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The International Film Festival in Thessaloniki is the most important event in Greece when it comes to movies and film makers – and includes international competition, retrospectives, screenings, and a co-production and film market, despite money being tight in Greece.

Finland’s cult director Aki Kaurismäki attended the festival, which featured a retrospective of his work.

Aki Kaurismäki loves being politically incorrect, smoking and drinking during public apperances and only giving cryptic answers to questions. When asked about future film-making plans, he said: “Well I will eat some Dolmades for lunch. For films I have no ideas.”

Another retrospective featured the work of Romanian director Cristian Mungiu. He made his mark when he won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2007 with his movie “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”.

The biggest surprise at the award ceremony was a film by Israelian film director Amir Manor, who collected the Special Jury Award for Orginality and Innovation – the Bronze Alexander – as well as awards for Best Screenplay, Audience and Human Values. Epilogue is about an elderly intellectual couple who refuse to let go of their dreams and their revolutionary plans to build a welfare state.

Boy Eating the Birds’ Food won the International Film Critics Award as well as Best Actor. It is about a homeless man in Athens.

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