TiDF26 AGORA: New synergies and awards for the most vibrant Industry Event of Southeastern Europe

AGORA, the most active and vibrant documentary Industry Event of Southeastern Europe is returning with new synergies and awards, having consolidated its status as a meeting point and contact hub between documentary professionals from all over the world, offering support to the documentary genre throughout the different stages of production. Agora enables the discovery of new cinema projects and supports their completion, as well as the process of reaching out to their audience. Moreover, it continues its efforts to make its actions greener, reducing its environmental imprint. The Agora of the 26th Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival will be held from March 8 to March 16, 2024.  

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

Agora’s goal is to support the film production in Greece and the wider region. This year’s Agora participants will discover films and projects, build networks with the filmmakers and keep up with the latest trends and tendencies through the Agora Talks. More than 350 guests from 51 different countries will attend Agora’s activities during the Festival. 

  1. Agora Doc Market: Featuring more than 350 documentaries in its digitized library (teaming up with Cinando), Agora Doc Market is available solely online for Agora’s guests and accredited journalists.
  2. Agora Docs in Progress: A total of 11 films currently  at the final stage before their completion will be presented.
  3. Thessaloniki Pitching Forum: A total of 12 projects will be presented in the co-producing and co-financing platform for creative, TV and new media documentaries at the development stage.
  4. Agora Lab: A total of 5 projects from Greece will take part in this year’s Agora Lab, where documentary specialists will offer guidance to directors of films from all development stages.
  5. Meet the Future: Each year 5 up-and-coming documentary filmmakers from our wider geographical regions take center stage. This year, filmmakers from the Czech Republic will pick up the baton.
  6. Agora Talks & Talking Heads: Every year Agora invites documentary experts to share practical advice and personal experiences with the Festival’s accredited guests.
  7. Doc Counseling: One-on-one counseling meetings offered to filmmakers from Greece and abroad.
  8. AGORA Workshop: Paths to Funding Your Documentary. A comprehensive workshop on documentary funding models and the distribution landscape.


The re-shaped Thessaloniki Pitching Forum is the co-financing and co-production Forum for documentaries in the development phase, highlighting the countries of the wider 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-euro cash prize, the Eurodoc Award of 1,000 euros along with a VIP membership and the Sunny Side of the Doc Prize of 2 industry passes and 500 euros 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 euros, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) which presents the ERT Award of 2,000 euros 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 - France / 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, 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

The Netherlands


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

Τhe Netherlands


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 from the wider Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean regionjust 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 euros and the Neaniko Plano Subtitling Award.

The 2024 Agora Docs in Progress jury consists of:

Hanne Biermann, Festivals & Marketing Manager, Film Harbour - Germany / 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, Producers: Rea Apostolides, Yuri Averof - Anemon Productions, Co-producers: Paul Cadieux, Danae Elon - Filmoption International
Greece, Canada

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

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

Director: Sophie Shevardnadze, Producers: 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'Aube Sauvage, 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, 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 Productions, Co-producer: Titus Kreyenberg - unafilm
Greece, Germany


Agora Lab is a bespoke consultancy workshop dedicated to empowering filmmakers at all stages of development, offering expert guidance and advice. Focused on projects from Greece, selected through the application process of Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and Docs in Progress, Agora Lab explores themes of international significance. Continuously evolving, Agora Lab bestows two prestigious awards upon chosen projects: The Guidance Award by Paradiddle Pictures (Denmark) and the newly introduced Crew United Prize, entailing a complimentary 5-year Premium membership to the premier online networking platform for audiovisual professionals in Europe, now accessible in Greece. Additionally, in partnership with Pitch the Doc, an online hub nurturing the documentary film industry, Agora Lab provides an exclusive digital showroom and dedicated space for participating projects. Through these initiatives, Agora Lab aims to foster innovation and collaboration within the filmmaking community.

