More films at the French Institute

The French Institute in Athens continues its tradition of putting together interesting, vibrant cinematic events with its 19th documentary festival, «Cinema & Reality,» starting tomorrow and running to February 12. Always keeping a finger steadily on the pulse of new developments and paying homage to the artists who have built the art, the program this year is organized in eight different units. The first section is dedicated to British documentaries addressing World War II, with a special homage to the work of Humphrey Jennings, described by Lindsay Anderson, a leading writer on Free Cinema, as «the only true poet of English cinema.» «From the Theater to the Stage» is the title of the next unit, which has been organized jointly by the Association Francaise d’Action Artistique (AFAA), the French National Center for Theater and Greek production companies. The films shown here are Philippe Minyana’s award-winning «Inventaire» directed by Robert Cantarella, a documentary on Patrice Chereau titled «Une autre solitude» and directed by Stephane Metze, and two docu-portraits: «Brook by Brook,» directed by Simon Brook, son of Peter Brook, and «Antoine Vitez,» directed by Dominique Gros, on the life of the celebrated actor-turned-director. Portraits of people is also the subject of the third unit, in which Vassilis Vassilikos presents the lives of artists Yiannis Kokkos, Yiannis Kounelis and Costa-Gavras in three films directed by Mary Koutsouri. Also on screen will be two rare documentaries by Vassilis Maros, portraits of Antigone Valakou, Iakovos Kambanellis and Giorgos Michailidis, Katina Paxinou, Minos Volanakis and Lefteris Voyiatzis. The award-winning documentary of Calliope Legaki on writer Ilias Petropoulos, a selection of contemporary Greek documentaries and a tribute to the environment are also on the bill. One very exciting screening that will be taking place at the institute is Rithy Panh’s «Les artistes du theatre brule» (The Burnt Theater), in which the Cambodian filmmaker looks at the dedicated artists who are keeping the National Theater of Phnom Penh alive after a devastating fire. French Institute, 31 Sina, Kolonaki, tel 210.339.8600.

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