Since 1993, Thessaloniki International Film Festival has been home to the Balkan Survey program, showcasing new films from the region as well as presenting retrospectives of the work of significant Balkan film directors. Now in its 24th edition, the Balkan Survey offered a survey of new and exciting films from the region, and also included a special tribute on film adaptations. This special tribute, “From Words to Images: Balkan Literature and Cinema,” presented, both new and old, important and ground-breaking works from the archival collections and film heritages of each nation. This selection of landmark works from Balkan cinema comes at a mature moment when the Balkan Survey has almost completed a generation of screenings, now celebrating the best of Balkan cinema through the tribute to film adaptations. However, access to archival films in the Balkans still remains a challenge. The lack of formal cooperation and infrastructure in the region has a detrimental effect on the preservation and distribution of Balkan filmic works beyond national confines. Clearly, an effort on the part of governmental and (hopefully) private institutions will be instrumental in creating a sustainable network and frameworks of cooperation for the sharing and screening of these films.
Recurrent Themes, Entangled Histories, and Cultural Affinities: Balkan Cinema at the 58th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Ana Grgic holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of St. Andrews, with a thesis entitled “Mapping Constellations: Early Cinema in the Balkans, Archives and Cultural Memory.” She coedited a special issue on Albanian cinema for KinoKultura and published in The Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals (St. Andrews University Press, 2013), Frames Cinema Journal, Cinemas of Paris (St. Andrews University Press, 2015), Studies in Eastern European Cinema, Short Film Studies, and East European Film Bulletin.
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Ana Grgic; Recurrent Themes, Entangled Histories, and Cultural Affinities: Balkan Cinema at the 58th Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Film Quarterly 1 March 2018; 71 (3): 81–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2018.71.3.81
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