Agora Talks and Parallel Events

Agora Talks and Parallel Events: March 4-9, 2023


All indicated times are EET / Greek Time


SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 17.15 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


The Art of Networking - Caring is Sharing

Speakers: Nadja Tennstedt - DOK Leipzig | Katarzyna Szarecka & Adam Papliński - Pitch the Doc | Eleni Chandrinou - Producer, Cigale Films / Eurimages Representative

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

A good network is half the battle, they say. And it's true, having a strong, international, diverse and expert network is more important than ever to succeed as a documentary filmmaker today. But how do you build such a network, how do you go about networking in different spaces, and how does the connection between film markets, training programmes, financing, pitching and the makers really work? Let's get into the art of networking and networks with a diverse panel of speakers from a market, training and producers’ perspective and find out why caring is sharing.



SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 17.15 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Shifting Perspectives - Creative Documentaries Beyond TV Slots

Speakers: Yuri Averof - Producer, Anemon Productions | Esther van Messel - Founder & CEO, First Hand Films | Devin Karambelas - Senior Programming Manager, GBH

Moderator: Christian Popp - Producer, Tag Film

How much are documentary slots on TV still relevant today? Can arts and culture documentaries fit into history programming? Or a film initially written for a discovery or lifestyle slot morph into a science documentary? And how can producers navigate and react flexibly to new demands without compromising with quality and the vision of directors? Based on several case studies and examples, the panel will explore the current changing documentary landscape.



MONDAY, MARCH 6, 17.30 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Quo Vadis Documentary Financing?

Speakers: Helle Hansen - Freelance Consultant, Moderator & Film Commissioner at Filmfond North, Norway | Arkaitz Basterra - Producer, Economics Consultant, Moby Dick Film Capital | Victor Ede - Producer, Cinephage | Yorgos Angelopoulos - Production Office Director, Greek Film Center (GFC)

Moderator: Brigid O’Shea - Documentary Association of Europe (DAE)

Making a documentary film is a rewarding but also extensive undertaking with many aspects to consider. A large part of the work is raising funds from various sources to make the film. With shrinking public budgets and an ever-changing audiovisual landscape, being informed about the different financing possibilities - traditional and alternative - is crucial to the lifecycle and success of a film.

Let's discuss and critically examine different financing models, from public funds to private equity, and dare to look into the future.



TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 17.15 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Equity & Entitlement in Documentary Storytelling - A Distant Dream?

Speakers: Zeynep Guzel - Head of Talents, Berlinale Doc Station | Alex Shiraieff - B2B Docs Thomas Kaske - Producer (Kaskefilm)

Moderator: Selin Murat - Markets Manager, IDFA

Equipped with often robust production conditions, filmmakers from the West sometimes embark on documentary projects in foreign lands, lured by seemingly sensational, enticingly exotic and supposedly untold stories that will attract the audience’s interest and receive public funding promises. Often this goes hand in hand with a lack of preparation or cultural understanding, even a sense of entitlement to make a story about a community that is not their own, taking away that very community's sovereignty to explore their own stories in their own time and way.
The international documentary community has started to question these hasty, irresponsible and unethical practices, embedded in a system that is very slow to change, with much resistance and misunderstanding, and where harmful projects keep winning awards.

What is the role of our documentary industry in this vital conversation and necessary shift? How can producers, pitching forums, and funds demonstrate a conscious and consistent commitment to equity and accountability?



TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 18.45 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Op-Docs from The New York Times

Speaker: Alexandra Garcia - Director / Producer, Op- Docs NYTIMES

Op-Docs is The New York Times' award-winning series of short documentaries by independent filmmakers, curated from works by both renowned and emerging filmmakers from all over the world. The collection of more than 370 short films have sparked global conversations, influenced national policies, and garnered an array of industry distinctions. Recent Op-Docs include Oscar winner "The Queen of Basketball," Oscar nominee "A Concerto Is a Conversation," Oscar-shortlisted "Takeover," and Sundance 2021 winner "Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma." Hear about how filmmakers can work with Op-Docs on short films at the intersection of cinematic and creative documentary within the context of a journalistic organization.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 16.00 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


A Brave New Virtual World

Speakers: Sten-Kristian Saluveer - Cannes Next | Maxime Montagne - Wide | Yolanda Markopoulou - Director, Visual Artist

Moderator: Dimitris Charitos - Associate Professor Department of Communication & Media Studies of the UOA

A wondrous new universe is being formed, and we are its virtual inhabitants.
In this fascinating Agora talk, the VR, AR, XR and Immersive projects regional community and the Documentary Industry sectors, festivals, sales agents, academics and producers, come together to discuss the inexhaustible versatility of this awesome cinema making medium and the limitless opportunities which are bound to arise from the rapid technological advancement.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 17.30 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Αgora Talk by iMEdD: The Intersection of Journalistic Investigation and Documentary Filmmaking

Speaker: Micael Pereira - Journalist / Author: The Black Trail Documentary

In Conversation with: Dimitris Bounias, Project Manager iMEdD / Journalist

How journalistic research can fuel documentaries with strong and vivid ideas and material while at the same time, the documentary format can provide an outlet for important journalistic investigations to employ intricate narrative techniques, reach a wider audience, and ultimately have a bigger impact.

