The Agora Docs awards
The Agora Docs of the 23rd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, one of the first film markets in the world that was organized digitally when the pandemic broke out, announced its awards. The Agora Docs continue their initiatives and actions until the end of the Festival. Using all available tools and new technologies, Agora Docs presented new actions and supported successful initiatives in a hybrid event that took place in physical spaces in Thessaloniki and online.
Thessaloniki Pitching Forum awards
Thessaloniki Pitching Forum is the co-producing and co-financing platform of the TDF for creative and TV documentaries, as well as for new media documentaries (virtual and enhanced reality). The participants had the opportunity to discuss their projects, to receive feedback and advice during a two-day online lab and prepare for pitching with the help of documentary professionals. They presented their projects during the one-day Pitching Forum to an international panel of experts and had one-on-one meetings with top film professionals. Fourteen projects participated in total at the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum.
The international jury of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum, consisted of:
Selin Murat, documentary consultant, DAE, France
Titus Kreyenberg, producer, unafilm, Germany
Madeline Robert, head of industry, Visions du Réel, Switzerland
The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award accompanied by a cash prize of 2,000 euros is bestowed to:
Directors - Producers: Rodrigo Hernandez, Elpida Nikou - Muzungu Producciones, Co-producers: Kellen Quinn (USA), Poh Si Teng (Consulting producer - USA), Spain | Greece
The jury mentioned in its reasoning: “We fell in love with the two protagonists and believe the film has the potential to address racist tendencies and discrimination in contemporary Greek society”.
The ERT – Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award to a Greek project, accompanied by a cash prize of 2,000 euros is bestowed to:
SECRETS OF THE OWL
Director: Eirini Vourloumis, Producers: Leonidas Liambeys - Long Run Productions, Eirini Vourloumis, Greece. With initial support from iMEdD
According to the jury, “the film convinces with its strong visual language and its choice of protagonists. A cornucopia of stories in Athens and about Athens”.
The Mediterranean Film Institute Award (MFI Script2Film Workshop), that offers a DocLab scholarship of 2,000 euros, as well as accommodation in Nisyros and Rhodes islands where the MFI takes place is bestowed to:
Director: Cherine Karam, Producers: Ashley Smith, Clara Harris, Mario Adamson – Sisyfos Film Production, Sweden | Scotland
“Beirut - A little shop full of love and compassion becomes a shelter in a struggling city” mentions the jury in its reasoning.
The DAE - Documentary Association of Europe Award which amounts to consultation and free membership is bestowed to the projects:
Director: Asmahan Bkerat, Producer: Sahar Yousefi - Nava Projects, Co-producer: Bassam Alasad – Tabi360, Canada | Jordan
Director: Alexis Taillant, Producer: Nadège Labé - Wendigo Films, France
The first is about “a conflict between three generations in a Bedouin family” which “is heightened when the family is evicted by developers” and in the second one “passionate seniors reclaim their sensual and sexual lives in the twilight of their lives”.
The Aylon Productions Digital Services Award (Digitization by Aylon Productions) is bestowed to:
HOME IS WHERE THE FILMS ARE
Director: More Raça, Producer: Sunaj Raça - N.SH. Arena, Co-producer: Alfredo Federico, Kosovo | Italy
“a very strong and personal story about a family torn by their experiences of war”.
Finally, the Beldocs Award which offers accommodation and accreditation for the next International Documentary Festival Beldocs in September 2021 is bestowed to:
Director - Producer: Anelise Salan - The L Studio, Romania
“a very intimate dialogue about a relationship that points at the unbearable discrimination of same sex marriage”, according to the jury.
Docs in Progress Awards
In the Agora Docs in Progress, ten projects from Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region participated in closed sessions exclusively for Thessaloniki’s invited industry professionals, sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers.
The international Agora Docs in Progress jury consists of:
Devin Karambelas, buyer, WGBH/PBS, USA
Christina Liapi, sales agent, Heretic Outreach, Greece
Silvia De Felice, Head of Art Night, Rai Cultura – Italy
“For its striking visual approach and ability to make a local story about a Balkan landfill feel globally relevant. It is both a sophisticated meditation on environmental change and technological disruption, and a compelling human story” the jury bestows the 2|35 post-production company award in post-production services to:
Director: Nemanja Vojinović, Producer: Marija Stojnić, Nemanja Vojinović – RT DOBRE NADE, Co-producers: Viva Videnović – URGH!, Set Sail Films, Serbia | Slovenia
Presented as a project in development at Docs in Thessaloniki 2018
“For its imaginative storytelling approach and the significant role that music and sound will play in immersing the viewer into the film’s world” the jury bestows the MuSou company award for music and sound services to:
Director: Irini Karayannopoulou, Co-director: Sandrine Cheyrol., Producer: Mathilde Delaunay – Barberousse Films, France
“For the original way it manages to find moments of joy, humour and creativity between two people that face social exclusion in a time and place that are unwilling to acknowledge their right to love” the jury bestows the Greek Film Centre award of 3,000 euros in cash to:
NARROW PATH TO HAPPINESS
Director: Kata Oláh, Producer: Borbála Csukás – MAKABOR STUDIÓ Kft, Co-producer: Marc Smolowitz – 13th Gen, Hungary | USA
Finally, “for the quirky, yet recognisable cast of characters stuck in an absurd situation that this tragicomedy from Northern Iran introduces us to”, the jury bestows the Neaniko Plano award for Subtitling in English or French to:
Director: Hesam Eslami, Producer: Etienne de Ricaud – Caracteres Productions, Hesam Eslami – Aras Films, Iran | France
The Guidance Award by Paradiddle Pictures on distribution, festivals, outreach and impact to one project of the Agora Lab section will be announced on Saturday with the Festival awards.