Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Agora announces the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Agora Docs in Progress projects

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Agora announces the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Agora Docs in Progress projects

AGORA (March 8-16), the industry section of the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, has selected for the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum 12 projects from 11 countries and for the AGORA Docs in Progress 11 films from 16 countries, all deriving from Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region.

AGORA is a member and partners with DAE (Documentary Association of Europe) and is supported by the Creative Europe-MEDIA programme. As an international meeting and networking event Agora offers a variety of networking and co-production opportunities for the global film industry. 

AGORA, a dynamic force in the European audiovisual sector, committed to fostering collaboration, innovation, and cultural exchange targets around 500 industry professionals: producers, filmmakers, distributors, broadcasters, sales agents, film consultants, festival programmers and financiers from all over the world, and focuses on innovative tendencies in documentary filmmaking of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region while at the same time discovers and presents the worldwide documentary trends. 

The re-shaped Thessaloniki Pitching Forum is the co-financing and co-production Forum for documentaries in the development phase, highlighting the countries of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region (including the Visegrad countries, part of the Black Sea region, North Africa and Mediterranean Middle East). It has attracted many ambitious projects and has the support of valuable sponsors and partners. Recently completed films include Boylesque (Poland, Czechia) premiered at Hot DOCS 2022, Dead Sea Guardians (Israel, USA), premiered in Haifa IFF (2021) and was screened in Thessaloniki DF (2022), Karaoke Nation (Finland, Sweden, Germany), premiered in CPH:DOX (2022), A Steady Job (Italy, France) premiered at Visions du Reel (2022), We Will Not Fade Away premiered at Berlinale 2023 and Mighty Afrin (Greece) premiered at Thessaloniki IDF 2023 and won the WWF Award.

Thessaloniki Pitching Forum has secured 3 new awards for its participants. The prestigious IEFTA Award for Best Documentary in Development 10.000 EUR cash-prize, the Eurodoc Award of 1.000 EUR along with a VIP membership and the Sunny Side of the Doc Prize of 2 industry passes and 500 EUR towards travel expenses.

Long term partnerships include the Onassis Foundation who present to the Greek filmmakers with a project to either Thessaloniki Pitching Forum or the Agora Docs in Progress the Onassis Film Award of 5.000 EUR, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) which presents the ERT Award of 2.000 EUR for a Greek project, the Mediterranean Film Institute Script2Film granting a Scholarship for the Doc Lab participation, the Documentary Association of Europe (DAE) presenting a Consultancy Award with a bespoke consultation on a project with an industry expert, Aylon Digital Services who offer a Digital transfer of archival material,  the International Documentary Film Festival - Beldocs which present the Beldocs Networking Award to attend the next edition and meet additional potential partners and the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film offering the Dok Leipzig Award which includes 2 industry passes and accommodation.

The 2024 Thessaloniki Pitching Forum jury consists of:

Mario Adamson, Producer, Sisyfos Films - Sweden

Sophie Duncan, Marketplace & Talent Programmes Producer, Sheffield DocFest - UK

Suzanne Nodale, Sales Agent, Cinephil - Israel

The selected projects have the opportunity to participate in a preparatory project enhancement Workshop with tutors: Ove Jensen, producer and documentary expert, Paradiddle Pictures - Denmark, Brigid O’Shea, co-director and international consultant, DAE - Germany, Peter Jaeger, Consultant, Jaeger Creative - Austria, Mila Turajlić, Director / Producer, Poppy Pictures - Serbia.

This year’s selection highlights diverse and often overlooked stories and amplifies marginalized voices, while exploring multifaceted themes and genres. The 12 selected projects focus on undocumented pieces of history, women's movements and environmental issues, as well as on the exploration of transgenerational trauma, identity issues, the cost of success in sports culture, and the intricacies of human relationships.

Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Projects:


Director: Sergej Kreso, Producer: Harmen Jalvingh - Doxy Films



Director: Hana Elias, Producer: Asmahan Bkerat



Director: Maša Nešković, Producers: Maja Medić, Ena Bajraktarević - Marienbad film


In collaboration with CIRCLE Doc Women Accelerator 


Director: Nikos Ziogas, Producers: Konstantina Stavrianou & Rena Vougioukalou - Graal Films, Antigoni Papantoni - rawDOCS



Director: Lavinia Xausa, Producer: Sam Godfried - Yalla Docs



Director: Mariam Nikolaishvili, Producer: Irina Gelashvili - Radium Films



Director: Valerio Valente, Producer:  Paolo Maria Spina - Revolver, Co-producers: Enrico Cannizzo - Filmine, Boris Despodov - Arthouse Blockbusters, Wojciech Karubin - Movie Mates

Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland


Directors: Nina-Maria Paschalidou, Maria Louka, Producers: Mina Dreki, Iro Aidoni - Marni Films



Director: David Krøyer, Producer: Anna Marina Skouros - Onomamono, Co-producer: Rea Apostolides - Anemon Productions

