Masterclass by Jeremy Podeswa, series premieres and innovative actions at the 64th TIFF's Agora

A fascinating masterclass, open for the public, delivered by Jeremy Podeswa, the name behind many TV mega-hits, premieres of long-anticipated series, as well as innovative actions and initiatives addressed to the film industry professionals, are in store at the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival Agora, carried out with the valuable support of the Creative Europe-MEDIA programme. 

Haris Alexiou is the Agora’s ambassador 

Haris Alexiou, a long-time icon of Greek music, who recently impressed the audience with her acting skills, will serve as the ambassador of Agora, the Festival’s branch that paves the way for tomorrow’s cinema. Haris Alexiou will turn the spotlight on Agora’s key role in the creative process.

AGORA Series Masterclass: Jeremy Podeswa 

The audience will have the chance to see in person the multi-awarded film director and producer Jeremy Podeswa, the name behind phenomenal series, such as Six Feet Under, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific, True Detective, Station Eleven, who was recently announced as the main director of Amazon’s mini series, Blade Runner 2099. Podeswa will offer cinema and TV aficionados an exciting masterclass, open to the public, under the title “From six feet under, to the top: the evolution of contemporary television”.

For more information on the Agora Series panels, and the discussions addressed to the film industry professionals click here.

Special screenings: Premieres of long-anticipated series 

Agora Series, launched last year, is returning for its sophomore year, enhanced and amplified, with a two-day program on November 4-5, featuring a series of masterclasses, discussion panels and case studies, with the participation of top-notch film industry professionals from around the globe. 

Within this context, the Festival offers the audience the unique chance to watch premiere episodes of popular and long-anticipated series from Greece and abroad on the big screen. 

In particular, the audience will have the chance to watch the two first episodes of the Series Mania award-winning show The Actor (HA International) by Nima Javidi. In addition, two episodes of the I Know Your Soul (BETA FILM) series will be screened, directed by the Oscar nominee Jasmila Žbanić, which made its debut at the Venice Film Festival.

The Greek series will kick off with The Wilder by George Gkikapeppas, offering the audience the chance to watch the debut episode of a compelling family drama endowed with elements of western, produced by ERTFLIX. The three first episodes of the series 17 Threads, directed by Sotiris Tsafoulias and produced by COSMOTE TV, the Festival’s Grand Sponsor, will also celebrate their premiere. The six-part series is based on the true events of the largest-scale mass murdering in modern Greek history. The Festival will also host the screening of the third episode of the new series Milky Way, directed by the Palme d’Or recipient Vasilis Kekatos and produced by Foss Productions, which takes us to the dreamlike landscape of the Greek mountains, through the story of a group of teenagers. The series will be aired at Mega TV/Vodafone TV. The Greek series screenings are free for the audience. 

Tribute to Storytelling

The narrators of the small and the big screen take center stage at the tribute of the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival on Storytelling. Top-notch writers and screenwriters share their experiences, thoughts and secrets through a series of masterclasses that aim to build a bridge between the films and series scriptwriting. All Storytelling masterclasses will be held in Pavlos Zannas theater, with a free admission for the public, on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Here’s the full Masterclasses lineup:

Saturday 4/11, 10:30 - Agora Series Masterclass by Jeremy Podeswa:  “From Six Feet Under, to the Top: The Evolution of Contemporary Television”

Sunday 5/11, 10:30 - Masterclass by screenwriter Panayotis Christopoulos: “More Is More: Building the Narrative World of a Series”

Monday 6/11, 10:30 - Masterclass by director, screenwriter, film editor and producer Dora Masklavanou: “Screenwriting: Unlimited Freedom, Unlimited Constraints”

Tuesday 7/11, 10:30  - Masterclass by writer Dimosthenis Papamarkos: “Around the Fire, in Front of the Lights”

Wednesday 8/11, 10:30 Masterclass by script consultant and story editor Ruth Atkinson: “Writing From the Inside Out: Finding Your Voice”. In collaboration with Discovery Days - LA Greek Film Festival.

Meet the Future

The successful initiative Meet the Future aims to introduce up-and-coming professionals from Greece to the international film industry. This year, MtF is integrated into the tribute to Storytelling, welcoming emerging screenwriters (or writers-directors) from Greece, currently in the development stage of TV series. This year’s participants are: Orfeas Peretzis, Asimina Proedrou, George Teltzidis, Fokion Xenos, Neritan Zinxhiria.

