AGORA Series 2023

With local and international special guests, AGORA Series, which was launched last year in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, invites the audiovisual production professionals from Greece, Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region to attend numerous events such as masterclasses, panel discussions and case study presentations while providing the opportunity for network expansion to its participants.

At the same time, AGORA Series is inaugurating new partnerships with prestigious organizations specializing in series content production and promotion, as well as professional training in the field of content development for TV and streaming platforms.

AGORA Series 2023 program consultant is the UK-based producer and CEO of Paper Entertainment, Julien Leroux best known for co-producing Tehran for Apple TV.

AGORA Series 2023

AGORA Series program will be focusing on the creative process of series screenwriting and will feature diverse industry events and exciting networking opportunities, bringing forward the region’s emerging talents and most-promising upcoming audiovisual works.

The AGORA Series days include an extensive two-day program with masterclasses by serialized storytelling experts, panel discussions with local and international series professionals and other networking opportunities.

In addition, the main program will be accompanied by special screenings of unseen episodes of Greek and international series.

AGORA Series Masterclass

Award-winning feature film and television director and producer Jeremy Podeswa will give a masterclass to the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, titled From Six Feet Under, to the Top: The Evolution of Contemporary Television taking place on Saturday 4 November at the Pavlos Zannas theater. The Canadian/American creator, who was recently announced as the lead director of the Blade Runner 2099 mini-series for Amazon, will give a masterclass on the future of storytelling. Podeswa, who is numerous times nominated and awarded for series such as Six Feet Under, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific, True Detective, Station Eleven and more, will share with the audience his personal experience on how a lead director is setting the tone in the production process and on the evolution of series content throughout the years. At the same time he will share with the festival goers insightful information of his personal journey in creating series projects. The masterclass will be moderated by Lefteris Charitos, film and series director and Chairman of the Hellenic Film Academy. 

Panel Discussions

Additionally, the AGORA Series program consists of numerous panel discussions involving creators, representatives of organizations and institutions and specialized professionals of the audiovisual industry. 

The program includes: 

Saturday 4 November 

Storytelling: A narrative bridge between film and series.

Participating in the panel are creators of series with a film background, including the director of the successful ANT1 series The Witch Lefteris Charitos (GR), Nima Javidi (IR), winner of this year's Series Mania award for The Actor, Berkun Oya, creator of the successful Netflix series Ethos (TR), and Sari Turgeman (IL), founder and manager of SCRIPTlight. The panel will be moderated by series producer Müge Ozen (TR). The panel is presented under the auspices of the MIDPOINT Institute.

From script to screen: Does IP matter? co-curated with the European Producers Club inviting the audiovisual sector to discuss the European regulations to protect the copyright of the works. The speakers of the panel are Amanda Livanou, Producer at Neda Film and Treasurer of the Audiovisual Producers Association (GR), Alex Traila, Programme manager at the Council of Europe (FR), Elli Filippopoulou, Lawyer and IP Expert (GR), Julien Leroux, Producer and CEO of Paper Entertainment (UK) and Ferdinand Dohna, Producer Beta Film (DEU). Alexandra Lebret, Managing Director of the European Producers Club (FR), is moderating the panel.

Sunday 5 November

How the Greek audiovisual ecosystem embraces creativity. Greek industry experts and institution representatives are contributing to the discussion. Markos Holevas (President of the BoD of the Greek Film Centre), Leonidas Christopoulos (President and CEO of EKOME), Fenia Cossovitsa (Producer and Audiovisual Producers Association Greece Vice President) and Dimitris Michalakis (CEO, COSMOTE TV) discuss the strategies to strengthen and transform the local audiovisual sector.  Eleni Chandrinou, Audiovisual sector consultant and Greek Representative in Eurimages moderates the panel discussion

Series content: leading the way to diversity and inclusion. The panel sessions end on Sunday afternoon with a round table in inclusion and diversity. Confirmed speakers Peter Carlton, Producer/CEO Warp Films (UK), Caroline von Kühn, Executive Director, Oxbelly (USA) and Konstantinos Sousoulas, Chief Content Officer, Mega TV (GR) and Yiannis Donos, Original Content Manager & Head of Acquisition, ANT1 Plus(GR) are participating in a discussion encouraging diverse and inclusive practices throughout the production process. The conversation is moderated by Deadline journalist Zac Ntim (UK).


