23rd ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AIFF.GR

Everything you need to know about the 23rd Athens International Film Festival!

The city of Athens' beloved autumn film date will take place from the 20th September to the 1st October at the usual cinemas DANAOS 1& 2, ODEON OPERA 1 & 2, IDEAL as well as the ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE and the Athens Concert Hall. The programme contains 108 full feature films, 57 short films and 3 competitive sections

On Wednesday the 13th September a Press Conference was given for the 23rd Athens International Film Festival in the function room of the Friends of Music society of the Athens Concert Hall where festival side events will also be taking place.

Loukas Katsikas, the Festival's Artistic Director and Alexandros Harkiolakis, Chairman of the Friends of Music society were there to welcome all those who attended the Press Conference.

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Before announcing the programme for the 23rd Athens International Film Festival, the Festival's Artistic Director, Loukas Katsikas, bid a warm farewell to the 7th Athens Open Air Film Festival and expressed his joy at how well-attended each screening of the festival has been. He also extended his profound thanks to the City of Athens Cultural, Sport and Youth Organisation for helping co-organise the Festival. Ms Larisa Vergou, member of the Board of Directors of the organisation  had this to say: “ It is [the Organisation's] aim make use of the various city venues for free of charge events and the Athens Open Air Film Festival achieves this in a great cinematic way. We would also like to thank the Athens International Film Festival for its support of Greek film”.

Moving on, Mr Katsikas gave a detailed presentation of this year's programme, introducing the jury members who will determine the Festival winners, presenting the tributes and Festival sections as well as announcing new collaborations for the 23rd organisation of the Festival  with two of our favourite domestic festivals,  Animasyros and Ethnofest.  Mr Vasilis Karamitsanis (Director of Animasyros) and  Mr Christos Varvantakis ( Head of Programming of Ethnofest) were called up to the microphone to say a few words. Other collaborators mentioned were the Movement of Artists with Disabilities who help make screenings accessible, The Greek Film Centre who will be funding this year's Award for Best Greek Short Film, POPCODE who will be handing out the Audience Award of the International Competition and the Hellenic Film Academy with whom we will be presenting trailers of new upcoming Greek Films at a special event.

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Mr Katsikas went on to speak in detail about the Tributes, the guests, the side events and parties included in this year's festival, as well as the screening of the documentary SEA SORROW, in attendance of Vanessa Redgrave which will take place at the Athens Concert Hall and the proceeds of which will go to “Doctors Without Borders” and “Safe Passage”.

Before wishing everyone a “Joyous Festival”, Mr Katsikas concluded the presentation by extending his heartfelt thanks to the festival's partners and sponsors such as COSMOTE TV (Main Sponsor), ATTIKI ODOS (Main Supporter), Jameson (Events Supporter), BEAT (Transportation Sponsor), Viva.gr and Viva Wallet, TGI Friday's, Zolotas, distributors ( AMA FILMS, DANAOS FILMS, FEELGOOD ENTERTAINMENT, FILMTRADE, ODEON, ROSEBUD 21, SEVEN FILMS, SPENTZOS FILMS, STRADA FILMS, TANWEER, UIP, WEIRD WAVE), Aegean Omiros College for their hospitality of the Press Office and  the Deputy Economy, Development and Tourism Minister Alexis Haritsis,  responsible for the NSRF  programmes and the Attica district.

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In-depth details of the 23rd Athens  International Film Festival can be found below.

The city of Athens' beloved autumn film date will take place from the 20th September to the 1st October at the usual cinemas DANAOS 1& 2, ODEON OPERA 1 & 2, IDEAL as well as the ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE and the Athens Concert Hall.

The programme contains 108 full feature films, 57 short films and 3 competitive sections:

The International Competition section contains 10 films each of which constitutes the filmmaker's first or second directorial effort and all of which will be competing for the Golden Athena Award as well as all other awards of this section such as the Audience Award sponsored, this year,  by Popcode powered by Oneman.gr 

The Jury of the International Competition section who will give out the awards is made up of experienced and recognised professionals of the film sector.

