Cinema no matter what, festival no matter what. The 61st Thessaloniki International Film Festival is back in online business, from 5 to 15 November 2020, with indie cinema from all over the world, the best movies of the recent Greek film production, breathtaking tributes, and subversive films. The Festival is welcoming the audience at, with 177 movies online.

“Ever since February 2020, our dystopian everyday life seems to be the work of a sci-fi screenwriter. Thessaloniki Film Festival bears no exception of course, but at the same time it has proved to be a feisty and resilient institution. Following in the footsteps of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival held last March, the 61st Thessaloniki Film Festival will take place, no matter what. We owe it to the audience, to the filmmakers, to the cinema industry, to our team. Cinema by any means, cinema at any given place… to light up our days and nights” points out TIFF’s General Director, Elise Jalladeau.

“As we wheel out the Festival’s online version, we don’t cease to seek new theoretical tools to interpret not only cinema and the arts, but also the very reality that surrounds us. We set up visual art events in Thessaloniki’s public space; we plan alternative solutions for all our Festival’s upcoming actions. Our motto “Cinema, no matter what” is a means for love and understanding, a way for us to lay down some rules of our own, over the ones imposed by the new coronavirus, a reaction against the reversed world we have immersed in” says TIFF’s Artistic Director, Orestis Andreadakis.

The 61st Thessaloniki International Film Festival prepared, instead of the traditional press conference, a video expressing the times we live in and our hope that cinema will, once more, bring us closer together:

Every film is available for a limited number of viewings exclusively destined for users residing in Greece. Tickets for online screenings cannot be returned of cancelled.

Poster and trailer

The colorful posters of the 61st TIFF are designed by the Basque illustrator Luis Mazón, whereas TIFF’s spots were created by the award-winning director Sophia Exarchou (Park).

Opening film and video – Closing film

The 61st TIFF kicks off on Thursday, November 5th 2020, with the touching film The Whale Hunter by Philipp Yuryev and it will be completed on Sunday, November 15th, with the screening of the film Never Gonna Snow Again by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert.

Greek film festival


“Apples”, Christos Nikou, Greece-Poland-Slovenia, 2020

The 61st TIFF hosts 18 Greek full-feature films, as well as 21 Greek shorts:

–       15 films that celebrate their premiere (“First Take”)

–       3 films that have already premiered (“A Second Viewing”)

–       2 classic and beloved movies, in fully accessible online screenings

The awarded short films of the recent 43rd Drama International Short Film Festival will also be screened.

Actions And Initiatives Supporting Greek Cinema

The 61st TIFF wholeheartedly supports Greek cinema through a series of actions and initiatives: two new awards for Greek projects in the development sections of Agora, the successful program “Meet the Future” that invites eight up-and-coming cinematographers of Greek films to take center stage, the Agora Lab workshop for Greek projects, the participation of six film professionals from Greece at the Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy International, as well as the strengthening of TIFF’S collaboration with the Drama International Short Film Festival.

International Program


“Kala Azar”, Janis Rafa, The Netherlands-Greece, 2020

The concept behind the 12 films making up the 61st TIFF’s International Competition is Intimacy, a Modern Tyranny, inspired by American sociologist Richard Sennett’s book The fall of public man. Three Greek films take part in the International Competition section: Apples by Christos Nikou, Kala Azar by Janis Rafa and Digger by Georgis Grigorakis.

Meet the Neighbors Competition includes ten films, among which we encounter three Greek films: Daniel ’16 by Dimitris Koutsiabasakos, All the Pretty Little Horses by Michalis Konstantatos and Amercement by Fokion Bogris. This section hosts films directed by young directors from the wider region of Southeast Europe, Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, Greece’s broader “neighborhood”.

The international Program also includes: Vigorous and convention-breaking cinema in The Open Horizons section and the Open Horizons – Another Take subsection, top-notch Balkan films in the Balkan Survey, favorite directors in the Special Screenings, radical films in >>Film Forward, and an after hours date in the ‘Round Midnight zone.

DIGGER“Digger”, Georgis Grigorakis, Greece-France, 2020                                                                                        


The Festival invites viewers to take delight in the most cult, funny and breathtaking sci-fi movies through the 61st TIFF’s core tribute “Prophecies from another world: Sci-fi and Cli-fi (1950-1990)”, to get acquainted with the work of Norwegian director Anja Breien, a pioneer of the Scandinavian feminist cinema, and discover the subversive work of Czech director Vĕra Chytilová, one of the most prominent representatives of the Czechoslovak New Wave.


