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Thessaloniki: Documentary Film Festival 2014

2014-Documentary-Filmfestival-Thessaloniki “3,2,1…: Get your program ready!”

Seems as if Berlin’s airport has never been so crowded at 6 am! Restless and tired, but full of couriosity travelers are waiting to have their coffee on their flight straight to Thessaloniki. Meanwhile – just 2 and a half hours away down in the South – Aristoteles Square is getting ready for the opening of the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival: 14th to 23rd March, 2014.

Berlin 6 am In the entrance hall of Saloniki’s airport the organisators of TDF are waiting patiently for their filmmakers and guests to arrive. If you follow the posters from that point on, they guide you straight through the city directly into the heart of the festival: The Olympion Cinema.

While old men are still playing cards up hill in the park of the square – as if this was just a day like every day – further down, heading to the seaside, poster are beeing cut and fine tuned. In the Festival Shop, just next to the main cinema, the freshly printed catalogues are beeing piled up. Coffe shops, entrance hall and stairs at the side walk quickly become occupied by passengers. They are flicking through a small, blue booklet. Back, forth, back. Suddenly they would stop their concentrated gaize in the middle of a page.  „What is that? Where have you got it from?“ – “From the blue glassy box, over there.” (Answers one of these booklet-flicker.)

Aristoteles SquareSome street vendors still try to catch their attention and are announcing a Reggae concert somewhere in the city, but no chance! Inhabitans such as visitors are making their Master-Plan :

185 films (shorts and features) by directors from all over the world, 3 world, 12 international, 8 European and 137 Greek premiers, 1 Award for best international, 1 award for best greek documentary, 2 audience awards for films with more than 45 min. lenght, 2 audience awards for shorter ones, 1 award by Amnesty International and 1 award by WWF Greece.“ – !!

– Here a try to give a first insight into the 10 days of great film program:

„Pictures of the 21st Century“:

Looking at the segments, the ones named “Views of the World”, “Society”, „Human Rights“ and “Habitat” give us a hint on what concerns the festival: Truthful, critical and complex insights into the present of our society, which at the same time play with hopeful and kind tunes. Also documentaries „ that follow up on their fictional counterparts, clay figures that recount the atrocities, guerilla fighters who re-define war correspondence“. But also rebels that offer alternatives in every day life and arts, not only claim on crisis.

“Arts“ and “Music“ give proof of the poetic and experimenal forms of this genre. These films ally with theatre, sculptures, hip hop and punk music such as with ballet. They erase the borders made between ‘authentic’ and so called ‘false’ ways of reporting from reality.

Besides famous international production and Oscar Award candidates, a variety of Greeks production and “Panorama” is out standing, where the inter-change of perspectives are made manifest. European migrants in Greece report us their state of affairs in Greece, such as Greeks show their point of view on European and German politics. Connections are made between Greek and American, Turkish and European, Albanian and Afghan and back to Greek stories of migrations and rambles. These are stories, where protagonist resist, or still are dwelling between Going There and Staying Here and may search for answers in „Recordings of Memories“.

The tribut of the festival is dedicated to the friend and supporter of TDF, Peter Wintonick. Such as to Nicolas Philbert, who will be present at the festival.

It is for sure, this festival guides through multilayered journeys of times and spaces, which speak of some of the most important topics of our century and question the course of events.

And before: Tip of the Evening: “Cinematic Soul”

“A warm up evening with groovy tunes from great movies
just one day before the 16th Thessaloniki Documenary Festival.”, at:  Bar Blender: Georgiou Theochari 4 (close to Navarino Square). That is
“Cinematic Soul” starting at 8pm.



Tributes: Peter Wintonic , Nicolas Philibert



Official Trailer:

Author: Elena Friedrich

This article has been produced in the context of the author’s research and film project “Mapping the Now Here”.


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