Welcome to this year’s 9th edition of the Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival, carried out within the framework of the Regional Operational Program of Attica and jointly funded by the European Regional develop- ment fund and Greece.
The Festival focuses on innovative research in cinema which goes beyond formalist experiments towards the opening of new paths towards the unknown.
Four major tributes stand out this year: To Philippe Grandrieux, one of the most important representatives of French Avant-Garde, who will come to the Festival to present 7 of his films. To Chinese British Xiaolu Guo film director and authoress, who will present her latest film in European premiere and discuss her films and books with the public. To Mark Rappaport American independent/ underground film director, who will present his oeuvre in Exile Room and Tainiothiki. To the stage and costume designer Yorgos Ziakas, with a book presentation and an exhibition with photos and models from Theo Angelopoulos films (three of his films will be screened) and from Yorgos Stamboulopoulos (one of his films will be screened). Films by important independent filmmakers are featured in the Festival’s two segments – the International Competition (2Narrate or Not) and the new competitive section First Look. Among them are veteran Lav Diaz and Valerie Masadian. In First Look, 9 debut fiction and documentary films are presented by Nicole Brenez and Philipp Jedicke. Ιn the section Some Like it Short we welcome Marta Mateus.
The section Revolutionary Songs, curated by Nicole Brenez, focuses on films which revive memories of insurrection. It culminates with Jean-Luc Godard’s, The Picture Book, which is our opening film. In the section Restored and Beautiful, The Greek Film Archive presents its digitized restoration of Social Decay, José Manuel Costa presents The Island of Love, and Marjan Vucović presents I Even Met Happy Gypsies from Jugoslovenska Kinoteka and Cineteca di Bologna the closing film Il Bell’Antonio. The tribute Initiations, curated as a tribute to the selection of Elefsis as Europe- an capital of culture, presents films by A. Angelidi, J. Cocteaux, R. Carasco, A. Frantzis, R. Koundouros, V. Skoura, which deal with the twin nature of spectator- ship as a repetition of the mirror stage and a dialogue between the Greek and world mythologies.
I would like to thank the regional governor of Attica Mrs Rena Dourou, the Minister of Culture and Sports Mrs Myrsini Zorba, the Greek Film Center, the consortium of i-media cities, Nicole Brenez for their invaluable support; the Board of the Foundation and those working at the Film Archive, especially Tassos Adamopoulos, Phaedra Papadopoulou, Smaro Stavropoulou; and those working for the NSRF, especially Katerina Koutsoyannaki, Nina Veligradi, Evanna Venardou and Manolis Melissourgos.
Director of the 9th Athens Avant-Garde Film Festival President of the Board of Directors, Greek Film Archive Professor, University of Athens