Thessaloniki announces 7 of 14 competing pics

MOSCOW — Greece’s Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival Monday announced the first seven of its 14-pic competition line up with the European premieres of three Asian films among highlights scheduled for its 49th edition, which runs Nov. 14 – 23.

Pics getting their European bows are prison drama “Cell,” by Philippines directors Ellen Ramos and Paolo Villaluna; Korean director Kim Dong-joo’s “A Broom Becomes a Goldfish,” about a poor, middle-aged man’s descent into madness; and coming-of-age film “Winds of September” by Taiwanese director Tom Shu-yu Lin.

The competition, which is exclusively for first and second films, will also show anti-war opus “Three Blind Mice,” the second film of Australian newcomer Matthew Newton; Argentinean director Celina Murga’s sophomore study of teenage life, “One Week Alone”; “The Hourglass,” Hungarian director Szabolcs Tolnai’s adaptation of Danilo Kis’ autobiographical trilogy about a train inspector in war-torn central Europe of the 1970s; and “Ordinary Boys” the feature debut of Spain’s Daniel Hernandez, set in an impoverished Muslim neighborhood.

Festival director Despina Mouzaki said programming had been influenced by last year’s success of “The Red Awn” by Chinese director Shangjun Cai, which won the festival’s top prize, the Golden Alexander award.

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