Fotis Sergoulopoulos is the Agora ambassador of the 62nd TIFF



Fotis Sergoulopoulos is the Agora ambassador of the 62nd TIFF


With TV presenter, actor and journalist Fotis Sergoulopoulos as ambassador, along with new activities and initiatives offering support to Greek cinema, the Agora of the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival (4-14/11/2021) is getting ready to welcome once again the Greek and international industry in Thessaloniki, following its successful online edition in last year’s Festival.


Fotis Sergoulopoulos studied Acting both in Greece and in France and began working in the theater and movie industry from an early age. Since 1996, he has taken up journalism, contributing as a columnist in the most popular magazines of the time, such as KlikStatus and Time Newsweek, while making his debut as a radio producer, as well. In 1997, he made the first steps of his long-standing TV career as a host of entertainment shows, instantly establishing himself as one of the most beloved figures of the TV audience. He is currently the head and host of LiFO's podcast series “Telika, kala ta kataferes” (In the end you did pretty well for yourself), where he showcases members of the LGBTQI+ community. He also takes part in the TV series Hereta Mou Ton Platano, screened by ERT. Having a great deal of podcast experience under his belt, he delivered a masterclass on podcasts, hosted online by the 23rd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. In addition, Fotis Sergoulopoulos is a well-established entrepreneur in the field of food services, as the owner of the restaurant “Artisanal” and the club “Shamone”. Busy as he may be, he remains a committed and ardent film lover, always keeping a tab on new filmmakers and their work.

As Agora’s ambassador at the 62nd Thessaloniki Festival, Fotis Sergoulopoulos will promote all substantial activities that pave the way to tomorrow’s cinema, while taking on the task of communicating the pivotal role of Agora to filmmakers, journalist, as well as to the audience.

In this year’s Festival, Agora is as always boosting Greek cinema by hosting a series of new activities and initiatives that are bound to offer useful advice and tools to all young professionals of the movie industry. In addition, Agora showcases a series of fascinating discussions featuring distinguished speakers and guests. Let us take a brief glance at the program of the 62nd TIFF’s Agora.

Moreover, within the framework of TIFF’s Agora, Loukia Alavanou, who will represent Greece at the 59th Biennale in 2022, will unveil for the first time in Thessaloniki a teaser of her work, which has cinema elements to it and will be showcased in Venice. Thessaloniki Film Festival supports Alavanou’s work titled On the Way to Colonus. The presentation will take place right before the screening of her 6 short films, included in the spotlight of the >>Film Forward section.

TIFF’s AGORA (November 5-13, 2021), supported by Creative Europe-MEDIA, is an industry event offering various networking opportunities for the global film industry. As an international meeting and trading event, AGORA runs parallel to the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and offers to its industry professionals a variety of industry activities which focus on the countries of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region. The Works in Progress and Crossroads Co-production Forum awards amount up to 200,000 euros in cash and in services.


Agora Film Market continues its collaboration with Cinando. Accredited guests will have the opportunity to access online a selection of films from Agora and the Festival’s program.


We present to you this year’s Agora activities:

Agora Short Film Lab (November 9-12, 2021)

Thessaloniki IFF launches the inaugural edition of the Agora Short Film Lab, an initiative co-organized by the Clermont-Ferrand International Short FF and the Drama International Short FF. Taking place across two days and comprising sessions, seminars and talks with experienced professionals about various parts of the industry, the Agora Short Film Lab brings together directors of award-winning short films at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short FF and the Drama International Short FF to facilitate their acclimatization to the industry with an emphasis on the transition from short to feature filmmaking.

The Lab will take place on November 9-12 and will host the following filmmakers:


From Drama International Short Film Festival

Manolis Mavris (Golden Dionysus for Best Film Brutalia, Days of Labor)

Nikos Tsemberopoulos (Best Director Award for the film Soul Food)

Vangelio Soumeli (Best Script Award for the film I Don’t Want to Forget Anything)


From Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival

Katarina Rešek (Slovenia, Grand Prize at the International Competition for the film Sisters)

Pat Heywood & Jamil McGinnis (USA, Grand Prize at the Lab Competition for the film Gramercy)

Pauline Penichout (France, Grand Prize at the National Competition for the film Mat and Her Mates)


Project manager of the Agora Short Film is Christina Liapi.


