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“Red Race” to Open 11th Thessaloniki Documentary Fest; 170 Films Join Line up

by Brian Brooks (March 5, 2009)
“Red Race” to Open 11th Thessaloniki Documentary Fest; 170 Films Join Line up
Scene from Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, "a BLOOMING BUSINESS "
by Ton van Zantvoort.

“The Red Race” by Chao Gan (China/Germany, ‘08) will open the 11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, taking place March 13 - 22.  “Race” recounts the stories of several Chinese children-gymnasts who (are forced to) dream of becoming famous athletes. The 6-year-olds at the Lu Wan District Youth Athletic School in Shanghai, trained relentlessly in the hopes they will one day be gold medalists, provide the subjects for a sometimes harsh, yet intimate portrait.

Approximately 170 films by directors from around the world will screen at the event in Northern Greece. Among the docs that have received international recognition on the festival circuit this year are Kim Longinotto’s “Rough Aunties,” Matt Turnauer’s “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” Kimberly Reed’s “Prodigal Sons,” Joe Berlinger’s “Crude,” Anders Hosbro Ostergaardand’s “Burma VJ” and Kief Davidson’s “Kassim the Dream.” In addition to Thessaloniki’s line up, the festival is planning a Spotlight on Mexico section this year with seven films screening from the Latin American country, while seven are slated for a Spotlight on Austria and 10 for a special “Tribute: Africa” section. Canadian doc filmmaker Peter Wintonick will also be feted with a spotlight, screening two of his films, “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” (co-directed with Mark Achbar, 1992) and “Pilgrimage” (co-directed with Mira Burt Wintonick, 2008).

11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival line up:

Views of the World

“Sandra’s Paradise,” Marianne Roussy, France, 74’, 2008
“Oblivion,” Heddy Honigmann, Netherlands, 93’, 2008
“Everything Is Relative,” Mikala Krogh, Denmark, 75’, 2008
“Three Men And A Fish Pond,” Laila Pakalnina, Maris Maskalans, Latvia, 52’, 2008
“Unwanted Witness,” Juan Jose Lozano, Switzerland, France, 90’, 2008
“The Red Race,” Chao Gan, China, 70’, 2008
“Rough Aunties,” Kim Longinotto, United Kingdom, 103’, 2008
“Children Of The Pyre,” Rajesh S. Jala, India, 74’, 2008
“Kites, Beata Dzianowicz,” Poland, 80’, 2008
“Marina Of The Zabbaleen,” Engi Wassef, USA, 70’, 2008
“The Corner Shop,” Helga Rakel Rafnsdottir, Hulda Ros Udnadottir, Iceland, 44’, 2008
“Manhole Children,” Taro Takahashi, Japan, 117’, 2008
“My Mother’s Farm,” Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen, Norway, Latvia, 55’, 2008
“Heart Of Factory,” Ernesto Ardito, Virna Molina, Argentina, 129’, 2008
“Child Miners,” Rodrigo Vazquez, United Kingdom, Bolivia, 44’, 2008
“Apocalypse On Wheels,” Alexandru Solomon, Romania, 52’, 2008
“The Solitary Life Of Cranes,” Eva Weber, United Kingdom, 27’, 2008
“Torgheh,” Mohammad Hassan Damanzan, Iran, 52’, 2008
“Sisters Of Lilith,” Emel Celebi, Turkey, 41’, 2008
“Bells, Threads & Miracles,” Marianna Economou, Greece, 65’, 2008
“On The Way To School,” Orhan Eskikoy, Ozgur Dogan, Turkey, 81’, 2008
“Journey To Rakhiv,” Takis Touliatos, Greece, 65’, 2008
“Nothing To Lose,” Jean Henri Meunier, France, 78’, 2008
“Circus School,” Guo Jing, Ke Dingding, China, 103’, 2007
“Zeru Zeru The Ghosts,” Yorgos Avgeropoulos, Greece, 60’, 2009