Kerem Ayam, Director of the Istanbul Film Festival, will be president of the jury which will also contain the following: Doris Kuhn – film critic for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Jasmin Basic – film historian and programmer, Giona Nazzaro from the Venice International Film Critics' Week and Alex Ritman – the UK Correspondent for the Hollywood Reporter.

The Music & Film Competition section contains 8 music documentaries which shed light on the lives and careers of notable artists and examine various music genres and trends which defined the global music culture. The winner of the Golden Athena Best Music & Film Award will be decided on by yet another international jury made up of significant representatives of the Music and Cinema field. Tim Stevens, head of production at the British Film Institute, will be president while other members include the distinguished Andy McCluskey, singer and base player of the synth pop pioneers OMD, Uli Schüppel, director and producer, Sergi Steegmann from the international film sales company The Match Factory and our very own Nalyssa Green, composer and singer.
 
It should be noted that on the occasion of the participation of the film Lost in France in the Music & Film Competition section, Stuart Braithwaite, the frontman of the Scottish rockers Mogwai, will attend the screening and also play a DJ Set at the after-party at Barrett.
 
GREEK FILM AT THE ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Last, but not least is the Greek Short Stories section which holds a special place in our hearts. Out of almost 200 films, 44 were chosen to compete for the 6 prizes in the section, with the Best Film Award also earning the winner 2000 Euros courtesy of the Greek Film Centre. The jury to decide the winners will be comprised of Giorgos Zois (director) and President of the jury, Eva Stefani (director, assistant Professor at the Theatre Studies department at the University of Athens), Kallia Papadaki (author, scriptwriter), Robbie Eksiel (film critic) and Evaggelia Andreadaki (actor). Panos Gkenas, festival partner and Head of this Greek Short Stories section, presented the complete list of competing films.

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In keeping with the tradition of recent years the Athens International Film Festival will be organizing the Best Newcomers Award Ceremony for Greek filmmakers and actors, which will take place on Monday 25th September at DANAOS 1. This year's jury is made up of:  its president Maria Hatzakou – producer, Christina Moumouri – Director of Photography, Marina Tsiklitira – film critic,  Ektoras Lygizos  - director and Kostis Maraveyas – songwriter and composer.

Following the award ceremony, the film “Konstantinos Τzoumas: An actor by nature” will be screened in the presence of the cast and crew. The evening,  dedicated to Greek film, will conclude with the Greek Film Party at Metallourgeio on 127 Pireos, where the Hellenic Film Academy will present trailers of Greek films from the upcoming 2017 -2018 season.

COLLABORATIONS

Given the festival's history of great collaborations, It is with great pleasure that we announce two new collaborations with two of our favourite domestic festivals, the Animasyros International Animation Festival + Agora and the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival – Ethnofest.

ANIMASYROS

The festival has organised a special screening of the animated film MY ENTIRE HIGHSCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA with the voices of Susan Sarandon and Jason Schwartzman as well as a screening of a multidimensional artistic event titled BLU which will take place at the Onassis Cultural Centre. The BLU event is curated by six impossible wishes (run by the young and talented Anastasia Terzidou and Rafaela Karagianni) and includes eleven short films about Greece and Italy. 

More here.

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From the short film CIEL from the BLU event.​

ETHNOFEST

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned anthropologist and significant representative of ethnographic film, Jean Rouch,  Ethnofest and the Athens International Film Festival will present the film  "Hunting the Lion with Bow and Arrow" , 50 years after its first screening now to be presented in a digitally remastered version.  The film will be introduced by anthropologist Konstantinos Aivaliotis.

More here.

"Hunting the Lion with Bow and Arrow" (1965)​

TRIBUTES

“Nothing About Us Without Us”, Cinema and Disability

For the second time since the beginning of the Festival, the 23rd Athens International Film Festival will be including a special section titled “Nothing About Us Without Us”, Cinema and Disability in collaboration with the Movement of Artists with Disabilities  to take place at the Onassis Cultural Centre from the 21st September to the 24th September. All screenings will be accessible and entry will be free of charge.

This section is made possible through the operational programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning” and is co-funded by the European Social Fund and national sources.

