12 June 2007
The 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival travelled to Oxford this month for a series of screenings from the past fifty years of Greek films. It was the first event of its kind to take place outside Greece.
Films on the theme ‘Immigration in Greek Cinema 1956-2006’ were shown at the Taylor Institution (www.taylib.ox.ac.uk, which houses the University of Oxford’s Modern Languages department and library), and the Phoenix Cinema. A number of fiction, documentary and short films were screened over two days, providing a representative picture of the different ways in which Greek film-makers have approached the subject of immigration over the years. These approaches have ranged from old tales of rich Greek immigrants returning home from America to contemporary stories of new immigrants attempting to integrate into modern Greek society.
The event was organized by Dr Dimitris Papanikolaou, Lecturer in Modern Greek at St Cross College, Oxford, in collaboration with Film Festival colleagues. Dr Maria Komninos (left) of the University of Athens and also General Secretary of the Greek Film Archive, led a seminar on the main themes emerging from the conference, together with Despina Mouzaki (right), Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and also Layia Yourgou, director of the film Liubi (2005).
The Taylor Institution Library, which has an area dedicated to Film Studies, was presented by the festival organizers with a range of film materials, including DVDs. These will be added to the Greek section of the library’s significant European and World Cinema Collection.
Film Studies is a growing academic discipline in the University of Oxford. A new postgraduate Master of Studies course in Film Aesthetics started this year (www.admin.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/caz/film.shtml). Undergraduates can study Anglo-American Film as part of the English course, and the European Cinema as an option in Modern Languages. Library collections relating to Film Studies are held by several Oxford University libraries, particularly the Taylor Institution Library and the English Faculty Library; see www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/english/film_studies. The Oxford University libraries have a Subject Consultant for Film Studies.