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ONLINE AGORAOnline Agora

The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is now live in 16 countries! For the first time, a film festival presents its pitching forum live and online.

The Festival may be postponed (new dates will be announced soon), but the festival staff is working feverishly for the completion of the events of the Agora Doc Market, with the aim to support new filmmakers and boost production in Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern regions.

Overall, 40 directors, producers, representatives from TV channels and festival programmers from 16 countries, participated in the impressive online presentation of the 12 projects of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum.

Twelve documentary projects at an early stage of development are looking for funding, co-production, distribution, or/and festival premiere. Film professionals are evaluating the projects and on Thursday, March 12 they will announce the awards and the cash prizes.

An online platform connected live the participants with the film professionals, with two large screens in the Festival offices in Thessaloniki and Athens broadcasting the exciting image.

In the next two days, Docs in Progress will take place in the same manner, with the participation of 11 documentary projects.

In his greeting, the internationally acclaimed film consultant and Thessaloniki Pitching Forum project manager, Ove Rishoj Jensen, said that the online global interface offers new possibilities and prospects to the film community, although he noted that it is sad the action couldn’t take place in Thessaloniki.  

These are the projects participating in the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum:

BARK OF A STARVING DOG (working title)

Direction Ketevani Kapanadze, Production Ana Tsimintia, This Street Hurts Me, Georgia

BOYLESQUE

Direction Bogna Kowalczyk, Production Tomasz Morawski, Katarzyna Kuczyńska, Haka Films, Poland

DEAD SEA GUARDIANS

Direction Ido Glass, Yoav Kleinman, Production Kleinman & Glass, Co-production Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Israel, USA

EXILE(S)

Direction Giorgos Iliopoulos, Production Sofia Exarchou, Greece

EXPEDITION 49

Direction Alisa Kovalenko, Co-author Stephane Siohan, Production Stephane Siohan, East Roads Films, Co-production Valery Kalmykov, Trueman Production, Ukraine, France

KARAOKE NATION

Direction Einari Paakkanen, Production Marianne Mäkelä, Napafilms, Co-production Stina Gardell, Mantaray Film & Stefan Kloos, Kloos & Co, Finland, Sweden In collaboration with MFI

LP

Direction Luca Lancise, Production Simone Catania, Michele Fornasero, Indyca, Italy

MACHIAS 5AM

Direction Pauline Lietar, Production Jennifer Deschamps, Little Big Story, France

MIGHTY AFRIN

Direction Angelos Rallis, Production Maria del Mar Rodriguez, Angelos Rallis, AR Productions, Co-production Birgit Kemner, Manny Films, Greece, France

THE STATE OF ISRAEL VS HANEEN ZOABI

Direction Noa Ben Hagai, Production Osnat Trabelsi, Trabelsi Productions, Co-production Paul Cadieux, Filmoption International, Israel, Canada

A STEADY JOB

Direction Mattia Colombo, Gianluca Matarrese, Production Giovanni Donfrancesco, Altara Films, Co-production Jasmina Sijercic, Bocalupo Films, Italy, France

STRANDHZA

Direction Pepa Hristova, Production Julia Cöllen, Karsten Krause, Fünferfilm, Co-production Martichka Bozhilova, Agitprop, Germany, Bulgaria

The Agora Doc Market presents the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (2,000 euro), the ERT – Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (2,000 euro) to a Greek project, the Mediterranean Film Institute Award (MFI Script2Film Workshop), that offers a DocLab scholarship worth 2,500 euro, as well as accommodation in Nisyros and Rhodes islands where the MFI takes place). Further awards are: the DAE - Documentary Association of Europe Award (Consultation and free membership), the Aylon Productions Digital Services Award (Digitization by Aylon Productions) and the Beldocs Award (Accommodation and Accreditation for the next International Documentary Festival Beldocs).

The awards of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Docs in Progress will be announced on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

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TALLINN: PÖFF Shorts, a sub-festival of Black Nights International Film Festival, is now a qualifying event for both Live Action and Animation Short Awards at the Academy Awards.

This year, some things will be different, however, as Black Nights, in league with other festivals feels that festivals need to do more in the context of the looming climate crisis.

VILNIUS: The Lithuanian Film Centre distributed 2,681,096 EUR among 48 film projects in the first session of production and development grants contest for 2020.

The winners of the first session of production and development grants contest in 2020 were announced by the Lithuanian Film Centre in the first week of March 2020.

The Lithuanian Film Centre has announced the results of the first financing session of the year: 2 681 096 EUR was distributed among 48 film projects in production and development.

TALLINN: The Estonian Minister of Culture has called for an increase in government financing to increase funding for film production as well as for national wage subsidies for choir directors and an Estonian cultural studies programme.

BRATISLAVA: Students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Armenia and Morocco will take part in the 9th edition of the Visegrad Film Forum, which will be held at the Film and TV Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava from 10 to 14 March 2020.

PRAGUE: The programme of the 9th edition of East Doc Platform (Prague, 7–13 March 2020) includes a masterclass by Fredrik Gertten (PUSH), the panel discussion Filmmaking against Dictatorships and presentations of upcoming documentaries. The programme is in English, free of charge.

After the postponement of the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, a significant part of the initiatives and projects hosted by Agora Doc Market, the development branch of the Festival, will be carried out online during the next week, with the support of the European program Creative Europe MEDIA.

Specifically, three main initiatives of the Agora Doc Market will take place in the next few days.

  1. The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum, a co-production and co-financing platform for creative, television and new media documentaries. Twelve projects are presented. This new initiative by TDF aims to boost production in Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern regions. The awards of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum are: The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (2,000 euro), the ERT – Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (2,000 euro) to a Greek project, the Mediterranean Film Institute Award (MFI Script2Film Workshop), that offers a DocLab scholarship worth 2,500 euro, as well as accommodation in Nisyros and Rhodes islands where the MFI takes place). Further awards are: the DAE - Documentary Association of Europe Award (Consultation and free membership), the Aylon Productions Digital Services Award (Digitization by Aylon Productions) and the Beldocs Award (Accommodation and Accreditation for the next International Documentary Festival Beldocs).
  2. The Agora Doc Market presents the Agora Docs in Progress: 11 projects from South-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region participate in closed sessions exclusively for Thessaloniki’s accredited industry professionals, sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers. The post production company Two Thirty Five offers the main DiP award (post-production services), which is accompanied by a free accreditation and accommodation for the Visions du Réel festival in April. The MuSou company offers an award for music and sound services and the Greek Film Centre offers an award of 3,000 euro in cash. For the first time, Neaniko Plano will present an award for Subtitling.
  3. In collaboration with Cinando, the Agora presents its digital video library, giving the opportunity to accredited industry professionals, sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers from all over the world to watch and evaluate documentaries from Greece and abroad, in order to include them in their festival programs.

We want to thank the participants of the Agora Doc Market, the filmmakers, the jury members and the award sponsors, who, after the announcement that the TDF is postponed, agreed to continue their work via the Internet.

Ten documentary experts (TV commissioners, festival representatives and sales agents) from all over the world, defying the challenges of time zones, will take part in the online pitching session of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum.

The Agora awards will be announced on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Good luck to all the projects! 

The Festival continues to consider the prospect of hosting the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival at the end of May/beginning of June. We monitor the situation with the coronavirus in Greece and abroad, we are in coordination with the competent authorities and we examine every possible solution.

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