26th TiDF: Discover 66 fascinating Greek documentaries!

Vibrant and fascinating, unraveling heart-wrenching human stories and burning up-to-the-minute issues, the Greek documentaries take center stage at the 26th Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, which will take place from March 7 to March 17 2024, both in physical spaces and online. In total, 66 full-length and short documentaries from Greece will be screened in the three competition sections, International Competition, Newcomers and >>Film Forward, in the Open Horizons, NextGen, Platform+ and Special Screenings sections, as well as part of the tributes held within the framework of the 26th TiDF.

Taking into account the difficulties faced by the Greek film industry professionals in their work, the Festival offers its practical support to Greek documentary filmmakers, submitting a rental fee to all Greek films that take part in its official selection. Moreover, the Platform section is expanded and renamed to Platform+. The documentaries taking part in the Platform+ section will be screened at the Festival’s digital platform and will be available from March 8 to March 22, 2024, aiming at a wider screening range for the audience.  

Furthermore, the hosting of universally accessible screenings is part of the Festival’s programme yet for another year, offering the audience the chance to watch the outstanding documentary Tilos Weddings directed by Panayotis Evangelidis, in a universally accessible screening, which will be held in collaboration with Alpha Bank, the Festival’s Accessibility Sponsor. The documentary, which focuses on the first gay and lesbian weddings held in Greece, in 2008, in the island of Tilos, will be screened on universally accessible terms both in the Festival’s theaters and online. 

Touching human-centered moments, LGBTQI+ community issues, groundbreaking historical and social events that left their mark on contemporary Greece, stories of women’s emancipation and gender violence, human rights, our relationship with nature, the contemporary world of the Internet are some of the topics that triggered the interest of the Greek documentarists. The advisory committee assigned with the task of the preselection of films for the 26th Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival was composed by film director Eliana Abravanel, film critic Manolis Kranakis, and film director-editor Myrto Patsalidou. 

Let’s take a glance at the 26th TiDF documentaries: 

International Competition Stray Bodies

Elina Psykou

Robin is pregnant, but does not wish to become a mother. Katerina is not able to have a child, even though she wants to. Kiki's sole desire is to end her life with dignity. Unfortunately, abortion, in vitro fertilization and euthanasia are not legal in their respective countries. Stray Bodies explores the notion of body autonomy within Europe, a place where you are allowed to travel, work and consume freely, but not necessarily to live or die according to your wishes.


Marianna Economou

An accidental discovery in an Athenian hospital reveals a personal and collective trauma about hundreds of patients who died from tuberculosis between 1945 and 1975 and were buried unnamed in mass graves on the hospital grounds. Eighty years later, their controversial story comes to light through their personal belongings and the search for living relatives.


Babis Makridis

Welcome to the murky world of digital ad fraud, organized crime’s biggest source of income after drug trafficking. A former industry executive pulls the curtain to expose how it’s done, who the victims are, and what role Google and Facebook play in the game.



Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Since the 1970s, lesbians from around the world would flock to a small village on the Greek island of Lesvos. As tensions between the newly-arrived lesbians and local residents rose, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou – caught in the middle as a local and lesbian herself – chronicled 40+ years of love, community, conflict, and what it means to feel accepted.


Spyros Mantzavinos, Kostas Antarachas

A ghost story of obsession, solitude, and madness, taking place in a chess coffeehouse out of place and time, in the center of Athens: This is the story of Panellinion, a refuge for people who suffocate in everyday life, who despise and fail to adapt to the conditions of modern life.


Vania Turner

The two-time Olympic medalist who pioneered Greece's #MeToo movement inspires a younger athlete to come forward with her own abuse. In a milestone trial, Sofia stands with Amalia, who is seeking justice for her own abuse at the hands of her coach when she was a child.

>>Film Forward


Fil Ieropoulos

Avant-Drag! offers an exhilarating look at ten drag performers in Athens who deconstruct gender, nationalism, belonging, identity, while facing police brutality, transphobia and racism.

First Milk

Panagiotis Papafragkos 

Focusing on the rearing of newborn sheep at Mount Pateras  (father) in Attica, Greece, First Milk weaves a sensory narrative on the human-animal connection, exploring the concepts of motherhood, breastfeeding, and orphanhood. Seasons pass, animals are born and die, the film captures the cycle of life: birth, death, rebirth.

Open Horizons 


Dimitris Mouzakitis

In the last years of their lives, the poet Nanos Valaoritis and the painter Marie Wilson lived together in an apartment in downtown Athens. Nanos Valaoritis is reflected in the cinematographic lens, weaving personal memory into space and time. A personal microcosm, containing multifaceted manifestations of a creative life.

