REPORT: Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes 2018
by Vassilis Economou
- CANNES 2018: At the second edition of Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in collaboration with the GFC, showcased five films as works in progress
For the second year running, Agora, the industry section of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in partnership with the Greek Film Centre (GFC), has taken part in the special “Goes to Cannes” initiative of the Cannes Film Market. On Monday 14 May, five work-in-progress features – three fiction films and two documentaries – were presented to an audience of film-industry professionals, festival programmers, sales agents, producers and distributors at the K screening room in the Palais des Festivals. With Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes, Greece remains the sole country from South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans that is taking part in the programme, and it should be noted that this year’s batch also includes a non-Greek-produced project.
Starting with the fiction films, in detail, the Thessaloniki Goes to Cannes projects presented were:
In This Land Nobody Knew How to Cry by Giorgos Panousopoulos
In This Land Nobody Knew How to Cry – Giorgos Panousopoulos
This is the first feature after a 14-year hiatus (see the news) for the seasoned director. It is an “out there” comedy that follows a French MEP, a widow, an ambitious teacher and a young economist who all meet by chance on an islet somewhere in the Aegean Sea. A string of circumstances will whisk the heroes away to a series of unforeseen events. It is a Greek-French co-production produced by Blackbird Production with MPM Film France, ERT SA and NOVA with the support of the GFC and the CNC. The film is in post-production, the sales are handled by MPM Film, and it is looking for festivals and distribution.
The Waiter – Steve Krikris
This is Krikris’ debut feature, a neo-noir that focuses on Renos, a professional waiter. He is a peculiar, introverted kind of person. When his next-door neighbour Milan goes astray, another man, “The Blonde”, will “replace” him and take over his apartment. When Renos is introduced to him, he slowly changes his repetitive routine. Yet fate has an unexpected twist in store for this lonely man. The film, which is already in post-production (see the news), is a Greek co-production staged by Steve Krikris with Filmiki Productions and 2|35 with the support of the GFC and ERT SA. The film is looking for finishing funds, sales agents and distribution.
Open Door – Florenc Papas
The debut feature by First Films First alumnus Florenc Papas (see the news) is a drama about two sisters. When heavily pregnant Elma returns to Albania from Italy, she embarks on a road trip with her sister Rudina to visit their traditionally minded and strict father. In the meantime, they also hope to find a man to pretend to be Elma’s husband. It is an Albanian-Kosovar-Macedonian co-production being staged by Bunker Film + together with Circle Production and Award Film & Video. It has secured the support of the Albanian National Center of Cinematography, Kosovo Cinematography Centre, Eurimages, the SEE Cinema Network and the Albanian Radio and Television. It is in post-production, and is looking for a sales agent and festivals.
The two documentaries presented were:
Seeds of Columbus by Marianna Economou
Seeds of Columbus – Marianna Economou
This documentary by multi-award-winning Greek documentarian Economou also won the main award at Thessaloniki’s Agora Doc Market in March (see the news). As their small farming village in Central Greece slowly dies out, two cousins discover some unique tomato seeds that their ancestors have kept secret for 500 years. They will team up with four grandmothers from the village to cultivate them and export the precious tomatoes in special jars, which become extremely sought-after around the world. The documentary is a Greek co-production by Stefi/Lynx Productions together with Anemon Productions, and with the support of the Greek Film Centre. It is at the post-production stage, and is looking for a festival premiere, pre-sales and distribution.
Where Art Thou? – Dimitris Athiridis
Athiridis’ third documentary is a filmic observation of Polish art critic and curator Adam Szymczyk when he was serving as artistic director of Documenta 14, and his efforts to organise the world’s biggest contemporary art exhibition in Athens and Kassel. The documentary is a Greek production by Faliro House Productions; it is currently in the editing bay, and the team is looking for sales and co-producers.
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