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.

For more info on the participants and the action click here.

Crossroads Co-production Forum

A total of 15 projects, four of which are Greek, from 14 countries of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean, are showcased at the Crossroads Co-production Forum (November 5-9).

The jury is composed of:

Bassam Alasad, producer, Creative Media Solutions - Jordan, Britta Rindelaub, producer, Alva Film - Switzerland, Lina Yannopoulou, producer, Argonauts Productions - Greece and Rémi Burah, CEO, Arte France Cinéma - France. 

The projects have their eyes set on the following awards:

For a full overview of the projects and more info on the Crossroads Co-production Forum click here

AGORA Works in Progress

Agora has selected 10 new films, four of which from Greece, currently at the final stage of production, to take part in this year’s Works in Progress, aiming at their promotion to international film festivals, distributors and sales agents, as well the raising of the necessary funds for their completion. 

The jury is composed of:

Rémi Bigot,  Head of the Semaine de la Critique, France, Anna Germanidi, Director of Exhibition and Programming, Modern Films, UK, Markéta Šantrochová, Head of the Czech Film Center, Czech Republic. 

The projects are competing for the following awards:

(Crossroads Co-production Forum or Works in Progress)

For more info on the projects taking part in Agora’s Works in Progress click here.

Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy

Αgora is hosting for the eight consecutive year the Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy initiative, a collaboration between TIFF and Locarno Film Festival, addressed to young and upcoming professionals of the audiovisual field. 

This year’s participants are: Zahra Benasri - Founder & Sales, Hors Du Bocal, Belgium, Morocco, Alfred Deragne - Head of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Indie Sales, France, Ayumi Filippone - Fund Coordinator, Hubert Bals Fund (IFFR), Italy, Japan, Dovilė Grigaliūnaitė - Festival Programmer & Acquisition Manager, Vilnius Film Festival Kino Pavasaris, Lithuania, Bridge to the North participant in collaboration with the Lithuanian Film Centre, Yort Jansen - Digital Media & Markets, Flanders Image, Belgium, Dimosthenis Kontes -   International Film Sales Manager, Pluto Film, Greece, Eftychia Terzi - Programming Assistant, Cinobo, Greece, Adrien Vidal-Berthaud - Sales Manager, Reel Suspects, France.

For more info on the participants and TLIA actions click here

AGORA Short Film Lab

The Festival is carrying on the AGORA Short Film Lab initiative, in collaboration with Drama International Short Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Within the Agora Short Film Lab framework, acclaimed professionals offer valuable advice and guidance to the awarded directors of the two Festivals: Stergios Dinopoulos, Alexis Koukias-Pantelis and Krysianna Papadakis from Greece, Arthur Thomas-Pavlowsky from France and Eitvydas Doskus from Lithuania (ridge to the North participant in collaboration with the Lithuanian Film Centre). 

For more info click here


Saturday November 4, 16:30 - 17:30 

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series- Storytelling: A Narrative Bridge Between Film and Series 

Creators from the broader Mediterranean region Lefteris Charitos of local sensation The Witch, Nima Javidi, winner of this year's Series Mania award for The Actor and Berkun Oya, creator of the successful Netflix series Ethos discuss the creative process of developing scripts for series. Through the discussion, the bridge between cinema and series emerges.

Intro by Alexandra Gabrižová, MIDPOINT Institute


Lefteris Charitos, Director/Showrunner (GR)

Nima Javidi, Writer/Director (IR)

Berkun Oya, Writer/Director (TR)

Moderator: Müge Ozen, Producer (TR)


Saturday November 4, 17:45-18:45

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series - From Script to Screen: Does IP Matter? 

Co-curated with the European Producers Club, this panel of speakers engages the audiovisual sector in a discussion on the European regulations which aim to protect the works’ copyright.


Dr. Ferdinand Dohna, Producer, Beta Film (DE)

Elli Filippopoulou, Lawyer/IP expert (GR)

Julien Leroux, Producer / Paper Entertainment (UK)

Amanda Livanou, Producer-Founder, Neda Film / Member of the Board, Hellenic Producers Association (SAPOE, GR)

Alex Traila, Programme manager, Council of Europe (FR)

Moderator:  Alexandra Lebret, Managing Director, European Producers Club (FR)


Sunday November 5, 12:00-13:00 

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series - How the Greek Audiovisual Ecosystem Embraces Creativity

Greek industry experts and institution representatives are contributing to a discussion on the strategies to strengthen and transform the local audiovisual sector.


