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Images of the 21st Century will screen 236 docus

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival Presents:
The 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival –
Images of the 21st Century (March 16-25, 2007)

From the moment the Lumiere brothers filmed a train arriving at a station right up to today, the documentary remains the oldest, yet most current and timeless film genre. The 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century, as part of the year round activities of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, is celebrating its ninth continuous year from March 16-25 by presenting films by directors from all over the world and a parallel events program every bit as interesting.

34.845 viewers attended last year’s Festival, a record number, proving the increasing interest of both the public and industry professionals in documentaries as well as the Festival’s success in attracting them. There is also a great deal of audience participation in the open discussions organized every year, dealing in depth with a variety of issues explored by the Festival.

For ten days the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century will keep its date with the documentary viewing public at the OLYMPION Galaxia Vacation Club and PAVLOS ZANNAS theaters, the JOHN CASSAVETES and STAVROS TORNES theaters in Warehouse A at the port of Thessaloniki, as well as the FILM MUSEUM and IEK AKMI Hall.


OPENING FILM

This year’s edition kicks off with the screening of Dixie Chicks: Shut up and Sing. Co-directed by guest of honour Barbara Kopple and her collaborator Cecilia Peck, the documentary tells the story of the Dixie Chicks, the popular country group. They caused a stir in the US when the lead singer, Natalie Mains, declared, during a concert the day before the Iraq operation, that she was ashamed George Bush is a native of Texas, their home state. More than a portrait of a band, Dixie Chicks: Shut up and Sing vividly portrays the political climate of today’s America, where freedom of speech and expression is slowly disappearing. The screening of the Opening Film will take place at the Olympion – Galaxia Vacation Club theater on Friday, March 16, at 20:30.

THE MAIN SECTIONS OF THE PROGRAM

►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 and who are a kind of 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.
►TV Portraits: a selection of documentaries produced for television on distinguished figures of Greek society and history
►Open Screen: documentaries of Greek production.

Two new permanent sections will be introduced this year:

►Focus On Asia: The Asian documentaries section is added to the standard festival program to introduce and promote Asian documentaries to the European audience, reflecting the growth and development of this particular cinematic form in Asia.
►Human Rights: This section’s films shed light on the brutal trampling of human rights and raise questions on vital issues such as freedom of speech, the status of women in contemporary society, the right to different political and religious convictions etc.

TRIBUTES/ SPOTLIGHTS

►Troubled Innocence: The central thematic section of this year’s festival focuses on children, who are the life and hope of our society, but also its most vulnerable members.
►Dutch Docs: Contemporary documentary makers from Holland shine at this year’s tribute by having seven (7) international premieres in Thessaloniki, giving the friends of the Festival the opportunity to be the first to get a complete picture of contemporary Dutch documentary production.
►World Musicians: The Greek section introduces a tribute to one of the most popular Greek television shows “World Musicians”. It is a series of music documentaries that introduced the Greek audience to the musical richness of the planet and to the “World Music” scene, from Iran to Israel and Morocco, to Serbia, Cabo Verde and Zanzibar.
►Tribute to Barbara Kopple: Barbara Kopple has been established internationally as one of the foremost documentary makers in the USA and the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century is proud to dedicate a tribute to her. Barbara Kopple will attend the opening of the festival with her film Shut Up And Sing from March 16th to 20th.
►Tribute to Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar: The “godmother” of American independent film and one of independent documentary’s most promising representatives are landing in Thessaloniki between the 18th and 22nd of March to introduce their latest film “A Lion in the House” along with a selections of previews films.
►Tribute to Jon Alpert: Jon Alpert’s journalistic genius, combined with a rare persistence and sensitivity to political and social issues, have resulted in the creation of a series of invaluable documentaries, as much for their historical significance as for the role they have played in sensitizing the audience. He will be attending the festival from the 21st to the 25th of March.
►Special Screenings: Jennifer Fox’s 6hour documentary “Flying, Confessions of a Free Woman” and David Sutherland’s almost 6hour documentary “Country Boys: A David Sutherland Film” are being presented in this section. Jennifer Fox will be present between March 20th – 25th .

SIDE EVENTS (Master-Classes, Discussions, Workshops)

Apart from the side events announced so far, the 9thThessaloniki Documentary Festival is very pleased to announce that one of the most prominent academics of Greece and Europe and the first woman to become Dean of the Sorbonne University in all its 700 years, Eleni Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, will give a lecture at the close of the “Troubled Innocence” section. Eleni Glykatzi- Ahrweiler, in addition to being one of the world’s top historians and Byzantologists, has for many years been involved with humanistic activities internationally, particularly concerning children, and is the Greek Embassador to Unicef.

