Hollywood travels to Thessaloniki for the 49th Film Festival


By Mary Kouinoglou
Miles away from Hollywood, on the other side of the ocean, in a quiet small city, a rather large event breathes life into the streets. Avid cinema fans, actors, artists, directors, photographers, journalists, students are all gathering, waiting for the show to start. The 49th International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Greece’s most prestigious event dedicated to Cinema Art, is about to kick off tomorrow Friday, November 14th.

The two hundred and thirty films, including two world premieres, six international premieres and three European ones, will be enough to captivate the audience in front of the big screen for ten days. Nearly one thousand guests, representing fifty-five countries are expected to showcase their work, accompanied by ninety foreign film critics and journalists, who will cover the event.

The official program includes the International Competition, with fourteen films by new and emerging directors, the Out of Competition section, with three films coming from South and North America and the Special Screenings of seven films. Also, this year’s festival will pay homage to the directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Takeshi Kitano, Ousmane Sembene, Terence Davies, Ivan Ladislav Galeta and the greek Manos Zakharias. Other interesting highlights are expected to be the Tributes to Contemporary Turkish and Middle Eastern Cinema and Romanian shorts. Parallel to the Festival, exhibitions, parties and concerts will be taking place across the city.

In the Opening Ceremony tomorrow, the Olympion Cinema, one of the main venues of the Festival, will host an audience who will be taken on a journey through the history of cinema, travelling from America to Thessaloniki. The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky has been chosen to be the centrepiece of the Ceremony.