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Experimental Forum

In the first two years of its existence, the Experimental Forum sought to create its identity and establish a rapport with the audience of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. The identity, we believe, has been created as that of a section that deals with a stereotyped category of cinema; a category that claims to be unconventional but which, for us, is also bound by convention and protocol. The rapport we also believe has been established; our local audience is as heterogeneous and inquisitive as any we know and this for us is a huge motivation. So we enter the third year in the same spirit. Our aim is to keep challenging canons and to offer you more original programming, to ask you the questions rather than provide you with tried and tested answers and “recipes”. We shall begin this year’s examinations with a survey of Australian Experimental Cinema. This land’s remarkably prolific experimental film scene, spanning at least 40 years, is perhaps the only cinematic category where Australians have beaten into shape an idiom truly their own. The twenty films on show are only the tip of a massive iceberg. The “Amantes Sunt Amentes” series returns and expands this league of filmmakers bound by their single-handed efforts and their disregard of recognition and demarcation. Two feature length films from George Manupelli’s Dr. Chicago trilogy will be screened for the first time in Europe and Wilhelm Hein will project the first reel of his magnum opus You Killed the Underground Film, or the Real Meaning of Kunst, Bleibt Bleibt. This year’s trio includes Russian artist and filmmaker Oleg Mavromatti, by presenting the only existing footage of his lost film The Secret Aesthetics of the Martian Spies. Recent projects are presented in the “Last Year’s Resolutions” series, featuring 31 short and medium length films by both established and budding directors, using all kinds of formats. The latest 35mm Peter Tscherkassky film shown alongside a mobile phone video by Turkish video-maker Yoel Meranda, is an example of a selection that also includes several films produced in Greece, or by Greek filmmakers of the Diaspora. “Last Year’s Resolutions” additionally incorporates a few forgotten or lost pièces de résistance from the past, such as Tamás St. Auby’s Centaur and films by Hellmuth Costard and Bostjan Hladnik. Martin Putz is an Austrian director of photography who has collaborated with many of the important figures of experimental film from his country. By way of paying tribute to him and his craftsmanship, a divergent program of Austrian audiovisual experiments came into being. The final addition to this year’s Experimental Forum is not a film presentation but a gathering of individuals and organizations concerned with the exhibition of alternative film content. The “Kino Climates” meeting, inaugurated at the last edition of the Rotterdam Film Festival, will be re-staged, on a smaller scale, in Thessaloniki and will place this discourse in the context of Southeast Europe.

Vassilis Bourikas
“Experimental Forum” Programmer



HELLENIC MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is a member of