142 Years

Stelios Kouloglou

In Greek prisons thousands of refugees-migrants are convicted as traffickers.The internationally acclaimed rescuer Jason Apostolopoulos tries to save three innocent refugees.The first has been sentenced to 142 years in prison and the other two to 50. In a courtroom drama that lasts over a year, will Jason and his comrades manage to free them?

Armani the Vlachs

Michael Kamakas

A documentary by Michael Kamakas, which highlights the contribution of the Vlach-speaking Greeks during important moments in Greek history, whilst calling attention to the question: How can the word "Vlachos" be used with the derogatory connotation "vlachos" and be intertwined with the uncouth, the peasant, the uncivilized…

City-Sinfonietta, Conversations with Dziga Vertov

Dimitris Theodoropoulos

A voyage researching the geography space of visual memory, through remains from the past, along with the decay-patina of urban landscape, capturing glimpses of original artistic-creation, emphasizing on a visual-musicality of cinematic imagery.

Dourgouti Town

Dimitris Bavellas 

A real estate agent who is interested in investing wanders around the area of Neos Kosmos in Athens, formerly known as Dourgouti. Through his eyes unfolds the past, present and uncertain future of this once degraded district. A district resembling a deserted island, right next to Acropolis, following the fate of similar areas around the globe.

EMBROS: A Free Self-Managed Theater

Alkistis Kafetzi 

A documentary film that explores a self-organized artistic community in the center of Athens. Decades before it became the Embros Theater in 1989, the building served as a printing office for the Embros newspaper. Today, the same building stands as a free self-organized theater, providing a free space for artistic expression and open assemblies.

Farewell: And Suddenly Memory Began to Remember

Ada Pitsou

The distinguished psychotherapist Toula Vlachoutsikou, nowadays bedridden and suffering from dementia, when she began to lose her memory, she started writing a book with stories about memory. Twenty years later, her daughter, who takes care of her, is making a film based on these stories, as well as on interviews with people who knew her in person.

How’s Claire?

Chryssa Tzelepi

In an apartment in the center of Thessaloniki, Maria and her mother Vaya live together, struggling with the ravages of time and the loss of memory. Vaya’s immersion in dementia turns their relationship into a daily ritual of care. Α difficult daily life the two women face with humor and tenderness.

In Search of an Audience

Nicolas Pottakis

Lambros Fisfis was planning to become the first Greek comedian to perform in a big stadium. Then hit the pandemic and he now has to perform in front of literally no audience. This is a story of persistence, overcoming the obstacles, struggle into the unknown and hope of maintaining the best in life, some company and a few good laughs.

In the Image of Human

Nicole Alexandropoulou

What does spirit mean? And how interested are scientists in building an artificial consciousness? We present the reflection of the Orthodox Church on the world of AI, the debate and controversies it raises, and the attempt to answer the most basic questions triggered by the development of AI.

In the Mirror - Father Stamatis and Stamatis

Lena Voudouri

We follow the relationship that develops between the priest Stamatis Skliris and the filmmaker Stamatis Giannoulis, during the filming of a documentary about the painting of Father Stamatis. A loving relationship, which is violently interrupted by the sudden death of Stamatis Giannoulis, in one of the last films of this important filmmaker.

Lenaki, the Curse of Fire

Dimitris Indares

The forgotten case of the arson of an ancestral tower in Peloponnese, Greece, comes to light with the discovery of a manuscript. The interreligious romance between Eleni and Elmaz-aga, close to the 1821 uprising against the Ottomans, and a parental curse, haunt the history of the family and of the village alike. The folk song of Eleni leads to the awakening of a past that resembles a fairytale.


Dimitris Zahos, Thanasis Kafetzis

Loxandra, a girl with Down syndrome, is invited to participate in the new production at the main stage of the National Theatre of Greece. Her mother decides to accept the invitation for her daughter’s own good. Loxandra will fight hard to meet the demands of the new reality. Will she make it?

Serving the Truth

Nikos Aslanidis

During the years of the German Occupation, 22 journalists signed the secret “Protocol of Honor” and pledged not to offer their services to the publications published by the occupiers and to work only in the newspapers that expressed the spirit of the Greek Resistance. Three journalists will be transported to Hitler’s concentration camps where they will meet a tragic death... A historical account of the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace, shot on the occasion of the completion of 100 years since its foundation.

