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Thessalonik prepares a tribute to John Sayles

The acclaimed American independent filmmaker John Sayles will attend the 48th edition of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival for a complete retrospective on his work.

John Sayles will present and discuss his films with the public, along with his longtime partner and producer Maggie Renzi and his staple actors Chris Cooper (Academy Award winner in 2002 for Adaptation) and David Strathairn (Academy Award winner in 2005 for Goodnight and Good Luck). The director will be honored with a special Golden Alexander for his work and will also conduct a Master Class.

“John Sayles has been at the forefront of authentic independent filmmaking since the 1980s, beginning his career as a lone, self-reliant filmmaker when the Hollywood box-office craze was beginning to take over American cinema. In this respect, his body of work is in perfect harmony to the spirit of our Festival”, notes Festival Director Despina Mouzaki.

The John Sayles oeuvre has been consistent in its commitment to social and political issues, following the lives of the everyday man in his struggle with various aspects of American culture. In this cinematic world, the American dream is nowhere to be seen.

Extraordinary is not only his allegiance to decidedly non-mainstream subjects, but also the business model by which he has been able to self-finance his films. Having served as the scriptwriter of many-a Roger Corman B classics, such as Piranha and Battle Beyond the Stars, he continues to pen scripts for big-budget films and pours his earnings into his own production company, The Anarchists Convention.

The Retrospective offers the Festival’s audience a rare opportunity to follow his entire career and to become privy to the experience of his earliest films, such as Lianna, The Brother from Another Planet and Matewan, as well as his most recent outings, such as Limbo and Sunshine State.

Accompanying the John Sayles Retrospective, a monograph of the filmmaker will be published by the Festival, featuring analyses, reviews, illustrations and an excusive interview of the director, conducted by the editor of the book, Konstantinos Kontovrakis.

John Sayles’ new film, Honeydripper, about the origins of rock and roll in the deep American South and starring Danny Glover and Lisa Gay Hamilton, will hold its European premiere in the 48th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.


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