The Thessaloniki International Film Festival, one of the oldest in Europe, has come to a close.
This 57th edition was the first under the leadership of general director Elise Jalladeau, a French film producer, and artistic director, Orestis Andreadakis. He spoke to Euronews correspondent Yorgos Mitropoulos.
“Our focus is on the city of Thessaloniki and our desire is for the festival to be a living organism with different sections and activities. The aim is to reinforce our ties with Greek cinema and we want to help Greek filmmakers and producers build ties with their foreign colleagues. And finally, we want to “strengthen the festival’s international appeal,” he said.
Some 200 movies from Greece and around the world were screened in the festival’s various sections.
The award for Best Feature Film went to Hungarian action dramedy ‘Kills on Wheels’ by Attila Till – a coming-of-age tale of two twentysomethings from a Budapest rehab center who get involved with a wheelchair-bound hitman.
Special tribute was paid to Zeki Demirkubuz, regarded as one of the founding fathers of New Turkish Cinema, whose latest film ‘Ember’ was recently screened in Toronto. Focussing on issues of betrayal, guilt, desire, resignation and hope, his work takes a critical look at Turkish society but are definitely not pessimistic, he told Euronews.
“We can continue to think that we have a beautiful house full of sunlight and joy and happiness. But we have to also accept that there are basements beneath our houses. We must have the courage to look at the back streets and I think that you can try to understand what’s going on in the darkness of the back streets. Understanding this reality is the opposite of pessimism. So someone who choses to look there must have high hopes and faith,” he said.
Closing the festival was French filmmaker Stéphanie Di Giusto’s feature debut ‘The Dancer’, which premiered in Cannes earlier this year. A loose adaptation of the life story of Loie Fuller, the first dancer who thought of herself as an artist and not an entertainer, the film stars French popstar Soko as Fuller, Lily-Rose Depp as Fuller’s rival Isadora Duncan, and Mélanie Thierry and Gaspard Ulliel in supporting roles.