The 52nd edition of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has started and runs until the 13th of November. In a newsletter issued by the festival, under the headline “a modest ceremony raised the curtain of the festival”, the festival director had some opinions, which are important to share:
In his opening speech, TIFF director Dimitris Eipides did not fail to refer to the crucial times Greece is going through: “I am certain that there are some people in the audience wondering what is the use of having festivals and festivities when the country is sinking”, he said, adding that the answer to this question is that if Greece is to have a chance of revival, the country needs citizens who are mature, outward-looking, innovative, bold, with a vision and a plan.
“We need to be entertained, to receive stimuli, to understand the world around us. This is the only way we can change this world”, underlined Mr. Eipides, adding that, under this light, the films of the 52nd TIFF “provide audiences with the opportunity to exercise penetrating and substantial interventions, to reach novel explanations of the social, political and cultural developments unfolding in the world around us”. “Only by active intervention any work is meaningful”, he added. Mr. Eipides announced that the TIFF is moving forward with the establishment of the Thessaloniki Film Archive. “The Thessaloniki Film Archive is a life’s work. It will develop and broaden the city’s cinema culture, capitalizing on the energetic core of film enthusiasts who have been cultivated by the Festival throughout the years. This is a gift worthy of Thessaloniki, which is celebrating its centenary from liberation”, commented Mr. Eipides. Welcoming audiences to the 52nd TIFF, “one of the oldest film festivals in the world, esteemed by an international community of exacting viewers and professionals”, TIFF director said he was proud for an additional reason: for the fact that more than 50% of TIFF’s budget this year is funded by European funds (specifically, by the European Regional Development Fund), without burdening the country’s national budget.