With new collaborations and prizes, Agora, the most dynamic and vibrant documentary industry event in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean, returns for the upcoming 25th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, held from March 2 – 12, 2023. Agora invites documentary filmmakers to submit creative documentaries, TV documentaries, documentary series, as well as documentaries for children in the Agora Doc Market, Docs in Progress, Thessaloniki Pitching Forum sections. At the same time, Agora presents the renewed Agora Lab, a three-day consulting and educational workshop for emerging filmmakers from Greece.
Agora is an inseparable and invaluable part of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and has established itself as a meeting hub between directors, producers and buyers from all over the world, promoting and supporting documentary film throughout all production stages. Agora will take place from March 3-11, 2023.
Agora is supported by Creative Europe Media and is held in collaboration with DAE (Documentary Association of Europe). Its development activities focus on the regions of Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean. In a friendly and relaxed environment, industry professionals are meeting with film producers and directors (both onsite and online) to discuss their projects and plan their next steps.
THESSALONIKI PITCHING FORUM: Deadline for entries January 9, 2023
Agora hosts Thessaloniki Pitching Forum, an initiative focused on developing documentaries. The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum explores the limits of documentary by inviting creative and TV documentaries, documentary series, documentaries for children and new media projects (Virtual Reality or/and Augmented Reality, etc.).
The participants will have the opportunity to discuss their project and get feedback on their content during a two-day online workshop. They will work on their material and gear up for their pitch preparation at the Pitching Forum, before a panel of experts. At the same time, the participants will have one-on-one meetings with industry professionals interested in their project.
The final selection will include a total of 14 projects, addressed to an international public. The prizes include: Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (2,000 euros), ERT Award to a Greek project (2,000 euros), Scholarship for the Sript2Film Doc Lab of the Mediterranean Film Institute (June – December 2023), DAE Award (consulting sessions), Aylon Productions Digital Services Award (archival material digitization), Beldocs Award (accommodation and accreditation, May 2023) and DOK Leipzig Accelerator Award (2 Co-Pro Market Observer Passes and two festival accreditations, October 2023).
AGORA DOCS IN PROGRESS: Deadline for entries, January 9, 2023
Agora invites filmmakers who have a documentary in post-production and are looking for a distributor, a festival premiere or completion funds to submit their films in Agora Docs in Progress. Recent documentaries which have successfully participated in Agora Docs in Progress are Queen of the Deuce (DOCNYC), Notes of Displacement (IDFA 2022), Citizen Miko (Ji.hlava IFF 2022), Marble Travelogue (IDFA 2021, TDF24) and more. Agora Docs in Progress is open to creative and TV documentaries, documentary series and documentaries for children.
For the twelfth consecutive year, Agora Docs in Progress remains the main meeting event for documentary films that have entered the last stage prior to their completion. Directors and producers have the chance to present their documentary films to buyers, co-producers, festival representatives and sales agents, and attract their interest.
The movies are also competing for a series of important awards: the Two Thirty Five Post-Production Award, the MuSou Music and Sound Award and the Neaniko Plano Subtitling Award. The selected projects will have the opportunity to prepare their pitch and get advice on their next steps in a consultation session before the Festival.
Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Docs in Progress are welcoming projects coming from the following countries: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kosovo*, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine.
*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.
For online application forms and more info, check the website: https://www.filmfestival.gr/en/professionals-b2b/agora-docs
Agora also continues the Agora Lab initiative (March 5-9), a 3-day development workshop for young filmmakers from Greece, in which experienced editors and doc professionals from Greece and abroad guide filmmakers and producers with documentaries in various stages of development. Up to five projects will be selected from the Docs in Progress and the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum pool of submissions. One of the projects will receive the Paradiddle Pictures Award (consultation session for the next steps towards the completion of the project).
Agora also presents Meet the Future scheduled to be held from March 7-9, 2023. Setting its glance at the future, Agora discovers and introduces the up-and-coming filmmakers from the wider region of the Balkans, Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean, making their first career steps, through the Meet the Future initiative. More details will be announced soon.
In the Agora Talks and Doc Counseling initiatives, top-notch professionals provide guidance to filmmakers taking part in the Festival’s program and the Agora, offering public sessions and one-on-one consultancy sessions on topics such as festival strategy, documentary funding, distribution, Media desk help, educational programs, marketing etc.
Moreover, the Agora Doc Market is fully digitalized, operating through the professional digital platform Cinando, showcasing documentaries produced within the last two years and giving the opportunity to filmmakers to present their films to the accredited movie industry professionals (producers, sales agents, distributors, festival representatives, etc) who attend the Agora. Each year the Agora Doc Market hosts around 400 films and invites more than 300 buyers and industry professionals who choose Thessaloniki to promote or buy documentary films. Submission fees do apply. The submission deadline for the Agora Doc Market is Monday, February 20th, 2023 (the form will be available soon).