23rd ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AIFF.GR
  • Festival Darlings

    The most important international and European productions, which have been distinguished in major festivals and have piqued the interest of filmgoers all over the world, as well as new discoveries. Films which deal with contemporary issues, analyze big social and political problems, explore new narrative routes and experiment aesthetically. In this section, you also find the most interesting big­budget productions of the coming season. Films that will monopolise the attention of the media, run for Academy Awards and make big cash at the box office.

  • Wonderstruck (Opening Film)

    Two young children from different times, a city that will join their destinies, a beautiful fairytale for all those struggling to find where they belong and who are seeking for love; all this from the magnificent director of “Carol”. This magical film titled “Wonderstruck” will steal your hearts and is considered a favourite in the upcoming Academy Awards.

  • The Other Side of Hope / Toivon Tuolla Puolen (Closing Film)

    A Syrian immigrant escapes from the refugee accommodation centre where he is being held. A Finnish merchant leaves his old life behind to open a restaurant. Two men, who have both left their homes for different reasons, meet and it changes their lives forever. Aki Kaurismäki sees “The Other Side of Hope” as he euphorically broaches a hot political matter and succeeds in reminding us of such self-evident values as solidarity, companionship and love between people.

  • A Man of Integrity / Lerd

    A quiet family man sees his life and small business become the target of a business group with strong ties in government which tries to impede any activity it doesn't control. In Rasoulof's hands, this quintessential battle of a single man against a corrupt system is transformed into an exemplary drama. The film was recently honoured with the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Antonio One Two Three / Antonio Um Dois Tres

    A postmodern adaptation of Dostoevsky' s “White Nights”, this charming debut by the 26 year old Brazilian director blurs the limits of reality and fantasy following Antonio at three different crossroads in his life. Lost loves, hardship and the loneliness of a big city leave their mark on a 20-year old man who is trying to make ends meet in modern-day Lisbon. Director in attendance

  • Beauty and the Dogs / Aala Kaf Ifrit

    Mariam starts her night at a carefree party with friends but as the night progresses she finds herself living a Kafkaesque nightmare as the 21 year-old tries to convince the authorities that she has fallen victim to sexual abuse by a group of police officers. An emotionally charged film, based on real events, with political connotations and a message for rape awareness as the protagonist's appeal for truth and justice take on the dimensions of an ongoing fight that any woman ought to engage in against rape culture.

  • Call Me by Your Name

    The result of a screenplay collaboration between the highly sought after director of “I Am Love” and the revered filmmaker, James Ivory of “Room with a View” and “The Remains of the Day”, is probably the best film of the year. As a restless 17 year old discovers love, during an idyllic summer in the Italian countryside, Guadagnino succeeds in transforming a sweet love story into an instant classic with the power to touch millions of viewers.

  • Close-Knit / Karera ga honki de amu toki wa

    11-year old Tomo finds refuge at her uncle's house where he lives with Rinko, his transexual companion, after her mother abandons her. As Rinko initiates Tomo into the mysticism of knitting, a new loving family is born. The director of “Rent-a- Cat” offers up yet another ode to optimism where love overcomes all prejudice in this little gem dominated by pastel colours. Winner of the Teddy Jury Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

  • Gemini

    A crime at the heart of Hollywood implicates the assistant of an up-and- coming star in a messy case. With all suspicion falling on her, she decides to ignore the police investigation and solve the mystery herself. Setting his neo-noir film in a world where nothing is as it seems, Katz captivates his audience with a seductive cinematic puzzle which isn't necessarily meant to be solved but to be enjoyed.

  • Happy End

    The director of “The White Ribbon” and “Amour” investigates the secrets of a wealthy French family, the members of which are being recklessly dishonest with each other. One by one, the truths are uncovered as the director reveals a dark network of desperation and alienation which spreads its roots from one generation to the next. Haneke doesn' t expect the viewer to like his characters and doesn' t offer the relief of a satisfying ending. He makes one thing clear: If you like happy endings get ready to be unpleasantly surprised.

