Platforma taken to a new level

Platforma Video 7, running to tomorrow, the most important annual event on video and multimedia art in Greece, has grown and grown fast. It has gone from an experimental mini-festival held on rooftops and in crumbling buildings in Kypseli, to an event proper hosted at the Bios and Nixon art spaces (last year) and now at the Athinais cultural center in Votanikos. One of the reasons the festival has evolved so fast has to do with rapid developments in technology. In fact, digital film is quickly replacing traditional film techniques as a cinema medium for young directors, while most Greek movies are now shot digitally (and then transferred to film). Even the Thessaloniki International Film Festival this November had a special section on digital movies. Platforma effectively introduces the public to a new world in which everyone can become a movie director. There are few professional actors here, minimal editing and just one camera. A great chunk of Platforma’s program is composed of the movie makers from next door. It is easy to dismiss experimental movie making as being cheap, amateur and easy to make, but as the medium develops in leaps and bounds, digital productions are beginning to compete on an equal footing with conventional and even mainstream productions. In fact, at Platforma there is very little that is cheap and amateur to look at. The festival features two official competition sections with over 150 movies from around the world. Parallel events include audiovisual workshops held daily on the mezzanine from 11 a.m. to midnight, and music events. Today at 10 p.m., Athinais’s Red Perfect Bar will host a concert by the pop, folk/rock act Waterpipes followed by a local rock act. Tomorrow, DJ set Marcheaux will bring the festival to a close with a dance party. Also, in parallel to the competition, Platforma has brought in a selection of work from other festivals around the world, such as Egypt and the countries of former Yugoslavia. This year also saw a tribute to young Australian artists, which was held on Sunday. Platforma Video 7 is being hosted at the Athinais cultural center, 34-36 Kastorias, Votanikos.