Thessaloniki Festival Announces Four Competitors
by Anthony Kaufman
The International Thessaloniki Film Festival has announced four of the 13
films that will comprise this year's International Competition. Programmed
by festival director, Michel Demopoulos, the films include only first or
second features by emerging directors: "Tired Companions" by Zoran Solomun
(Germany), "Twentyfour Seven" by Shane Meadows (UK), Knut Erik Jensen's "Burnt By Frost" (Norway) and Lee Chang-Dong's "Green Fish" (Korea). Two prizes are awarded in the competitive section: the Golden Alexander with a cash prize of $50,000 and the Silver Alexander with a $30,000 purse.
Thessaloniki also announced titles in its popular New Horizons section
programmed by Dimitri Elpides: straight from the New York Film Festival
comes two films: Palme d'Or winner, "Taste of Cherries" by Abbas Kiarostami
and Takeski Kitano's HANA-BI. Also included is Janos Szasz's "The Witman Boys" (Hungary).
The festival boasts a retrospective and new film from French director
Claude Chabrol, "Rien Na Va Plus", which is the director's 50th (winning both
the Golden Shell and Best Director awards at the recent San Sebastian
Fest.) Also included in the festival's 10 day film bash are spotlights on
documentarian Errol Morris, works by Portugal's Manoel de Oliviera and
Russia's Alexander Sukorov, a tribute to Mexican master Arturo Ripstein, a
competitive section devoted only to Greek film and a special subsection
called "The Balkans: Times of Turmoil," including among others, "Calling the Ghosts" by Mandy Jacobson and Karmen Jelincic (USA/Croatia) and Ademir
Kenovic's "The Perfect Circle" (Bosnia/France).
The festival will be held at Thessaloniki's newly renovated Olympion Cinema
center from November 21-30.