random ramblings of an unconscious mind
After having this blog for a year, i have finally gotten to the point where i report about the same things i did last year. Life is cyclical and repetitive. There are some events that have become traditions in my life. One of these is Athens’ International Film Festival which turns 19 this year, and i can say with certainty that i have been attending faithfully for at least 16 years now (for the life of me i cannot recall if i did go before 1997).
The festival takes place from 18 September to 29 September at Danaos Cinema, Ideal, Odeon Opera, Pallas, the Film Archive, Ianos Bookstore and various bars around town. Along with the memories of previous years, i bring to mind that in the past the festival was housed at Attikon and Apollon cinemas, which were burned down during riots a couple of years ago. Those were beautiful cinemas which i had grown to associate with a part of the cinema culture in Greece and they are dearly missed, not solely during the festival season, but each time i pass by their still burned remains. These pictures depict a before and after effect.
Starting today I will be on a festival rhythm, checking the schedule, which you can find here, booking tickets, going to screenings, masterclasses, parties and in a general state of frenzy. I already have picked some films that i will not miss like Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, the music documentary about the National Mistaken for Strangers, The Congress, Computer Chess etc. Here i have compiled a list of trailers of some of the films which i am interested in. There are also premieres of films like Don Jon, Frances Ha, Blue is the Warmest Color and Kill Your Darlings which will attract a lot of moviegoers. However, I will reiterate that the secret in AIFF is to try out to find hidden gems, movies which do not have distribution and push the boundaries. My strategy each year is to avoid any film which is readily available to watch like Waltz with Bashir, Blackfish, Sharknado, Upstream Color, A Field in England, Lovelace, Spring Breakers etc, and focus on documentaries, short films and foreign films.
The Greek filmmaking community has a large exposure this year and there will be over 15 Greek movies premiering at the AIFF, the trailers for which you can watch here, at the festival’s dailymotion account. Moreover there will be 71 Greek short films.
I am currently compiling a list on Letterboxd with the movies which i may attend a screening of at the festival. If you think that i omitted any film which is worthwhile please do share your insight with me.
Besides the screenings you should also check out if you have time and energy the various masterclasses and parties organised by the festival. My sole complaint this year is that the Closing Ceremony will be an invitation only event, while in the past it was open to the public, if you managed to secure a ticket. I console myself with the thought that the movie will be released to a cinema theatre soon enough.
Nevertheless, an honorable mention should be made to the fact that the festival has kept its tickets at low prices throughout the years: 4€ morning screenings, 5€ screenings prior to 8pm, and 6€ all other screenings. Additionally the festival supports the unemployed viewers by providing 2.000 tickets, details for which can be found here. Lastly, it is a common secret among those who attend the festival that there are various ways to win tickets for screenings through the festival’s Facebook account, print press like Athinorama, radio stations like En Lefko, and various online portals and social media. I will try and post any competitions i find at the blog’s facebook account here.
I hope to see you all at a screening.
[My mind is a chaos]