CULTURE

Documentary fest enriched by new slots

Two new sections have been added to the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, an annual spring event that comes as a complement to November’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Running from March 16 to 25, the festival will have its usual lineup of competition and out-of-competition entries, thematic unities and tributes. This year, however, it will also have a section on human rights, organized in collaboration with the local branch of Amnesty International and drawing from its, unfortunately, vast archive of material relating to the abuse of human rights around the world. Freedom of speech, war, the position of women in society and the right to political and religious freedoms are but some of the themes addressed by the section, which is an apt addition to a festival with a rich sociopolitical content. Each year from now on Amnesty International will provide the festival with a panel of judges who will be responsible for awarding the films in this new section. On Asia The second new section of the festival is called «A Look at Asia,» and it aims at presenting the untapped wealth of Asian documentary in a similar way to last year’s festival, which also had a special Asian section. The themes of the films presented in this section vary as much as the countries included in it, covering a plethora of topics from illiteracy and the role of motherhood to the relations between different countries in the region and the ethnic dynamics between them. All domestic documentaries produced over the past 18 months are entitled to participate in the festival, and are sorted into the various categories by festival artistic director Dimitris Eipides and a four-member committee.