Sylvia Robyn

Panayotis Evangelidis

“Sylvia has similarities with Sophia, Robin is from Robin Hood”. There is a beginning but no middle and end to the constant transformations, discoveries, self-definitions and reinventions of the self in the process of the emergence and construction of what we are, what our gender is, how we can communicate with the outside and the others. Can our bodies and desires be put into words, and what are they each time? For Sylvia, the biggest thing would be to be able to talk and have someone listen to her. The lights of a lonely show flicker and illuminate the darkness.

That Day

Stratis Vogiatzis, Dimitris Kourtis

The documentary That Day showcases how the 2021 catastrophic wildfires in Northern Evia interweave with the rejuvenation of the land, and its collective memory with the creation of a music theatre performance that resulted from the Greek National Opera’s artistic workshops with members of the local community. Α filmic essay on the relationship between the human and non-human world.

The Land of Forgotten Songs

Vladimiros Nikolouzos

The Land of Forgotten Songs is a documentary film project that came to life, through a collective creative collaboration between The Deep Forest Foundation and the indigenous communities of the Amazon forest. It captures key moments of the life and ceremonial practices of the Kaxinawa Huni Kuin, Awa, Kayapo, Matis, Enawene Nawe and Shipibo people, who all live alongside wide rivers and massive trees. With an ancient myth as a recurring motif one is immersed in their culture, their cosmological vision and their everyday life while we simultaneously connect their past and present through a rare 20th century photographic archive material.

The Red Teacher

Stelios Charalampopoulos

Two political trials and executions have left an indelible mark on post-conflict Greece. The trial of Nikos Belogiannis and the trial of Nikos Ploumpidis. Ploumpidis, however, died alone, slandered by enemies and friends, dishonored. Personal drama and collective destiny co-shape this Promethean hero who seems straight out of an ancient tragedy.

The World of Birds of Prey: Right to Survival

Lev Paraskevopoulos

The documentary explores the life of birds of prey and their struggle for survival in a changing world. From nesting to hunting, it reveals their importance in ecosystems and the threats from human activities. Through impressive images, it presents the richness of nature and the need to preserve this preciousness.

Vanessa Vinson Vibes

Andreas Siadimas

Vanessa seeks to find herself in the face of goals as high as the mountains that stand before her. She tries to give meaning to her mountaineering expeditions by promoting her ecological concerns and social media identity. Her roles are multiple, making matters even more complicated as what is at stake becomes difficult to balance.

Vavel the Band

Michail Agrafiotis

Vavel achieved success during the '80s in Greece. They were one of the first Greek heavy metal bands to release an LP and became famous among the scene for their original scenography in their concerts. However, since the formation, their members dreamed of achieving an international career. That dream led them to a train station outside Dusseldorf.

Open Horizons Shorts

Conventions of Contracts

Stefanos Mondelos

Some found photos of public works construction sites unfold a scandal that pertains to the mangling of construction companies, public works, and the filmmaking practice, resulting in the hero humorously admitting: “All the world’s a stage.” This fictional short story is inspired by real events.

The Portrait: Yorgos Rorris Paints Evaggelos Averoff

Antonis Symeonidis, Kalliopi Alexiadou

In the documentary The portrait: Yorgos Rorris paints Evaggelos Averoff, a parallel narrative unfolds, centered around the lives of its two main protagonists. The film intricately documents the creation of a portrait of the politician and benefactor Evangelos Averoff by the painter Yorgos Rorris. Rorris guides us through the meticulous process he is about to embark on. The film captures the artist's anxiety, his unique artistic temperament, the colors, combinations, and ultimately his effort to approach Evangelos Averoff and narrate his legacy through the portrait creation process.

The Town Crier

Vagelis Pyrpylis

The actor Tasos Korozis lives in the provincial city of Agrinio. After the economic crisis, the few opportunities to work as an actor are no longer enough to make a living. So he works as a town crier, announcing events and folk festivals through loudspeakers mounted on his retro car.



Tasos Georgiou

Bimsa: A basement, a cellar where we store the things we want to preserve over time. Kalarrites (a place where the waters flow seamlessly), a mountainous area on the peaks of the Pindos trail, remained proud and prosperous during the years of the Ottoman occupation. The few remaining residents still practice professions that will soon become extinct, lacking any prospect of succession; they speak to the camera and take us on a journey through the history of the place.

Construction Workers, Our Heroic Comrades…

Ioannis Xydas

Construction workers’ hard struggles and grandiose strikes lead to important achievements for the workers like social security, continuous working hours, benefits and allowances, and banning police presence from their assemblies. Meanwhile, the construction workers movement got heavily politicized by posing political demands.

