Thessaloniki International Film Festival

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF; Greek: Διεθνές Φεστιβάλ Κινηματογράφου Θεσσαλονίκης, Diethnes Festival Kinimatografou Thessalonikis) has become one of the Southeast Europe's primary showcases for the work of new and emerging filmmakers. The event features the International Section, a panorama of Greek films, the New Horizons program, the Balkan Survey, and numerous retrospectives and tributes to leading figures in the world of film. The Festival is competitive with the International Section jury awarding several prizes each year, most notably the "Golden Alexander" for Best Feature-Length Film.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Festival logo
LocationThessaloniki, Greece
PredecessorThessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema
Founded1960 (1960)
Festival dateNovember 1, 2018 (2018-11-01) - November 11, 2018 (2018-11-11)

The last event was the 59th TIFF and took place from Nov 1st to Nov 11th 2018.[1]


Since 1992, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival has striven to present the most innovative independent films from around the world. Components of the Festival include:

  • The International Competition section consists of new directors' first or second films.
  • The non-competitive panorama of Greek films, an overview of the recent local production is followed by the presentation of the State Film Awards by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
  • The Independence Days non-competitive section is the cutting-edge showcase for the latest trends in independent film production.
  • The Balkan Survey, created in 1994, stands as a unique program which offers audiences a window on the cinema of this region of the world.

In March 2016, French film producer Élise Jalladeau[2] was appointed as director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. In May 2016, film critic Orestis Andreadakis[3] was named artistic director.

Cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis[4] serves as president of the TIFF Board.

Retrospectives and tributes look at both historic masters, and emerging artists. Since 1993, numerous directors have been represented in the retrospective/tribute programs, including:

In addition to the rich film offerings, the Festival hosts panels, exhibitions, and other artistic events such as:

  • The Nam June Paik Video & Television Art exhibition
  • The Strange Objects of Desire of David Cronenberg Ingrid Caven's concert
  • Paintings & Collages by Sergei Paradjanov
  • Periplanissis Photo Exhibit by Josef Koudelka
  • "Peter Greenaway's Paintings, Drawings & Collages" exhibit
  • Jazz master Gato Barbieri in concert

Over the last five years the Festival has also spotlighted significant, leading directors and promoted the work of emerging young filmmakers from all over the world.


Greek Film Festival (1960-1991)

The first period of Thessaloniki Film Festival starts in 1960 and finished in 1991. During this period the festival showed exclusively Greek films. The festival was first held in 1960 as a modest "Week of Greek Cinema". From 1965 to 1991 the festival was named "Festival of Greek Cinema".[5][6] During these years the festival passed through various phases. The first years the festival was an important social event with flashy appearances of local showbiz stars. During the military junta (1967-1974), censorship made its appearance. During the Metapolitefsi the new generation of Greek directors dominated the awards, but at the same time the festival became increasingly politicized and two opposing groups of spectators appeared. The tension between these two groups reached a peak in 1977, when the festival split in two different festivals. The split lasted only one year. During the 80s the importance of the festival declined until in 1992, when it was decided to upgrade the event to an international film festival.[7][8]

International Film Festival (1992-today)

In 1992 the festival became an international film festival, acknowledged by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). The Greek movies competed in a different section of the festival with the name Greek State Film Awards, until 2008. Nowadays Thessaloniki International Film Festival is an annual event focused on the discovery and promotion of new directors from all over the world. For ten days in mid-November, audiences numbering approximately 70,000, as well as hundreds of Greek and foreign Festival guests, attend screenings of more than 150 films in the city's cinemas.

Best Greek film award until 1992

List of Golden Alexander Winners

YearFilm DirectorCountry of origin
1992OrlandoSally Potter United Kingdom
Dance in the NightAleko Tsabadze Georgia
1993From the SnowSotiris Goritsas Greece
1994The DaysWang Xiaoshuai China
1995PostmanHe Jianjun China
1996Brothers in TroubleUdayan Prasad United Kingdom
1997Road to NhillSue Brooks Australia
1998Fishes in AugustYōichirō Takahashi Japan
1999ShowerZhang Yang China
2000Last ResortPaweł Pawlikowski United Kingdom
2001Tirana Year ZeroFatmir Koçi Albania
2002Woman of WaterHidenori Sugimori Japan
Blissfully YoursApichatpong Weerasethakul Thailand
2003The Last TrainAleksei German Russia
2004Bitter DreamMohsen Amiryousefi Iran
2005Someone Else's HappinessFien Troch Belgium
2006Family TiesKim Tae-yong South Korea
2007The Red AwnCai Shangjun China
2008Over ThereAbdolreza Kahani Iran
2009AjamiScandar Copti and Yaron Shani Israel /  Germany
2010PerifericBogdan George Apetri Romania
2011Twilight PortraitAngelina Nikonova Russia
2012A HijackingTobias Lindholm Denmark
2013The Golden CageDiego Quemada-Díez Mexico
2014Perpetual SadnessJorge Perez Solano Mexico
2015RamsGrímur Hákonarson Iceland
2016Deadly WheelchairsAttila Till Hungary
2017Ravens (film)Jens Assur Sweden
2018Ray & LizRichard Billingham United Kingdom
2019Fire Will ComeOliver Laxe Spain

See also


  1. "59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  2. "Organization - General Director". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. "Organization - Director". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  4. "Organization - Board of Directors". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  5. "Thessaloniki Film festival". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. "Profile". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  7. "Στοπ καρέ στα 50 χρόνια". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. "Remember the Festival of November". Retrieved 8 March 2015.
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