random ramblings of an unconscious mind

18th Athens International Film Festival – ΝΥΧΤΕΣ ΠΡΕΜΙΕΡΑΣ Cosmote

So for the past weeks i have been mainly MIA due to the 18th Athens International Film Festival – ΝΥΧΤΕΣ ΠΡΕΜΙΕΡΑΣ Cosmote, which is currently taking place in Athens, Greece.

The festival showcases about 178 films, including retrospectives, major movie premieres, works in progress, short films, from all around the world, while it also hosts masterclasses (which are not masterclasses under the strict definition but mostly presentations) and after-parties.

So far i have been to many screenings, and plan on going to many more. The cheap ticket prices for the screenings (€4-6), as well as the myriad ticket competitions have benefited me in attending so far: Safety not Guaranteed, Short Stories A, Room 237, Gimme the Loot, Andrew Bird: Fever Year, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Savages, Shut Up and Play the Hits.

A negative aspect is that some of the films showcased at the festival are available to watch online, mostly illegally, which subtracts visitors from the festival, but at times of financial crisis people tend to think it over when it come to spending money for a movie, as well as their transportation to and from the cinema (additionally strikes on public transportation these days have not assisted the moviegoers). However, in some cases, where people did not get a ticket to the sold out screening, the fact that they can find the movie online could be considered a positive outcome for them. Some of the movies that are illegally available online are Cosmopolis, Teddy Bear, Woody Allen: A Documentary, Grabbers, Monsieur Lazhar, V/H/S, all of Whit Stillman‘s films, as well as the retrospectives on CAMP cinema and Nikkatsu.

Other interesting films that are screened include the documentary Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry, Joven Y Allocada, On the Road, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, Rent-A-Cat, Short Stories B, Laurence Anyways, La Leggenda di Kaspar Hauser, Beasts of the Southern Wild, See Girl Run, Keep the Lights On, and An Oversimplification of her Beauty.

A full schedule of the festival is available here and you can download it as a pdf here.

People should note that while some of the screenings have sold out that does not mean that there won’t be available seats at the last second, since there are unclaimed seats at each screenings. So if you have tickets get there early. This entails the horror that you might have purchased a ticket and arrive at the screening late, only to find out that your seat has been redistributed. So be weary.

As a friend of mine commented: “Festivals are for students and unemployed people”. Those who work are having a hard time to find a movie to see at a time which is convenient and compatible with their work schedule, and thus cannot pre-book movies. I have had back to back screenings which were shown at different cinemas, and had to run, take the subway, change lines and run again, so as not to miss either one of them, so this whole week i had been counting the time distance from each cinema to another. As it is apparent, these are things for people who have free time to spend on cultural events.

(photographs in this post can be found at the festival’s photo-diary section here)


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