CULTURE

Drama Short Film Festival and exhibition

The Drama Short Film Festival celebrates its 26th anniversary this year; 26 years ago it was founded as the Drama Greek Short Film Festival and nine years ago it was also established as an International Short Film Festival. The festival, held in the northern city of Drama every year, started yesterday and will run to Saturday, thus enabling cinephiles and makers of short films to get together once more. Thirty-five fiction films, four documentaries, 18 student films and five films belonging to the category «Greeks of the World» are participating in the Greek films competition. Thirty-nine countries are participating in the international competition: There are 52 fiction films, 15 cartoon films and 10 documentaries. Kenneth Branagh’s first short film features among the international participants. At a recent press conference it was announced that as of this year, the Drama Film Festival will be the 12th festival to participate in the European Film Academy’s procedure to support and promote young talented film directors. The academy instituted the European Short Film Award in 1998, a selection procedure in which 11 other prestigious European film festivals take part. Mayor of Drama Margaritis Tzimas, in collaboration with the festival’s artistic director, Antonis Papadopoulos, has organized further events to take place at the same time as the festival, something which happens every year. In view of next year’s Olympic Games, 15 original Olympic torches will be on display at the Melina exhibition hall until Sunday. The exhibition, organized by Athens 2004, aims at getting the public acquainted with the history of the Olympic torch and the value of the Olympic torch run in the Olympic Games. This year, the Drama Film Festival pays tribute to Brazilian cinema. Having closely collaborated with the Sao Paolo International Short Film Festival, the Drama festival will present Brazilian short films that describe life in Brazilian cities; these films have received awards and have received prominent coverage in international film festivals. Director and author Lakis Papastathis is head of the judging panel of the 26th Short Film Festival, with members including Tassos Goudelis, Melina Botelli, and Lassaad Jamoussi, with film critic V. Kehagias being the Grand Temoin. Yugoslavian film critic Borislav Andjelic is the head of the Ninth International Drama Festival.