Athens International Film Festival
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Opening Ceremony of the 27th Athens International Film Festival

With the moto “a festival return to normality” and a festive and touching atmosphere, the opening ceremony of the 27th Athens International Film Festival took place on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 at the Athens Concert Hall lead by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas and in the presence of the Chair of the  Athens Film Society, Maria Bobola.

With the moto “a festival return to normality” and a festive and touching atmosphere, the opening ceremony of the 27th Athens International Film Festival took place on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 at the Athens Concert Hall lead by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas and in the presence of the Chair of the  Athens Film Society, Maria Bobola.

The Artistic Director of the Athens International Film Festival welcomed the audience by saying that "for the first time in two years we have gathered together at an indoor venue, in front of a big screen, to enjoy a film once more". He then invited "the best suited person to announce the start of the Festival, the first citizen of Athens", the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, who expressed his joy for "meeting again after two years, having discovered that nothing should be taken for granted and I would like to personally congratulate the team and collaborators of the AIFF who have been making this wonderful festival a reality for the past 27 years". He went on to reiterate his commitment to promote cinematic activity in Athens and made reference to the operation of the Athens Film Office, the reopening of the historic AB cinema in Patisia while also announcing that the Festival’s original home, “cinemas ATTIKON and APOLLON will once more open their doors to the public during the winter so that we can relive the unique experience of enjoying film in these venues”. The Mayor ended his speech with his wish to one day celebrate the AIFF “for its 40th, 50th and 60th edition!”.


The Mayor of Athens , Kostas Bakoyannis

Honouring the Festival with their presence were a number of distinguished guests from the political, business and artistic sectors, such as the British Ambassador to Greece, Matthew Lodge, the actress and member of the Jury of the Festival’s International Competition Section, Maria Nafpliotou, the CEO of ERT, George Gabritsos, the Director of the Athens Film Office, Stathis Kalogeropoulos, the CEO of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (EATA), Vagelis Vlachos, the Chair of the Board of Directors of "ELEVSIS 2023 - European Capital of Culture”, Despina Geroulanou, the Cultural Advisor to the Mayor of Athens, Katerina Koskina, the Director of Promotion (Hellas Film) of the Greek Film Centre, Athena Kalkopoulou, the Marketing Director of the Athenian Brewery, Thanassis Spyridonis, the Director and Chair of the Hellenic Film Academy, Yorgos Tsemberopoulos, the Artistic Director of the Municipal Theater of Piraeus, Lefteris Giovanidis, the Director of Ethnofest, Konstantinos Aivaliotis, the Director of MARNI Films, Theodora Valenti, the director and President of the Jury for the International Competition, Babis Makridis, the director and President of the Jury for the Greek Short Stories - In Competition section, Sofia Exarchou and fellow Jury member and director, Neritan Zinxhiria, the director and President of the Jury for the International Documentary Competition, Marco Gastine and directors Nikos Perakis, Maria Hatzakou, Aliki Danezi-Knutsen, Georgis Grigorakis, Paola Revenioti, Stavros Psyllakis, Nikos Skarentzos, Elina Psykou, Menelaos Karamaghiolis, Christos Nikou and Memi Koupa and the actors Themis Bazaka, Zeta Douka, Tonia Sotiropoulou, Ioanna Triantafyllidou, Christos Stergioglou and Penelope Tsilika, the film critics Michel Dimopoulos and Thodoris Koutsogiannopoulos, journalist Natalia Argyraki and painter Dimitris Alithinos.

 

The Chair of the AFS, Maria Bobola, the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis,  the Festival’s Managing Director Tatiana Pappa and the Festival’s Artistic  Director Loukas Katsikas

The Festival’s Communications Coordinator Maria Nathanael with the CEO of EATA Vagelis Vlachos, the Festival’s Managing Director Tatiana Pappa , the Director of Hellas Film Office, Stathis Kalogeropoulos and the Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas

Actors  Ioanna Triantafyllidou, Themis Bazaka, Maria Nafpliotou  with the Festival’s Artistic  Director, Loukas Katsikas and the Festival’s Managing Director, Tatiana Pappa 

     The Festival’s Communications Coordinator Maria Nathanael with the director and Chair of the Hellenic Film Academy, Yorgos Tsemberopoulos and his daughter

 

The Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas, with the Athenian Brewery team

The Artistic Director of the MTP, Lefteris Giovanidis and Xenia Kolaith with Loukas Katsikas.

   

 Actros Zeta Douka & Maria                   Maria Nathanael & director                      Actors Ioanna Triantafyllidou & 

Nafpliotou                                                       Marco Gastine                                              Maria Nafpliotou

 

The Festival's Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas, the Director Promotion (Hellas Film) of GFC, Athena Kalkopoulou and the Festival's Managing Director, Tatiana Pappa

The Chair of the AFS, Maria Bombola, the Chair of the Board of Directors of "ELEVSIS 2023", Despina Geroulanou and the Festival's Managing Director, Tatiana Pappa.

The Founder of the NGO "Mission Anthropos", Hypatia Doussi-Anagnostopoulou and her husband, Lambros Anagnostopoulos, Chair of the AFS, Maria Bombola, e Festival's Managing Director, Tatiana Pappa and the Director of the ACH, Zenia Kerasidou

The Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis with  his  Cultural Advisor, Katerina Koskina

The Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas with the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis

Loukas Katsikas warmly thanked the Mayor and the Athens Concert Hall for their hospitality as well as the Regional Authority of Attica, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture & Sports for their invaluable support in realising this year’s event as well as the City of Athens Cultural, Sport and Youth Organisation (OPANDA) for the ongoing and long-standing support to the Festival. He expressed his hope that the State would continue to act as protector of the country’s cultural institutions.

