10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Greece, March 7 - March 16 2008
The Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival, “Images of the 21st Century”, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Although it is non-competitive, several awards are attributed by various institutions such as The Amnesty International award for a film in the Human Rights section, The Greek Red Cross Audience award of 4,000 euros each for a foreign film and a Greek film of over 45 minutes duration and 2,000 euros each for a foreign film and a Greek film of under minutes duration. The International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize was for a foreign and a Greek film. This year, the selection of almost 160 films was divided into several sections: Views of the World, Recordings of Memory, Stories to Tell, Portraits — Human Journeys, Habitat, Human Rights, Music, Focus On.
The thematic section Faces of Fascism commemorated the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht and drew attention to the modern day manifestations of fascism in every corner of the earth. Through the Habitat section and the “Approaching Nature” conference on alternative farming, the Festival joined the struggle for the protection of nature. Other special events were tributes to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, both of whom gave Master Classes, the Finnish director-producer and DocPoint Festival founder Arto Halonen, and Greece’s Sotiris Danezis, creator of the War Zone series. The films were screened in six spacious and handsome venues, two in the Olympian Theater, part of Aristotelous Square, and four theatres in two harbour warehouses renovated in 1996, Thessaloniki’s year as Cultural Capital of the EU. As can be seen, it was a rich and varied selection worthy of a tenth anniversary celebration. (Michel Euvrard)