A discussion with Micael Pereira, senior reporter at the Portuguese leading newspaper Expresso and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Pereira has been doing journalism since 1994 and is the correspondent of Reporters Without Borders for Portugal. Among others, he was involved in ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks, Panama Papers, Bahama Leaks, Paradise Papers, Luanda Leaks and Pandora Papers investigations. He is the author of the documentary Black Trail, a 2021 award-winning European co-production with the EIC network, about why ships continue to burn the dirtiest fuels. With OCCRP, he joined the Suisse Secrets project. Also, he was part of the team of Cities for Rent, a collaborative investigation on corporate landlords run by Arena for Journalism in Europe that won the European Press Prize 2022 for Innovation.



THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 17.15 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Documentaries for Children - An Educational Tool

Speakers: Kathi Seemann - Dok Fest München | Maria Papasotiri - Thessaloniki Cinema Museum | Athena Kartalou - Managing Director, Greek Film Centre (GFC) | Chiara Boschiero - Biografilm Festival

Moderator: Elise Jalladeau - Festival Director, Thessaloniki International Film Festival

The screen, in all shapes and forms, is embedded deeply in the fabric of our existence. Through this imposition the powers of reality cinema become boundless. How do we harness these forces and use them in order to do good in the world?

Industry professionals discuss how to promote news ways of educating the youth through cinema and how to make the audiovisual media an educational tool for all by introducing new learning methods, educational documentary platforms and practices.





TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 10.00 - 12.00 @MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Think Tank: Shaping the Film Markets of Tomorrow
(Closed session - access by invitation only)

Moderator: AC Coppens, The Catalysts

On November 5, 2022, the Thessaloniki Film Festival launched a series of 3 Think Tanks in partnership with Cannes’ Marché du Film (MDF) and Berlin's European Film Market (EFM) to bring together key stakeholders for a visionary reflection around the future of film markets as institutions and major players of the industry ecosystem. The goal is to detect relevant topics of concern, discuss upcoming challenges, and encourage an open conversation and mutual support for other European film markets. What does an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable future of film markets look like?

The series kicked off on February 21 at the 73rd Berlinale EFM with the title: Weaving the Market Fabric and focused on the different contents, themes and topics. In Thessaloniki the discussion will revolve around Modeling the Market Shape: Offline, Online, Hybrid, Exhibition Floors, Panels, Workshops, Forums, Networking, Venues, and Metaverses. In Cannes’ Marché du Film last session Financing the Market Place, will revolve around the financial aspect of the markets and the results will be announced.



TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 10.00 - 12.00 @Warehouse 1 - John Cassavetes Theater


Masterclass "How Documentaries Can Improve Their Visibility" by Paul Reith

"Films are made to be seen" – taken this saying as given, we see that documentary films are facing many challenges when it comes to gaining visibility within the distribution process. Looking at the ways how documentaries try to attract audiences for the cinema as well as VOD distribution, we see that limited budgets for marketing and outreach are among the biggest challenges. The industry therefore needs to question when producers and writers/directors actually start to identify their target audiences, set their goals and then find the right ways to attract these audiences for their documentary projects. Within this masterclass Paul Rieth wants to empower and support film teams to find ways to identify, reach, and engage their specific audiences at an early stage already. Based on first ideas, research and their own vision, the goal then is to enable the film team to maximize the output of their efforts by exploring any available resources with audiences in mind, based on their story.

Paul Rieth works as an Berlin-based audience strategist, marketing & crowdfunding consultant and producer. He regularly gives lectures and presentations at universities, colleges, and film festivals. For TorinoFilmLab he is a tutor and consultant in the field of Audience Design at FeatureLab. With his agency GET YOUR CROWD he offers consultations or workshops for companies, organisations, and individuals for strategic planning regarding audiences(s), crowdfunding and (online) marketing. Besides strategies and campagns the company produces various forms of video content for their clients. Since 2021 he is part of the Filmuniversity Babelsberg in the field of Audience Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. More information: