Acclaimed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch will headline the 54th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, running November 1-10, with his vampire drama “Only Lovers Left Alive” raising the curtain on the event at the Olympion Theater’s opening ceremony, for which Jarmusch will be present.
The American director, who is one of the leading proponents of contemporary independent cinema, is scheduled to hold a press conference that will also be open to the public at the port complex on Saturday, November 2, starting at 2 p.m.
Heading this year’s international jury for the competition leg of the festival is Greek-American filmmaker Alexander Payne, whose “Nebraska” will be screened at the festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday, November 9.
He is joined on the panel by US film critic Scott Foundas, Romanian producer Ada Solomon, Greek musicians and composer Konstantinos Vita and Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of Quinzaine des realisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival.
From the indie front, Open Horizon, the festival’s section showcasing new talent from around the world, comprises 50 entries this year from countries as diverse as Japan, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Latvia, Argentina and Egypt.
Contemporary Argentinean cinema is also the subject of this year’s country tribute, which presents the Latin American nation from the prism of its artistic output following a crippling recession. Seven films comprise this section.
Staying on the tribute front, this year’s special guests are French filmmakers Alain Guiraudie and Claire Simon, both of whom will speak to the press and their fans.
Another highlight at the 54th Thessaloniki International Film Festival is the 20th anniversary of the Balkan Survey section. Curator Dimitris Kerkinos has put together a program of 17 key films screened in the northern port city over the past two decades.
The Greek section of the program will feature just eight films produced in 2013.
These are “Standing Aside, Watching” by Yiorgos Servetas, “The Winter” by Constantinos Koutsoliotas, “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas” by Elina Psykou, “Wild Duck” by Yannis Sakaridis, Vassilis Raisis’s “One Last Joke,” “The Prophet” by Dimitris Poulos, Thanos Tsavlis’s martial arts-loving “Goldfish” and “Miss Violence” by Alexandros Avranas – winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor (Themis Panou) in the 2013 Venice IFF.
Tickets for screenings, which should be purchased well in advance due to high demand, are sold at special booths located on Aristotelous Square in front of the Olympion Cinema, and at the entrance to the port complex on Nikis Street. The booths are open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight. Reservations can also be made online at www.filmfestival.gr/tickets or by phone at 2312.202.250. Individual tickets cost 6 euros or you can purchase a package of 10 tickets for 40 euros. The opening and closing ceremonies are by invitation only.
For more information and program details, log on to www.filmfestival.gr.