The 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the festival officials, and in particular TIFF’s artistic director Mr. Orestis Andreadakis, refused to take this setback lying down, setting up a series of fascinating online initiatives. To begin with, the Festival assigned to eleven renowned Greek directors (the Best Film, Best Director, Best Newcomer and Best Feature Documentary nominees in the recent Hellenic Film Academy awards) the task of preparing a short film of maximum duration of 3 minutes, shot strictly within house premises. The first leg of this project, bearing the title «Spaces» and drawing inspiration from Georges Perec’s book Species of Spaces, was available on the Festival’s YouTube channel as of the beginning of April. And before we knew it, Greek directors passed on the torch to a group of distinguished foreign counterparts, who had their films screened at TIFF over the recent years.
In addition, through the Festival Scope screening platform, Thessaloniki International Film Festival offered the audience the chance to watch a selection of Greek films that took part at the 60th TIFF last November. Each of these films was available for 300 screenings up until Sunday April 26th, upon completion of a simple and free of charge registration at www.festivalscope.
At the same time, the Festival Scope platform gave free access to a rich gamut of children’s films (for ages 2-12), as well to short films directed by Greek filmmakers who had participated in the “Meet the Future” section of the 60th TIFF. It should be noted that each director’s (alphabetical order was applied) short films were available for a period of 3 days. Last but not least, on April 11th, famous Swiss director and screenwriter Alexandre O. Philippe, one of the postponed TDF’s honorary guests, delivered a live masterclass on the Festival’s facebook page.
Following these exciting online activities, which served as a delicious appetizer, the main dish is about to be served. The 22nd Thessaloniki International Film, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemics, will take place online, from Tuesday May 19th to Thursday May 28th 2020. All the awards will be bestowed, as all sections’ juries will watch the competing films online, which will be available to the public FREE OF CHARGE. Each movie screened at the 22nd TDF will be available for 400 viewings for users residing exclusively in Greece, as TIFF has joined forces with an international initiative for establishing geographical limitations concerning the screenings held within the framework of online film festivals, aiming at protecting the very nature and purpose of such institutions and events. According to the Festival’s press release, screenings in open-air cinemas and spaces of Thessaloniki, during summertime, are under consideration, provided of course that all necessary precaution measures are put into force.