Breakfast meetings

An integral part of the AGORA Series program are the breakfast meetings sessions. The meetings are provided for the series accredited attendees on Saturday and Sunday with established professional programs (MIDPOINT Institute, Mediterranean Film Institute, Oxbelly, The Owl) and development funds (Eurimages, Greek Film Centre, Creative Europe MEDIA) presenting their programs through this networking opportunity. 


Special screenings

Thessaloniki International Film Festival, through the AGORA Series initiative, integrates special premiere screenings of Greek and international series. The audience will have the chance to see for the first time the two first episodes of the Series Mania award winning show The Actor (HA International) by Nima Javidi. In addition, during the AGORA Series days, two episodes of the I Know Your Soul (BETA FILM) series will be screened. The series was created by the Oscar nominee Jasmila Žbanić and made its debut at the Venice Film Festival.

The Greek Series take center stage in this year's AGORA Series that kicks off with premiere of the first episode of the forthcoming mini-series The Wilder by George Gkikapeppas (produced by ERTFLIX), a compelling family story with elements of modern western. The three first episodes of the new six-part series Seventeen Threads by Sotiris Tsafoulias (produced by COSMOTE TV, the Festival’s main sponsor), based on real events about the biggest mass murder in Greek modern history, will also make its premiere at the AGORA Series section. The festival will, also, screen the third episode of Vasilis Kekatos' series Milky Way, produced by Foss Productions), which transports us to the dreamlike landscapes of the Greek mountains, through the stories of a group of teenagers, and will be aired at MEGA TV/Vodafone TV.


Meet the Future: Storytelling

Launched in 2019, Meet the Future is the ambitious initiative of the festival that connects Greece’s audiovisual sector professionals with the international Industry. Every year young professionals of the audiovisual field are selected, individuals who are currently preparing for their next significant steps in the audiovisual sector. Since its launch, Meet the Future has invited film directors, editors, actors and directors of photography to participate in workshop sessions, panel discussions and to present their work to the industry professionals attending the AGORA.

This year, the program is focusing on screenwriting aiming to support the evolution of contemporary Greek series content and production while maintaining our foundation in cinema. Thus, Meet the Future will serve as a bridge between film and series scripts, titled Storytelling.

The selection for this year's MtF participants consists of emerging screenwriters (or writer-directors) whose films have participated in the official programs of major international festivals or have been awarded for their screenplay at the Drama International Short Film Festival and the Hellenic Film Academy who now have a series project in development.

The MtF participants are:

Orfeas Peretzis, Asimina Proedrou, George Teltzidis, Fokion Xenos, Neritan Zinxhiria

They will have the opportunity to participate in two tailor-made workshops by experts in their fields. Turn Your Idea Into a Project by producer Julien Leroux and  Prepare to (Re)Present Yourself by public speaker coach Bonnie Williams. The two experts will share their insights about the series industry and offer guidance for their presentation and positioning to the industry. The Meet the Future presentation to the audiovisual professionals will be held on November 5.

One participant will receive the Crew United Prize a 5-year free Premium membership subscription on Crew United, the leading online networking platform connecting audiovisual professionals in Europe, now open also in Greece.

In addition, a series of morning Masterclasses on Storytelling are scheduled at the Pavlos Zannas Theatre to be presented to the Meet the Future participants and the Thessaloniki audience.

Sunday November 5: More Is More: Building the Narrative World of a Series by Panayotis Christopoulos, screenwriter

Monday November 6: Screenwriting: Unlimited Freedom, Unlimited Constraints by Dora Masklavanou, director, screenwriter, film editor, producer, actor

Tuesday November 7: Around the Fire, in Front of the Lights by Dimosthenis Papamarkos, author, screenwriter