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Spielberg Drama To Open Thessaloniki Film Festival

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans.” Credit: Universal Pictures / Youtube (Screenshot)

Steven Spielberg’s latest film “The Fabelmans” will be the opening film of this year’s Thessaloniki International Film Festival on November 3.

“The Fabelmans” is the most personal and confessional film of Steven Spielberg’s entire career. Critics consider it a touching tribute to the power of cinema.

It recently won the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival and is heading for the Oscars.

Spielberg to kick off Thessaloniki Film Festival

The film will be he opening film of the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

The plot follows young Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), who falls in love with cinema after his parents take him to watch “The Greatest Show on Earth” in the 1950s. The famed writer and director partially based it on his own early life.

Sammy starts creating his own movies at home and his mother (Michelle Williams), a once promising piano player, encourages his devotion. Yet things are not always easy. His journey is obstructed by his parents’ divorce, his difficult financial situation, and the anti-Semitism that he faces. For all these reasons, the movie theatre offers Sammy a respite.

Steven Spielberg The Fabelmans
“The Fabelmans” Credit: Universal Pictures / Youtube (Screenshot)

The acclaimed American director also co-wrote the screenplay with Academy Award-nominated and Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner (”Angels in America”). The film is produced by Oscar nominee Christy Makosko Krieger, along with Spielberg and Kushner.

Story inspired by Spielberg’s life

Steven Spielberg by Gage Skidmore
Steven Spielberg by Gage Skidmore. Credit: Gage Skidmore. CC-BY-SA-3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The movie will trace Spielberg’s childhood, chronicling how he developed his love for filmmaking.

In an interview, Spielberg’s longtime cinematographer Janusz Kaminski said: ”It’s a very emotional movie that tells the story of Spielberg from the age of seven to eighteen. It deals with his family, with his parents, conundrums with his sisters, but primarily deals with his passion for movie-making.”

”It’s a very beautiful, beautiful personal movie. It’s very revealing about Steven’s life and who he is as a filmmaker.”

Kaminski noted that the film will explore how Spielberg’s passion for film developed out of the struggles he faced.

A-list cast and crew

The production features A-list actors and crew.

Gabriel LaBelle (”The Huntsman”, ”American Gigolo”) is the 16-year-old aspiring filmmaker Sammy Feibelman.

The four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (”A Town by the Sea”, ”A Week with Marilyn”) plays his artist mother, Mitchie.

Award winning actor Paul Deino (”The Batman”, ”There Will Be Blood”) serves as Bert’s successful, scientist father.

The popular Seth Rogen (”Steve Jobs”, ”An American Pickle”) plays Benny Lowery, Bert’s best friend and so-called uncle to the little Feibelmans.

Finally, Academy Award nominee Judd Hersh (”Uncut Diamond”, ”Ordinary People”) plays Mitchie’s uncle Boris.

Five-time Academy Award winner John Williams (”Schindler’s List”, ”Jaws of the Shark’’) produced the score.

Two-time Academy Award winner Mark Bridges (”The Artist”, ”Invisible Thread”) and the production design is by Oscar winner Rick Carter (”Lincoln”, ”Avatar’’) created the costumes.

Three-time Academy Award winner Michael Kahn (”Saving Private Ryan”, ”Schindler’s List”) and Sarah Brossard (”West Side Story”, ”The Post: Forbidden Secrets’’) edited the story.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival

Olympion Cinema Thessaloniki
Olympion Cinema Thessaloniki. Credit: Zorba at Wikinews / Wikimedia

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) is organized by the cultural institution of the same name under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

It takes place every November in Thessaloniki. The festival features international competition sections, and its program includes tributes to major filmmakers and national cinemas.

It also features sidebar events such as masterclasses, exhibitions, live concerts and workshops.

The festival focuses on independent cinema and emerging filmmakers from around the world. Hundreds of Greek and foreign guests, including major figures of the international film scene, have attended TIFF.

TIFF is held at the historical “Olympion” theater at the central Thessaloniki Aristotelous Square and, since 1999, at the Thessaloniki port, in four theaters at two newly-restored warehouses.

Thessaloniki is famous for many of its international film festival and has honoured many films such as Leonard Cohen’s Greek love story with Marianne. The city is also well-known for its International Fair, a commercial event of great importance in Greece and Southeastern Europe. In the future, it will also become the country’s new Silicon Valley with the construction of a new innovation park.

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