This is a list of the side events taking place during the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Images of the 21st century

1. Monday, March 19: 11.00 – 13.00
Conversation with Barbara Kopple
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

2. Tuesday, March 20: 11.00-14.00
Conference: Troubled Innocence
John Cassavetes Theater, Port





3. Wednesday, March 21: 11.00- 13.00
Workshop: In The Editing Room With Julia Reichert And Steven Bognar
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

4. Wednesday, March 21: 14.00 – 16.00
“The Documentary: Transcribing Reality, the Creator’s Role” an Event Organized by The Greek Documentary Network
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

5. Thursday, March 22: 10.30 – 13.00
Panel Discussion ERT: Producing Documentaries in Europe. The Model of a Vertically Integrated Corporation in the Case of “European Man”.
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

6. Thursday, March 22: 14.00 – 16.00
Workshop: Documentaries Go Digital (in collaboration with the EDN)
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

7. Friday, March 23: 11.00 – 13.00
Workshop: HD Demystified
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

8. Friday, March 23: 14.00 – 16.00
Media That Matters: Documentary Ethics- A Jon Alpert Masterclass.
John Cassavetes Theater, Port

9. Saturday, March 24: 11.30 – 12.30 (time TBC)
Lecture by Helene Glykatzi – Ahrweiler
Olympion Theater Complex, Aristotelous Sq.

10. Saturday, March 24: 13.00 – 15.00
Autobiographical Filmmaking: A Jennifer Fox Masterclass
John Cassavetes Theater, Port


OTHER SIDE EVENTS

The International Doc Market

This year, 56 buyers from 47 channels and companies will attend the Documentary Market. The Market includes roughly 480 films, 198 of which are screening in the Festival’s Official Programme. 100 of the Market’s total films are Greek and the rest are international productions.
Attending the market will be buyers and distributors from channels and companies such as BBC Storyville (UK), ITVS (USA), RAISAT (Italy), Al Jαzeera Documentary (Qatar), Al Jazeera UK (UK), The Documentary Channel (Canada), ΑRTE (France), Sogecable (Spain), Films Transit (Canada), Fortissimo (Netherlands), YLE (Finland)

The Pitching Forum

The Pitching Forum (March 21-26), 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.

JUST TALKING
Room with a View, Olympion Theatre Complex
March 17-25, every afternoon 16.00 – 17.00

Organized by the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century, it brings filmmakers and industry professionals from various parts of the world together. Discussion groups of directors, journalists and buyers will be formed on a daily basis. “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 substantial cash prize.

Two awards will be handed out to documentaries under 45’ (one for a Greek documentary and one for a documentary from the International Selection).
These awards also carry substantial cash prizes.

FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) Awards.

A five-member International FIPRESCI Jury will hand out

a FIPRESCI Award to a Greek Documentary,

a FIPRESCI Award to a Foreign Film.

The Jury consists of: Thomas Rothschild - Germany (President), Lars Movin – Denmark, Paolo Portugal – Portugal, Sasa Radojevic – Serbia, Dimosthenis Xifilinos - Greece





Two new honorary awards are established this year:

Amnesty International will award the best film in the Human Rights section
and WWF will award the best film in the Habitat section.


CONCERTS/ EXHIBITION

Thursday March 22, Macire Syla & Djembe Fare @ MYLOS
Macire Sylla comes straight from Guinea with Djembre Fare for a single concert at Mylos, as part of the tribute to World Musicians. Her African rhythm, jazz-ethnic elements, and endless inspiration provide the eclectic mix and explosive energy this unique West African musical persona brings with her.

Saturday March 24, Five Star Hotel & Monika @ Warehouse C’ (Port)
Right before the release of their first albums, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival presents Five Star Hotel and Monika, endorsing the restless creativity that is currently emerging in the local music scenes of Thessaloniki and Athens.

March 16 – April 15, Tierney Gearon “The Mother Project” @ MACEDONIAN MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Former model and fashion photographer, the American Tierney Gearon turns her camera on her family and particularly her mother, who suffers from mental problems. Sensitive, revealing, tender but also tough, Gearon’s gaze transports us to the complex universe of family ties and motherhood. In collaboration with the Thessaloniki Photography Museum and the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art. Opening March 17 at 12.30 a.m



THE FESTIVAL IN NUMBERS

Official Program

i. Stories to Tell: 10 docs
ii. Views of the World: 14 docs
iii. Habitat: 12 docs
iv. Portraits-Human Journeys: 15 docs
v. Music: 8 docs
vi. Recording of Memory: 9 docs
vii. Focus on Asia: 11 docs
viii. Human Rights: 15 docs

ix. Games we Play: 8 docs
x. Greek Panorama: 38 docs
xi. TV Portraits: 16docs
xii. Open Screen: 30 docs

Spotlights/ Tributes

i. Troubled Innocence: 12 docs
ii. Dutch Docs: 11 docs
iii. World Musicians: 10 docs
iv. Tribute to Barbara Kopple: 4(+1*) docs
v. Tribute to Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar: 5 docs
vi. Tribute to Jon Alpert: 6 docs
vii. Special Screenings: 2 docs



Total Foreign Films: 140
Total Greek Films: 96

* The film A Lion in the House is part of the Troubled Innocence tribute thus, not counted again as the fifth film of the Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar tribute.


Total films in the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century: 236

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Chatelin Bruno
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