The counseling team consists of:

Konstantinos Aivaliotis, Producer, Festival Director - Ethnofest - Greece
Arkaitz Basterra | Member investor’s committee, Moby Dick Film Capital - Spain
Ieva Ūbele, Creative producer, Baltic Balkan Productions - Latvia

and guest speaker:
Selin Murat, Markets Manager, IDFA - The Netherlands

Here’s the full lineup of the Agora Lab projects:


Director/Producer: Giorgos Iliopoulos, Co-producer: Sofia Exarchou, Greece


Director: Christos Adrianopoulos, Producers: Antigoni Kapaka, Vassiliki Patrouba - Alipnoos, Greece

Director: Smaro Papaevangelou, Producers: Mina Dreki, Iro Aidoni - Marni Films, Greece


Director/Producer: Siamak Etemadi - Aegos Films, Greece


Director: Persefoni Miliou, Producer: Eleni Kossyfidou - Blackbird Productions, Greece


Looking ahead, AGORA extends its vision to uncover and showcase emerging documentary talents from across our broader geographical scope through the Meet the Future initiative. The previous year's spotlight on up-and-coming filmmakers from Moldova garnered significant acclaim and enthusiasm from both industry professionals and audiences alike. This year, our focus shifts to the rising talents hailing from the Czech Republic, with generous support from the Czech Film Fund and in partnership with East Doc Platform.

The directors taking part in this year’s Meet the Future are the following:

Jana Andert

Upcoming project: Shadows Of The Mountains

Marie-Magdalena Kochová

Upcoming project: The Other One

Anna Kryvenko

Upcoming project: This House is Undamaged

Pepa Lubojacki

Upcoming project: If Pigeons Turned to Gold

Viktor Portel

Upcoming project: Between Us 

Τhe preparation for the presentation is overseen by Nadja Tennstedt, an expert in the field and the director of DOK Industry at DOK Leipzig, Germany.


As every year, the TiDF Agora has invited top-notch documentary professionals to share practical advice and their experiences with the Festival accredited guests. This year, Agora is introducing a new program strand, Talking Heads: a dynamic platform reshaping the original form of masterclasses to foster inclusive and safe collective conversations, directly addressing the industry's needs. Join us for engaging discussions where diverse voices converge, creating an environment for collaborative exploration and innovation.

Let’s take a glance at Agora’s Talks, Talking Heads and parallel events.

Sunday, March 10 | 15.00 - 18.00

@Central Events Hall of the Music Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

AGORA Workshop - Paths to Funding Your Documentary

A comprehensive workshop on documentary funding that provides an overview of the current distribution landscape and the funding models documentary filmmakers can pursue, with a focus on Europe and the US from the perspective of producers and funders. Experts will share case studies of films they have produced, financed and sold, and help to demystify what funders are looking for and how to develop your film’s plan.


Arkaitz Basterra - Member investor’s committee, Moby Dick Film Capital

Caroline Von Kühn - Executive Director, Oxbelly / Director, Faliro House

Monday, March 11 | 17:00- 18:30

@Central Events Hall of the Music Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

Animarchiving Reality: Exploring the Transformative Role of Animation and Unearthed Archives in Documentary Filmmaking


Kesmat Elsayed - Producer, See Media production

Johan Grimonprez - Filmmaker, multimedia artist and curator

Aris Kaplanidis - Director, screenwriter, music producer & freelance illustrator, BrosInArts

Elias Roumeliotis - Director, screenwriter,  BrosInArts

Moderator: Marineta Mak Kritikou - Animasyros IFF - Agora Coordinator

Animation and archival footage in documentary filmmaking are well established narrative tools. Used in the right manner, these disciplines convey the truth that a documentary is obliged to present. Therefore, the techniques, forms, and artistic language of expression have evolved and grown in ways that have led to the creation of an entirely different genre. As we look to the future, the evolution of these documentary techniques sparks anticipation. Technological advancements and the ethical use of AI continue to offer new possibilities for animation and archival exploration. The evolving landscape of documentary filmmaking holds the promise of broadening perspectives, offering filmmakers innovative ways to convey truth and evoke emotional responses. 

