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10th TDF: A FIRST LOOK (2/7/2008)

10th THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
Images of the 21st Century
 
March 7 – 16, 2008
 
The 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Organized by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the 10th TDF will present roughly 200 documentaries in the event’s flagship OLYMPION and PAVLOS ZANNAS theatres at the festival headquarters in Aristotelous square, as well as the JOHN CASSAVETES, STAVROS TORNES, FRIDA LIAPPA and TONIA MARKETAKI theatres located at the Thessaloniki harbour, within walking distance from the Festival headquarters, the guests’ hotels and the International Doc Market.
 
The main sections of the event are,
 
-          Views of the World: dealing with subjects of social interest.
-          Portraits-Human Journeys: the human being as the focus of the narrative.
-          Stories to Tell: brief stories of human interest that stand out both for the nature of their subject and the way it has been dealt with.
-          Recordings of Memory: Events and people who played a significant role in shaping contemporary life; the testimonies of a living history.
-          Habitat: environmental issues and their social context.
-          Music: late night screenings of musical documentaries.
-          Greek Panorama: a selection from the latest local documentary productions.
-          Focus On Asia: the Asian documentaries section was added to the festival program last year as a way to introduce and promote documentaries from Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, China and other Asian countries to European audiences.
-          Human Rights: films that shed light and raise questions on vital human rights issues such as freedom of speech and the right to different political and religious convictions.
 
 
  10TH TDF PREMIERES
 
Among the approximately 200 films that constitute this year’s program, the 10th TDF is proud to present the following premieres:
 
Generation 68, directed by Simon Brook (France).
Renowned documentarian Simon Brook is commemorating the incendiary May 1968 events, 40 years after their revolutionary role in history. The film recounts stories from people such as theatre director Peter Brooks (Simon’s father), Milos Forman, William Klein, Dennis Hopper, Vaclav Havel and many others (World premiere).
 
Love and Sex in China, directed by Annamaria Gallone (Italy).
Yang Li Na, a young Chinese woman going through a marital crisis, wanders through the streets of Beijing questioning not only the evolution and problems of her own relationship, but those of her rapidly-changing country (World premiere).
 
To Live - Save Ours Saemankum directed by Kang-gil Lee (Korea).
This is the story of the sea people of Gyehwa Island in Korea and the controversial Saemankum Reclamation Project, implemented for the purposes of augmentation of agricultural areas and extension of industrial estates. The documentary tracks the changes brought by the project, affecting the ones whose livelihood comes from working in the sea (International Premiere).
 
The Potter from Binis, directed by Cosmin Tiglar (Romania).
Ionica Stepan is 80 years old and part of the seventh generation of pottery craftsmen in Binis, a Romanian village from the Banat region. Stepan is the last craftsman of a tradition that is almost disappearing in the 21st century (International Premiere).
 
Citizen Nawai by Nissim Mossek (Israel).
Director Nissim Mossek dedicated five years to the story of Israeli political and social activist Ezra Nawi. The film tracks Nawi’s extraordinary efforts to protect Palestinian villagers and farmers from the armed forces and the three-year relationship between Ezra and his Palestinian partner, Fuad Mussa, who, because of his homosexuality, is caught in a never-ending cycle in and out of prison (International Premiere).
 
As Seen Through These Eyes by Hilary Helstein (USA).
Narrated by the poet Maya Angelou, this documentary tells the story of many-a “defiant witnesses", the people who had the courage to express themselves through art inside the Nazi concentration camps and during the WW II years (European Premiere).
 
   10TH TDF ROUNDTABLES - DISCUSSIONS
 
Various discussions and roundtables will take place during the 10th TDF, with the participation of Greek and foreign panellists from the film industry, the press and various organizations. The discussions will focus on the documentary genre itself, but also on contemporary significant social and political issues. The following have been confirmed so far:
 
-          Faces of Fascism – A discussion will accompany this thematic Spotlight, showcasing films that deal with the various contemporary manifestations of fascism and taking Kristallnacht, the first pogrom against the Jews on November 9, 1938, as its departure point.
-          Approaching Nature – At an urgent time in the life of the planet Earth, the 10th TDF responds by organizing film screenings and a roundtable that contends with the current situation of our ecosystem, thus illustrating the problems and proposing solutions.
 
Among the numerous parallel events are:
 
§         THE INTERNATIONAL DOC MARKET
The International Doc Market, introduced in 1999, will be held this year from March 10-15 featuring over 450 titles. The market, organized in cooperation with the Greek National Television (ERT S.A.) and with the support of Media Program of the European Union, caters to the needs of Television networks from European countries while it has already proved to be a useful tool for a wide range of professionals from other parts of the world.
Approximately 50 buyers will be attending from Europe, the US and Canada, such as Jan Rofekamp (Films Transit - Canada), Nicolas Deschamps (Arte France), Treska Hilmi (03 Productions – Dubai) and Anne Grolleron (Histoire - France), to name a few.
There will be 30 fully equipped viewing booths available to prospective buyers for private viewing of the Market Videotheque films. For the first time the Doc Market will be housed in the 1st floor of the Electra Palace Hotel at Aristotelous Sq and next to the Festival headquarters, providing a much larger and better-equipped space to all its participants.
 
§         THE PITCHING FORUM
The Pitching Forum (March 12-16), running since 2001 in collaboration with the European Documentary Network (EDN), gives local and foreign audiovisual professionals the opportunity to have their projects pitched to commissioning editors and representatives of the international audiovisual media. 21 projects will be presented in Docs in Salonica – Pitching Forum 2008.   
 
§         JUST TALKING
This parallel event, which was introduced in 2006 and enjoyed success with filmmakers and festival attendees, continues now in its third year.
Just Talking brings filmmakers and industry professionals from various parts of the world together. Discussion groups of directors, journalists and buyers are formed on a daily basis and the one-hour sessions revolve around various issues that concern documentary filmmakers, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Apart from the groups, all other accredited festival attendees are admitted to the sessions and can either listen or participate.  
Just Talking creates a platform of communication for all filmmakers, expands the borders of creativity and forges collaboration.
 
§         AWARDS
The awards of the festival are,
 
Public choice awards 
 
Two awards will be handed out to documentaries over 45’ (one for a Greek documentary and one for a documentary from the International Selection).
Each award carries a cash prize of 4000 euros.
 
Two awards will be handed out to documentaries under 45’ (one for a Greek documentary and one for a documentary from the International Selection).
Each award carries a cash prize of 2000 euros.
 
FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Awards.
 
A five-member international FIPRESCI jury will hand out
 
A FIPRESCI award to a Greek documentary and
 
A FIPRESCI award to a foreign film.
 
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is organized with the support of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the backing of Greek Public Television (ERT S.A.), the Greek Film Centre, the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
 
Additional information on the program, conferences and parallel events will be sent to you at a later date and as the program develops.
 
Foreign Press Contacts
 
Alexis Grivas / Lilly Papagianni
Foreign Press
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
9 Alexandras ave., 11473, Athens, Greece
Tel: 30 210 8706000, Fax: 30 210 6448143
Email: papagianni-program@filmfestival.gr

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