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Thessaloniki Film Festival Joins European Festivals Alliance

Olympion Cinema Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki International Film Festival Joins European Festivals Alliance. Olympion Cinema Thessaloniki. Credit: Zorba at Wikinews / Wikimedia

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival (TIFF) has joined Smart 7, a new cooperation network of seven European film festivals aiming to further European film innovation and culture.

The network was launched as an alliance to meet the current needs of the filming industry and to provide a vision for the future of festival culture, TIFF says in an announcement.

The initiative’s program will carry out the design and development of four specific workshops over a period of two years, focused on the ways to deal with the new challenges facing the industry.

Aiming to foster the transnational circulation of European titles, Smart 7 will also feature a competitive section, consisting of a selection of seven national films – one from each member country – which will compete for a prize of 5,000 euros and will be judged by a jury of university students.

European cinema from Reykjavik to Vilnius

Supported by Creative Europe MEDIA and the European Festival Networks, Smart 7 is the result of a natural collaboration process between seven agents, the announcement notes.

The participating countries – Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Romania and Iceland – share similar goals and visions, thus the main purpose of Smart 7 is not only to respond to current needs, but also to define common trends for future growth and development of the industry and festival culture.

This will be achieved through enriching the experiences of the festivals and their teams, promoting the professionalization of the sector, developping new audiences, and expanding the exhibition circuit for European cinema.

The funds obtained through this call will help to develop a professional framework that favors the implementation of a full activities program aiming to create a forum for international exchange and learning.

The seven festivals will integrate the program developed in the network and work closely together, while adhering to their own identity and programming criteria.

Filming workshops and competition

The four workshops for film professionals will cover topics such as programming and audience development, sponsorship and fundraising, promotion and sales, sustainability and green practices.

However, the initiative will be open to participation of other cultural agents, in order to amplify the impact of the experience and to boost and strengthen the cultural industry in general.

Besides the workshops, Smart7’s selection of films in the competitive section will represent all the member countries in the network and will be screened in each of the festivals.

According to TIFF, the films taking part in the competitive section must be made by emerging filmmakers committed to new narratives and innovative cinema language.

The jury will be formed by university students from each country, to encourage the development of young audiences and their familiarization with European cinema.

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