34th festival a weeklong movie fan's paradise
April 27, 2007
By Tom Bosco
Organizers of the annual Athens International Film and Video Festival will shout "Action!" for the 34th time tonight. During the weeklong event, movie buffs will have the chance to see 21 feature films and 133 other movies competing for $9,000 in prizes.
The festival begins at 4:45 p.m. today with the feature film "Copying Beethoven," a 104-minute film from celebrated Polish director Agnieszka Holland ("The Secret Garden," "Europa, Europa," "Washington Square"). The film will be screened at the Athena Cinema in uptown Athens. Other films throughout the week will screen there, at the Athena Grand Cinema in Athens and Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville.
Competition films will screen in 31 groups over the course of the week. The first screening is Saturday, April 28, at the Athena Cinema. A "Best of the Competition" program will cap the competition films Thursday, May 3. Award-winners will be announced Friday, May 4.
The festival also features a number of special guest artists who will be screening their films and serving as jurors for the competition films. A group of local film experts sorted through nearly 800 submissions, including entries from more than a dozen countries.
Festival director Ruth Bradley says the Athens festival is best known for showing short films and documentaries. Competition films are separated into three categories for judging: narrative, documentary and experimental. Judges divide $3,000 in prize money in each category as they see fit.
Tom Bosco is a writer with University Communications and Marketing.