International Film Festival Opening Nights

The Athens International Film Festival Opening Nights, was founded by the Athens Film Society (a Non-Profit Organisation) with the intention of highlighting lesser-known aspects/genres of independent cinema, introducing audiences to some of the best productions of the year and establishing itself as the ideal opening of the upcoming movie season. The Festival was launched in September 1995 and continues successfully until now.

According to a CINEMA magazine survey, the Festival audience roughly consists of 50.000 film-goers, who are interested in learning about the latest movie trends from all over the world and watching the most successful productions of the season before anyone else. Our goal is to present them with a handpicked selection of independent productions from all over the world.

The Festival : Sections


After a rigorous selection process, 10 films are chosen for the official International Competition section. Each film should be the debut, the second or third work of its director. Its screening should also be a Greek premiere. This section aims to shine a light on new talents on their way to becoming the most sought-after artists of tomorrow.


One of the most popular sections of the festival took on the Competition aspect and leads the audience into various musical genres, introduces artists and new musical trends, pays tribute to unforgettable or little-known parts of musical history. This section features the best documentaries of the year, the best of which is awarded the big prize by an international jury of artists and journalists who work in the music and film industry.


The most important international and European productions, which have been distinguished in major festivals and have piqued the interest of filmgoers all over the world, as well as new discoveries. Films which deal with contemporary issues, analyze big social and political problems, explore new narrative routes and experiment aesthetically.


The Athens International Film Festival Opening Nights supports young filmmakers by establishing a brand new section to its line-up, the official competition section for Greek short films. The main award comes with a 2,000 euro cash prize.


This section runs parallel to the Music & Films – In Competition section and features movies that could not included in the aforementioned section according to the Festival’s Official Regulation.


Fascinating, odd, bizarre and attractive images of a varied world, amazing everyday stories which any gifted scriptwrited would envy, revealing looks at contemporary reality, all captured in the films of this section.


Not for the faint-hearted! The Cinema on the Edge section has acquired a steady following over the years by showcasing controversial material and revolutionary narrative forms, films that challenge, disturb and drive the art of cinema to an exhaustive exploration of its own limits.


An open invitation to late-night movie buffs, promising a series of suspenseful nocturnal screenings of varied content: the latest in Asian horror, select retro chills and some of the most controversial American offerings make up one of the most adventurous and entertaining sections of the festival.


The most interesting big-budget productions of the coming season. Films that will monopolise the attention of the media, run for Academy Awards and make big cash at the box office.


Whether the work of young filmmakers, testing the waters for the first time, or the conscious choice of certain directors who prefer to be brief and concise, the short films in this section deserve special attention. Each year the Athens International Film Festival brings you the best live action and animation shorts that garnered public attention at major film festivals around the world.


The Athens International Film Festival runs an annual retrospective on a major director, whose films have now become classics and are now considered landmarks in the history of cinema. Over the years, the Festival has featured retrospectives on Yasujiro Ozu, Jean Cocteau, Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Preston Sturges.


This Section features a series of retro screenings, offering Greek audiences the opportunity to revisit old classics or discover largely unknown gems in new or restored prints. Some recent examples include “Performance” by Nicolas Roeg, “The Battle of Algiers” by Gilo Pontecorvo, “Seconds” by John Frankenheimer and “Daisies” by Vera Chytilova.

summary of all films/competition section

18 to 29 September 2013

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