CONTRABANDO, Seeking Melpo

Vouvoula Skoura

The life of Melpo Axioti, a modern greek novelist and poetess. A labyrinth of her life and her expression through the analysis of the psychiatrist Spilios Argyropoulos.

Dionysis Simopoulos: The Man Who Took Us to the Universe

Nikos Megrelis

“We are all stardust'': this was a phrase often quoted by Dionysis Simopoulos (1943-2022), an astronomy educator and science communicator who was the one who established the first-ever Planetarium in Athens, Greece, introducing the universe to millions of people with lectures, books, tv shows, documentaries. This documentary focuses on his fascinating life!

Disaster Theories: Our Planet in Flames

Dimitris Tzetzas

The Greek climate tends to become warmer and drier, with an increased risk of desertification. Heat waves with increased frequency and duration, tropical nights with temperatures exceeding 20 degrees celsius, water scarcity and droughts that create favorable conditions for devastating forest fires have now become the norm.

The Eleusinians

Filippos Koutsaftis

A dynamic portrayal of Eleusina in the form of a mosaic which enriches and places within the framework of a grand narrative, the little stories told by its inhabitants about their life and relationship with the city.

Evros - 17 Days Later

Athanasios Gioumpasis

The timeline of a fire that broke out on August 19, 2023, and 17 days later became the largest wildfire in Europe in recent years, leaving behind 935,000 hectares of burnt land. The account of the fire was recorded through aerial images, to achieve the best possible visualization.

Folk Bards - Moments of Τheir Lives and Ours

Thanos Koutsandreas

Panos Geramanis, through his daily radio show, Folk Bards, presents the greatest and often forgotten heroes of Greek folk song. A palimpsest of our musical folk tradition, accompanied by his childhood memories and the first years of his career in newspapers and on the radio.

Gas Station or the Pigeons of Lahore

Thomas Sideris

The parallel stories of four Pakistani immigrants in Greece become the trigger for the director to explore the story of his father, a worker in the Perama Shipyard. The background unfolds a most deadly shipwreck, Libyan immigrants found in limbo, as well as a (possibly racist) crime, which was committed during the shooting of this film.

The Gym

Pavlos Kosmidis

For the last 27 years, 72-year-old Pantelis, a refugee from Pontus, an athlete and distinguished coach in Kazakhstan, has been coaching the children of the Pontic community in Aspropyrgos. He himself continues to practice with them.


Elisavet Laloudaki, Massimo Pizzocaro

Α mother and a daughter reveal bits of their past life. They had to deal with some major political and social shifts of Greece’s recent history: civil war, exile, emigration. Their narrative has the value of oral history. Yet, it goes further. Kokona and Chrysoula speak about the need to come to terms with their traumas. Ilats’ means “healing”.

Islands on the Edge - Gyali

Yorgos Savoglou, Dionysia Kopana

Thousands of years ago, the Gyali island was born. In its northeastern part, there is a perlite mine, while in the northeastern part of the island, there is a site for pumice mining. Around 22 people are working there. With the current extraction rate, the pumice reserves are being depleted – and so are the other resources of the island.


Costas Athousakis

The life cycle of the caterpillar is linked to the exhibitions and performances by the Chanian sculptor, performer, columnist, and art teacher Yannis P. Markantonakis. An obsessive artist whose installations and sculptures grace public spaces while his artworks made from recycled materials awaken our imaginary and constitute the artist's own precious silk.


Dominikos Ignatiadis

Evgenia is an idealistic young woman who is angry at the entire world. She keeps a diary, referring to herself in the third person singular, imagining herself as a heroine who returns to the embrace of nature intending to record its reality. Her goal is to penetrate the lives of a couple of nomadic shepherds and understand their way of interpreting the world.


Nickolas Papadimitriou

On the verge of the eighth decade of his life, Dimitris Omiridis trains daily, claiming a healthy and fit body. At the same time, he is the owner of a fitness academy in downtown Athens, where friends and students get acquainted with his singular philosophy and body training practice that he calls OMI-DO.

Pirates of Gramvousa 

Dimitra Babadima

Gramvousa. A stronghold of conquerors, a pirates’ den or a charging point for freedom fighters? How can a small, barren islet keep so many secrets? Dimitris Gotsopoulos takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery in the backdrop of the Aegean, where nothing is as it seems and roles keep shifting. Just like in any good story.

