Thessaloniki hosts tributes to directors

The 44th Thessaloniki Film Festival tributes will include films from Hong Kong, Georgia, Portugal and Greece, since this year the festival will honor directors Kar-wai Wong, Otar Iosseliani, Joao Cesar Monteiro and Nikos Panayiotopoulos. The festival, which will run from November 21-30, will project all of these directors’ films, with the exception of Monteiro (only two out of his seven total will be screened). The publication of monographs will complete each tribute. The 69-year-old Iosseliani set out to study mathematics before turning to cinema studies at Moscow’s Film Institute (VGIK). His bad relations with Soviet censorship, which forced him to quit cinema and make money as a worker for two years, made him eventually turn to the West. As of 1984 Iosseliani, one of the festival’s favorite directors, has been living in Paris and has received many awards for his work. His latest film «Lundi Matin» (Monday Morning) earned him the director’s award in Berlin. Kar-wai Wong was born in Shanghai in 1958 but moved to Hong Kong at the age of 5; he is considered a true child of Chinese-British culture. He studied graphic arts and started working in the film industry toward the end of the 1980s, when he directed the film «As Tears Go By,» an Asian version of Martin Scorsese’s «Mean Streets.» He became well known to the wider public with his third film, «Chungking Express.» He has participated in countless festivals and finally won over the public with his «In the Mood for Love,» with which he won the director’s award in Cannes. Postmortem tribute A postmortem tribute will be paid to director Joao Cesar Monteiro, who died in Lisbon last February at the age of 64. Monteiro, an anarchist personality of the film industry, used to impersonate himself in his films under the nickname Joao de Deus (Joao of God). During his film career, in which he only produced seven films, he was honored twice at the Venice Film Festival. A film every year Nikos Panayiotopoulos, this year’s honored Greek director who is now 62 years old, is more productive than ever: He said he would produce a film every year and he has kept his word. From the 1974 film «Ta Chromata tis Iridos» (The Colors of the Rainbow) to «Delivery,» which is still being filmed, Panayiotopoulos’s films combine social comments, a particular and distinctive attitude toward filming and an underground and sarcastic sense of humor.