“Daisies”, Věra Chytilová, Czechoslovakia, 1966


This year’s Agora, taking place online, includes a series of dynamic actions, awards and collaborations. Agora aims at bringing the industry’s international professionals in contact with the Greek cinema community. This year, highly cherished actress Katia Gkoulioni serves as Agora’s ambassador. TIFF’s Agora, supported by Creative Europe MEDIA program, is granting awards in the form of services and cash prizes of a total value of 200,000 euros, and will be carried out online from November 6 to 14, 2020.


“Amercement”, Fokion Bogris, Greece, 2020


The International Competition section movies are contending for the Golden Alexander – Best Feature Film “Theo Angelopoulos” Award (15,000 euros), the Silver Alexander – Special Jury Award (8,000 euros), the Bronze Alexander – Special Jury Award for Best Direction, as well as the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Artistic Achievement/Best Screenplay awards. As of this year, TIFF’s Grand Sponsor, COSMOTE TV, grants a 3,000-euro prize to the winner of the Bronze Alexander Award.

Meet the Neighbors Competition section movies are contending for the Golden Alexander (3,000 euros), the Silver Alexander – Special Jury Award (3,000 euros) and the Bronze Alexander – Special Jury Award for Best Direction. The “Mermaid Award” is bestowed to the best LGBTQI-themed film of the Festival’s official selection.The list of the Festival’s awards also includes: four Fischer Audience Awards granted to the most-voted films by the public, two FIPRESCI Awards bestowed to a film of the International Competition section and a Greek film premiering at the Festival, the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation Award to a Greek film premiering at the Festival, the “Human Values” Award granted by the Hellenic Parliament, two awards bestowed by ERT S.A. (the first, accompanied by a 3,000-euro cash prize to the FIPRESCI Award-winning Greek film and the second one to a Works in Progress of Agora Lab Greek project, accompanied by a 2,000-euro cash prize), the Greek Film Center Award granted to a Greek debut film (5,000 euros), the Best Location Award bestowed by the Greek Film’s Center Hellenic Film Commission (1,500 euros), the Youth Jury Awards bestowed by the students of Thessaloniki’s two major Universities (Aristotle and Macedonia), WIFT GR Award granted to an International Competition or a Meet the Neighbors Competition film for the best woman’s contribution and presence in front or behind the camera.


“Daniel ’16”,  Dimitris Koutsiabasiakos, Greece, 2020

Public space exhibitions

The exhibition “Intimacy, a modern tyranny”, inspired by the 61st TIFF’s International Competitions films, will not be hosted, as initially planned, at MOMus – Experimental Center for the Arts (Warehouse B1, Port of Thessaloniki). However, representations of the exhibition’s works illustrated on canvases will be placed in the city’s most unexpected spots, as “Find the Festival” action unveils and explores the unique and complex urban landscape of today. Additionally, 12 large-scale representations on canvases will be exhibited on the external walls of the buildings at the port’s peer, claiming their place within public space. At the same time, photos of George Drivas video-installation “Incidents in (Past) Future Perfect Tense” will be printed on banners and exhibited at the port premises, along with the 12 visual artists’ works.

The Festival also hosts the installation “The Glasshouse project” by visual artist and photographer Nikos Rakkas, situated at the former nursery facilities and a visual installation: Olga Sfetsa designs, exclusively for the 61st TIFF, at the port’s peer.


“All the Pretty Little Horses”, Michalis Konstantatos, Greece-Belgium-Germany, 2020

Meet the directors

Starting from Monday November 9th and up until Friday November 13th, don’t miss out on the chance to meet the directors whose films take part in the International Competition and Meet the Neighbors sections, as well as in the Greek program, through online meetings and the Director’s Corner initiative.

Children’s films

Youth Screen films of the 61st TIFF will be available online on both weekends of the Festival, on November 7-8th and November 14-15th, for kids and teenagers from all over Greece to watch at home, for a limited number of screenings.

The 61st TIFF’s awards will be bestowed at the end of Festival.

Read also: The Greek films of the 61st Thessaloniki International Film Festival