Documentaries on politics of violence

Globalization, Africa and the politics of violence form the thematic centerpieces of this year’s Eighth Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century, set to run from March 10-19. Admission to all screenings is free of charge. According to the festival’s artistic director, Dimitris Eipides, the aim of this year’s event is to tap into the public consciousness and help it take a more pro-active stance in seeking alternative sources of information, re-evaluating its entertainment choices and taking an active role in dialogue that addresses issues often sidelined by the mainstream media. Multinational corporations and their relationship to the environment, genetically modified foodstuffs, illiteracy, AIDS, poverty, human rights and war are but some of the ideas developed in the films featuring at the festival. The festival is organized around the following themes: Views of the World, Recording Memory, Portraits – Human Journeys, Small Stories, Society and the Environment, and Music Documentaries. This year will also see a series of tribute screenings to the rich Scandinavian documentary output. A three-day workshop on digital production is also on the program. Conducted by Peter Wintonick – director of the influential biographical documentary «Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media» – in which he will analyze every stage of documentary making, from the earliest stages of production and research to shooting, editing and even marketing and sales. For the first time, the Greek panorama will feature every recent Greek production (made within the last 18 months). The selection of the film and screening slots for the Greek entries is made by Eipides along with a four-member advisory council. A new section of the festival, Open Screen, is dedicated exclusively to Greek documentaries. (Filmmakers wanting to show their work in this section can get more information on tel 210.870.6000.) Special weight has been given this year to the Doc Market, which has been supplied with 25 high-tech viewing rooms for potential buyers or distributors, while at the annual Pitching Forum, filmmakers can present their ideas to market professionals and get advice on pitching strategies. This year’s Pitching Forum, running March 15-19, includes the participation of 24 producers and directors. Detailed information and entry forms (which must be handed in before February 9) are available from the European Documentary Network (Anita Reer, tel +4533.131.122).

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