  • If You Saw His Heart / Si tu Voyais son Coeur

    After the death of his best friend, for which he may even be responsible, Daniel finds refuge in a hotel for lost souls and gradually slips into the world of crime. But then he meets the beautiful Francine and tries to imagine a better life for the two of them. Gael García Bernal and Marine Vacth are the photogenic protagonists of a modern noir, which is one of the most notable directorial debuts of the year.

  • Jupiter''s Moon / Jupiter Holdja

    Not only does a young Syrian immigrant not die, following a deadly altercation with the police at Hungary' s border, but he finds himself possessing supernatural powers. The director of the triumphant “White God” offers up European' s answer to action-packed Hollywood Blockbusters, combining a sensational show of craftsmanship with paranormal allegory and the current sociopolitical reality.

  • Lane 1974

    The utopia of the 60s may well and truly be over, however, an unrelenting hippie and mother of three continues to move from commune to commune. Her 13-year old daughter wants to put an end to this ongoing journey at any cost. This unpretentious coming-of- age story, based on real-life events, and infused with Californian sunlight won the New American Cinema Competition award at the Seattle International Film Festival.

  • Life of Significant Soil

    Addison and Conor, a young New York couple, find themselves trapped in their own “Groundhog Day” when they realise that they are reliving the end of their relationship time and time again. A look at modern-day relationships, which as time goes by becomes all the more familiar through the naturalistic view of a truly independent filmmaker. Director in attendance

  • Loveless / Nelyubov

    Boris and Zhenya clash over the custody of their twelve-year old son, only they are both trying to get rid of him because they are incapable of bringing him up. Upon realising that the young boy is missing they go to the authorities to help find him. What starts off as a Bergmanesque family drama is artfully transformed, by the director of “Leviathan”, into a slow-burning mystery thriller through which Zvyagintsev expresses his dissatisfaction with modern day Russia. Won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Manifesto

    Cate Blachett's devastating one woman show through her portrayal of 13 decisively different characters becomes the perfect canvas for German artist and director, Julian Rosefeldt, to imprint his overturning exposition. The boundaries and essence of art, the creator's responsibility towards society as well as the notions which help form present-day culture are the leading elements in this wild ideological collage.

  • Most Beautiful Island

    While trying to survive in the inhospitable environment of New York, Luciana agrees to attend a cocktail party for a generous fee. What she doesn't know yet is that she will soon take part in a twisted game or life and death. Asensio is the director, scriptwriter and protagonist of this savage walk on the dark side; she combines dreams with the nightmares of the unrelenting metropolis in a debut which skilfully messes with the audience's expectations while deftly paying tribute to Polanski. SXSW Grand Jury Award.

  • mother!

    Uninvited guests upset Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem's daily routine, putting a strain on their relationship. With evident references to Polanski's psychological thrillers, Darren Aronofsky balances between devotion and insanity and returns, with the help of a glamorous cast, back to the chilling starting point that defined his career. Entry by invitation only

  • Mrs. Hyde / Madame Hyde

    Provocative roles are child's play for the insuperable Isabelle Huppert, who won the Best Actress Award at the Locarno International Film Festival, playing two opposing personalities of an eccentric teacher, which emerge after she is struck by lighting. A modern-day and utterly amusing version of the classic “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”.

  • Pop Aye

    A middle-aged architect, an elephant and some of the most eccentric figures anyone could ever expect to meet in exotic Thailand are the protagonists of the most affectionate road movie of the year. But most of all the film, which won the Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival, is characterised by the nostalgia for a childhood innocence which is long gone.

  • Princess Cyd

    With summer just around the corner a beautiful teenager suddenly finds herself in Chicago staying with her aunt who is an author leading a Bohemian lifestyle. As the girl experiences the first pangs of love and comes into contact with the strange world of discovery and awakening the two women go from liking to loving each other deeply. A tender coming-of- age story, this full-hearted film talks about two charming, contradictory and unpredictable characters. In other words two very real women.