Meet the Future


Meet the Future is an initiative that embraces the future of film by focusing on young, up-and-coming professionals of different capacities across the film universe.

This year’s Meet the Future takes cue from the 62nd Thessaloniki IFF’s main tribute In the Cut: Editing and its Secrets and gives the floor to seven film editors from Greece. Currently on their way to leave their mark on the national and international scene, these are editors who have worked on at least one feature film, and a short or feature film they have edited has participated in the Competition Section of Thessaloniki IFF or one of the major international festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastián, London, Rotterdam, New York, Tribeca, Toronto, Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand).

Apart from presenting a showreel of their work to Greek and international guests of the Festival, they will also have the opportunity to attend two closed-session discussions with internationally acclaimed editors Yorgos Mavropsaridis and Yannis Chalkiadakis. The participants at this year’s Meet the Future are:

  1. 1. Thodoris Armaos
  2. Stamos Dimitropoulos
  3. Christos Giannakopoulos
  4. Myrto Karra
  5. Livia Neroutsopoulou
  6. Nikos Vavouris
  7. Giorgos Zafeiris

Crossroads Co-production Forum (November 5-9, 2021)

With great pleasure we present to you this year’s 14 selected projects for the Crossroads Co-production Forum. Crossroad's aim is a strong selection of projects from the Mediterranean, the Balkan and South Eastern European countries giving producers and directors the opportunity to present their ideas to a number of potential financial partners during the 4-day event in Thessaloniki. Producers will present and discuss their projects with co-producers, distributors, sales agents and consultants physically and online.

In its previous editions, Crossroads CoPro Forum included projects such as recently awarded films Ghosts by Αzra Deniz Okyay (Grand Prize at Venice FF Critics’ Week 2020 and International Competition - WIFT Award and Human Values Award at the 61st Thessaloniki IFF) and 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh (Audience Award at Venice Days 2020, Golden Alexander for Best Film & Bronze Alexander for Best Direction at Meet the Neighbors Competition of the 61st Thessaloniki IFF), as well as awarded films such as Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Silent River by Angelos Frantzis, When I Saw You by Annemarie Jacir, As I Open my Eyes by Layla Bouzid, Park by Sofia Exarchou, The Cakemaker by Ofir Raul Graizer, Secret Ingredient by Gjorce Stavreski.


The Crossroads Co-production Forum jury of 2021:

Virginie Devesa | Sales Agent, Alpha Violet - France

Alessandro Gropplero | Head of When East Meets West-Trieste FF - Italy

Konstantinos Vassilaros | Producer, StudioBauhaus - Greece


The Crossroads CoPro Forum projects are:

    Director: Zgjim Terziqi, Producer: Valmira Hyseni - Plan Bee Films, Kosovo*
  2. ΒΑΒΥ
    Director: Nikos Kyritsis, Producer: Maria Drandaki - Homemade Films, Greece
    Director: Elene Naveriani, Producers: Thomas Reichlin - Alva Film Production, Ketie Daniela - Takes Films, Georgia, Switzerland
    Director - Producer: Paolo Marinou-Blanco - Darya Films, Producer: Justin Amorim - Promenade Films, Portugal
    Director: Jan Vejnar, Producer: Kamila Dohnalová - Last Films, Czech Republic, In collaboration with MIDPOINT Institute
    Director: Sarra Tsorakidis, Producer: Anca Puiu - Mandragora, Romania, Sweden
    Director: Keti Machavariani, Producer: Nato Sikharulidze - Terra Incognita Films, Georgia
    Director: Andrei Creţulescu, Producer: Cristian Nicolescu - Digital Cube, Co-Producer: Codruta Cretulescu - Kinosseur, Romania
    Director: Hristo Simeonov, Producer: Katya Trichkova - Contrast films, Bulgaria, In collaboration with Sofia Meetings
    Director: Svitlana Topor, Producer: Vasyl Malko - Emily Production, Poland, In collaboration with MFI
  11. PHILAX
    Director: Rûken Tekeş, Producer: Billur Arikan, Rûken Tekeş - Sarya Films Collective, Co-producers: Gabriele Oricchio, Riccardo Di Pasquale - Fenix Entertainment SPA, Turkey, Italy
    Director: Yiorgos Fourtounis, Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou - Blackbird Productions, Greece
    Director: Alexandra Matheou, Producer: Tonia Mishiali - Bark Like A Cat Films, Cyprus
    Director: Vladimir Tagić, Producer: Marija Stojanović - Sense Production, Serbia, Montenegro