He also thanked, for their undivided support, the Sponsor of the Audience Award Fischer, the Events Supporter Jameson, the Sponsor of the Main Festival Tribute on Orson Welles ZAGORI Go Green Sparkling, the Air Travel Sponsor Aegean Airlines and all of the supporters, the Embassies and Institutes, the various cultural and non-cultural institutions, the film distribution companies and all the collaborators helping once more to ensure that the Athens International Film Festival is run successfully for yet another year, thus being able to openly offer high-quality film and cultural events for both domestic and international audiences.

We would like to note that all health protocols regarding social distancing and reduced venue capacity have been strictly observed following a mixed audience model.

 

Before wishing everyone “a Good Festival, hope, trust and a great cinematic season with full venues”, the Festival’s Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas, shared the thoughts behind this year’s event with the audience:

“In life you have to believe in something. You may even devote yourself to that ‘something’, which only you can define, feel and understand. You don’t need words to explain it, it’s enough that it shakes you in a most amazing way. Ever since I was little I was in awe of cinema. I was still a child when I first sensed the mysterious ‘calling’ of this spectacular medium, dream-like and immensely transcendental, and so I decided to blindly follow it, knowing instinctively that wherever it may take me, whatever the destination, I will always be  safe. I’ll be on the right road. I use myself as an example, happily aware that, as it turned out, in this private ritual of worship, I was never truly alone. Throughout the years, film has brought me in touch with countless other  ‘followers’, precious fellow travellers who, much like the heroes of Spielberg’s ‘Encounters of a Close Kind’  (a deeply religious film), also followed that strange ‘calling’ and decided to investigate it, to see where it came from and where it promised to take them. At this point, I would like to say a few words about our ‘religion’. Directors  are our saints, films our holy scriptures and cinemas our places of worship. This year, the return to cinemas (and the restoration of the incomparable experience of watching films in them) is our paramount aim and so the 27th Athens International Film Festival wholeheartedly invites you, now more than ever, to celebrate (within) the temples of great cinematic Mysteries. You are welcome one and all”.

Loukas Katsikas


The 27th Athens International Film Festival commenced with the Greek premiere of “A HERO”, a film honoured with awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival by the two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”, “The Salesman”).

We would like to thank SPENTZOS Film for kindly allowing us to screen the film.

The curtains will fall on the event on Saturday 2nd October at IDEAL with the Closing ceremony and the Presentation of Awards for the competition sections of the 27th Athens International Film Festival and with the Greek premiere of the film DUNE by Denis Villeneuve.

We would like to thank TANWEER  for kindly allowing us to screen the film.

We would like to remind you that on Sunday 26th September the jewel of a building that is the Municipal Theatre of Piraeus will be added to the list of Festival venues and will host two special Greek premieres from this year’s programme: the touching, suitable for all and heavily applauded at Cannes WHERE IS ANNA FRANK, which is the latest masterpiece by the award-winning Ari Folman (“Waltz with Bashir”), and LEAVE NO TRACES which was recently in competition, vying for the Golden Lion of the Venice International Film Festival.

The Festival PROGRAMME can be found HERE.
The promotional SPOT of the 27th event, created by TROUT, can be seen HERE! .
To purchase tickets online click here .
For the online screenings of the 27th AIFF visit  online.aiff.gr
You can find the detailed programme of the 27th Athens International Film Festival here: www.aiff.gr.

Please note that ticket presales (from www.aiff.gr and www.viva.gr and at physical points of sale) as well as the sale of film passes continue.

HYBRID VERSION OF THE 27TH ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

The city’s most important celebration, the Athens International Film Festival returns for the 27th year, optimistic and fully adapted to the new conditions, repeating the successful hybrid version of last year’s event, making itself accessible to as many viewers as possible.

The 27th AIFF will take place in the following indoor venues: ATHENS CONCERT HALL, IDEAL, DANAOS and TRIANON and for the first time at the MUNICIPAL THEATRE OF PIRAEUS as well as at the open air cinemas LAIS - The Greek Film Archive Foundation, RIVIERA, FLERY CINEMA and STELLA.

At the indoor venues (Athens Concert Hall, Danaos, Ideal, Trianon, Municipal Theatre of Athens) in accordance with the current health protocols, admission will be allowed to those who:

are vaccinated

were diagnosed with Covid-19  (the diagnosis must have been made in the last 6 months) 

who have received a negative rapid antigen test in the last 48 hours, in the event that they have not been vaccinated. 

Viewers will  be admitted with the following: 
a valid ticket
a vaccination / recovery certificate or the negative rapid antigen test result 
proof of identity via ID card, passport or driving license. 

Furthermore, for the added safety of our viewers, in collaboration with Festival Scope and Shift 72, the 27th Athens International Film Festival supplements its programme with a series of special screenings via a purpose-built digital platform (online.aiff.gr) where viewers  will be able to enjoy films from the comfort of their homes, throughout Greece.

More specifically, the digital platform is included in this year’s event for viewers (medically vulnerable, caretakers or other people who work in close proximity to medically vulnerable people,  etc.) who would not otherwise be able to attend screenings, by securing a certain number of geo-blocked screenings, adhering to all safety standards and to a high level of digital interaction matching the standards successfully set by  major international festivals.

The 27th Athens International Film Festival will take place between 22nd September and the 3rd October 2021.

For updates and more information tune into the sites of aiff.gr and cinemagazine.gr and the relevant social media pages: Facebook AIFF, Instagram, Twitter.  

The 27th Athens International Film Festival is affiliated with the PEP Attiki 2014 – 2020 and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 

The 27th Athens International Film Festival takes place under the auspices of and with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.



    Publication date: 2021-09-23 17:01:22

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