29th Panorama of European Cinema, Athens
Greece, November 17 - November 27 2016
Athens Panorama of European Cinema exhibited its 29th edition between 17 – 27 November at Aavora and Trianon film theaters, in the center of Athens. The Panorama’s impressive program was especially appealing to cinephiles with a rich variety of retrospectives and a contemporary selection composed of striking new films. This modest organization stands out due to the high quality of its exemplary program, despite budgetary restrictions due to the ongoing economical crisis in Greece.
The International Competition focuses on first and second films of European cinema. For the 29th edition, the festival director and esteemed film critic, Ninos Fedek Mikelides, brought together eleven interesting and powerful films, most of which marked breakthrough debuts for their directors.
World Cinema Premiers included Afterimage the last film of the great Andrzej Wajda and Sweet Dreams by Marco Bellocchio. The festival paid tributes to both masters of cinema as well as Alexander Payne, the prominent American independent director of Greek origin. The perfectly representative Wajda Tribute included Ashes and Diamonds, a canonical film from the great Polish director, Tatarak, proof of his everlasting innovative style, regardless of age, and Katyn, an important period film about Polish history with an autobiographical element.
The festival competed with cinematheque with its retrospectives. On the 30th anniversary of his death, Andrey Tarkvosky was commemorated with the screenings of his complete filmography. Another retrospective was programmed in memory of renowned Greek director, Nikos Panayotopoulos, who passed away in January 2016.
Days of 36 was an interesting tribute, inspired by the famous Theo Angelopoulos title. Beside Days of 36 which takes place during the political turmoil in Greece, which led the country to the Metaxas dictatorship, politically engaged films about the Great Depression and Spanish Civil War were selected for this tribute. Life Belongs to Us, commissioned by the Popular Front in French engaged eight directors including Jean Renoir, Jacques Becker and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Other titles included Modern Times by Chaplin, Wild River by Elia Kazan, To Die in Madrid by Frederic Roussif, Long Live Death by Fernando Arrabal, The Spirit of the Beehive by Victor Erice and Land and Freedom by Ken Loach.
Pan-Hellenic Film Critics Association’s Selection of the 10 Best Greek and 10 Best European Films of the Last 40 Years completed the 29th Athens Panorama of European Cinema. (Alin Tasciyan, edited by Tara Judah)