This year the festival, located in a charming city in eastern Greece, celebrated its 40 th national and 23 rd international edition – over the years it has become an important international as well as local event. Although the official program was screened over only four days – a dense schedule – it has much to offer lovers of short film. After the bigger and more renowned festivals in Thessaloniki and Athens, Drama is one of Greece’s main arts events, and its distance from the major hubs does not seem to be a problem.
Most of the screenings were packed, and due to the fact that Drama is a relatively small city and the festival is an easygoing event, everything from press office to cinemas (actually just the one, but very charming) was easily accessible. The experience was really enjoyable, and it must be stated that the festival provided not only a vast range of films, but also great hospitality and professionalism in regards to organization, as well as a friendly, relaxing environment.
Our FIPRESCI jury was focused on the International Competition (58 films from 48 countries), which did include some Greek films. Unfortunately, the screenings of the National and International Competition tended to overlap, so it was hard for us to delve deeper into recent Greek productions. This was the festival’s only drawback – overall, it pleased both professional visitors and the public with its charm and atmosphere. (Tonci Valentic, edited by Lesley Chow)