With new collaborations and prizes, Agora, the most dynamic and vibrant documentary industry event in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean, returns for the upcoming 26th Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, held from March 7-17, 2024. Agora is happy to announce a new partnership with IEFTA Foundation, which will hand out a new award, accompanied by a 10,000-euro prize, to a project participating in Thessaloniki Pitching Forum.
“We're truly honored to introduce the IEFTA Best Doc in Development Award. The Agora has grown, and we've gained valuable industry partners, making us proud to see our hard work yielding positive results. It's a humble joy to witness the impact of our efforts in the industry” says Angeliki Vergou, Head of AGORA.
Marco Orsini, Chairman and Active Board Member of IEFTA notes: “On behalf of the IEFTA Foundation, I am pleased to announce a new, annual partnership with the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival to offer a €10,000 prize for the Best Doc in Development Award through IEFTA's new Foundation, based in Greece. IEFTA stands with TIDF's mission to provide a platform for emerging filmmakers from Central and Southeast Europe to the Black Sea and the wider Mediterranean regions and we look forward to a long, impactful partnership”.
The award is bestowed by a jury to a project in the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum, the co-producing and co-financing platform of the TiDF.
THE AGORA OF THE 26th THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
Agora invites documentary filmmakers to submit creative documentaries, documentary series, as well as documentaries for children in the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Agora Docs in Progress. At the same time, Agora presents the renewed Agora Lab, a consulting and educational workshop for young filmmakers from Greece.
Agora is an inseparable and invaluable part of the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival and has established itself as a meeting hub between directors, producers and buyers from all over the world, promoting and supporting documentary films throughout all production stages. The TiDF26 Agora will take place from March 8-16, 2024.
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 Central and Southeast Europe, the Black Sea 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.
The Onassis Foundation has consistently collaborated with the Festival, bringing forth the voices of emerging creators. Every year, it presents Greek filmmakers participating in the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum or the Agora Docs in Progress of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival with the Onassis Film Award, which is accompanied by a 5,000-euro prize.
THESSALONIKI PITCHING FORUM
Deadline for entries up until January 5th, 2024
Agora hosts Thessaloniki Pitching Forum (deadline for entries: January 5, 2024), an initiative focused on developing documentaries. The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum explores the limits of documentary by inviting TV and creative 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.
In addition, to the new award by IEFTA Foundation, the IEFTA Best Doc in Development Award, the prizes also include: ERT Award to a Greek project (2,000 euros), Scholarship for the Sript2Film Doc Lab of the Mediterranean Film Institute (June-December 2024), DAE Award (consulting sessions), Aylon Productions Digital Services Award (Material digitization from Aylon Productions), Beldocs Award (accommodation and accreditation at the Beldocs International Documentary Festival, Serbia, May 2024) and DOK Leipzig Accelerator Award (selection of a project to participate to the Open Program and two free accreditations, October 2024).
AGORA DOCS IN PROGRESS
Deadline for entries up until January 12th, 2024
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. Documentaries who have successfully participated in Agora Docs in Progress are And, Toward Happy Alleys by Sreemoyee Singh, Hussain Currimbhoy, We Will Not Fade Away by Alisa Kovalenko, Kasia Kuczynska, Notes on Displacement by Khaled Jarrar etc. Agora Docs in Progress is open to TV and creative documentaries, documentary series and documentaries for children.
Agora Docs in Progress segment 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 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, the 119 Marvilla Studios Award in Sound Mixing Services, the Neaniko Plano Subtitling Award and the Greek Film Centre 3,000-euro prize for a Greek project. 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/tidf-agora
Agora also continues the Agora Lab initiative (March 10-14), a development workshop for young filmmakers from Greece, in which experienced doc professionals both 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). One of the participants will also receive the new Crew United Prize, a 5-year free Premium membership subscription on Crew United, the leading online networking platform connecting audiovisual professionals in Europe, now available also in Greece.
Agora also presents the Meet the Future section scheduled to be held from March 10-14, 2024. 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 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 TiDF26 Agora. Each year the Agora Doc Market hosts around 400 films and invites more than 100 buyers and industry professionals who choose Thessaloniki to promote or buy documentary films. The Greek documentaries can participate for free, by submitting their film to Agora Doc Market by Monday, February 23, 2024 (the form will be available soon).
The actions aiming at the reinforcement of Greek cinema’s extroversion and promotion to the international scene are carried out within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0”, funded by the European Union - NextGenerationEU and in particular of the sub-programme “SUB 6.3 - Market Extroversion of the Thessaloniki International Film and Documentary Festival”.