CULTURE

22 more films wrap up festival

From 1992 until the present, the New Horizons section of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has been a major barometer of developments in independent world cinema for local audiences. Directed by Dimitris Eipides, the section is aimed at showcasing films that reveal original insight into themes mainly related to social issues, and innovative stylistic features. This year, the section consists of 22 films, among which are three Iranian films: Abbas Kiarostamis’s «Ten,» Manijeh Hekmat’s «Women’s Prison,» and Rassul Sadr-Ameli’s «I’m Taraneh, 15,» which won the Bronze Leopard for best actress and the Special Prize of the Jury at the Locarno International Film Festival. Other promising entries are the Japanese film «Dolls,» which was nominated for the Golden Lion in Venice, «The White Sound,» a psychological drama analyzing the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic which earned lead actor Daniel Bruhel the Bavarian Film Award and a Gold Award in the German Film Awards, and «Wild Bees,» a social comedy drama by Bohdan Slama which is set in a Moravian village and earned the director a Tiger Award in Rotterdam. The New Horizons section is further complemented by four tributes and an exhibition of Iranian photography. Mexican director Jaime Humberto leads the tributes with a six-film presentation of his thought-provoking, politically driven oeuvre. Seoul-born filmmaker Hong Sang-soo – who made his successful international debut in 1996 with «The Day a Pig Fell into the Well» – will be represented at the festival with four films which testify to his innovative look at the mundane issues of daily life, while Iranian photographer, video artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat opens a dialogue between feminism and contemporary Islam with eight films. Sicily’s Aurelio Grimaldi appears at the festival with six entries that highlight the teacher, novelist, playwright and director’s grasp on modern-day Sicilian society. Last, but not least, considering the great impression Iranian filmmakers have made on the international film world over the past few years, New Horizons will be showing 80 works by Iranian photographers.