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Manos Zakharias Press Conference at Thessaloniki

Greek Director Manos Zakharias, whom TIFF honors with a retrospective to his work this year, talked about his films, Greek cinema and Greek filmmakers during a press conference that took place on Monday, November 17th.

TIFF Director, Despina Mouzaki, launched the press conference saying: ‘Manos Zakharias is a deeply moral person and filmmaker. We wanted to introduce this side of the filmmaker to our audience this year, with a complete retrospective of his work. A work with Greek roots and universal ideas that manages to retain its force and meaning uncorrupted until now’. She also expressed her satisfaction that the theaters are full during Manos Zakharias’ film screenings. ‘This proves that his work goes beyond time and space’, she mentioned.

Yorgos Bramos, editor of the Festival's publication on Manos Zakharias, said that the time has come for us to truly discover the creative side of a director whose work begins with the Greek Resistance and is expressed through a series of films created in U.S.S.R. which defined his generation. Yorgos Bramos also noted that ‘In his films Manos Zakharias doesn’t recreate Greece, he carries Greece inside him’.

Manos Zakharias thanked the Festival for the retrospective to his work, and explained that 4 films – out of a total of 11 – are being screened for the first time in Greece thanks to Despina Mouzaki’s efforts, since she was the one that found and brought them over from Moscow. The films are The Morning Flight, The Town Of First Love, I'm A Soldier, Mother and The night Passenger.

Answering a question regarding his thoughts on contemporary Greek cinema, Manos Zakharias said that there is a future thanks to the talented young filmmakers, but he pointed out that the main problem is the lack of education. ‘It takes more than a few words and incomplete actions for something important to happen in Greek cinema’. As far as the reformation of the law regarding cinema in Greece is concerned, he stated that although there are some good intentions, some things have to be re-examined.

‘Cinema can easily become old’, Manos Zakharias said when he was asked to make an evaluation of his work. ‘I would change some of my films. Some others stand the test of time and still have something to offer. They deal with the morality of man when he must make decisions in difficult situations, an everlasting issue that I tried to deal with’, he said.

Finally, in a question about when he is planning to make his next film, the distinguished filmmaker answered with a young man’s excitement, that there is not a single director who has not thought about his next movie. ‘I think about it too. If I manage to do it, I'll let you know’, he said.

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About Thessaloniki

Mcmahon Vanessa

Vanessa McMahon Covered the 13th and 14th, and 16th edition.
Catherine Esway has covered the 12th edition of Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Cécile Rittweger covered the  11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Christine Marik's reported from 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Past coverage from the 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival by Bruno Chatelin.

Through its tributes, it focuses both on discovering filmmakers with a unique cinematic point of view, and on the internationally recognized for their contribution to documentary.

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