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

The Crossroads CoPro Forum Awards include: Two Thirty-Five (2|35) Post-production (image and sound), CNC - Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée, 8,000 euros for script development, Finos Film 3,000 euros to a Greek project, The Producers’ Network of the Cannes FF Free accreditation, Sofia Meetings of the Sofia IFF Project selection, Mediterranean Film Institute Script2Film Workshops scholarship, Initiative Film Consultation to one Greek project, EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship

Agora Works in Progress (November 5-9, 2021)


Eight films will participate at the Agora Works in Progress which will take place physically in Thessaloniki and online. Films in the post-production stage will be presented on November 6 to the invited professional guests. The Agora Works in Progress of the Thessaloniki IFF hosts screenings exclusively for the accredited Agora guests who are sales agents, distributors and festival representatives. This way they will be the first to discover up-and-coming feature films from the region just before completion. 


Seven of the films will be presented for the first time to the industry professionals. The filmmakers will have the opportunity to meet their potential partners and will compete for the following awards: 119 Marvila Studios - Image post-production services, MuSou Music Group Award - Sound/music post-production services Asterisk* - Marketing Award, ERT Agora Works in Progress Award - 2,000 euros to a Greek project


Greece, Spain, Mauritania, France, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, Netherlands and Israel are the countries which are represented this year and we hope they have the same success as recent titles from the Agora Works in Progress  such as  Moon, 66 Questions by Jacqueline Lentzou (Berlinale Encounters Competition 2021), Rock Bottom Riser by Fern Silva (Special Mention - Berlinale Encounters Competition 2021, 23rd TDF >>Film Forward Competition), Landscapes of Resistance by Marta Popivoda (IFFR - Tiger Competition 2021, 23rd TDF >>Film Forward Competition - Golden Alexander, Heart of Sarajevo IFF) SWEAT by Magnus von Horn (Cannes 2020 Label),  Last Days of Spring by Isabel Lamberti (L’ACID Cannes 2020 Label, New Directors Award at San Sebastián IFF 2020), Papicha by Mounia Meddour (Un Certain Regard 2019), Rêves de jeunesse by Alain Raoust (L’ACID Cannes 2019), Suntan by Argyris Papadimitropoulos  (IFFR, SXSW 2016), Thorn by Gabriel Tzafka (CPH: PIX, Thessaloniki IFF 2017), Symptom by Angelos Frantzis (Torino IFF, Thessaloniki IFF 2015), Stratos by Yannis Economidis (International Competition - berlin FF 2014)

The Agora Works in Progress jury 2021:

Simon Gabriele | Sales Agent- IndieSales - France

Dorota Lech | International Programmer, Toronto International Film Festival - Canada

Nikos Smpiliris | Producer, Boo Productions - Greece

The films are:

    Director: Nikos Pastras, Producer: Nicholas Alavanos - FILMIKI, Nikos Pastras, Greece, Out of Competition
    Director: David Constantin, Producer: David Constantin - Caméléon Production, Co-Producer: Frederic Eyriey  -  Lithops Film, Sales Company: Sudu Connexion, Mauritius, France
    Director: Pablo Lago Dantas, Producer: Diana Toucedo, Albert Kuhn Bosch - Diana Toucedo Films, Spain
    Director: Filip Heraković, Producer: Tamara Babun, Matija Drniković - Wolfgang&Dolly LLC, Croatia
  5. SILENCE 6-9
    Director: Christos Passalis, Producer: Maria Drandaki - Homemade Films, Greece
    Director: Eleonora Veninova, Producer: Goce Kralevski - DNF FILMS, Co-producer: Mira Tomić - LILITH, North Macedonia, Serbia
    Director: Rusudan Pirveli, Producer: Rusudan Pirveli - Caucasian FILMODROM, Co-Producer: Ranko Pauković – Editson, Georgia, Netherlands
    Director: Lee Gilat, Producer: Aviv Ben Shlush - ZOA FILMS LTD, Israel

Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy (November 8-13, 2021)


The Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy 2021, a collaboration between the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, is here for the sixth year!

