Athens International Film Festival
  • 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.

  • Julieta (opening film)

    The chance encounter of a 50-year-old teacher with an old acquaintance will lead to the awakening of long-hidden ghosts from her past and urge her to sort out unsolved mysteries, open wounds and pending affairs of the heart about the man she loved, the daughter she brought into the world, her own parents and herself. A hymn to female nature from a director who has always used his films to pay tribute to the women in his life and his mind.

  • Elle (closing film)

    After a violent assault from a stranger, a woman starts inventing surprising ways of taking the law into her own hands and turning herself into an offender. Paul Verhoeven's scandalous and sufficiently kinky return to directing is the exciting distillation of a partnership between a filmmaker who's not easily bullied, an actress who doesn't shy away from a challenge (Isabelle Huppert) and an enjoyably amoralistic story who loves to make its audience squirm.

  • The Handmaiden

    A young maid is sent to the mansion of a Japanese noblewoman in order to seduce her. The red-hot passion that erupts between them, threatens the plans of the man masterminding the operation. The virtuosic director of "Oldboy" masterfully envelops the best erotic thriller of the year with intriguing mystery, daring lesbian love scenes, metaphysical hints and unbelievable directorial prowess.

  • All These Sleepless Nights

    Two students are unleashed onto Warsaw's endless nightlife and immerse themselves in alcohol, drugs and love. Something between documentary and fiction, the camera follows them from party to party and from pleasure to pleasure, set against a metropolis shedding its identity and a youth agonising over their next thrill. Nights when time dilates, loves lasting for a single smoke, enchanting cinematography and an excellent electronic soundtrack.

  • Anthropoid

    Can the director of "Cashback", one of the most refreshing romantic comedies of the past decade, be up to the challenge of directing a suspenseful thriller about the real-life plan to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, a notorious Nazi official? The answer is a resounding yes, as the film ends up being a heart-stopping experience with Cillian Murphy ("Peaky Blinders") again at the top of his game.

  • Graduation

    An excellent student is assaulted and almost raped, days before the exams which will decide if she'll get into college. Against her wishes and despite the looming consequences, her father decides to get into the examiners' good graces. The most prominent New Romanian Cinema representative (Palme d'Or for "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days") dives deep into the grey areas of morality and justice with impressive maturity. Best Director award and a nomination for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • The People vs. Fritz Bauer

    The unbelievable, yet completely true story of a concentration camp survivor, who went after the notorious Nazi colonel Adolf Eichmann, also known as the architect of the Holocaust, and brought him to justice. Part spy thriller, part shocking historical account, this heart-stopping film won the Audience Award of the Locarno Film Festival by a landslide.

  • The Apostate

    Wishing to make his atheism official, a philosophy student in Madrid asks to have his name removed from the records of the Catholic Church. His mother and the church bureaucracy have a different opinion on the matter. With its genuine Bunuel-esque touch, this delightful existential comedy wittily talks about the traditions that we think are going to leave us alone just because we ignore them. Special Mention and FIPRESCI award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

  • Goat

    A violent study of the male pack mindset through the story of a young man who's initiated into perverse brotherhood rituals and gets to know firsthand the well-hidden tyranny of the American college life. "Full Metal Jacket" meets "Animal House" and James Franco meets Joe Jonas, in a testosterone-fuelled delirium only afraid of one thing: the shame in being a victim.

  • Coming Home

    A teacher is jailed during the Cultural Revolution and returns home after many years to find his wife suffering from amnesia and unable to recognize him. Zhang Yimou's majestic return to China's tumultuous recent history reunites him with his muse, Gong Li.

  • Thins to Come

    A philosophy professor watches her life fall apart: her husband is cheating on her, her writing career is faltering and her mother is slipping away. Can it be, though, that each ending marks a new (painful) start? Isabelle Huppert in yet another fearless performance, this time next to the wondrous new voice of French cinema, worthy recipient of the Best Director award at the Berlin Film Festival. Mia Hansen-Love's "Things to Come" is precisely the grown-up cinema we wish we'd see more often.

  • The First, the Last

    Two washed out bounty hunters take on the task of locating a mobile phone. And that's not the only surreal idea in this unpredictable road movie blessed with black humor, outrageous characters, entertaining twists and a surprising turn by Max Von Sydow. Prize of the Ecumenical Jury of the Berlin Film Festival.

