios Karanikolas, Germany (World premiere)
Soarby Alexander Mindadze, Russia
Sugisballby Veiko Ounpuu, Estonia
Frozen by Shivajee Chandrabhushan, India
Vasermilby Mushon Salmona, Israel (International premiere)
Wednesday, Thursday Morning by Grzegorz Pacebek, Poland (International premiere)
The Red Awn by Cai Shangjun, China (European premiere)
OUT OF COMPETITION
Noiseby Matthew Seville, Australia
Padre Nuestro by Christopher Zalla, USA
Small Godsby Dimitri Karakatsanis, Belgium
I Served The King Of Englandby Jiri Menzel, Czech Republic / Slovak Republic
Fugitive Piecesby Jeremy Podeswa, Canada / Greece
Irina Palmby Sam Garbarski, Belgium / Luxembourg / UK / Germany
The Savages by Tamara Jenkins, USA
Junoby Jason Reitman, USA
The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. by Andrew Dominik, USA
11th Hour by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen, USA
J.C Chavez by Diego Luna, Mexico
Into The Wildby Sean Penn, USA
Being John Malkovich by Spike Jonze, USA
Hamletby Sven Gade and Heinz Schall, Germany
Mirush (Crossroads Special Screening) by Marius Holst, Norway