The Thessaloniki International Film Festival kicks off on Friday with a screening at the flagship Olympion Theater of «Holy Motors» by Leos Carax, and a program that features 150 films from around the world, including a showcase of recent Greek productions.
Focused on awarding the efforts of independent filmmakers and new artists, the jury of the International Competition is made up by Thomas Elsaesser, the German film theorist and academic; Laufrey Gudjonsdottir, a programmer, consultant and founding director of the Icelandic Film Center; Danish filmmaker Ole Christian Madsen; Portuguese director Joao Pedro Rodrigues and Greek cinematographer Thymios Bakatakis.
Over the course of the festival, which ends on November 11, there will also be tributes to the work of Aki Kaurismaki, Bahman Ghobadi, Andreas Dresen and Cristian Mungiu, all of whom will conduct press conferences that will be open to the public at the festival's main warehouse at the port complex.
Award-winning Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, who died in an accident on set in January at the age of 76, will also be paid homage to with a round-table discussion on his work on November 8, as well as a concert of music from his soundtracks at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall on November 9 featuring one of his most favored composers, Eleni Karaindrou, and singer Dimitra Galani.
The Open Horizons section of the festival presents a plethora of independent films from around the world, as well as a few much-anticipated features: Costa Gavras’s newest film, “Capital,” Sergei Loznitsa’s “In the Fog,” Ulrich Seidl's “Paradise: Hope,” Abbas Kiarostam’s “Like Someone In Love” and Guy Maddin's “Keyhole.”
A new feature at this year's festival is a section titled Night Views, which presents films from the underbelly.