Leonidas Christopoulos, President and CEO, EKOME (GR)

Fenia Cossovitsa, Producer, Blonde / Vice President, Hellenic Producers Association (SAPOE, GR)

Markos Holevas, President, Greek Film Centre (GR)

Dimitris Michalakis, CEO, COSMOTE TV (GR)

Moderator:  Eleni Chandrinou, Producer, Audiovisual Consultant/Eurimages Greek Representative (GR)

Sunday November 5, 14:30-15:30

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography  

AGORA Series- Series Content: Leading the Way to Diversity and Inclusion

Α discussion about inclusion and diversity at the content level in series. The goal of the panel is to highlight best practices of representation and inclusion in series, and how these can be ensured, from the conception of the idea to the implementation of production and the dissemination to the audience.


Peter Carlton, Producer/CEO Warp Films (UK)

Yiannis Donos, Original Content Manager & Head of Acquisition, ANT1 Plus (GR)

Caroline von Kühn, Executive Director, Oxbelly  (GR)

Konstantinos Sousoulas, Chief Content Officer, Mega TV (GR)

Moderator: Zac Ntim, Journalist,  Deadline (US)

Monday November 6, 16:00-17:00

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography  

Bridge to the North: Co-production Opportunities with Lithuania

The Bridge to the North is the Festival’s new synergy initiative between the South and the North and each year we will be hosting a different guest country from the Baltic or Scandinavian region. In this edition we welcome Lithuania and, in this discussion, we explore new opportunities in financing and artistic ideas. Professionals who have had the opportunity to co-produce with Lithuania share their experience and focus on the prospects and benefits which derive from the collaboration. This is a chance to create a fertile ground for co-productions, partnerships and cultural exchange with Greece. 


Athena Kartalou, Managing Director at Greek Film Centre, (GR)

Maria Razgute, Producer, M-Films, (LT)

Laimonas Ubavičius, Lithuanian Film Centre Director, (LT)

Moderator: Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Producer, Horsefly productions, Greece


Monday November 6, 17:15-18:15 

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography  

Audiovisual Producers' Association of Greece presents - Selective Funding and Financial strategies in Greece: 

Updates, Challenges and Lessons to be Learned from the European Experience


Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Producer/Co-Founder, Heretic / SAPOE General Secretary (GR)

Vicky Miha, Producer/Founder, Asterisk*/ SAPOE Member (GR)

Maria Laskaridou,Producer, Argonauts Productions-Greece / SAPOE Member (GR)

Invitees/Key speakers:

Ιrma Simanskyte, Head of Film Production Department at Lithuanian Film Centre - Lithuania (LT)

Milan Stojanovic, Producer/CEO, Sense Production (RS)

Moderator: Amanda Livanou Producer/Founder, Neda Film – Greece / SAPOE Treasurer 


Tuesday November 7, 16:00- 17:00  

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 


Human & Company Sustainability in Film Production 

In the last few years, the mental health crisis in the film industry has become alarmingly clear, and initiatives are starting to take place to raise awareness and spur action. At this year's AGORA, we will take the next step from the focus on human to company sustainability: How are the two interconnected, and how can we as film professionals effectively deal with our industry’s systemic errors when it comes to securing a safe and healthy industry for our teams and ourselves? Here’s a chance to engage in a conversation with two independent European production companies, which also offers a strategic business perspective.


Jean- Laurent Csinidis, Producer, Films de Force Majeure (FR)

Vicky Miha, Producer, Asterisk* (GR)

Juliane Schulze, Strategic Creative Economy Expert (DE)

Moderator: Louise Højgaard Johansen, Sane Cinema (DK)

Co-organized with ACE Producers

Tuesday November 7, 17:15-18:15   

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 


Take the Money and Run: State and Private Financing Tools

In times of quick changes in the international audiovisual landscape and the prospect of relying only on public support and local broadcasters may not be enough to fund a film, producers find themselves, more often than not, in the situation of having to find other sources of financing. On this premise, we will discuss the tools currently available and if private financing is a way to go. Another aspect of the conversation will focus on if and how public funding and private financing can be combined. Are these compatible? Which kind of projects are suitable for such a scheme? Private financiers need to be drawn in to participating but there are certain risks in having private financing in our financing plan. What does this imply? This panel has the aim of initiating the talk on the diversity of financing tools the producers may play with for their different projects.


