Drama gears up for its 25th short film festival

Short-film makers are getting ready for their annual presentation at the high-caliber Short Film Festival in the city of Drama, which begins this Sunday. Screenings will take place in the recently refurbished 1920s Olympion building and in the standard Asteria cinema which is located within the Drama Conservatory. The opening ceremony will consist of a concert by the popular Greek performer Dionysis Savvopoulos and local jazz act Mode Plagal, while Savvopoulos and painter Alekos Fasianos are billed to team up later on in the evening for a musical/artistic happening. This year’s Drama Short Film Festival, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, promises many interesting selections both from Greece and abroad. The competition section features 30 fictional films, four documentaries and 10 student films, while the educational section numbers 44 entries. The jury of the Greek section is presided over by Lefteris Xanthopoulos and composed of film critic Dimitris Haritos, director Virginia Heath, screenwriter Alexandros Kakavas and photography director Prokopis Dafnos. The international section has 90 entries (three of which are Greek) from 50 different countries, including Thailand, Iceland, Peru, Cameroon, the USA, France, Turkey, Albania and Brazil. The jury in this section is headed by Kerstin Hagrup, the director of the short-film section of the Swedish Film Institute, and composed of Swedish Film Institute member and fine arts professor Hassan Dezvareh, along with Greek director Costas Vrettakos, Mexican director Juan Francisco Urrusti and Siena short-film festival director Piero Clemente. The festival’s parallel events include a tribute to Mexican shorts, which has been organized in cooperation with IMCINE, and which showcases the country’s production in the past 10 years with 18 entries. The esteemed Danish National Film School is the subject of another tribute, which will include a screening of graduate Lars von Trier’s 1982 dissertation film «Images of Liberation,» being shown in Greece for the first time ever. A two-day conference focusing on film education will also take place within the framework of the festival, with guest speakers including Fotos Lambrinos, Theo Angelopoulos, Lakis Papastathis and Manos Zacharias, while another, one-day conference will focus on the developments of digital technology in film. The Drama Short Film Festival will end on September 21 with the award-giving ceremony. The international section Grand Prix award is accompanied by a 2,950-euro prize, while the second award is worth 2,350 euros. The same cash prize will be given to the best Balkan film, while 1,470 euros will be awarded to the best animated film. The top three prizes of the Greek competition section will be accompanied by 4,400, 2,350 and 2,950 euros respectively.