If you are in Thessaloniki in November, in the middle of November, you shouldn't miss the film festival. All the films are subtitled in english, so it's easy for everyone to follow.. Although not all the films are interesting, and you don't always know if what you are going to watch is worth it, I have seen the best films here! Even if you are not really into cinema, you should just have a walk at the port and have a coffee at the old warehouse, which, for the festival week, serves as a cafeteria. You are most likely to meet very very interesting people.
Thessa has long tradition in Balkan film history. The first short films were viewed at OLYMPION in 1907, in Othoman Selanik. The first films were shot here in 1926.
Every fall, this year 16st-25th of November 2007, the 48th Film Festival will host an eclectic selection of approximately 280 films from international independent filmmakers.
Just like every year, New Horizons, Greek Films, the Balkan Survey and many other parallel events will comprise the festival's programme.
There is always a variety of other cultural events surrounding the Film Festival.
First held in 1960 as a modest "Week of Greek Cinema", the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become, 41 years later, an annual event focused on the discovery and promotion of new directors from all over the world; a true celebration of film. 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.
Newcomers in the competitive section meet veteran filmmakers whose work is celebrated through retrospectives and special screenings. All films are screened before the young, vital, cinema-loving Thessaloniki audience, while in the Festival's parallel events, such as concerts and art exhibitions, cinema is brought together with the other arts.
The Festival assumed its present dynamic, international character in 1992, under the direction of Michel Demopoulos, with the financial support of the Greek Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and other local institutions, and with the unanimous support of the city's population. The international recognition enjoyed by the Festival is illustrated by the participation in its jury of celebrities such as Istvan Szabo, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Chantal Akerman, Ivan Passer, Goran Paskalijevic, Yoichiro Takahashi, Nikos Papatakis, Paul Leduc, Jerry Schatzberg, Georgi Chenguelaiia, Dariush Mehrjui, Elliot Stein, Pascal Bonitzer, Lino Micciche, David Thewlis, Aurore Clement, Maia Morgenstern, Dean Tavoularis, Adrienne Mancia, Beki Probst, Giuglielmo Biraghi, Eric Heumann, Jerzy Skolimowski and many others.
The “Dimitria” Festival has contributed significantly to the enrichment of the city’s cultural life. The festival was first held in 1966 on an initiative of the Hellenic Tourism Organization and it later became an institution. It is actually a revival of the Byzantine “Dimitria”, a festival held in Thessaloniki every year from October 20 to the first Monday after the feast of the city’s patron saint, Saint Dimitrios (26 October); the festival was considered a succession of the ancient Kaveiria. This old “Dimitria” had the form of a public feast, where commercial transactions were the main event, although it also included artistic and religious events. In the present “Dimitria”, music plays a leading role, but the festival also features theatre, opera, dance, art and literary activities.
The Municipality of Thessaloniki organizes the “Dimitria” Festival since 1973.
Tel: (2310) 28.10.68
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The White Tower is not the only landmark of Thessaloniki; the International Trade Fair is another of the city symbols. It is the most important trade fair event in the country, that reflects the course of Greek economy and production. The International Trade Fair grounds are in the city centre, opposite the university campus, covering an area of 8.5 hectares.
Every year it opens its gates at the beginning of September for 8 days. However, its activities are not restricted in this short period of time. Throughout the year, the International Trade Fair grounds host other smaller sectoral fairs, which promote the products of the specific sector. These sectoral fairs are the ideal time for commercial transactions, agreements and presentation of innovative ideas. There are also many parallel events, like conferences, seminars, meetings, lectures, and other artistic and cultural activities.
The Greek Song Festival (October) is held annually in Salonica. As part of the annual Salonica International Trade Fair in September, a Festival of Greek Popular Song is held in the Palais de Sports which is located inside the grounds of the fair.
Thessaloniki Film Festival is a international competitive event and it constitutes the most prestigious film meeting not only for Greece, but also for the broader region of southeastern Europe.