Friday December 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Thessaloniki Doc Fest opens with moving feature about little boy's journey to get a new heart

Rithy Panh's documentary 'The missing picture' employs miniature clay figures and archive footage to give an account of Pol Pot's genocidal rule. It was the first Cambodian film to receive an Oscar nomination.

By Harry van Versendaal

Nastia Tarasova's “Linar,” a documentary about a Russian boy who travels to Italy to receive a heart transplant, will be the curtain raiser at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) which gets under way on March 14.

In her first full-length film, the Moscow-based director observes 5-year-old Linar as he spends his time at a Moscow clinic, his small body connected to a big machine on wheels that pumps blood into his failing heart. Tarasova follows the boy as bureaucratic obstacles mean that he has to travel to a small Italian town to receive a heart transplant.

Now in its 16th year, the festival has gone from strength to strength. Last year, a record 45,000 viewers flocked to the TDF theaters, which include the Olympion and Pavlos Zannas cinemas on central Aristotelous Square and the redbrick port complex. Notwithstanding budget woes, with the help of European Union funds organizers have managed to bring together about 112 films, including 60 homemade productions for this year's event.

Alongside “Linar,” festival highlights include Rithy Panh's “The Missing Picture,” a haunting documentary about the crimes of the Khmer Rouge regime that received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, a first for a Cambodian feature. An adaptation of Panh's memoir “The Elimination,” the film uses dozens of impressive clay figurines and powerful archival footage to chronicle the fate of his family before and during Pol Pot's genocidal rule – and the demons that continue to haunt him.

Directed by veteran filmmaker Larry Weinstein and debuting director Drew Taylor, “Our Man in Tehran” is a factual account of the events that inspired Ben Affleck's blockbuster “Argo.” Based on several interviews with the Western protagonists of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, the documentary provides a great deal of interesting background while taking a fair share of the drama out of Affleck's rendition of the life-or-death secret operation to rescue six American diplomats hiding in the residence of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor – including a heart-stopping chase after a Swissair plane down the tarmac of Tehran's airport.

Syria's uprising-turned-civil-war is the background for Talal Derki's harrowing, behind-the-barricades footage brought to the big screen in “The Return to Homs.” The movie, which received the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival this year, follows Basset, a 19-year-old goalkeeper who evolves into a local icon of the resistance movement and militia leader in the struggle against the Assad regime, as well as his close friend, 24-year-old citizen journalist Ossama.

Double tribute

TDF organizers have also prepared a tribute to Canadian filmmaker Peter Wintonick, who died last year of a rare form of liver cancer. Best known for his 1992 box-office hit “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media,” a near-three-hour expose of the US media industry which he co-directed by Mark Achbar, Wintonick, sometimes dubbed Canada's documentary ambassador to the world, had dedicated most of his life to working as a director, producer, editor and reporter – and was a permanent fixture at TDF. A new audience award named after him will be presented to the festival's best foreign feature.

Award-winning French documentarist Nicolas Philibert will also be honored by the festival, which plans to screen nine of his films, including what many consider his finest moment: “To Be and to Have.” Shot in 2002, this touching portrait of a one-room schoolhouse in rural France became an instant critical and commercial success. Its fame has persisted despite a fair amount of controversy following its release, after the main character in the movie, veteran teacher George Lopez, sued the 63-year-old director for a healthy share of the profits, claiming that he had been exploited. The court rejected the claim, which was seen by some as raising some interesting ethical questions about the nature of fly-on-the-wall filmmaking.

Approximately 500 films will be available in this year's Doc Market, a digital library that caters to television networks and industry professionals from around the world. Some 60 buyers are expected to attend from Europe, the United States and Canada.

As usual, organizers have planned a number of workshops, discussions and side events, including an exhibition by Albanian photojournalist Enri Canaj. Taking place with the support of the Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art, the show, titled “In a Sharp Frame,” will be inaugurated on March 15 at the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday March 5, 2014 (15:46)  
El Greco-inspired, metal sculptures in Russia
Documentary traces the musical legacy of the great Nikos Xylouris
Society spearheads drive to preserve Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Mani home
Greek god turning heads in Russia
Youngsters’ memories of the anti-landfill blockades
It was dawn on December 11, 2010, when the civil defense sirens sounded in Keratea, a small town in southeastern Attica, some 30 kilometers from the Greek capital. A few seconds later, the b...
Event to promote awareness of tax issues for foreign residents
The General Secretariat of Public Revenue (GSPR), implementing the action «Information Campaign for Residents Abroad and Repatriated» co-organizes with the Canadian-Hellenic Chamber of Comme...
Inside Community
Inside Gastronomy
Inside Travel
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. ND rebuffs bribery claims, says alleged mediator was adviser to Kammenos
2. GD´s Kasidiaris charged for recording chat with ex PM aide
3. Independent Greeks leader backs MP´s bribery claims, threatens to release video
4. Ministry rebuffs reports that Amphipolis skeleton has been identified
5. Gov´t spokeswoman says bribery claims ´badly-played charade,´ heralds legal action if evidence not produced
6. Former premier Mitsotakis to meet President Papoulias to discuss political upheaval
more news
Today
This Week
1. Independent Greeks MP Haikalis claims attempted bribery for presidential vote
2. Greek PM Samaras confronts peril putting his Greek transformation to vote
3. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
4. Former premier Mitsotakis to meet President Papoulias to discuss political upheaval
5. Gov't spokeswoman says bribery claims 'badly-played charade,' heralds legal action if evidence not produced
6. Ministry rebuffs reports that Amphipolis skeleton has been identified
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. High stakes
6. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.