Thessaloniki International Film Festival

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Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Festival kinhmatografou - new logo.jpg
Festival logo
LocationThessaloniki, Greece
PredecessorThessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema
Founded1960 (1960)
Festival dateNovember 1, 2018 (2018-11-01) - November 11, 2018 (2018-11-11)

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF; Greek: Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Κινηματογράφου Θεσσαλονίκης, Diethnes Festival Kinimatografou Thessalonikis) has become one of the Southeast Europe's primary showcases for the work of new and emerging filmmakers. The event features the International Section, a panorama of Greek films, the New Horizons program, the Balkan Survey, and numerous retrospectives and tributes to leading figures in the world of film; the Festival is competitive with the International Section jury awarding several prizes each year, most notably the "Golden Alexander" for Best Feature-Length Film.

The last event was the 59th TIFF and took place from Nov 1st to Nov 11th 2018.[1]


Thessaloniki International Film Festival hoarding.

Since 1992, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival has striven to present the most innovative independent films from around the world. Components of the Festival include:

  • The International Competition section consists of new directors' first or second films.
  • The non-competitive panorama of Greek films, an overview of the recent local production is followed by the presentation of the State Film Awards by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
  • The Independence Days non-competitive section is the cutting-edge showcase for the latest trends in independent film production.
  • The Balkan Survey, created in 1994, stands as a unique program which offers audiences a window on the cinema of this region of the world.

In March 2016, French film producer Élise Jalladeau[2] was appointed as director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. In May 2016, film critic Orestis Andreadakis[3] was named artistic director.

Cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis[4] serves as president of the TIFF Board.

Retrospectives and tributes look at both historic masters, and emerging artists. Since 1993, numerous directors have been represented in the retrospective/tribute programs, including:

In addition to the rich film offerings, the Festival hosts panels, exhibitions, and other artistic events such as:

  • The Nam June Paik Video & Television Art exhibition
  • The Strange Objects of Desire of David Cronenberg Ingrid Caven's concert
  • Paintings & Collages by Sergei Paradjanov
  • Periplanissis Photo Exhibit by Josef Koudelka
  • "Peter Greenaway's Paintings, Drawings & Collages" exhibit
  • Jazz master Gato Barbieri in concert

Over the last five years the Festival has also spotlighted significant, leading directors and promoted the work of emerging young filmmakers from all over the world.


"Olympion" theater, where the head office of the festival is located .

Greek Film Festival (1960-1991)[edit]

The first period of Thessaloniki Film Festival starts in 1960 and finished in 1991. During this period the festival showed exclusively Greek films; the festival was first held in 1960 as a modest "Week of Greek Cinema". From 1965 to 1991 the festival was named "Festival of Greek Cinema".[5][6] During these years the festival passed through various phases; the first years the festival was an important social event with flashy appearances of local showbiz stars. During the military junta (1967-1974), censorship made its appearance. During the Metapolitefsi the new generation of Greek directors dominated the awards, but at the same time the festival became increasingly politicized and two opposing groups of spectators appeared; the tension between these two groups reached a peak in 1977, when the festival split in two different festivals. The split lasted only one year. During the 80s the importance of the festival declined until in 1992, when it was decided to upgrade the event to an international film festival.[7][8]

International Film Festival (1992-today)[edit]

In 1992 the festival became an international film festival, acknowledged by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF); the Greek movies competed in a different section of the festival with the name Greek State Film Awards, until 2008. Nowadays Thessaloniki International Film Festival is an annual event focused on the discovery and promotion of new directors from all over the world. For ten days in mid-November, audiences numbering approximately 70,000, as well as hundreds of Greek and foreign Festival guests, attend screenings of more than 150 films in the city's cinemas.

Best film award until 1992[edit]

List of Golden Alexander Winners[edit]

Conference with John Malkovich and current president of the Festival Georges Corraface.
Year Film Director Country of origin
1992 Orlando Sally Potter  United Kingdom
Dance in the Night Aleko Tsabadze  Georgia
1993 From the Snow Sotiris Goritsas  Greece
1994 The Days Wang Xiaoshuai  China
1995 Postman He Jianjun  China
1996 Brothers in Trouble Udayan Prasad  United Kingdom
1997 Road to Nhill Sue Brooks  Australia
1998 Fishes in August Yōichirō Takahashi  Japan
1999 Shower Zhang Yang  China
2000 Last Resort Paweł Pawlikowski  United Kingdom
2001 Tirana Year Zero Fatmir Koçi  Albania
2002 Woman of Water Hidenori Sugimori  Japan
Blissfully Yours Apichatpong Weerasethakul  Thailand
2003 The Last Train Aleksei German  Russia
2004 Bitter Dream Mohsen Amiryousefi  Iran
2005 Someone Else's Happiness Fien Troch  Belgium
2006 Family Ties Kim Tae-yong  South Korea
2007 The Red Awn Cai Shangjun  China
2008 Over There Abdolreza Kahani  Iran
2009 Ajami Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani  Israel /  Germany
2010 Periferic Bogdan George Apetri  Romania
2011 Twilight Portrait Angelina Nikonova  Russia
2012 A Hijacking Tobias Lindholm  Denmark
2013 The Golden Cage Diego Quemada-Díez  Mexico
2014 Perpetual Sadness Jorge Perez Solano  Mexico
2015 Rams Grímur Hákonarson  Iceland
2016 Deadly Wheelchairs Attila Till  Hungary
2017 Ravens (film) Jens Assur  Sweden
2018 Ray & Liz Richard Billingham  United Kingdom

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  2. ^ "Organization - General Director". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. ^ "Organization - Director". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  4. ^ "Organization - Board of Directors". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  5. ^ "Thessaloniki Film festival". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Profile". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Στοπ καρέ στα 50 χρόνια". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Remember the Festival of November". Retrieved 8 March 2015.

External links[edit]