  • Love and Friendship

    The mischievous Lady Susan (from the Jane Austen novel of the same name) will do whatever it takes to find a husband, first for her daughter and then for herself, in order to ensure that they remain members of the upper social class. A hilarious adaptation by the master of witty comedies, Whit Stillman, who, after many references in his previous films, finally "meets" his favourite author. Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale are his co-conspirators.

  • Morris From America

    A 13-year-old aspiring rapper moves from the US to Germany with his father and can only watch as his life completely stagnates. That is, until he falls in love with a slightly older girl named Katrin and sets his eyes on impressing her. A fresh, pounding coming-of-age story which won awards at the Sundance Film Festival for its script and Craig Robinson's ("The Office", "Mr. Robot") performance, and introduces us to 16-year-old Markees Christmas' surprising acting chops. Feelgood? You bet.

  • Neruda

    An excellent student is assaulted and almost raped, days before the exams which will decide if she'll get into college. Against her wishes and despite the looming consequences, her father decides to get into the examiners' good graces. The most prominent New Romanian Cinema representative (Palme d'Or for "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days") dives deep into the grey areas of morality and justice with impressive maturity. Best Director award and a nomination for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • Being 17

    Despite being sworn enemies in the school corridors, two boys from different social backgrounds are asked to show the repressed feelings they have for each other. Twenty years after "Wild Reeds", the veteran of French cinema proves to be as youthful and ardent as ever, in a romantic coming-of-age story of a sexual awakening which reminds us what is really like to be 17 again.

  • Heal the Living

    An accident brings the lives of three people together, pushing them into an unexpectedly supernatural path. The director of "Suzanne" adapts Maylis de Kerangal's award-winning novel, turning it into a deeply human and moving drama about the endurance of the human body and soul. Tahar Rahim dazzles in the starring role and Academy award winning (and half-Greek) Alexandre Desplat takes on scoring duties.

  • Snowden

    A traitor, a true patriot or just a key witness to the dark secrets behind the global political chessboard? As the biggest conspiracy theory lover in Hollywood and the master of timely political thrillers, Oliver Stone deciphers the cause celebre of Edward Snowden and leads Joseph Gordon Levitt to the depths of the notorious state papers leak that rocked the United States. By invitation only

  • Southside by You

    A warm summer afternoon in 1989, a young African-American couple goes on their first date. Who would have thought that, 20 years later, Barack and Michelle Obama would walk up the White House steps hand-in-hand? The tender meeting of two simple people, long before they make history, is turned into a disarmingly romantic walk, not unlike the one taken by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the classic romantic Richard Linklater trilogy.

  • Spa Night

    A young Korean man living with his family in Los Angeles gets a job at a local bathhouse unbeknownst to his parents. There he discovers an underground world of homosexual pleasure that equally scares and excites him. Youthful dreams, forbidden desires and lust that's looking for release, in the shadow of an American dream showing cracks. Best Actor award at Sundance and a double win at the Outfest Festival for this sensual debut edited by Yannis Chalkiadakis.

  • The Carer

    An acclaimed actor, who's increasingly becoming ill-tempered as he reaches his twilight years, hires a patient young woman, who's hoping to break into acting, to care for him. Two seemingly ill-fitted people will bridge their differences and discover the benefits of friendship in a lovely story that the renowned "The Dreamers" screenwriter wrote in a moving, hilarious fashion and gave Brian Cox the role of a lifetime.

  • Paris 05:59

    An 18-minute orgy scene in a Paris gay club introduces us to an unexpected boy-meets-boy story, where lust is instinctively turned into love at first sight. In the next hour, the two young men will wander around night-time Paris in an alternative, highly daring version of "Before Sunrise", which won the Teddy Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

  • Wild

    The notion of the return to nature is unexpectedly pushed to the extreme thanks to the story of a lonely girl who surrenders to her most animalistic instincts after a chance meeting with a wolf. A postmodern take on "Beauty and the Beast" and, at the same time, an anarchist and unexpectedly sensual tale about the (repressed) beast we all conceal within us, a tale boasting the most hotly discussed sex scene of the year.