It all comes under the National Strategic Reference Framework operational programme which deals with education and employment. Some of the aims of this effort are:

- to  develop and make use of the country's human resources
- to improve the quality of education, lifelong learning and to raise awareness about environmental education.
- to bridge education with the job market and
- to strengthen social tolerance and integrate vulnerable social groups
 
This tribute is organised within the context of a series of anniversary events for the European Social Fund's 60 year anniversary.
 
Through the “Nothing About Us Without Us” tribute, special emphasis is placed on the way film approaches the subject of disability.
The Athens International Film Festival opens a window into a different reality keeping in mind the self-evident right that people with disabilities possess to an equal-opportunity society; a right to move around the city, to work and create and watch films in the same cinemas as everyone else.
 
It is with all the above in mind that we present four classic films about disability as well as four films  never before screened in Greece.
 
The screenings will be followed by open discussions with concurrent interpretation in the Greek Sign Language and Lip Reading.
 
The Festival continues a tradition it started two years ago with the screenings of the films “ Little England” and “The Sentimentalists” with audio description.
 
This year, aside from the screening of Mary Hatzimihali-Papaliou's “Struggle of the Blind” the Festival, in collaboration with the Movement of Artists with Disabilities, will be offering an audio description for a foreign film, for the first time in Greece. The film in question is “Miracle Worker”. This will significantly increase accessibility to the cinema for people who are visually impaired. 

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The tribute's poster​.

“The Geography of Lust” - a Claire Denis RETROSPECTIVE 

This is a tribute we have been yearning to host for years, in honour of our beloved filmmaker, which will feature 12 of the director's films including her most recent film titled “Let the Sun Shine In” with Juliette Binoche, to be screened on Francophone Day TV5 Monde, on the 29th September in attendance of the actress Sandrine Dumas.

The film will be released in cinemas by Filmtrade.

See the details of the retrospective here.

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“Let the Sun Shine In” (2017​)

“Beautiful Losers: The anti-hero films of John Huston” TRIBUTE 

The tribute will include 11 films by the great American filmmaker in digitally remastered version and 35 mm presentation. The screening of the film “The Dead” is dedicated to Mpampis Aktsoglou, film critic for CINEMA magazine and Athinorama, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his death.

Read more here

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«The Misfits» (1961)

Spotlight on Robin Campillo

A spotlight on the up-and-coming French director who brought a tear to Pedro Almodóvar's eye, president of the jury at the recent Cannes Film Festival, with the film “120 Beats per Minute”, which will be screened at the Greek premiere of the film in attendance of the director Robin Campillo and the leading man Arnaud Valois.

Read more here.

«120 Beats per Minute» (2017)

Screening of Vanessa Redgrave's SEA SORROW, attended by the director herself.
 
The proceeds from this screening will be given to the humanitarian organisations “Doctors Without Borders” and “Safe Passage”.
 
Tickets for the screening:  tickets can be purchased online via Viva.gr and at the following points of sale:
 
- at the festival's collaborating cinemas Danaos 1&2 (Kifisias & Panormou), Opera 1&2 (57 Akadimias) and Ideal (46 Panepistimiou).  The purchase of tickets at these venues can be completed in cash or through the use of a credit /debit card.
- At the festival's Press Office, located at Aegean Omiros College (17 Panepistimiou, ground floor). Please note, tickets can only be purchased using a credit/debit card and only during the following hours: 11 am to 6 pm.
 
NB: Please note tickets to this screening can NOT be purchased at the Athens Concert Hall. Holders of the 10-screening and 20-screening passes can not gain entry to this special screening using their passes.
 
On Thursday the 21st September a Press Conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Park Hotel at 17:30.
 
Read more here.

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Vanessa Redgrave ​

OPENING FILM | WONDERSTRUCK
by Todd Haynes
 
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 premiere of the film will take place on Wednesday 21st September at the Athens Concert Hall with the support of the distribution company Seven Films.
 
See more here.

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«Wonderstruck» (2017)

CLOSING FILM | THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
by Aki Kaurismäki

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.  Won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Festival.

The film will be screened on Saturday the 30th September at IDEAL cinema with the support of the distribution company AMA Films.

Read more here.

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«The Other Side of Hope» (2017)

The short film 8th CONTINENT by Georgios Zois will precede the screening. On a mountain on Lesbos there is an abandoned landfill with two large craters. The craters are overflowing with life jackets that wash up on land. A worker is the sole resident of this forsaken place which resembles an alien planet. In attendance of the cast and crew.

FESTIVAL SECTIONS – FILMS

DOCUMENTARY – STRANGER THAN FICTION

Amazing every-day stories, which could make even the most talented of scriptwriters envious, and revealing  glances into contemporary reality, all packed into these cinematic experiences.

AFTER HOURS

An open invitation to all night owl film buffs which promises a series of suspenseful, late night screenings. 

It is worth mentioning that the highly-anticipated horror film IT, directed by Andrés Muschietti is included in this section.  A few months after their friend's disappearance, a group of kids come together against an age-old monster who haunts the dreams of young and old in the form of a terrifying clown. One of Stephen King's best novels comes to life on the big screen, making it the most anticipated horror film of the year,. You will have the opportunity to watch its Greek premiere during the 23rd Athens International Film Festival. 

The film will be released in cinemas by Tanweer.

We are happy to announce that for the second year running and in collaboration with Beat our after-hours viewers will have the ability to use the Beat taxi service along with coupons entitling them to a free ride home.

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«It» (2017)

FESTIVAL DARLINGS

This section is made up of both undiscovered film gems as well as some of the most important international productions, which have earned awards at major festivals and have garnered the attention of filmgoers around the world. You'll be aware of most of the titles in this section as they have already been announced, however we have a couple of surprises for you.

Here is a taste of some of the exceptional films on offer in the Festival Darlings section!

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
by Luca Guadagnino

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.

The film will be release in Greece by Feelgood Entertainment.

«Call Me by Your Name» (2017)

A FANTASTIC WOMAN
by Sebastián Lelio

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.

The film will be released by Strada Films and Seven Films.

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«A Fantastic Woman» (2017)

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
by  Lynne Ramsay

The director will attend the screening and we will be especially happy to have her with us!!

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. 

The film will be released in cinemas by Seven Films.

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«You Were Never Really Here» (2017)

HAPPY END 
by Michael Haneke

At this year's Athens International Film Festival you will have the opportunity to watch, fresh from the Cannes Film Festival,  the most recent film by Michael Haneke, the great Austrian director.

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.

The film will be released by Rosebud21.

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«Happy End» (2017)

MOTHER!
by Darren Aronofsky

The Athens International Film Festival loves its audience and so Darren Aronofsky's new film is our gift to you! Following the sensation it caused at the recent Venice International Film Festival, “Mother!” comes to us for a single screening. Entry will be by invitation only, courtesy of cinemagazine.gr!

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.

The screening will  take place on Monday the 2nd October at DANAOS 1 cinema.

Further info at: www.cinemagazine.gr

The film will be released by UIP.

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«mother!» (2017)

TICKET PRICES THE SAME AS LAST YEAR – COLLABORATION with VIVA.GR

5 Euros for screenings until 19:55
6 Euros for screenings from 20:00 onwards

ACCESSIBILITY

The Athens International Film Festival will continue to try and be as accessible as possible in collaboration with the Movement of Artists with Disabilities and these efforts will extend to the Festival's content. On the film programme you will find specific symbols indicating films which will be screened with Greek subtitles, Greek subtitles for the hard-of-hearing and audio description.

Furthermore, the Festival's opening and closing ceremony will be interpreted into the Greek sign language. Entry to viewers with disabilities will be free and on the Festival's initiative, all screenings at IDEAL and DANAOS 1 will remain accessible for viewers with disabilities throughout the Festival's duration.

Continuing with last year's initiative, viewers with disabilities will be able gain free entry to 5 films of their choice by obtaining a 5-screening pass. Guide dogs will also be welcome.

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You can find the detailed programme of the 23rd Athens International Film Festival at http://en.aiff.gr/

 

See you at the screenings!

The Main Sponsor of the 23rd Athens International Film Festival is COSMOTE TV.

The 23rd Athens International Film Festival is affiliated with the PEP Attiki 2014 – 2020 and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.