CULTURE

More changes rock film industry

Dimitris Eipides, the director of the hugely successful New Horizons section of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which showcased independent productions from around the globe, has resigned after a 13-year tenure in the post. The section has been scrapped by the new management in favor of something similar – which, however, they have neither presented nor named – though it has been announced that film critic Lefteris Adamidis will be in charge of it. The announcement was made on Monday by the new festival director, Despina Mouzaki, in the first presentation of the festival’s new management to the press. Dimitris Bardanis holds the post of deputy director and Tassos Retzios is acting as adviser. The changes to the international, independent section of the program, said Mouzaki, came after «Dimitris Eipides expressed his desire to dedicate himself wholly to the Documentary Festival, which he has been running for the past seven years, while he plans to remain artistic director of the section.» For Eipides, however, this news came like a bombshell, compelling him to hand in a letter of resignation and deny the announcement that he was planning to stay on as artistic director. «In spring, when the Seventh Documentary Festival was taking place, I had expressed my intention to resign from the post of artistic director of New Horizons. I did not do this, so that the new management could have the opportunity to develop its own position and vision unfettered. I therefore consider that my work no longer shares common ground or goals with the current management, so as a result, I am terminating my collaboration as well as the New Horizons section,» said Eipides. «His resignation is already general knowledge and has not come like a bolt from the blue,» noted an announcement by the management in response, adding that Eipides had already made it known that he «wanted to terminate his contract and had no financial expectations» from New Horizons. «On May 5, 2005, the board of directors accepted [Eipides’s] request. It was a quiet resignation (and one that came as no surprise), which was not accompanied by press announcements or other public statements. For the past month, Mr Eipides has been involved in nothing other than the Documentary Festival,» said the Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s management. They also said that this latest public announcement of his resignation was done «on purpose, so that he could provoke reactions and make news, even if it’s old news.» Much of Eipides’s letter to the festival management, which was released to the press, outlined the history of the section he gave birth to in 1992 and nurtured over the years. Some 650 new releases have been shown in this section in its 13 years, including films by directors that were unknown to Greece until then. The section grew in popularity, attracting an ever-greater number of fans each year and even receiving an award from the union of European film critics, FIPRESCI. The new independent film section being planned may not be signed by Eipides, said Mouzaki, but it will encompass his philosophy, while there will also be a section titled Special Screenings that will present award-winning films.