Eight young film professionals will participate in the Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy, a tailor-made educational program for film professionals working in film promotion and distribution. In this five-day program (November 8-13), top film professionals will offer their expertise to the six participants through discussions, case study presentations and teamwork. The tools provided by the program will help them expand their experience and professional network in the fields of international sales, marketing, distribution and film programming.

Regional Manager of the Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy 2021 is Konstantinos Aivaliotis.


Meet the participants!


Clément Chautant, France

Sales / Indie Sales


Ismene Daskarolis, Greece

Sales / Pluto Film


Marina Lazarevska, North Macedonia

VoD Distribution / CutAway, Cinesquare


Stavros Markoulakis, Greece

Festival Programmer / IFFR, Leiden Shorts


Erica Niebauer, USA

Distribution & Festival Programming / Imprint Documentary Film Collective


Uğur Şahin, Turkey

Distribution / Nihova Films Distribution


Katerina Trichia, Greece

Festival programming, Drama ISFF


Carolin Wenzel, Germany

TV & Digital Distribution / Studiocanal GmbH

European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA) Mentoring Program (online)

The mentoring program of EWA (European network for women in the film industry) is aimed at women cinema producers who already have a relevant experience at the national level and wish to evolve further to a European/international dimension. In most cases this growth also involves a strategic and business development of their company. Business mentoring is a one-to-one relationship focused on the needs of the mentee to develop/reinforce specific competences, skills, and a problem-solving attitude, as well as on the availability and capability of the mentor to provide advice on those issues. It is a scheme where the experience and competences of the mentor match the specific needs of the mentee.



Martichka Bozhilova - AGIT PROP - Bulgaria

Bettina Brokemper - Heimat Film - Germany

Enrica Capra - Graffiti DOC - Italy | France

Martina Haubrich - Calafilm - Germany

Laura Briand - Les Films d'ici - France

Ada Solomon - Hi Film Productions| Micro Film - Romania

Jelena Mitrović - Film House Baş Čelik - Serbia

Zeynep Atakan - Zeyno Films - Turkey



Mina Dreki - Marni Films - Greece

Anaïs Bertrand - Insolence productions - France

Ana Castañosa - 9am Media Lab - Spain | Switzerland

Simona Pelliccioli - Dandy Projects - Italy

Manuela Buono - Slingshot films - Italy

Niam Fagan - Lunar Pictures - Ireland

Magdalena Petrović - LEWA productions - Croatia | France

Mina Keshavarz - Mindoc Film Production – Iran | France


Agora Talks (November 6-12, 2021) 


Agora Talks are back, in order to offer to film professionals the tools for a better understanding of co-production schemes, film marketing from the stage of development, ecological sustainability in the film production and more.


EKOME (National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication) is supporting two discussions of great interest for our film industry.


November 6: The importance of the regulatory framework of Copyright and Digital Services for the audiovisual production. Amongst others the speakers are: Panos Kouanis - President of EKOME (National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication), Elli Filippopoulou - Attorney-at-Law/ Regulatory expert/ LL.M Cambridge University, Giorgos Michos - General manager of the Society for the Protection of Audiovisual Works. Additional speakers will be announced soon.