Caroline von Kühn, Executive Director, Oxbelly and Director, Faliro House (US)

Julie-Jeanne Régnault,  Secretary General at European Film Agency Directors association (BE)

Moderator: Arkaitz Basterra - Producer & Economics Consultant, Moby Dick Investment (SP)

Wednesday November 8, 15:30-16:30 

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 


Climate Storytelling: A Conversation 

As the climate crisis progresses, the role of art, and especially cinema, becomes increasingly critical. The Climate Storytelling conversation provides a framework where creators can explore how to incorporate elements of environmental awareness into their scripts. How environmental elements are integrated into narratives influences audience perception and contributes to the creation of an emotional and informed social dialogue. The inclusion of the climate crisis at the script level is not only a matter of technical nature but also has a deeper social significance. This discussion aims to highlight this importance through an active discussion and enable creators to exchange ideas, be inspired and draw emotional awareness around this subject matter. 


Bassam Alasad, Producer, Creative Media Solutions, Greener Screen (JO)

Emma Doxiadi, Filmmaker and Sustainability Coordinator, Everybodies (GR)

Isabelle Fauvel, Development advisor, CEO of Initiative Film (FR)

Wednesday November 8, 17:00-18:00  

@ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 


Going “Glocal”: Building strategies for networking in the audiovisual industry

What does it really mean to belong to the film community? How do you ensure and sustain this advantage? Accessing, positioning and establishing yourself as a professional in the audiovisual industry requires to act bold in terms of visibility and connectivity. This panel will refer to the significance of networking strategies and the use of innovative tools by professionals who wish to break the borders of their local community in order to be active in an international environment. Representatives from the Film Office-Central Macedonia and the online networking platform Crew United, together with German producer Felix Gerd Schneider, discuss how film professionals can benefit and boost their career through networking; hence going “glocal”.


Dionysia Arvanitou, Production support advisor & project coordinator, Film Office-Central Macedonia (GR)

Lina Milonaki, Head of Film Office Central Macedonia (GR)

Felix Gerd Schneider, Producer, Avriofilms (GR)

Venia Vergou, Crew United Greece (GR)

In partnership with Film Office Central Macedonia & Crew United


Parallel Event

Thursday November 9, 10:30-13:00 

@Greek Film Centre Stand, Warehouse C, ground floor (Port)

Green filming in the quiver of producers: innovative training actions and strategic partnerships of the Greek Film Centre 

Greek Film Centre and its Directorate Hellenic Film Commission collaborates with Torino Film Lab to provide innovative training programs in the field of green production practices for film and audiovisual works. Launch of the Green Film Workshop call, Athens 2024


Gionanni Pompili, Head of Studies, Torino Film Lab (IT)

Alexander Georges, Location Manager, (USA) 

Μoderator: Stavroula Geronimaki, Acting Director Hellenic Film Commission of Greek Film Centre 


Other Industry events

Wednesday November 8, 16:00-17:00 

@ Warehouse C, Greek Film Centre stand

The Greek Film Centre launches five new funding programs offered through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan Greece 2.0.

Presentation by Katerina Grammatikopoulou, Project Manager

The presentation will be in Greek


Friday November 10, 11:00-13:00 

@ Warehouse C, Greek Film Center stand

Training day for the local industry

Film Office Central Macedonia & Greek Film Centre


Zoe Kandyla, Director of Production & Development GFC 

Yianna Sarri, Director of Promotion GFC

Stavroula Geronimaki, Acting Director Hellenic Film Commission GFC

Αnna Kasimati, Head of Creative Europe Media Desk Greece 

The presentation will be in Greek

Saturday November 11, 11:00-13:00 

@ Warehouse C, Greek Film Center stand

CINEDU: A year in Greek schools (NSRF 2014-2020)


Ilias Tasopoulos, Project Manager

Theodora Malliarou, Platform Coordinator & School Screenings Supervisor

The presentation will be in Greek

Saturday November 11, 10:00-15:00 

@ Thessaloniki Cinema Museum Warehouse A΄- Takis Kanellopoulos theater

Conference: Find your Fund

Organized by: North Greece Union of Cinematographers

Ask Me Anything 

Ask Me Anything is an activity designed for the festival and industry attendees providing hands-on 1:1 consultancy sessions on topics such as: Sustainability and green production practices, music royalties and copyright, practical tools for your films and network, funding opportunities, film promotion and distribution, discovering the national and local film services and how to sustain your mental well-being through it all!