12th Athens International Digital Film Festival AIDFF The New Cinema
For the twelfth consecutive year, the Athens International Digital Film Festival (AIDFF) is back, scheduled from December 7 to 13, 2023. The festival will take place at the historic Studio Cinema and simultaneously at the Blackbox Theater Cinema. This year's festival continues its tradition of presenting a carefully curated selection of films from a wide spectrum of cinematography. Audiences can look forward to world premieres, European premieres, and Athenian premieres, with some films starting their journey at AIDFF, others continuing their cinematic voyage, and a few choosing to conclude their festival cycle here.
Among the feature films to be screened is "The Gaze Adventure" by Dimitris Athanitis (Athenian Premiere). This is an essay film that delves into the essence of cinema, exploring the concept of the cinematic gaze in a unique way. Additionally, we'll have the opportunity to see "My Last Best Friend," directed by Filippo M. Prandi (European Premiere), featuring the renowned actor Eric Roberts, widely recognized for his role in the "Runaway Train" by Andrei Konchalovsky. The film tells the story of two men, both named Walter Stoyanov, whose lives unravel as one faces illness, while the other is under scrutiny by FBI agent John McCallany. Notably, Eric Roberts plays both roles. We are excited to premiere " The 3rd Contract", a police film, directed by Dionysis Xanthos. This film explores the subject of terrorism, delving into the factors that steer a person's life in one direction or another—heredity, societal conditions, or personal choices. Dimitris Katsimiris' "With Dignity" (Athens festival premiere) is a simple yet elegant cinematic one-act with measured dialogues that flow naturally, engaging the audience in an effortless way.
Nikos Papakostas' documentary, "Exarchia Luthiers", will make its Athens premiere. The film follows a group of instrument makers who craft the renowned handmade musical instruments of Greek folk music, including guitars, bouzoukis, baglamas, lutes, violins, ancient Greek lyres, and more. Working in small workshops, they've created instruments sought after by collectors worldwide. Furthermore, Takis Bardakos presents "Elefsis" (Athenian Premiere), taking us on a journey through the wet landscapes of Eleusis, where time seems to stand still, and past and future blur into an eternal present. Viewers can expect to immerse themselves in historical memories as they attend the premiere of Aimilios Velia's animated film, "The Fall of Missolonghi". In another animated film from the Czech Republic, "Heroes of Bronze - The Memory," we'll delve into the story of a young Athenian boy, living in the shadow of his father's heroic deeds, while facing the looming threat of a second Persian invasion in Greece. The festival will also feature the captivating dance film "Cats. Why do we need them?" by Liudmila Komrakova (Premiere), where we explore the intriguing scenario of a cat crossing the path of a troubled businessman contemplating self-harm. Furthermore, the thought-provoking dance film "The Kitchen Dance" offers a unique perspective on life, memories, and the uncertain future, shedding light on the various facets of a woman's journey, caught between oppression and the pursuit of emancipation.
The festival lineup includes 80 feature and short films from 30 countries." The festival introduced a unique category over the past decade, exclusively dedicated to 'New Directors.' This category provides emerging directors with the opportunity to showcase their work to the public. The audience, along with the filmmakers, will fill the theaters, creating a vibrant community. Films from all cinematic genres, including fiction, documentary, video dance, experimental, animation, and video art, will be presented.
Concurrently, the "10th International Panorama of Environmental and Science Films" will take place. For a decade, the Panorama has been showcasing films with scientific and ecological content. As part of this event, numerous panel discussions and workshops on eco-cinematography will be conducted, further advancing the field of ecological cinematography. The festival also plays a crucial role in disseminating scientific knowledge through the use of cutting-edge audio-visual media and digital technologies. These modern tools, widely employed by scientists across the globe, offer Greece the opportunity to promote innovative practices for environmental conservation and education, aligning with global standards. This year's theme, 'Utilizing digital media to create effective means of informing that positively shape our world,' will immerse us in films of a similar nature, fostering contemplation of the climate crisis. It will also introduce us to groups striving to convey information through activism and art, with a vision of a more sustainable future. The Panorama section features "A Psychedelic Journey with Huachuma" from Israel, directed by Kai (Kaitz) Ilya Brebner, as well as "41 Degrees North" from the UK, directed by Barry Wilkinson. Julie Langsam's "The Garden State", United States, takes us on a journey throughout New Jersey, exploring the coexistence of wildlife, development, agriculture, and industry in America's most populous state.
As part of the 12th AIDFF, the "1st International Short and Feature Film Screenplay Festival" will commence. The term "scenario" draws inspiration from the theater, particularly Commedia dell' Arte, where it signifies a "small stage." Just as in Commedia dell' Arte, where actors engaged in improvisation based on a given theme, in the realm of cinema, the script serves as a foundation for creativity. It is the canvas upon which the director weaves their vision. The screenwriter not only outlines the premise of the work but also breathes life into its characters.
This year's AIDFF has expanded beyond its festival boundaries, transforming into a captivating platform for exploring art and cinema. The films presented are immersive narratives that delve deep into the human experience, offering profound emotional depth and introspection. The diversity of films on display in this year's festival reflects the extraordinary richness of cinematic art. Over the past twelve years, the festival has firmly established itself as a top destination for filmmakers. Defining itself as an influential organization, the Festival now stands as a prominent international platform for showcasing cinematic art while concurrently spotlighting the realms of science and ecology.
The AIDFF continues to inspire both creators and audiences of all ages, fostering meaningful conversations about film and art. The creators presenting their films showcase a willingness to present the world in new cinematic ways, emphasizing the unifying and inspirational power of art. This experience continues to nurture a new generation of creators with open minds and independent perspectives, free from constraints. Each year, the ever-evolving digital landscape encourages us to reevaluate our medium and explore the limitless boundaries of new technologies. It's essential to be innovative users of new media, rather than allowing new media to dictate our use. Aesthetic pursuit remains at the heart of AIDFF, while independent production continues to shape the art of cinema.
For the detailed screening program and further information about the films and directors, please visit the festival's website at www.aidff.com.
Studio New Star Art Cinema: Spartis & Stavropoulou 33, Amerikis square, 2108640054
BlackBox Theater Cinema: Bousgou 22b, Pedio tou Areos
The Athens International Digital Film Festival is supported by the Greek Film Center
Koyinta Organization, and Tickets Tickets Culture Company
Website: Athens International Digital Film Festival
BlackBox Theater Cinema: https://blackbox-theater-cinema.com/el/