  • Pure Hearts / Cuori Puri

    Brought up in a religious environment, 17-year old Agnese is determined to take an oath of chastity but her plans go awry when she meets Stefano. A harsh yet romantic directorial debut, situated on the outskirts of modern-day Rome, about the excesses of a generation that lives tenaciously and impulsively in the face of constant failure.

  • Rebel in the Rye

    In 1951 J.D. Salinger published “The Catcher in the Rye”. The ambitious young author had to go through the loss of love, a series of failures, a world war and a long-term nervous breakdown before writing one of the greatest works of literature in the world. Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey and Sarah Paulson star in the film.

  • The Desert Bride / La Novia del Desierto

    A lonely and distressed woman accepts the help of a kind vagabond to find her lost bag. As they wander through the Argentinian desert, repressed desires awaken and the journey, with an uncertain destination, turns into a journey to freedom. The award winning Paulina Garcia of “Gloria” fame, is very precise in her portrayal of a woman finding unexpected love in a sweet road trip of self-discovery. Attiki Odos recommends this film and hopes you enjoy the Festival and travel safely.

  • The Florida Project

    In the shadow of Disneyland's Magic Kingdom, a group of youngsters disrupt the lives of the residents of a cheap motel with their shenanigans adding some colour to their otherwise mundane lives. Following the triumph of “Tangerine” the boy wonder of American independent cinema sets sail for the Oscars, with the help of a brilliant Willem Dafoe on his side and introducing the inconceivably talented Brooklynn Prince. An exemplary cinematic specimen of social realism which is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.

  • The Nile Hilton Incident

    Just before the dawn of the Arab Spring, a corrupt Egyptian police inspector is tasked with the investigation of the murder of a famous singer at the luxurious Nile Hilton hotel. The investigation comes to a stop when all evidence points to the President's friend. The police inspector is determined that justice be served at the same time that a revolution breaks out in his country. Tarik Saleh's riveting crime thriller, a film noir set in the dark back alleys of Cairo, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

  • The Workshop / L’ Atelier

    An established author takes on a summer workshop tutoring unemployed youth of a beach-side town and comes against a confrontational young man with possible right-wing tendencies who also happens to be her best student. With the help of a script written by Robin Campillo, the director of “The Class”, winner of the Palme d' Or, combines a psychological thriller with a small scale model of the political and social tensions which unite and divide modern-day France.

  • Thelma

    Thelma leaves her religious home to study in Oslo and falls in love with a fellow female student while at the same time trying to master her frightening supernatural powers. De Palma' s “Carrie” meets Dreyer' s “Day of Wrath” in the most daring film by one of the most interesting European directors responsible for the award winning “Oslo, August 31st ” and “Reprise”.

  • A Fantastic Woman / Una Mujer Fantastica

    After the sudden death of her partner, Marina must deal with his family's unwillingness to let her mourn along with them. Why? Because Marina is a transexual. Sebastián Lelio, director of the award-winning “Gloria”, uses Daniela Vega's fiery temperament to tease taboos in this Almodóvar- like ode to diversity. It won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival, produced by Maren Ade and Pablo Larraín. Leading actress Daniela Vega in attendance

  • You Were Never Really Here

    An introverted veteran marine takes on the task of rescuing the underage daughter of a senator only to find himself involved in a lethal network of political corruption. One of the most significant female directors of contemporary cinema, Lynne Ramsay, offers up a bloody thriller about an unredeemable exterminating angel, bringing to mind glorious films of the 70s such as Scorsese' s “Taxi Driver” and Paul Schrader's “Hardcore”. The film won the award for best Screenplay and Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for the minimalistic yet explosive performance by Joaquin Phoenix. Director in attendance