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Opening of the 49th Thessaloniki International Film festival

The 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) started yesterday, with the opening ceremony being held at the Olympion Theater. This year's opening ceremony has been based on the idea of a journey throughout the history of cinema. Three large screens carried the audience in an exciting trip starting from the Lumière brothers' first images.
Konstantinos Kontovrakis, host of the opening ceremony directed by Angelos Frantzis, welcomed the audience and the 49th TIFF's honored guests.
Despina Mouzaki, director of the TIFF, pointed out that the critical times the world is facing generate hope for radical changes in the future and that the need for art is more evident than ever. ‘The stability of this institution and our presence here today demonstrate that we have an inner need to express our agonies through the art of cinema', she mentioned and she also thanked everybody who contribute and support the TIFF, from creative people and artists of cinema to the jury, the state, the sponsors and the team that works in the TIFF.
Mr. Vassilis Gakis, Deputy Mayor of Culture of Thessaloniki, greeted the TIFF as the city's celebration and announced a new award starting from this year, entitled ‘Cinema and the City'. As he noted, the aim is to award the fiction film of the International Program that captures the urban environment best.
Thodoris Dravillas, Secretary General of Minister of Culture, stressed out the importance of the 49th TIFF's role in the economic market and expressed his wishes for the future.
Margaritis Tzimas, Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, underlined that there is no reason for the state to cut its funds for the film industry and announced that the Macedonia and Thrace Ministry funded 4 films which were produced in areas of Macedonia and Thrace this year. The economic support came up to 140 thousands of Euros; this will continue in the future.
The lights were turned off and Mr. Georges Corraface, president of the TIFF, lit up a lighter and the 49th TIFF's logo appeared on the screen. ‘' Don't listen to anybody who says that cinema cannot change the world '', he pointed out and then wished for everyone to enjoy this year's Festival.
The opening ceremony was completed with the presentation of the 14 films of the international competition section and the members of the jury.
Daren Aronofsky's latest film, ‘The Wrestler', was screened after the ceremony. The director was introduced to the Greek audience back in 1998 at the 39th TIFF when his first film ‘π' was received with great success and earned the FIPRESCI award. ‘The Wrestler' has been also awarded with the Golden Lion of the Festival of Venice.

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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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