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Human Rights

“Flowers Of Rwanda,” David Munoz, Spain, 24’, 2008
“The Day After Peace,” Jeremy Gilley, United Kingdom, 81’, 2008
“Seaview, Paul Rowley,” Nicky Cogan, Ireland, 82’, 2008
“Letter To Anna,” Eric Bergkraut, Switzerland, 83’, 2008
“Burma VJ - Reporting From A Closed Country,” Anders Hosbro Ostergaard, Denmark, 85’, 2008
“A Blooming Business,” Ton Van Zantvoort, Netherlands, 55’, 2009
“Enjoy Poverty,” Renzo Martens, Netherlands, 90’, 2008
“Umoja, The Village Where Men Are Forbidden,” Jean Crousillac, Jean Marc Sainclair, France, 52’, 2008
“Rich Brother,” Insa Onken, Germany, 97’, 2009

Portraits - Human Journeys

“Chris And Don, A Love Story,” Guido Santi, Tina Mascara, USA, 90’, 2007
“Rene,” Helena Trestikova, Czech Republic, 83’, 2008
“No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo And Vilmos,” James Chressanthis, USA, 97’,2008
“The Ladies,” Christina Voros, USA, 13’, 2007
“Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress And The Tangerine,” Amei Wallach, Marion Cajori, USA, 99’, 2008
“Huxley On Huxley, Mary Ann Braubach, USA,60’, 2008
“Should I Really Do It?,” Ismail Necmi, Turkey, 86’ 2008
“T 4 Trouble And The Self Admiration Society,” Dimitris Athiridis, Greece, 108’, 2008
“Charisma X- Iannis Xenakis,” Efi Xirou, Greece, 62’, 2008
“Filo And Marina,” Kalliopi Legaki, Greece, 74’, 2009
“Kassim The Dream,” Kief Davidson, USA, 87’, 2008
“Valentino, The Last Emperor,” Matt Turnauer, USA, 95’, 2008
“Flying On One Engine,” Joshua Weinstein, USA, India, 51’, 2007
“Masterclass,” Algis Kemezys, Greece, Canada, 57’, 2008
“The Queen And I,” Nahid Persson Sarvestani, Sweden, 93’, 2008

Stories to Tell

“Love On Delivery,” Janus Metz, Denmark, 59’, 2008
“The Mother,” Antoine Cattin, Pavel Kostomarov, Switzerland, France, Russia, 80’, 2007
“Lady Mercedes,” David Fonjallaz, Switzerland, 52’, 2007
“Men,” Khristine Gillard, Belgium, 70’, 2008
“Long Distance Love,” Elin Jonsson, Magnus Gertten, Sweden, 88’, 2008
“Circus Rosaire,” Robyn Bliley, USA, 90’, 2008
“Prodigal Sons,” Kimberly Reed, USA, 86’, 2008
“Dust Of Time,” Nicos Ligouris, Germany, 47’, 2008
“Ticket To Paradise,” Janus Metz, Denmark, 58’, 2008
“Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father,” Kurt Kuenne, USA, 93’, 2008
“Grief: Little Tales Of Unemployment,” Yorgos Zervas, Greece, 53’, 2008
“National Garden,” Apostolos Karakasis, Greece, 73’, 2009


“At The Edge Of The World,” Dan Stone, USA, 101’, 2008
“Blue Gold: World Water Wars,” Sam Bozzo, USA, 90’,2008
“About Naples, Robert Russo,” Italy, USA, 52’, 2008
“Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action,” Velcrow Ripper, Canada, 97’, 2008
“The Hanging Gardens Of Santa Emilia,” Floor Kooij, Sibel Bilgin, Netherlands,60’,2008
“Taking Root: The Vision Of Wangari Maathai,” Alan Dater, Lisa Merton, USA, 80’, 2008
“The Caviar Connection,” Dragan Nikolic, Serbia, USA, 58’, 2008
“The Man Who Plants Trees,” Yu-Hsien Lin, Taiwan 55’, 2008
“Blast!” Paul Devlin, USA, 74’, 2008
“Another Planet,” Masik Bolygo, Ferenc Moldovanyi, Hungary, 96’, 2008
“Crude,” Joe Berlinger, USA, 100’, 2008
“Upstream Battle,” Ben Kempas, Germany, 97’, 2008
“From Olympus To Everest,” Pavlos Tsiandos, Greece, 90’,2009
“Sos, Animals In Danger,” Angelos Kovotsos, Greece, 26’, 2009

posted on March 5, 2009
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