Salonica jury finds weak men, fiery women

With the astonishing declaration that while many of the male characters were weak, feckless or alcoholic, the women were full of fire, intelligence and love, thus accurately reflecting society today, the jury of the 42nd International Thessaloniki Film Festival yesterday gave its top prize to a film about a young Albanian man’s dilemma between following his love abroad or building a future at home. Tirana Year Zero, directed by a Fatmir Koci, is an Albanian, French and Belgian coproduction covering the chaos that hit Albania in 1997. It won the Golden Alexander and 12.5 million drachmas. Second was Late Marriage, an Israeli and French production directed by Dover Kosashvili dealing with marriage in traditional Georgian society. Maintaining high growth – almost double the EU average – is part of the government’s declared goal of real convergence, that is, reaching a per capita income equal to the average of the current 15 EU members by 2010.

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