The Missing Piece

Angelos Tsatsis

They were 27 and 35 years old. They were both killed in the same spot, within the same month. The same botched work killed them. Eighteen people are called to provide an answer to a simple question: Why don’t we do what we should? The answer might lie in the missing piece – the unknown story of the pothole, a trademark of Greek roads infrastructure.

The Wheat on the Shirt

Yannis Panayiotarakos, Yannis Kanakis, Anna Psarra

In Elefsina, a working-class town scarred by a sense of precarity and unrest that has generated unique socio-political dynamics, the Panelefsiniakos Sports Club has been a space of encounter and synthesis for nine decades. The stories of its athletes, executives, and friends unlock the locals’ relation with the past, present, and future of the town.

Titi - In Cyclone’s Wake

Natasha Blatsiou

Madagascar has been badly hit by successive cyclones. Titi, a nurse from Niger, joins medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières and reaches inaccessible rural communities to confront the alarmingly rising rates of child malnutrition.


Christos Sarris

A camera in a prison. The inmate. An everyday discussion with the outside world. In the confines of a prison, Walls delves deep into the introspection of an inmate's journey, exploring dreams, hope, and the harsh truths of existence.

Yannis Kyriopoulos: The Modern Intellectual and the Founder of Health Economics

Niovi Anazikou

Yannis Kyriopoulos is a Greek academic internationally recognized as a pioneer who combined the study of health with economics and politics. His work has had a significant impact, as it contributed to the promotion of social justice. After his death, his legacy continues to inspire and guide his colleagues and students. The narratives of his friends, associates, and students highlight his multifaceted personality and his spiritual legacy.


Mobile School Travels

Lucas Paleocrassas

The Ladies’ Union of Drama – House of Open Hospitality implements the educational project “Mobile School Travels.” Through a wheeled, mobile facility, it tries to reach Roma children who live and work on the streets in the prefectures of Drama, Kavala, and Xanthi in Northern Greece, aiming at fighting dropout and illiteracy. The Roma children who access it learn to write, read, and draw, among numerous activities.

Spotlight on Maria Callas 

Mary, Marianna, Maria - The Unsung Greek Years of Callas

Michalis Asthenidis, Vasilis Louras

The documentary seeks to shed light on the years in which Callas came of age as a woman and as an artist – that is, in Athens during the Second World War – but also on the years after 1957 when the diva, by then renowned internationally, reconnected with Greece.

A Portrait of the Collector as a Mature Man

Panayotis Evangelidis

When he was four years old, Maria Callas took him into her arms and danced with him. At the age of twenty, long after she had departed, he began to discover her work and grew fascinated by her. He never went on holiday; every cent he made was put aside to buy recordings, books, photos, posters, and programs related to her, and money was always short. As he grew older, as he worked two jobs to make ends meet, with his misfortunes, romantic disappointments, jealous friends, and an accident that led to ten surgeries and disability, his collection grew bigger. Haunted by the two women in his life – his mother who died too young and the Diva, his constant reference and reverence – he grew and found fulfillment along with his collection. Now he feels serene, enjoying many joys and memories of his life, dreaming of the afternoon his mother will knock on his door, to share a cup of coffee. He would sacrifice everything for that moment; even his own collection.

Special Screening  

exergue - on documenta 14

Dimitris Athiridis

exergue -on documenta 14 follows artistic director Adam Szymczyk and his curatorial team over two years as they develop Learning from Athens, a historic edition of what is considered the world's most prominent art exhibition, held for the first time in 2017 in Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece, the epicenter of Europe's financial crisis at the time.

The artistic proposal of expansion to two locations was Szymczyk's bold attempt to explore the institution's boundaries, challenging the Eurocentric model of art production. It was faced with more than just logistical obstacles that could not help avert a financial deficit. The media scandal that erupted before the closing day obscured the artistic merits of the mega exhibition and  further discussions about the content.

Documenta 14 sparked critical controversy and reactions due to its radical curatorial approach, and critical reflection on history, frequently perceived as didactic or instrumentalizing politically urgent issues such as the refugee crisis, neo-liberalization, and the rise of far-right politics globally. At the same time, it was embattled as it raised uncomfortable questions about the art institution's dependencies on local politics and the funding mechanisms of the art world.

Through the passion of its protagonists, the beauty and power of art, and the unprecedented access this cinematic opus, told in fourteen chapters, invites audiences into a behind-the-scenes observation of the dramatic course of documenta 14 and captures a reflection of the institutional art world and the function of Contemporary Art in a shifting global landscape.