CULTURE

Island of Samos hosts festival of documentaries

The Sixth Festival of Mediterranean Documentaries on Samos, which will run to Wednesday, could be described as a film feast, given its lack of a formal competition. Director Vassilis Vafeas, president of the Association of Greek Directors and Producers which is organizing the festival, pointed out that peculiarity of the Samos festival: «There are no restrictions on the program. Our screenings may range from 1960s films to documentaries which are still being filmed.» For the first time, the festival will present four films which are still at the production stage: Avra Georgiou’s «In the Spirit of Pan,» Athina-Rachil Tsangari’s «Making of the Olympic Games» (Tsangari is also responsible for the videos for both the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games), Nikos Zoiopoulos’s «I Want to Go Home» and Nedim Hazar’s «Greeks of Turkey.» The Greek filmmakers participating in the festival are Katerina Patroni, Irina Boiko, Vassilis Vafeas, Yiannis Leontaris, Mathios Yiamalakis, Paschalis Papapetrou, Loukia Rikaki, Thodoros Kalesis, Lakis Papastathis, Maria Yiannouli, Nikos Alevras, Despina Karvela, Kyriakos Katzourakis and Dimitris Sofianopoulos. This year’s guest of honor is director Roviros Manthoulis, who has had plenty of experience in the field of documentaries. His films «Sicily, the Bleeding Land» (1975), «The Gypsies (The new Castilians of Andalusia)» (1989) and «The Blues of the South» (1973) will be screened during the festival. The festival has also organized a discussion with the director, on «Truth and the Cinema: A discussion of national identity and the cinema in Greece.» Overall, 22 films by filmmakers from Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, France, Spain, Israel and Turkey will be screened during the Sixth Festival of Mediterranean Documentaries, while the link between many of these films is music. One of the films screened at the festival’s opening was Ventura Pons’s documentary «El Gran Gato,» which examines memories about the composer, lyrics writer and vocalist Javier Patricio «Gato» Perez, by presenting a concert in which some of Spain’s best-known singers interpret 15 of his songs.