November 7:  Stop being a conformist. Discussing methods and tools on how to secure a safer workplace for everyone. Speakers: Jenni Koski, General Director of EWA (European Women’s Audiovisual Network), Vassiliki Diagouma, EKOME Head, Communication & International Relations Department, Anna Kassimati, Media Desk Greece, Katerina Kaklamani – Head of Development at Mega Channel. Right now along with the MeToo movement a significant shift is happening when it comes to addressing work bullying. What people consider acceptable is changing and while the low level of complaints may suggest the problem is not widespread, workplace practitioners insist that bullying at the audiovisual sector has prevalence and considerable negative impacts. Is there a conformist culture in the industry that preserves the phenomenon and why people stay quiet and do not intervene, even when it would be best for everyone?


Additional Agora Talks include:


November 6: The Film Office of Central Macedonia will present, Filmed in Central Macedonia: Meet the projects with a welcome speech by Regional Governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and speakers: Rob van Norden, producer - Millenium Media, Dimitris Kampas, unit production manager -FilmingGreece, Panos Papahadzis, producer – Argonauts Productions.


The Film Office-Central Macedonia introduces itself through the projects that it has supported during this first year of its operation. Producers, filmmakers and location managers who worked in international and Greek audiovisual projects filmed in Central Macedonia, share their experiences of shooting in the region. These professionals discuss their cooperation with the Film Office and comment on what the Region of Central Macedonia offers as a competitive film destination in Greece with its combination of attractive locations, efficient facilitation services and essential networking to local institutions and businesses for successful audiovisual projects of all kinds and budgets.


November 7: Lost in Corona-shooting, Daughters a pan European road movie during Covid 19 era. A case study of Daughters, one of the first European co-productions to resume shooting after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the spring of 2020. Meet two survivors that got to spend a lot more time than planned in a co-production and still managed to have a good time. Speakers: Bettina Brokemper, producer - Heimatfilm (Germany), Konstantinos Kontovrakis, producer - Heretic (Greece), Venia Vergou - Director of Hellenic Film Commission (Greece), and Stelios Kraounakis, head of the Department for the Development of Financial and European Programmes of ΕΚΟΜE.


November 8:  European Film Festivals in Transition? COVID and beyond, Speaker: Dr. Roderik Smits. The study demonstrates how festivals are responding to challenges imposed by lockdowns and other policy restrictions. A situation that has accelerated the shifts in film production and distribution, forcing festivals to initiate radical changes and rethink their priorities. Based on 12 interviews with Directors and Programmers of some of the largest festivals in Europe, this study provides insight in the direction that European Film Festivals have taken during the COVID health crisis and how they see the next step whether they consider online screenings as an expansion or alternative of their physical programming or through a perspective of disruption and change.


November 8: Rebuilding the Story Engine: The Business Case for Radical Inclusion in Film and TV in the Age of Streaming, Speaker: Nusrat Durrani. The American media strategist, and filmmaker talks about leadership strategies and innovative storytelling opportunities in the fast-changing, competitive world of streaming video that is dramatically reshaping the film and TV ecosystem.


November 9 (online):  How can we facilitate the transformation of the film industry into a cinema worthy sustainability? Speakers: Nicole Gerhards, producer - Niko Film, Anika Kruse, Green Consultant & Transformation Manager. Panel moderator: Emma Doxiadi, Greek director and filmsos founder. The increasing climate crisis requires immediate action and preventive measures from each and every one of us. As entrepreneurs and filmmakers, we want/ need to contribute to producing films in a climate-neutral and sustainable way. In the meantime, there are also many other new requirements from film funds and subsidies, broadcasters and streamers that film productions have to internalize and implement. How do we put all this into practice?


November 10:  S2M (Story2Market) Seminar, Speakers: Stephen Cleary, Head of Studies - S2M, Vicky Miha, Film Marketing Consultant & Producer - Asterisk*, Mathias Noschis, Film Marketing Strategist - Alphapanda, Moderator: Christina Liapi, Sales Agent - Heretic Outreach. The Seminar will focus on how to use online marketing materials to explore a story through development. Market professionals will start thinking about how to collaborate with writers in this process. Producers will think about how to manage, structure and budget this new form of development.


The Seminar is organized with the support and under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.


S2M (Story2Market) is a new, annual audiovisual professionals' training program beginning in 2022 and organized by AEGEAN MEDIANET in partnership with the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the University of the Aegean.


