The Third Edition of A Season of Classic Films Kicks Off with Face to Face and Blue 9


ACE presents the 3rd edition of A Season of Classic Films, which includes cinema and online screenings of restored films and parallel events organised by 22 European film archives between June and December 2022.

Opening night is Thursday 9 June (International Archives Day) and will start with the world premiere of the restored Face to Face (1966) by the Greek Film Archive. The film is about a timid young man hired to give English lessons to the daughter of a nouveau riche family. The screening will take place at Lais Open Air Cinema in Athens, while free online access is available for one day starting at 20:00 (CET) on 9 June.

On Friday 10 June, the programme continues with the restored Croatian comedy Blue 9. The film will be presented by the Croatian state archive – Croatian cinematheque at the main cinema room of the Archives and it will be free-to-view online from 10 to 17 June.

Both online screenings offer worldwide access with English subtitles.


Πρόσωπο με Πρόσωπο [Prosopo me Prosopo] (Face to Face)

Greece, 1966, 84’, fiction

Director-Producer: Roviros Manthoulis. With: Costas Messaris, Eleni Stavropoulou, Theano Ioannidou, Lambros Kotsiris, Alexis Georgiou, Mary Gotsi. Script: Roviros Manthoulis, Kostas Mourselas. Cinematography: Stamatis Trypos. Music: Nikos Mamangakis. Editing: Panos Papakyriakopoulos. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 1:1.66, 24fps, 84’, B&W, sound, Greek. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: Restoration premiere. DCP 4K (physical screening) and ProRes (online screening), 84’, Greek. Subtitles: English. Copyright: Roviros Manthoulis.

The main story of the film is about a poor English teacher who tutors the daughter of a rich family and flirts with both the daughter and her mother. Manthoulis presents a bitter satire of the new bourgeoisie which was profiting from the rapid economic growth in the 1960s but also presents a unique portrait of Athens experiencing a rapid and poorly planned urban development.

Only a few weeks after filmmaker Roviros Manthoulis passed away, this screening also serves as a tribute to his acclaimed work. Manthoulis played a crucial role in the renewal of Greek cinema in both documentary and fiction film. In the beginning of April, he was informed about how the restoration of his film Face to Face was going and of the great impression it made to the colleagues at the laboratory of Imagine Ritrovata in Paris - he was happy but also very modest. He died on April 21st, exactly 55 years after his film was first screened in Hyeres Festival. It was enthusiastically received by both the public and the critics and, as a result, it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Manthoulis then made statements against the Greek military junta (1967-74) that were broadcast worldwide and the film was banned by the colonels.

The image and sound restoration have been carried out in 4K based on the original 35mm negatives, preserved at the Greek Film Archive vaults. The film will be screened during the 12th Avant Garde Film Festival in Athens, following a roundtable discussion on film restoration including film experts Cecilia Barrionuevo, Ehsan Khoshbakht, Céline Ruivo, Elena Tammacarro, and Marian Vujovic as well as the inauguration of the Greek Film Archive’s exhibition “Magical Images”.


Plavi 9 (Blue 9)

Yugoslavia, 1950, 93’, fiction

Director: Krešo Golik. Producer: Jadran film. With: Irena Kolesar, Jugoslav Nalis, Antun Nalis, Ljubomir Didić, Tješivoj Cinotti, Šime Šimatović, Josip Daneš, Stane Sever, Veljko Maričić. Script: Geno Senečić, Hrvoje Macanović, Krešo Golik. Cinematography: Nikola Tanhofer and Slavko Zalar. Music: Bruno Bjelinski. Editing: Radojka Ivančević. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 93’, B&W, optical sound, Croatian. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: New restoration. DCP 2K, 93’, Croatian. Subtitles: English. Copyright: Jadran film (until the end of 2000); authors rights.

The film Blue 9 depicts adventures in the world of football with all the challenges and glory this game offers. The main striker of the city football team, Fabris, is a selfish individualist convinced of his irreplaceability. He is also a womanizer who tries to seduce young Nena, a hardworker and successful swimmer. Nena is close to the underwater welder Zdravko, a talented football striker who wears a jersey with a blue 9.

The basic formula of this film is part of the agitprop, which dealt with one of the foundations of the socialist system - physical education. The ideological engagement did not prevent the film from becoming a big hit in cinemas, mainly due to attractive footage of sport competitions, girls in bathing suits, and the fashionable life of football stars. Blue 9 is regarded as the first Yugoslav film to escape from the war narrative and set its plot in the everyday life.


A Season of Classic Films: Celebrating film heritage across Europe

A Season of Classics Films is a series of free film screenings and parallel activities across Europe designed to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage. The programme looks to raise awareness of the work of European film archives, connecting the public with cinema history and the significance of film preservation. Most of the films are premiere digital restorations and some screenings include live performances and educational interactive sessions. All films are available with English subtitles. Additionally, French or other subtitles are in some cases available. This is an initiative of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) with the support of the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.

Discover the full programme here.