62nd THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Presentation of Agora’s Works in Progress
Agora, the developmental branch of the Festival, presented Works in Progress on Saturday, November 6, at Frida Liappa theater, at the Port of Thessaloniki. Eight (8) projects participated, among which we encounter two Greek projects. Yianna Sarri, the head of the Agora, gave the floor to Orestis Andreadakis, the Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, to preface the Works in Progress of Agora. Mr. Andreadakis welcomed the audience and talked about our long absence from the movie theatres. "It was a long road and a difficult time, but we are here and we are together again," he said.
Yianna Sarri went on to welcome Fotis Sergoulopoulos, the Ambassador of Agora, who initially referred to the 14 interesting projects presented earlier in the day at Agora’s Crossroads. Unlike these projects, which are in their infancy, the films in Works in Progress are just one step away from completion. Afterwards, Yianna Sarri thanked the directors and producers who came to present their work, the jury, but also the sponsors for their kind offer. Eight videos were then screened, one for each film, in which directors and producers talked about their films, analyzed their characters and showed excerpts.
The Agora Works in Progress section of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival hosts screenings that concern exclusively the accredited market participants and are presented to the producers, sales agents, distributors and festival representatives who will participate in the 62nd edition. Professionals have the opportunity to be the first to discover feature films from the Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Balkans, which are in the last stage before their completion. Works in Progress takes place both in person and electronically.
Seven of these films will be presented for the first time to the professionals of cinema. Creators, apart from having the opportunity to meet with sales agents, programmers from other festivals and potential partners, will also compete for the 119 Marvila Studios award for post - production services, the MuSou Music & Sound Award (composition of original music, audio post-production,finding and securing a license for copyright and record rights of commercial use), the Marketing award of Asterisk* and the ERT Agora Award Works in Progress of 2,000 euros in a Greek film.
Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, The Netherlands, Mauritius and Israel are the countries represented this year and we hope they have the same success as the recent entries in Works in Progress, which include, among others, the following films: Moon, 66 Questions by Jacqueline Lentzou (Berlinale Encounters 2021 Competition Section), Bottom Rock Riser by Fern Silva (Special Mention-Berlinale Encounters 2021, Competition section >>Film Forward at the 23rd TDF), Landscapes of Resistance by Marta Popivoda (Tiger IFFR Competition 2021, Golden Alexander >>Film Forward 23rd TDF, 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 the Festival San Sebastian 2020), Papicha by Mounia Meddour (Un Certain Regard Cannes Film Festival 2019), Rêves de jeunesse by Alain Raoust (L'ACID Cannes Film Festival 2019), Suntan by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Rotterdam, SXSW 2016), Thorn by Gabriel Tzafka (CPH: PIX, Thessaloniki 2017), Symptom of Angelos Frantzis (Turin, Thessaloniki 2015), Little Bear by Elisavet Chronopoulou (Gothenburg Festival 2016), Little Fish by Yannis Economides (Competition Section- Berlin 2014).
The jury of this year's Agora Works in Progress is: Dorota Lech (International Program, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada), Nikos Sbiliris (Producer, Boo Productions – Greece), Simon Gabriele (Sales Representative - Indie Sales – France)
The films are:
1. BASTARDA Direction: Nikos Pastras, Production: Nikolas Alavanos-FILMIKI,Nikos Pastras, Greece, Out of Competition
Five boys and five girls, far from the rules of a suffocating society, create their own community. They occupy a large house in the middle of nowhere and decide to stay there together. They will soon lose control, their relationships will be tested, but they will find a way to remain free. True friendships are bastardized with new emotional enticements that transcend gender and race, in a world that is ready, or even willing, to be shattered to be built from scratch.
2. QUIETNESS 6-9 Direction: Christos Passalis, Production: Maria Drandaki-Homemade Films, Greece
Aris and Anna meet in a semi-abandoned city full of strange monuments and surrounded by antennas, filled at night with bizarre sounds and human voices. They soon realize that they are the only strangers in this place that is constantly threatened: the inhabitants disappear suddenly and inexplicably, no one can see them but can hear their desperate messages through the antennas. As we watch the everyday life of the small town, with its strange rituals, Aris and Anna fall in love. When Anna disappears, they realize they're sharing more than they thought at first.
3. A MASS FOR WANDERING SOULS Direction: Pablo Lago Dantas, Production: Diana Toucedo, Albert Kuhn Bosch–Diana Toucedo Films, Spain
The coexistence with ancient rituals about the Friday of the "aguardiente" (alcoholic drink) shakes up in Alicia very vivid memories of her past. A past that will fill her house with forgotten ghosts that seek redemption through the fire and smoke of distillation: they will remind her that the present does not belong to her.
4. GAZING AT STARS Direction: David Constantin, Production: David Constantin-Caméléon Production, Co-production: Frédéric Eyriey-Lithops Film, Sales Company: Sudu Connexion, Mauritius, France
In the social housing, on the Black River in Mauritius, old Bolom has disappeared. When he goes to search for his father, Ronaldo finds an Indian worker, Ajeya, in his yard. Ronaldo and Ajeya leave the house and travel to the interior of the island. There are turnarounds when Ronaldo learns things about himself, Ajeya is freed, and Bolom makes one last trip in the hope of giving meaning to his life and getting closer to his son.
5. PELICAN Direction: Filip Heraković, Production: Tamara Babun, Matija Drniković–Wolfgang & Dolly LLC, Croatia
Josip is a goalkeeper in football and is recovering in a spa from a knee injury that may put his career at risk. Faced with a huge change in his life, he goes through an identity crisis and looks for a way to rediscover himself. After failed visits by his girlfriend and friends, the opportunity to introduce himself as another person appears, when he is mistaken for Branimir Novak, the sales representative of robotic vacuum cleaners at a conference at the hotel. Then, he freely explores the opportunity to be treated differently, due to the different profession, level and expectations. A new perspective, new friends and new love enter his life, but also new confusion and new dilemmas.
6. THINGS UNSAID Direction: Eleonora Veninova, Production: Goce Kralevski–DNF FILMS, Co-production: MiraTomić-LILITH, North Macedonia, Serbia
Photographer Anna and her husband Fillip are at their cottage when their peace is disturbed by the arrival of Maya, the daughter of their old friends they haven't seen in a long time. One night, when Maya returns home covered in blood, they share a strange moment of intimacy. Anna and Maya's erotic madness brings to the surface all that the couple has been hiding over the years.
7. THREE JUMPS, ONE Direction: Rusudan Pirveli, Production: Rusudan Pirveli–Caucasian FILMODROM, Co-production: Ranko Pauković-Editson, Georgia, Netherlands
Zuka frequents the streets with his friends, until one day an accident turns into a reason to fall in love with a woman twice older than him. Trying to approach her, he gets "life lessons" from Filter, a friend of his father's. Are these perfect lessons enough, though?
8. UPSIDE DOWN Direction: Lee Gilat, Production: Aviv Ben Shlush–ZOA FILMS LTD, Israel
Sachar (17), a beautiful, charismatic and intelligent young woman with a dark aura, lives in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods of Bat-Yam City with her dysfunctional family. Her father is hospitalized in a psychiatric institution and her mother has problems with men and alcohol. Every morning, Sachar goes to Gila's House, a different educational facility for girls in danger, where 15 young, eccentric women meet every day. Sachar's position was secure until Perry (19), a new teacher-soldier comes as a consultant. Perry is unorthodox, charismatic and enigmatic. A strong dynamic of attraction-aversion is created between the two women.