Welcome to this year’s 8th edition of the Athens Avant-garde Film Festival, held as part of the “Cinephilia in the New Age” project, carried out within the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Attica and funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework.
The Festival will explore the politics of images in the New Age, which continues to unfold under the constellation of dystopia and crisis.
Four major tributes stand out this year:
Leos Carax, the enfant terrible of French cinema will be personally presenting the tribute to his 7 films.
The tribute to American Experimental Cinema is curated and presented by Jon Gartenberg and features two guests: the poet, screenwriter, filmmaker and professor Abigail Child, who is visiting Greece as a Fulbright scholar through the Fulbright Specialist Program, and the award- winning director Julie Talen.
“Tempting the Present” is the title of the trib- ute to four German filmmakers of the new generation, which features fiction films and docu- mentaries.
In our three-part tribute to Greek Cinema, Yan- nis Economides presents his films; the 20th an- niversary of the death of Frieda Liappa is marked by the screening of her entire cinematic oeuvre; and the “Metapolitefsi Blues” hosts Greek film directors Vassilis Vafeas, Dimitris Makris, Nikos Perakis, Christoforos Christofis and Periklis Hoursoglou, each presenting one of their films.
Films by important filmmakers are featured in the Festival’s two segments – the International Competition (2Narrate or Not) and the Film Fronts. Among them are veteran Pedro Costa and Chris Gude, who will be attending. Aryan Kaganof, the influential South African visual artist and filmmaker, and Greece’s own Maria Kourkouta will attend the Festival as guests of the Film Fronts segment.
Standing out from among the Festival’s Special Screenings are the award-winning From What Is Before by Lav Diaz and Iranian by Mehran Tamadon. Feminist film theory pioneer Laura Mulvey presents two of her own films, as well as Clio Barnard’s directorial debut. Under the umbrella of Women’s Creativity, the Festival will screen a work in progress by Vouvoula Skoura and a film by Jenny Marketou. Finally, carte blanche holder Syllas Tzoumerkas presents two of his favorite films.
Our opening and closing films will be the – digitally restored – emblematic films, Rebel without a Cause by Nicholas Ray and The Color of Pome- granates (Sayat Nova) by Sergei Parajanov.
I would like to thank the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Angela Gerekou, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, for their invaluable support; the Board of the Foundation and those working at the Film Archive, especially Tassos Adamopoulos and Phaedra Papadopoulou; and those working for the NSRF, especially Orsia Sofra, Nina Veligradi, Venia Vergou and Ismini Chliova-Bitzani.
Director of the 8th Athens Avant-garde Film Festival
Secretary General of the Board of Directors, Greek Film Archive
Associate Professor, University of Athens