The Thessaloniki International Film Festival was founded in 1960 as the Week of Greek Cinema and became international in 1992, including a Competition Section that was featuring films by emerging directors. The festival presents the most groundbreaking independent productions from all over the world along with many activities and events for the international film industry. The event features an International Section, the Greek film Panorama, the New Horizons program and the Balkan Survey along with numerous retrospectives and tributes to leading cinema figures from all over the world. The International section of the Festival is competitive where several prizes are awarded each year, most notably the "Golden Alexander" for the Best Feature-Length Film.
Since then, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is constantly evolving while it has claimed and achieved an increasing international scope, presenting the most groundbreaking independent productions from the entire cinema world. Since the mid 1990s many things have changed since the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has become an organization with continuously increasing cultural activities throughout the year.
Through its new form and activities, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival has established close collaborations with various local, national, regional and international film institutions, cultural, educational and social organizations, as well as embassies and cultural agencies from other countries.