Mediterranean Documentary Festival opens on Samos

The fourth Mediterranean Documentary Festival on the island of Samos, which starts tomorrow and runs to October 2, is dedicated to a film genre that is increasingly winning a place in the hearts of film lovers. The festival, organized by the Union of Greek Directors and Producers and the Nikolaos Dimitriou Cultural Foundation, will take place at the Doryssa Hotel in Pythagorion. It is composed of 20 documentary films from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey. The festival does not have a competitive character and that is quite something in itself, said the director of the union, Vassilis Vafeas, at a recent press conference. The artists are not like horses racing for first place. We are not just interested in films that have been made recently, but also in those that have been lying somewhere on a director’s shelf for several years and those that can make an unknown director known. The festival will be covering a broad range of films, among them the documentary I Thought I Was Seeing Convicts, by Egyptian Haroun Farouki, whose work will be the subject of a tribute at the festival next year. The opening of the festival will feature the successful Mourning Rock by Philippos Koutsaftis, a documentary on the town of Elefsina that had a successful run during the winter season in movie theaters all around the country. The public moves faster than the professional distributors, who don’t dare screen documentaries in mainstream movie theaters, said Vafeas. Another important aspect of this year’s festival is that it is planning a special tribute to rare Greek films such as Last Stop Kreutzberg (1975) by Giorgos Karypidis, 100 Hours in May (1963) by Demos Theou and Fotos Lambrinos, and In Memory of Manos Loizos (1983) by Lakis Papastathis.

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