Loosely-built drama of three youngsters and a retired opera singer is deceptively impressive.
Self-indulgent, masochistic drama set in Japan and directed by an Iranian.
The Piano in a Factory
A lightly comic gem with an ensemble cast and stylised look in perfect synch.
Sunshine Boys' script awarded in Thessaloniki
South Korean film recognised at Greek festival
Sunshine Boys to compete in Thessaloniki
Asian cinema returns to Greek festival competition
Durban to play Asian tunes
SA festival takes film to new places
Postcards mailed to Tribeca
US festival includes Asia quartet
Snowtown, Red Dog split AACTA Awards
Stars turn out for inaugural Oz event
AFA nominations headed by Greater China mega titles
South Asia titles in supporting role, South Korea almost edited out
Chicago has Asia appeal
Harada, To in competition; Corrode to premiere
New festival to showcase AACTA contenders
Event plays in Sydney, Melbourne
Filmex pays tribute to Somai
Competition highlights films from China and South Korea
London festival finds plenty to admire
New season contenders side by side with 2011 favourites
Arirang, Arrives bow at CinDi
Seoul digital festival enters fifth year
Match Factory says Cut
Yakuza-set cinema-tribute finds sales home
Asian selections burnish Toronto lineup
India, Oz, Japan make strong showings in Gala and World sections
Asia Cinema Fund backs diverse slate
Busan support mechanism unveils projects
Toronto high-fives high-concept trio
World premieres of genre films by Ratanaruang, Evans and Ishii
Horizons demonstrates Asian experimentation
Venice sidebar has plenty to offer
Screen Oz backs two films
Snowtown adds federal cash to state funding
Victoria cash falls on Snowtown
Gruesome murder story is first from Warp's Australian offshoot
Thessaloniki renews Horizons
By Stephen Cremin
Fri, 04 November 2011, 09:15 AM (HKT)
The 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival (4-13 Nov 2011) opens tonight with Alexander Payne's The Descendants and a €1.6 million ($2.2 million) cash injection from the European Union's National Strategic Reference Framework.
Saddled with a multi-million Euro debt — with its budget cut in half in 2010 — the festival has focused on its role as an incubator and launchpad for Balkan cinema, while continuing to spotlight independent cinema from around the world.
This year's edition marks Dmitri EIPIDES' second year as festival director. Eipides was one of more than twenty film festival directors invited to the inaugural Beijing International Film Festival 北京國際電影節 in April.
The festival's Open Horizons section, a revival of Eipides' long-running New Horizons section, includes three Chinese films that touch on social issues: Buddha Mountain 觀音山 (2010), The Piano in a Factory 鋼的琴 (2010) and documentary Black Blood 黑血 (2010).
The other Asian films in the festival are Amir NADERI's Cut カット (2011), Sanjeewa PUSHPAKUMARA's Flying Fish Igillena maluwo (2010), Justin KURZEL's Snowtown (2011) and Poland-Japan co-production Tomorrow Will Be Better Jutro będzie lepiej (2010).
The Independence Days programme — which had hosted the majority of the festival's Asian selection — was discontinued after last year's edition, when it held a complete retrospective of Thailand's Apichatpong "Joe" WEERASETHAKUL อภิชาติพงศ์ วีระเศรษฐกุล.
There are no Asian films among the 15 titles in this year's international competition. There is one Asian jury member, US-based producer KUROIWA Hisami 黒岩久美 who has worked with Hal HARTLEY, Wayne WANG 王穎 and Meng ONG 王明.
One of Europe's oldest festivals, Thessaloniki only began showing world cinema in 1992. In 2006, the festival hosted a major retrospective of contemporary cinema from China that was programmed by Film Business Asia's critic Derek Elley.