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International Festivals in Greece

Well-reputed interational festivals are held in Greece every year, inviting you to take part as entrants, or initiating you as spectators into a world of music, theatre, cinema and dance. We have chosen some for you so that you can book a seat or work on your entry in time.

Thessaloniki International Film Festival

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival is the top film festival of South Eastern Europe, the presentation platform for the year's Greek productions, and the primary and oldest festival in the Balkans for the creations of emerging film makers from all over the world. Founded in 1960 as the Week of Greek Cinema, it became international in 1992, including a Competition Section for feature length films by emerging directors presenting their first or second film.
Since then, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, constantly evolving, has claimed and achieved a constantly increasing international scope, presenting the most groundbreaking independent productions from the entire world, and developing activities for international film industry professionals. Since the mid 1990s, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, going beyond the borders set for decades by its centerpiece November edition, has become an organization with continuously increasing cultural activities throughout the year.

Thessaloniki film Festival

Through its new form and activities, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has established close collaborations with various local, national, regional and international film institutions, cultural, educational and social organizations, as well as embassies and cultural agencies from other countries.

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Drama International Short Film Festival

The city of Drama (in the North of the country) is the city of waters, caves, Byzantine walls, tobacco houses, springs and the city of the fiesta of short cinema in Greece.
Every September is the month when all generations of cinema and culture gather in Drama to enjoy the best short films from all over the world (1.500 entries from the 5 continents, half of them international premieres).
Discovering international cinema represented in the competition, the Festival focuses on films coming from countries with low capacity in film production. Rare films from Southern & Eastern Europe, as well as from Asia and Africa will definitely be amongst the films screened.
Parallel activities and cultural events top off the pleasure for the cinema fans: Concerts, Books Presentations, Q& A with the film makers, Art Exhibitions, Cinema and Radio Labs for visitors and professionals, Conferences, Parties.
This year’s appointment is for September 17 to 22. Don’t miss it!

Getting to Drama: By plane (Thessaloniki and Kavala) bus and train.

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Naoussa International Film Festival

The Naoussa International Film Festival is a magical journey to a world full of images, colors, music, vividness, smiles, creativity. Cinematographers from all over the world turn their cameras at Naoussa (Northern Greece) and invite us all to travel through images at a dreamy trip to the cinema world.
Since its very first edition in 2004, the festival has developed in a rapid manner and it has been established as a high qualitative event in the creator’s minds for its pioneering, innovative, sincere and truthful character.

Getting to Naoussa: At just 70 minutes drive from Thessaloniki and six hours from Athens, Naoussa is also directly connected to the former by train and bus.

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Kalamata International Dance Festival

The Kalamata International Dance Festival is the key event in the year of the city's International Dance Centre. The Centre was founded in the spring of 1995, charged with supporting and promoting the art of dance via research, education, and artistic activities and creativity.

After twenty years as an active presence in the Greek dance scene, thanks to the support of the local authorities the Kalamata Festival has earned itself a special place on the festival map of the Mediterranean South, and built bridges to international dance creativity.

Kalamata_dance_festival_Tasos_Vamvakas_&_Giannis _Kossyvas

A number of influential figures, whose work is shaping the history of contemporary dance made their first Greek appearance at Kalamata, while the Festival has also taken care to promote and support Greek creativity in the field by commissioning works from talented Greek choreographers and supporting new companies in their experimental explorations.

Another integral part of the Festival is constituted by the seminars and talks aimed at dance students and professionals alike, while other parallel events include publications and video dance productions.

From the very start, the Festival had been programmed with two considerations in mind: the wide range of trends in contemporary dance and the ever-larger audiences this art-form attracts. Today, sixteen years down the line, every year sees a widely-varied audience enthusiastically respond to the call of the Festival.

Getting to Kalamata (Peloponnese in South Greece):
By plane: The town is connected to Thessaloniki and the town of Heraklion in Crete.
By train: Connection to Athens.
By bus: Connection to Athens, Patra, Ioannina, and Thessaloniki available.

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Athens Animfest – Interational Animation Festival

Every March since 2006, the Greek capital has been hosting animation films of all techniques and from all over the world.
Aiming to bring the younger generation closer to the secrets and fascination of the art of animation and their diverse applications on the small and big screen, the multimedia, the Internet and education in general, the Festival gives a special emphasis to European animation films, regardless of techniques, style and aesthetic trends thus demonstrating the common cultural heritage of the peoples of Europe. What is more, every year it pays a tribute to a different country and it holds exhibitions, special screenings and masterclasses.

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Olympia International Film Festival For Children and Young People (Olyfest)

Set in Pyrgos, capital of Ilia Prefecture to the west of the Peloponnese mountain range and next door to ancient Olympia, Olyfest offers a particularly rich model for bringing international film to where it can make the strongest impact--in places far away from major metropolitan areas. The Olympia Festival is unique in its concept and provides a place for young people to meet, collaborate and see each other's audiovisual work through new technologies.
For a whole week Pyrgos as well as other nearby towns and villages get overcrowded with film-makers and film fans from 6 to 86 years old from all over the world. More than 10,000 spectators, children and young people up to 20 years in the vast majority, watch over 300 movies in 7 cinemas. What is more, Camera Zizanio, a parallel event, annually hosts dozens of young film/videomakers and their short works for days of art and communication exchange.
The festival is a member of the CIFEJ (International Cinema Federation for Children & Young People) and the ECFA (European Cinema Federation for Children & Young People).

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International Street Theatre Festival (ISTFEST) Athens

It's been three years that the ISTFEST has been proving that open space can stage creativity and communication in an artistic prospect. Set mainly in public areas, the festival hosts shows that meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life in their everyday urban environment. That's why attendance is free of charge.
Work presented at the Festival includes Street theatre, Circus Music theatre, theatre for children, shadow theatre, puppet theatre, dancing, music, Juggling, Happening, Performance, Installation, Site-Specific, Graffiti, Break Dance, Hip-Hop etc. The participants also have the opportunity to present their work by means of printed literature, photographs and video, and take part in seminars and workshops.

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