The 56th Thessaloniki International Film Festival(TIFF) opens its gates November 6 to November 15 in Greece’s beautiful waterfront northern city, showcasing once again a selection of new and emerging filmmakers and awards for the best. With its distinct focus on independent cinema, TIFF invites filmmakers and viewers to its unique cinematic celebration with films from around world, tributes and plenty of parallel events. 

The Festival features an International Competitionsection, a panorama of Greek films, the Open Horizons program, Special Screenings, the Balkan Survey, Youth Screen, and the European Parliament’s LUX Prize in support of cultural diversity and bridge-building among Europeans. 

A riveting film experience is offered by “Open Horizons”, the Festival segment where the heart of international independent cinema beats, with accomplished filmmakers and new talent contributing to a rich crop of pioneering, bold viewpoints.

Some of the year’s most anticipated and lauded films will be offered in the Special Screenings section, includingFrancofonia by Aleksandr Sokurov, László Nemes’ exceptional debut Son of Saul (Grand Prize of the Jury, FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival), Fever at Dawn (world premiere) by Péter Gárdos, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (Golden Berlin Bear, FIPRESCI Prize, Berlin Film Festival) and many more! 

Greek cinema will once again be the star of the event with 20 films – among which prize winning Chevalier by Athina Rachel Tsangari (Special Screening), as well as 18 award-winning Greek films of the 2015 Short Film Festival in Drama. The selection aims to show, in the most comprehensive way, the new dynamics in motion in Greek cinema today and to offer Greek filmmakers the opportunity to communicate their work to the public and to film professionals.

 Also screening will be 42 short animation films as a special tribute to 70 Years of Greek Animation, which has produced a remarkable body of work in almost all categories, genres and techniques, winning major awards and distinctions nationally and internationally.

This year’s Festival celebrates the work of acclaimed Greek cinematographer Nikos Kavoukidis, whose artistic achievements unfold in the film A Life Journey of 60 Years: Nikos Kavoukidis 1955-2015, which will have its premiere at the Festival, in his presence.

Tributes include a Focus on New Austrian Films where the younger voices of Austrian cinema convey stories focusing on issues such as consumerism, coming of age, and immigration. Special tribute will also be paid to the work of French director Arnaud Desplechin, who will attend the Festival to present his work, while his latest film My Golden Days (SACD Prize Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival) will be the closing film of the Festival.