Balkans' largest film festival kicks off in Greece
The Balkans' largest film festival, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, now in its 48th year, opens its doors to moviemakers with a screening of Wong Kar Wai's 'My Blueberry Nights.'
18 November 2007
Thessaloniki, Greece (dpa) - The Balkans' largest film festival, the Thessaloniki Film Festival, now in its 48th year, opens its doors to moviemakers this weekend with a screening of Wong Kar Wai's "My Blueberry Nights."
Every year, Thessaloniki's central cinemas and the old docks in northern Greece host independent filmmakers from across the region, and this year special guests include director John Sayles as well as actors John Malkovich and Danny Glover.
Fourteen films will compete to win the top prize in this year's festival, which runs from November 16 to 25, including "Autumn Ball" by Estonia's Veiko Ounpun and "Frozen" by Indian director Shivajee Chandrabhushan.
Set in a mountainous village in the northern Himalayas, "Frozen" tells the story of Lasya, a girl in her late teens who lives with her father and younger brother, Chomo.
Their home is surrounded by the pristine calm of the snow-capped mountains until one day the army moves in and settles a few hundred yards from their doorstep, causing havoc.
Focused on bringing filmmakers from the Balkans into contact with an international audience, this year's Balkan Survey includes the latest crop of new films from Greece's neighbours such as the German- Turkish co-production "The Edge of Heaven" by director Fatih Akin, German-Croat Armin and Serbian Trap.
Turkish directors Sirri Sureyya Onder and Muharrem Gulmez depict the events of the 1980 coup for their satirical film "International," while "California Dreaming" will also be shown by late Romanian director Cristian Nemescu.
The Independence Day category - the big international section of cutting-edge films - include Japan's Mikio Naruse, whose 87 films between 1930 and 1967 have greatly influenced Japanese filmmakers, as well as the latest film by Korea's Lee Chang-dong.
Chang-dong's "Secret Sunshine" received the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
The festival will also pay three special tributes - including one to the new wave of Spanish cinema with the screening of 19 films.
Another special tribute will go to American independent filmmaker John Sayles, who will conduct a masterclass and receive an honorary award, while honours also go to Romanian director Nae Caranfil as part of the Glances to the Balkans programme.
During the festival, the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art will host an exhibition of the work by multitalented photographer, director, graphic designer and painter William Klein.
The exhibit will include photos of big cities, fashion photographs and viewings of his short films Broadway by Light, Ralentis and Contacts.
Subject: German news