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Thessaloniki USA Lineup Delivere Four U.S. Premieres

Thessaloniki USA Lineup Delivere Four U.S. Premieres

Thessaloniki USA Lineup Delivere Four U.S. Premieres

by Mark Rabinowitz

Four U.S. premieres, three New York premieres and a screening of a
resored print of Costa-Gavras’ classic political thriller, “Z” highlight
the second annual Thessaloniki USA film festival, screening at New
York’s Cinema Village from May 29-June 4. This year’s fest expands from
four to fourteen films, and adds a group of four Balkan films from
Austria, Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey that were screened at last year’s
Thessaloniki Film Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Balkan films include Goran Rebic’s “Jugofilm,” a story of how a
Yugoslavian family, after moving to Austria to aviod the war in their
homeland cannot truly escape the ravages of that war; Lyudmil Todorov’s
Emilia’s Friends,” descibed by the festival press release as “‘The Big
Chill’ comes to Bulgaria” focuses on how the generation born into
Communism make their way in a post-Communist world; Kujtim Cashku’s
Kolonel Bunker” is set in 1974 Albania and tells the story of a Colonel
ordered to contruct hundreds of thousands of bunkers throughout the
country for protection against “potential enemies”, and Dervis’ Zaim’s
“Somersault in a Coffin,” a study of one of Istanbul’s homeless in his
daily struggle for survival.

In his report from Thessaloniki last November, indieWIRE’s Anthony
Kaufman wrote:

“One of the dark horses in the race for recognition was a small film
from Turkey called ‘Somersault In A Coffin’ by Dervis Zaim, about a
homeless man stealing cars and royal blue peacocks to survive in modern
day Istanbul. The film ran away with the Silver Alexander… giving
support to a talented new director whose simple drama and use of
non-actors harkens back to the days of Italian neorealism. He shot the
film with a borrowed camera, the equivalent of $16,000 and only over a
24 day period.”

Other highlights of the week include Sotiris Goritsas’ “Balkanisateur,”
the highest grossing local production in Greece in 1997; “No Budget
,” a Greek version of Alexandre Rockwell’s “In the Soup,” written,
directed and starring Renos Haralambidis and the screening of “Z.” This
film, released in 1969, won two Oscars (best foreign language film and
best editing- Françoise Bonnot) and was nominated for three more (Best
Director: Costa-Gavras, Best Picture: Jacques Perrin, Hamed Rachedi and
Best Adapted Screenplay: Costa-Gavras and Jorge Semprun). The film tells
the story of a military coup in Greece, and while historically accurate,
it was fictionalized. The film stars Yves Montand (“Is Paris Burning?“,
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever“), Irene Pappas (“The Guns of
,” “Zorba the Greek“), Jean-Louis Trintignant (“A Man and a
,” “Red“), Jacques Perrin (“Cinema Paradiso,” “L’Année des
“) and François Périer (“Le Samouraï“).

>> RELATED articles @ indieWIRE.com:

(Dec 02, 1997) Thessaloniki Film Festival, Part II — Greek Independents

(Nov 26, 1997) Thessaloniki International Film Festival: Greek Horizons

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