Dolls and puppets will offer color and energy to the town of Kilkis this week, with an exciting festival running to October 10. Featuring puppet and mime theater companies from several European countries, the Seventh International Puppet and Mime Festival of the Municipality of Kilkis kicked off last Sunday. «We are developing a knowledgeable kind of audience, one which will be able to choose, reward and reject,» said Christos Spingos, president of the Cultural, Youth and Sport Organization of the Kilkis Municipality, at a recent press conference. The festival is the only event in Greece to be co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and a local municipality. Though the ministry has yet to provide the funding for the last two years (300,000 euros) the festival has expressed itself in a variety of ways, including puppet theater, shadow theater and mime. Parallel events The festival’s productions are complemented by activities such as competitions as well as workshops for children, actors and students. There is also a retrospective doll exhibition featuring works from the permanent collection of the municipal puppet theater of Sofia, Bulgaria. Participating at the Kilkis festival are the following international troupes: Titiritran (Spain), La Case (France), Mime Crime (Germany), Gioco Vita (Italy) and Hiroyasu Sasaki & Bushido (Japan). On the Greek front, audiences will enjoy performances by the Baruti workshop, the Harkut company, the Takis Sarris troupe and the Sofoulis Theater. Throughout the festival, performances take place at the Conference Center of the Kilkis Municipality.