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Evia Film Project: the regenerative power of cinema

In Film & Series 12 June, 2022

Eva Peydró

Eva Peydró

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From 15 to 19 June, Evia Film Project, the new initiative of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, prepares for its summer meeting with the public. Open-air screenings, an agora for the development of new film projects, ecological actions, open debates, master classes, workshops for children and students, as well as a big concert await the public in the north of the Greek island of Evia. The Evia Film Project events will be held with free admission for the public, from 15-19 June in Edipsos, Limni and Agia Anna.

Evia Film Project opens a third chapter in the Festival’s actions, adding its name to the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which takes place in November, and the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, which takes place in March. Evia Film Project is part of the “Fotodotes” projects, included in the specially designated programme for the reconstruction and restoration of North Evia, planned and carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The festival kicks off on 15 June with an open-air screening of Coline Serreau‘s film The Green Planet, which will take place at the Apollon in Edipsos, closed for decades and rehabilitated for the festival, which in itself is excellent news. The film tells the story of the visit of a superior being from a utopian planet who is shocked to arrive in Paris and learn about the consumerist way of life of humans, and sets out to bring about a green awakening. A tender, imaginative and powerful film that encourages us to reconsider our way of life in this world, redefining the importance of the connection with nature. Both Edipsos and Limni will host twelve films by prestigious Greek and international directors, while a special screening of exciting short films will take place in Agia Anna Square. Among the filmmakers attending the Evia Film Project are Yorgos Tsemberopoulos and Sakis Maniatis, who will introduce the screening of their documentary, Megara (1974) a film depicting the uprising of the Greek town’s peasants against the junta’s decision to expropriate their farmland to build an oil refinery. This pioneering film in defence of the ecosystem is a powerful work and an essential documentary in the history of cinema.

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The Evia Film Project has an exceptional ambassador in the person of singer-songwriter Kostis Maraveyas, who will give a great concert on the beach of Agia Anna on Saturday 18 June, with free admission. The artist will be accompanied by his great friends Katerina Papoutsaki, Yorgos Papageorgiou, Ksenia Dania and Eleni Arapoglou.

Between the discussion forums and masterclasses, the audience will have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of sustainable filmmaking, such as the workshop on forest fires to be given by WWF Hellas. Journalists Yorgos Avgeropoulos and Katerina Christofilidou will also lead a masterclass on the role of journalism in environmental films, in collaboration with iMEdD. In addition, cinematographer Georges Frentzos will give a lecture on the role of technology in the film industry, and internationally renowned photographer Gideon Mendel will attend the Evia Film Project to unveil his project entitled “Burning World”.

Children are the future and Evia Film Project has dedicated a programme for the whole family. The selected films will explore the relationship between humans and nature, as well as participating in workshops and an environmental board game. All activities and screenings are free of admission.

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Moreover, the Thessaloniki Film Festival’s initiative to revitalise the island of Evia also participates in the development of the project planned and implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Fotodotes, for the restoration and reconstruction, following the environmental disaster of last summer’s devastating forest fires. Evia Film Project is realised with the support of the Region of Central Greece and the Greek Film Centre, in collaboration with the Municipality of Istiaia-Aidipsos and the Municipality of Mantoudi-Limni-Agia Anna. The Thessaloniki Film Festival partners with all the institutions based in Evia, the Department of Digital Arts and Film of the National and Kapodistrian University based in Psachna, and the Greek Documentary Festival of Chalkida.

The closing ceremony of this innovative film and environmental event will feature the Oscar and Palme d’Or winning German filmmaker Volker Schlöndorff, who will screen his documentary The Forest Maker. The film will be screened on 19 June at the Apollon cinema followed by a Q&A.

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