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Thessaloniki Documentary Festival ends after crowning sex change film March 17, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival closed yesterday after awarding its top prize to a film about sex change operations in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

17-03-08_be_like_others.jpg  A screenshot from FIPRESCI winner “Be Like Others” directed by Tanaz Eshaghian.

“Be Like Others” by Tanaz Eshaghian, which won the international critics’ (or FIPRESCI) award for a foreign film profiles the lives of young gay men who opt for gender change rather than live in constant fear of abuse and retribution. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, while a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini made sex change permissible for “diagnosed transsexuals”.

The FIPRESCI award for a Greek movie went to Nicos Ligouris’sThe Lovers from Axos”, the story of a couple of 55 years living in a mountain village on Crete.

The audience award for a film over 45 minutes in the international selection, with a prize of 4,000 euros, went to Hilary Helstein’s “As Seen Through These Eyes”. The film, a moving documentary about the art and artists that survived the tragedy and paranoia of the Holocaust, beat among others the “Flow – For Love of Water”, “The Price of Sugar” and “The Suicide Tourist”. “City of Cranes”, by Eva Weber, captured the under-45-minute film prize.

From the local selection, Alinda Dimitriou’s “Birds in the Mire” received the over-45-minute audience award, while the short length award went to “The Archelon Bubble” by Eleftherios Fylaktos. Both received a 4,000-euro cash prize.

Other awards included an Amnesty International Award for “The Price of Sugar”, a WWF award won by “About Water: People and Yellow Cans” and an Hellenic Radio Television’s [ERT3] State Broadcasting award, carrying a 3,000-euro prize, that ended up with “The Lovers from Axos”. Dimitris Vernikos’s “The Mirror and the Knife” won the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace award, worth 6,000 euros. The documentaries sharing the Greek Film Center Awards, worth beween 2,000 and 3,000 euros, were “Etel Adnan Words in Exile”, “Alex”, “Birds in the Mire”, “The Mirror and the Knife”, “The Lovers from Axos” and “The Third Takis”.

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