On November 5th, FilmFestival Cottbus (FFC) will open its 29th edition in a festive ceremony in the Staatstheater Cottbus (Großes Haus). Opening film is the cross-border comedy SMUGGLING HENDRIX, the feature film debut of director Marios Piperides. The production, in which "Soul Kitchen" star Adam Bousdoukos plays the protagonist, has won numerous international awards, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
"The opening film SMUGGLING HENDRIX, set in Cyprus, is a mirror image of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall: while we have been celebrating the fall of the Iron Curtain three decades ago, the island in the eastern Mediterranean has been divided by a heavily guarded border since 1974. At the same time, the film, co-produced by Greece, Cyprus and Germany, symbolizes the expansion of the territory of FilmFestival Cottbus, which this year will also show feature works from Finland, Turkey and Greece", says FFC Programme Director Bernd Buder. "SMUGGLING HENDRIX, which plays on the border between the Greek and Turkish parts of Cyprus and thus also between the European Union and the non-EU, fits in well with this broader Eastern Europe of the festival."
The perspectives with which the new film countries enrich the FFC are reflected in the composition of the festival's dialogue jury. The jury includes the Finnish-Russian actress Alina Tomnikov, the Athens-born director and producer Thanos Anastopoulos, who lives and works in Greece and Italy, as well as the Turkish filmmaker Aslı Özge, who has been based in Berlin since 2000. Özge impressed audiences at the major festivals in Locarno and Berlin with works such as MEN ON THE BRIDGE (2009) and AUF EINMAL (2016). The trio discusses which work from the 2019 FFC programme most convincingly artistically shapes intercultural dialogue in the sense of understanding between cultures. The winning film will receive prize money of EUR 3,000, donated by the Federal Foreign Office.
The opening film: SMUGGLING HENDRIX
In SMUGGLING HENDRIX Adam Bousdoukos plays the unsuccessful musician Yiannis. The Greek Cypriot wants to leave Nicosia and Cyprus behind to start a new life in Western Europe. After his girlfriend has left him, dog Jimi remains his last ally. The dog named after the guitar god Hendrix, is running away into the Turkish part of the island – and an EU law strictly forbids animals to enter from the Turkish to the Greek side of the border...