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“Dimitria” organized annually every autumn and running for roughly three months (September to November) is a festival and an institution which is an integral part of the cultural physiognomy of Thessaloniki and originates in the ancient trade fair of the same name. It is also the second largest Festival in the country and takes place in almost all of the cultural sites in the city. The institution begun by an initiative of the
Municipality of Thessaloniki
and continues uninterrupted until today. It includes musical and theatrical shows, exhibitions (painting, sculpture, fabrications etc), as well as conferences and meetings. The number of events is telling of the wide spread appeal and acceptance of this institution, as they exceed 100 every year. Events are organized in collaboration with the most important cultural and artistic bodies in the city. Every autumn world renowned composers and conductors, charismatic sculptors and painters lend their very special accent to the city and world renowned artists offer visitors and residents with a chance to see their shows.
Thessaloniki Film Festival begun in 1960 as a Week of Greek Cinema and is organized, to great success, every November. Since 1992 the Festival became International, including a competition for full length feature films by directors making their debut or their second film. The “Golden Alexander”, the first prize for best film, is the top award of the Festival and is also complemented by a substantial monetary award. Thessaloniki Film Festival is constantly developing, contesting and succeeding in acquiring an increasingly expanding international scope, presenting avant-garde independent productions from around the globe and developing activities and synergies for film professionals on the international scene. From the mid-90s the Film Festival overcame the boundaries set by the, for decades, organization of one key event in November and has now been rendered an organization with an increasingly expanding range of cultural events throughout the year. In its new form the Film Festival established a close collaboration with various local, national, regional and international film, cultural, educational and social institutions and organizations, as well as with embassies and cultural foundations from other countries. The Documentary Festival of Thessaloniki runs in March since 1999 as a parallel activity of this new and expanded Film Festival.
The Book Fair takes place every June on the historical seaside promenade of the White Tower and has been running regularly since 1982. It is organized by the Association of Publishers in Northern Greece and the participation of book lovers is truly impressive. A unique meeting and contact point for writers, publishers and readers focusing on literature and authorship. The tasteful stands are home to more than 300 publishing houses from all over Greece, presenting more than 300,000 titles from Greek and foreign book publishing. The organization is the product of the collaboration between the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Cultural Center for Southeast Europe and is under the auspice of the Ministry of Culture and the General Secretariat of Macedonia-Thrace.
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