×

Greek Films Under the Spotlight as Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes

CANNES–Five projects by Greek filmmakers were presented Monday at Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes, the Cannes Film Market’s pix-in-post industry showcase backed by the Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival. The Greek Film Center also supports this initiative.

The third edition shined a spotlight on dynamic new fiction features whose producers are currently in Cannes looking for festival premieres, sales agents and distribution. Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival general director Elise Jalladeau said the presentation built on the success of the first two editions, which launched a number of recent Greek films onto the international festival circuit.

“We continue because it works,” said Jalladeau, pointing to the strong industry turnout Monday afternoon. “It’s very good to promote the films.”

Greek cinema has enjoyed a high profile in recent years, thanks in part to the success of filmmakers like Yorgos Lanthimos, who helped launch the movement known as the Greek Weird Wave. Lanthimos’s latest feature, “The Favorite,” earned a best actress Oscar for Olivia Colman this year.

Yet Jalladeau suggested that Monday’s presentation would show the many voices of the current generation of Greek filmmakers. “We try to give a sample of the best, but also to have different trends of Greek cinema, not only the Weird Wave, but films which are a bit more classic or audience-driven,” she said.

Jalladeau also touted the success of the Thessaloniki fest’s Agora Works in Progress program. Among the projects that participated in last year’s edition were Algerian helmer Mounia Meddour’s feature debut “Papicha,” which played in Un Certain Regard this year, and French writer-director Alain Raoust’s “As Happy As Possible,” which opened Cannes’ ACID sidebar program.

 

The projects presented at Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes were:

CREDIT: Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival

*Christos Nikou’s feature directorial debut, “Apples,” follows a man in his late-30s who lives in a city grappling with an unexplained outbreak of amnesia. Leaving the apartment one morning to run errands, Aris suddenly falls victim to the mysterious malady, too. The dramedy is a Greece-Poland co-production between Boo Productions and Lava Films, with the support of the Greek Film Center, the Polish Film Institute, Greek pubcaster ERT, and Creative Europe Media.

CREDIT: Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival

*“Defunct” is the second fiction feature from director Zacharias Mavroeidis. The dramedy tells the story of a thirty-something bachelor who moves into the house of his late grandfather, a former Greek Army veteran, after falling into financial ruin. In the conservative suburb of Papagou, surrounded by former generals, he tries to begin his life anew. “Defunct” is produced by Faliro House Productions, with the support of the Greek Film Center and ERT.

CREDIT: Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival

*“The Man with the Answers” is director Stelios Kammitsis’ second fiction feature, a road-trip dramedy about a one-time diving champion longing for his lost days of glory. After his grandmother’s sudden death brings a sudden twist to his life, he sets off on a road trip to Germany with an adventurous young German who pushes him to break out of his comfort zone. The Cyprus-Greece-Italy co-production is produced by Felony, Blonde, asterisk* and 9.99 Films, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the Greek Film Center, the Apulia Film Commission, ERT, Creative Europe Media, and IDM Südtirol.

*Director Costas Athousakis makes his fiction feature debut with “Persephone,” (Pictured) a cine-operata that stages the ancient Greek myth of the abduction of Persephone in a modern setting, before a chorus of Japanese karaoke-based dance and theater performances. The film is produced by Sisyphus Projects with the support of the Greek Film Center and ERT.

CREDIT: Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival

*“Winona” is the fifth feature from Alexandros Voulgaris. In what appears at first glance to be an ordinary outing to a remote beach for four young women, a day full of love, intimacy and grief builds toward a heart-wrenching secret that’s revealed at the very end. The film is produced by Logline in co-production with Steficon.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Nouras-Dream

    ‘Noura’s Dream’ Director Hinde Boujemaa Owes It All To The Arab Spring

    SAN SEBASTIAN —  Hinde Boujemaa might have started her filmmaking career later than others, but she hasn’t lost any time in the subsequent years. The Tunisian director’s 2012 documentary “It Was Better Tomorrow” premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and she now returns with her feature-length fiction debut, “Noura’s Dream,” which follows a working-class woman [...]

  • Nudo-Mixteco

    Ángeles Cruz’s ‘Nudo Mixteco’ Impresses at San Sebastian Works in Progress

    SAN SEBASTIAN —   Ángeles Cruz, one of Mexico’s highest-profile indigenous cineasts, screened for the first time a nearly-finished version of her feature debut “Nudo Mixteco” at the San Sebastian Films in Progress sidebar. Having won two Mexican Academy Ariel Awards for her first two shorts, “Nudo Mixteco” arrived in Spain buzzing. It deftly intertwines [...]

  • NUESTRAS-MADRES-OUR-MOTHERS

    Outsider Pictures Nabs U.S. Rights to 'Our Mothers,' Belgium's Oscar Submission (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN —    Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has picked-up U.S. distribution rights to César Díaz’s “Nuestras madres” (“Our Mothers”), Belgium’s submission for the international feature film Academy Award. Sold by Pyramide International, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week, winning the Golden Camera for best first film at the Cannes Festival. Outsider Pictures [...]

  • El-Peso

    Basque Industry Backs Female Filmmakers with Noka Mentoring Program

    SAN SEBASTIAN — The Noka Mentoring program, a local initiative to support up-and-coming Basque female filmmakers, kicked off on Monday morning at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Film Festival. The program was co-developed by the Basque Government’s Department of Culture and Language Policy and Zineuskadi, a non-profit org set up by the department and the two [...]

  • INLAND

    Basque Production: New, Upcoming Titles

    ‘+90dB’ A Basque rock band travels the globe playing to diehard fans from Japan, the U.S., Germany and France. Marina Lameiro’s second film, produced by Arena Comunicación and Txalap.art. ‘918 NIGHTS’ Arantza Santesteban writes and directs her first feature documentary in which she explores the experience of being incarcerated for what seemed to be 918 [...]

  • THE-PLATFORM

    Basque Cinema Broadens Industrial Base

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Basque cinema is attacking the future with higher industrial and creative expectations than ever, playing off two motors: Co-production with other parts of Spain, international equity partnerships. Two game-changers in the Basque film landscape, “Handia,” winner of 10 Spanish Academy Goya Awards in 2018, and “Loreak,” Spain’s 2016 Oscar submission, have contributed [...]

  • The Taste Of Pho

    'The Taste Of Pho' Bows Trailer Ahead Of San Sebastian World Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

    Poland’s New Europe Film Sales is handling worldwide sales rights to Mariko Bobrik’s feature debut “The Taste of Pho.” The food drama’s trailer is launching exclusively in Variety ahead of its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Culinary Cinema sidebar. Described as a story about love, misunderstanding and food, “The Taste of Pho” follows Long, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content