Tuesday, March 12 | 15:00- 16:30

@Central Events Hall of the Music Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

XR Curious


Mario Adamson - Producer, Sisyfos Film Production

Dimitris Delinikolas - Film director, producer, academic

Stella Ntavara - CPH:LAB Project Manager

Sebastian Sorg - Producer, project developer, Sebastian Sorg Creative

Ellen Kuo - Head of XR Market, NewImages Festival

Moderator: Karen Cirillo - Cultural producer, non-fiction creator, writer

Intro Speaker: Markos Holevas - Filmmaker, President of the Greek Film Centre

XR documentaries constitute a captivating and rapidly evolving genre. A growing community of filmmakers is emerging and traditional storytelling manners are continuously challenged. In this AGORA Talk we will delve into the realm of immersive and interactive documentary filmmaking, focusing on the challenges and processes of production and distribution. We will examine creative decisions, risks, and compromises that creators must navigate in order to realize their envisioned results.

Tuesday, March 12 | 17.00 - 18.00

@Central Events Hall of the Music Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

Meet the Future Presentation

Meet this year’s participants; 5 rising documentary talents emerging from the Czech Republic. With the support of the Czech Film Fund and in partnership with East Doc Platform.

Wednesday, March 13 | 11.00 - 13.00

@Pavlos Zannas Theatre

Talking Heads

Citizen Queer: Moving Beyond Trends and Box Ticking - On & Off the Screen

Queer experiences represent a multitude of narratives and perspectives on and off the screen. Their voices in the film industry are not pedagogical tools or checkboxes for diversity, but an authentic reflection of our society and its diverse intersectional identities. They enrich the film landscape with their stories. Representation and inclusion are big words that we like to use, but what does the documentary film industry really look like, and what needs to be done to create spaces where queer filmmakers feel safe to tell their authentic stories?


Fatih Abay - Diversity & Inclusion Officer, European Film Academy

Panayotis Evangelidis - Film director, writer

Gugi Gumilang - Program director, In-Docs & film programmer, Hot Docs

Rico Johnson Sinclair - Skills & Training Director, Warner Bros Discovery, programmer, writer

Iris Zachmanidi - Film director

Moderator: Marion Schmidt - Documentary Association of Europe (DAE)

Wednesday, March 13 | 13.30 - 14.30

@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 is in Greek.

Wednesday March 13 | 17.00 - 18.30 

@Central Events Hall of the Music Center of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

Supported by Media Desk Greece

We Care a Lot!


Laura Bari - Film director, producer

Annika Mayer - Film director, producer, editor, Majmun Films

Nina Maria Paschalidou - Film director, producer

Elina Psykou - Film director 

Moderator: Serra Ciliv - Psychotherapist, producer, film curator, associate therapist, Film in Mind

Women filmmakers in a patriarchal society face unique challenges that permeate both their professional and personal lives. Balancing the demands of a project with navigating personal trauma requires a delicate dance, as they strive to protect themselves and their characters while delving into sensitive subjects. The evolving landscape of storytelling has shifted the power dynamics, amplifying the importance of the female experience in filmmaking. As they navigate through traumatic events in both their own lives and those of their subjects, women filmmakers employ various strategies to safeguard their well-being and the integrity of their stories. Shedding light on these often overlooked and silenced experiences is essential, fostering open dialogue and support for those affected, and paving the way for a more inclusive and empathetic industry.

Thursday, March 14 | 11.00 - 13.30

@John Cassavetes Theatre

Documentary and Artificial Intelligence: A connection under question

Prompted by the avalanching developments related to the AI applications in audiovisual productions, Hellas Doc, is organizing a discussion on the subject in collaboration with the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival.


Manolis Andriotakis - Journalist, author

Georgia Koutrika - Research Director at Athena Research Center

Nicole Alexandropoulou - Film director

Victoria Vellopoulou - Film director

Moderator: Angelos Kovotsos - Film director

The presentation is in Greek.

Doc Counseling

Agora offers the chance to meet documentary experts and get insights on topics such as: Festival-oriented strategies, documentary financing, international sales and marketing, EU Media support, professional development, climate storytelling and sustainability in film production, diversity and inclusion, audience development & design, pitching tips and more. As every year, Agora is offering its wholehearted and multifaceted support to documentary film.

Agora Talks are held in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki: