Conversations #7 - Yorgos Krassakopoulos

  
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A conversation with the Head of Programming for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Yorgos Krassakopoulos—

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Hey Eclectic Spacewalk subscribers!

“Γεια σας από την Ελλάδα” - “Hello from Greece”

After traveling to Europe in October and recording a few podcasts(Ronni Abergel, Vinay Gupta, & George Por), I recieved a long awaited email from the international press secretary of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival(TIFF) regarding press credentials. I had applied weeks prior due to theme of the 2019 festival being of particular interest. TIFF celebrated it’s 60th anniversary last November, and the theme was “The Overview Effect.” So of course Eclectic Spacewalk had to go check it out.

If you are familiar with Eclectic Spacewalk you know that the cognitive shift of astronuats when they see Earth from space is one of, if not the, most powerful heuristics that humans, and society as a whole, can use to underdstand our cosmic experience. If you weren’t familiar, then you can read about “The Overview Effect” in our first essay: HERE.

“The Overview Effect is about the way we look at the Earth, life, ourselves from afar. How we discover that the things which seem to separate us on Earth, disappear when you look at them from a distance. The fact that astronauts can’t see borders, class, social, cultural or religious differences makes them realize the harsh reality of life on Earth. The Overview Effect does not just lead to a cognitive shift, but is also a call for action” explains the artistic director of Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Orestis Andreadakis.

Based on the “Overview Effect” concept, TIFF invited young Greek artists to watch the films of the IC section, become inspired and create original works for each one of them. These works will be presented for the first time in the exhibition organized by TIFF in collaboration with the Experimental Center for the Arts.

The days in Greece were a treat, and I would implore anyone to visit Thessaloniki once in their life. The gyros, people, views, and culture were sublime. Next time, we will need to visit Mt. Olympus - the famed home of the ancient gods - only 80km away.

Upon arriving in Thessaloniki, you realize fairly quickly that the festival is more popular than you first ascribed. Not just internationally, by running into any number of pesons and languages from all across the world, but also the locals and shops that welcome the heightened population and business. The film festival is not Cannes, but walking through the halls of the TIFF press offive and seeing photos of Francis Ford Coppolla, Dennis Hopper, Faye Dunaway, and Tarantino creates a sense of humbleness of the the festival’s storied history.

The Best Full-length Feature Film Award - Golden Alexander “Theo Angelopoulos” (15,000 euro) was bestowed to the film FIRE WILL COME by OLIVER LAXE, Spain - France – Luxemburg, “a film that stood out for its unique artistic vision that guided us through a natural and affective journey of breathtaking tableaux and beauty.”

We are still going through all the footage from our time at TIFF, and will hopefully be coming out with a video in the coming months. But, for now I leave you with our brief but frutiful conversation with TIFF Head of Programming Yorgos Krassakopoulos. (Apologies for any audio spikes from the static in the mics.)

We discussed movies & film in general, their impact on the public, and a little about TIFF’s 60th anniversary theme - The Overview Effect.” Yogos is usually critiquing the films and deciding on their possible inclusion to TIFF, but he also enjoyes interviewing the eclectic director John Waters one of the evenings.

I thank Yorgos for his time, and the expansive discussion we had. Check out the below timestamps of interesting parts of our talk.

Enjoy the conversation, and until next time - Ad Astra!


Timestamps

  • Yorgos was born in a small town in the Peloponnese region of Greece (01:30)

  • “Who were your biggest influences growing up and now?” (03:28)

  • Yorgos talks about the transformation that happens when you watch a great film (06:15)

  • “What makes a great film?” (08:50)

  • Great films go beyond language or culturual differences (10:00)

  • Three films( Fight Club, Theorem, The Ogre of Athens) that had great impact on Yorgos (10:45)

  • How do you disconnect being a film critic and a film fan/enthusiast? (12:45)

  • Why was this year’s theme “The Overview Effect?” (16:45)

  • Thessaloniki comes alive for the festival (21:50)

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More on Yorgos Krassakopoulos:

TIFF Website: https://www.filmfestival.gr/en/

Flix Website: https://flix.gr/

Review Examples: https://flix.gr/en/author/yorgos

Yorgos Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krassakopoulos/

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