Denmark, Greece


Director: Nela Märki, Producer: Martin Rattini - Helios Sustainable Films


WOMEN OF 1922 (working title)

Directors: Aris Kaplanidis, Elias Roumeliotis, Producer: Ioanna Soultani - Soul Productions, Co-producer: Tonia Mishiali - Bark Like A Cat

Greece, Cyprus


Director: Stephanie Andreou, Producer: Adrián Gutiérrez - Astarte Films


The Agora Docs in Progress showcases films just before completion through industry screening of selected excerpts. Recent titles that have been previously discovered at the Agora Docs in Progress include: Diaries from Lebanon (Lebanon, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) premiering in Berlinale Panorama Dokumente 2024,  Greek film Queen of Deuce (2022) premiered ad DOC NYC, Notes on Displacement (Palestine, Germany, Qatar - 2022) premiered in IDFA 2022, A Happy Man (Slovakia, Czechia - 2023) premiered at Hot Docs 2023, Citizen Miko (Czech Republic) premiered at Jihlava IFF 2022; Toward Happy Alleys (Bulgaria, India, Germany, Finland) premiered at Berlinale 2023 and screened in Thessaloniki IDF,  Lift Like a Girl, (Denmark, Germany, Egypt 2021) – Netflix, Toronto IFF, Thessaloniki DF and many more, Acts of Love (France, USA 2021) – Hot Docs 2021 (premiere), Thessaloniki DF – Newcomers Competition, Marble Travelogue (Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR China, France, Greece 2021) – IDFA International Competition 2021, Thessaloniki DF – International Competition 2022, Colors of Tobi, (Hungary 2021), BFI Flare London LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Thessaloniki DF 2021- Mermaid Award and A Rifle and a Bag (India, Romania, Italy 2020) - IFFR - Bright Future Award - Special Mention, amongst others.

The participants are mentored by international documentary expert Anna Glogowski, and the project holders are presenting to a room full of industry professionals looking mainly for gap financing, sales agents, festival premieres and distribution (theatrical or digital). The films are eligible for the following awards: The Two Thirty-Five (2|35) Post-Production Main Award, the 119 Marvila Studios Award for sound mixing services, the Greek Film Centre Award of 3.000 EUR and the Neaniko Plano Subtitling Award.

The 2024 Agora Docs in Progress jury consists of:

Hanne Biermann, Festivals & Marketing Manager, Film Harbour - The Netherlands

Pierre-Alexis Chevit, Head of Cannes Docs, Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes - France

Kumjana Novakova, Filmmaker / Film curator, Pravo Ljudski & Medea - North Macedonia / Bosnia & Herzegovina

This year's selection of films presents a rich tapestry woven with threads that traverse various aspects of the challenging realities of our world. Eleven poignant narratives will guide us through a spectrum of emotions, introducing us to compelling subjects and resilient characters who have fought for acceptance, pursued their dreams, and confronted adversity with courage and resilience.

The Agora Docs in Progress films:


Director: Marianna Economou, Producer: Rea Apostolides - Anemon Productions, Co-producer: Paul Cadieux - Megafun Productions
Greece, Canada

Director: Sari Haragonics, Producers: Sára László, Inez Mátis,, Marcell Gero - Campfilm Ltd, Co-producer: Boris Despodov - Arthouse Blockbusters
Hungary, Bulgaria

Director/Producer: Sonja Djekic - KEVA, Co-producers: Tamara Babun, Matija Drnikovic - Wolfgang&Dolly
Serbia, Croatia

Director: Sophie Shevardnadze, Producer: Archil Gelovani, Sergei Yahontov - Independent Film Project


Directors: Udi Nir, Sagi Bornstein, Producer: Udi Nir - udiVsagi production, Co-producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler - Beetz Brothers Film Production
Israel, Germany


Director: Lucas Habte, Producer: Isidore Bethel - Alice Films, Co-producers: Lucas Habte, Juan Carlos Malavé 
France, United States, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia

Director: Thanassis Vassiliou, Producer: Orlane Dumas - Les Films de l'AubeSauvage, Co-producer: Konstantinos Vassilaros - StudioBauhaus
France, Greece


Director/Producer: María Silvia Esteve - HANA Films, Co-producers: Alejandra López - IKKI Films, Radu Stancu,Cristina Haneș - deFilm
Argentina, France, Romania


Director: Marek Šulík, Producer: Barbara Janišová Feglová - HITCHHIKER Cinema, Co-producers: Ivo Andrle - Aerofilms, Alena Müllerová - Czech Television, Tibor Horváth - Radio and Television Slovakia, Marek Šulík - Filmotras

Slovakia, Czech Republic

Director: Eirini Vourloumis, Producer: Leonidas Liambeys - Long Run Productions, Co-producer: Eirini Vourloumis - Boulis Films

Director: Steve Krikris, Producers: Dafni Kalafati, Paul Typaldos - Filmiki S.A, Co-producer: Titus Kreyenberg - unafilm
Greece, Germany