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53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2012

A Hijacking
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FIPRESCI Prize: "A Hijacking" (Tobias Lindholm)

The 53rd edition of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival took place from the 2nd to the 11th of November 2012 in Greece. With the current political and economic situation of the country being strained, the festival also registered some social unrest, when a group of protesters delayed the closing ceremony by vocally criticizing the austerity measures being implemented by the Greek government. Many films in the Greek competition commented on the current situation of the country, as well on the global economic crisis.

The FIPRESCI jury, as well as the main jury (which was headed by the American film scholar Thomas Elsaesser), looked at fifteen features in the main competition, from countries as varied as Mexico, Brazil, the US, Germany, Iran, Israel and Poland. The main award of both juries went to Tobias Lindholm's thriller A Hijacking (Kapringen), which realistically depicted the abduction of a Danish boat by a group of Somali terrorists on the Indian Ocean. In addition, the FIPRESCI jury awarded the best Greek film of the festival. This honor went to Ektoras Ligizos' Boy Eating the Bird's Food (To agori troei to fagito tou pouliou) — a vivid, masterfully shot metaphor of hunger and deprivation that has been widely seen as a commentary on Greece's current economic situation. It is worth noting that, apart from the contemporary sections, the festival presented large retrospectives of Theo Angelopoulos, Aki Kaurismäki and Cristian Mungiu. The latter's newest film, Beyond the Hills (Dupa dealuri), was also shown at the festival and managed to win the Audience Award.

Other sections of the festival included Open Horizons, which presented a number of contemporary films from around the world, including acclaimed works like Leos Carax's Holy Motors (which was also the opening film of the festival), In Another Country (Da-reun na-ra-e-suh) by Hong Sang-Soo (the festival's closing film) and Costa-Gavras' Capital (Le capital). The Greek Films section included thirteen new Greek features and one short. There was also a special screening to honor the 60th anniversary of Positif magazine, still one of the leading voices in the world of film criticism. The film chosen for that screening was Jacques Tati's prophetic masterpiece Playtime. (Michał Oleszczyk)

53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November 2-11, 2012, tiff.filmfestival.gr). FIPRESCI Jury: Samir Farid (Egypt, president), Andreas Günther (Germany), Michal Oleszczyk (Poland), Tonci Valentic (Croatia), Nikos Aletras (Greece). FIPRESCI Awards: In the International Competition Section 2012: A Hijacking (Kapringen) by Tobias Lindholm (Denmark, 2012, 99min). Print Source: TrustNordisk (Filmbyen 28, Hvidovre DK-2650, Denmark). Tel: +45 36 86 87 88, Fax: +45 36 86 87 50, web: http://www.trust-film.dk/, e-mail: info@trust-film.dk. FIPRESCI Prize in the Greek Films 2012 Section: Boy Eating the Bird's Food (To Agori Troi To Fagito Tou Pouliou) by Ektoras Ligizos (Greece, 2012, 80min). Print Source: Greek Film Center (7 Dionysiou Areopagitou St, Athens 11742, Greece), Tel: +30 21 03 67 85 00, Fax: +30 21 03 64 82 69, web: http://www.gfc.gr/, e-mail: info@gfc.gr.
Festival: tiff.filmfestival.gr.

Reports.

"Papadopoulos & Sons", or the Romantics of Business. Andreas Günther reviews the Greek new comedy by Marcus Markou. arrow.
Lookin' to Get Out. Michal Oleszczyk overviews some salient films of the 53rd TIFF competition. arrow.
Confusion and Deadlock. Nick Aletras finds in Boy Eating the Bird's Food and alegory for Greece in the times of economic crisis. arrow.
Magic and Loss. Tonci Valentic takes a look on the magic realism of two competitino films: Russia's Living by Vasily Sigarev and Brazil's Southwest by Eduardo Nunes. arrow.

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Thessaloniki 2012

bullet. Index
bullet. Papadopoulos & Sons
bullet. Lookin' to Get Out
bullet. Confusion and Deadlock
bullet. Magic and Loss