The complete Agora Talks Schedule will be announced soon.


Agora Parallel Events:


Casting Directors Workshop (November 5, 2021)

Closed Workshop for actors


Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Greek Film Centre, in collaboration with ICDN (International Casting Directors Network) and Ready2cast, present the workshop “Auditioning Steps at the International Market”, which will take place on Friday, November 5, in Thessaloniki, in the framework of the 62nd TIFF.

The participants will receive valuable information and tips for the casting process from renowned professionals in the field, through live presentations, discussions, and analyses of the audiovisual material they will submit.

During the workshop, which will last 5 hours, the internationally renowned casting directors Nathalie Cheron from France (president ARDA - Association des Responsables de Distribution Artistique) and Jeremy Zimmerman from the UK will share their invaluable knowledge and experience.


The Casting Directors Workshop participants are:

Ioakasti Agavi Papanikolaou

Flomaria Papadaki

Konstantinos Samaa

Marianna Pouregka

Yota Kouitzoglou

Nikos Mylonopoulos

Anna Kopaka

Nikos Koukas

Sofia Fraggi

Nikolaos Chalkiadakis

On the Way to Colonus (November 7, 2021)


The teaser of Loukia Alavanou’s new project will be presented before the screening of her films which presented as part of the >> Film Forward Spotlight of her work.  Loukia Alavanou is a moving image artist and filmmaker. In 2022 Alavanou will represent Greece at the 59th Venice Art Biennale. Since 2018, after receiving prizes and international acclaim, Alavanou has started to be involved with the production of VR films and founded the first ever VR production company in Greece. Her new project On the Way to Colonus is a docufictional VR film cast with Romani amateurs who live at the ghettoized toxic wastelands of Thriasian Plain, where Sophocles’ wandering hero is meant to have passed from. Consisted of a spatial sound design (ambisonics), the film's audio incorporates location sounds recorded inside the dwellings that merge “high” and “low” culture, often carrying with them the “eerie echoes” of dubbed TV series, speaking themselves about “Oedipal conflicts”, “absent fathers”, “incest”, murder and death.


Re-viewing Greek Cinema and its Histories (November 7, 2021)

Motherland, I See You - The 20th Century of Greek Cinema

The success of the New Wave of Greek Cinema during the last decade not only brought new opportunities for its production, distribution and screening; it also created the impulse to rewatch material from the Greek cinematic archive and the need to re-tell their multiple, intersecting histories. How can we produce a plurivocal history of the present for Greek cinema? And why is such a gesture important today?

These questions inform the Hellenic Film Academy project Motherland, I See You, as well as its main publication edited by Dimitris Papanikolaou (University of Oxford) and Afroditi Nikolaidou (University of Athens). They will be addressed during a panel, along with researcher Geli Mademli (University of Amsterdam) and producer Phaedra Vokali (General Director, Hellenic Film Academy).

Motherland, I See You is an initiative of the Hellenic Film Academy dedicated to salvaging, digitizing, screening and studying films from the diverse Greek heritage of the 20th Century, under the Auspices of the “Greece 2021” Committee. The program is sponsored by the National Centre of Audiovisual Media & Communication (grand sponsor), the Greek Film Centre, the Athens Epidaurus Festival and the Thessaloniki IFF, and with the support of the Greek Film Archive.


Training Day: How does a film office establishes itself in the marketplace? (November 9, 2021)

The Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre organizes a training day for the regional Film Offices in Greece in collaboration with the European Film Commissions Network (EUFCN), within the framework of the Agora at the 62nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival and with the support of the Athens Film Office.


The aim of the training day is to provide training and networking to the film officers and the executives of the regional Film Offices operating in Greece. During the training day, members of the Board of the European Film Commission Network (EUFCN), from the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Norway, Serbia and Italy, will develop topics of key importance, both for the initial development stage and for the business planning of the Film Offices (good practices for attracting and facilitating demanding audiovisual works, as well as for promoting regions and territories). The purpose of the training day is that the expertise and know-how shared by the most experienced European film commissioners will work for the benefit of the Greek film officers in terms of knowledge and networking opportunities for collaborations.