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The International Film Festival of Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki International Film festival was first held in 1960 as the Week of Greek Cinema. It took its current international character in 1992, with the financial support of the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of Thessaloniki and other local institutions, who invited foreign filmmakers to present their work in the context of the Festival.
This great annual event takes place in the middle of November and lasts for ten days. More than 150 films are shown in the city's cinema halls and are viewed by approximately 70,000 people.
The Festival's objective is to present and promote the work of new filmmakers. In fact, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival shows some of the most innovative independent films made by directors from around the world. It includes the International Section, the Independence Days program, the Balkan Survey, the Panorama of Greek films and several tributes to the top and emerging cinema people. Some of these sections are competitive and others are not.
At the end of the Festival, the jury, which consists of seven internationally acknowledged cinema figures, awards the Golden Alexander award for Best Film, the Special Jury Award- Silver Alexander and awards for Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Artistic Achievement. The State Film Awards are also given to Greek filmmakers by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Some other cultural events also take place in parallel to the Film Festival, such as concerts and art exhibitions, which contribute to the cultural character of Thessaloniki.