Ιn 2005, the Agora was launched, establishing a productive and unique form of helping and introducing professionals visiting Thessaloniki from Southeast Europe, the Mediterranean region, and the rest of the world, to the industry professionals, consultants, tutors, and potential collaborators invited to the Festival. All necessary information for the Agora can be found in the Agora Manual, including all the participating Crossroads Co-production Forum and Agora Works in Progress projects, the Agora Film Market titles, the company profiles of all the attending film professionals, as well as all other Agora events. The Agora takes place on the ground floor of Warehouse C (Thessaloniki Port) between 2–9 November 2019.
This year’s Agora Ambassador is actor and director Yorgos Pirpassopoulos.
The Agora includes the following activities:
Agora Film Market
2–9 November 2019
The Agora Film Market, in collaboration with Cinando, promotes the majority of the feature films participating in the official sections of the 60th TIFF. Additionally, more titles from the countries that the Agora focuses on will be presented, even if they are not part of the festival’s main program. In this way, they will have the opportunity to find their way to other international film festivals, sales agents and distributors. The Agora Film Market also includes previous films by the Crossroads participants and a selection of Greek films produced within the last year.
Crossroads Co-production Forum
5–9 November 2019
Crossroads chooses projects based on the quality of the script, the creative team and the likelihood of their being produced. Crossroads aims to support the producers of feature-length film projects that are linked to Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean countries.
Agora Works in Progress
7 November 2019
This industry activity gives the opportunity to selected sales agents, distributors, and festival programmers from all over the world to be the first to discover feature films from the Mediterranean and Balkan countries, in the stage just before completion.
5 November 2019 (Takis Kanellopoulos Theater, Cinema Museum, Port, 10.00–18.00)
New directors and producers get the opportunity to learn from renowned film professionals. A day full of discussions where people, who wish to establish themselves in the industry, can exchange ideas, methods, and approaches about the development of the audiovisual sector.
European Women's Audiovisual Network (EWA) Mentoring Program
5–8 November 2019
The Mentoring Program of EWA (European Network for Women in the Film Industry) is aimed at women cinema producers, who already have a relevant experience at a national level and wish to evolve further at a European/international level. In most cases this growth also involves a strategic and business development of their company. Business mentoring is a one-to-one relationship focused on the needs of the mentee to develop/reinforce specific competences, skills, and a problem-solving attitude, as well as on the availability and capability of the mentor to provide advice on those issues. It is a scheme where the experience and competences of the mentor match the specific needs of the mentee. The program runs for 12 months, starting from Trieste, and will be completed at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival with the meeting between the mentors and mentees.
Europa Cinemas: Innovation Day Lab
2–3 November 2019 (Takis Kanellopoulos Theater, Cinema Museum, Port, 10:00–17:00)
Thessaloniki IFF and Europa Cinemas co-organize the Europa Cinemas Innovation Day Lab with the topic “How to make the most of our own resources: Improving skills and renewing practices for audience development.” The Workshop is dedicated to cinema exhibitors. Directed by Iris Praefke (Exhibitor, Moviemento cinema, Germany) and Hrvoje Laurenta (Executive Director, Zagreb Film Festival, Croatia) the Innovation Day Lab will take place on Saturday, November 2, from 14:00 to 17:00, to Sunday, November 3, from 10:00 to 17:00.
EUandME Discussion: Cinema and the European Union: Opportunities and Prospects 6 November (Museum of Photography Thessaloniki, 15:00–16:30) How can a film professional explore the tools provided by the European Union in order to make their dreams come true and complete their work? What can the European funding Creative Europe, and its sub-program MEDIA offer to a young artist? A discussion on cinema and the creative prospects for arts in contemporary Europe.
Tina Zournatzi, Head of Unit, DG COMM, European Commission
Helene Skikos, Program Manager, CREATIVE Europe
Vassiliki Diagouma, Head of Communication and International Relations Department, EKOME
Anna Kasimati, Contact Person in Greece for Creative Europe MEDIA Program
Vasilis Kekatos, film director
Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy International
4–9 November 2019
Thessaloniki International Film Festival in collaboration with the Locarno FF launched in 2016 the Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy International in South-Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The fourth edition will take place in Thessaloniki from November 4–9, in the context of the 60th TIFF’s Agora. The Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy International is a training program created to help young professionals of the cinema industry – sales agents, distributors, and new media professionals – to extend their experience and networking in the fields of international sales, marketing, distribution and programming. The program is sponsored by Faliro House Productions.
The Thessaloniki Locarno Industry Academy International is part of the Locarno Industry Academy International network which, includes Morelia IFF in Mexico (Morelia – Imcine Locarno Industry Academy International), Australab in Chile (Valparaiso – Locarno Industry Academy International), Cinema do Brasil (Sao Paulo – Locarno Industry Academy International), Film Society of Lincoln Center / New Directors New Films Festival in the USA (NYC – Locarno Industry Academy International), Metropolis / MC Distribution in Lebanon (Beirut – Locarno Industry Academy International).
Meet the Future
8 November (Agora Hub, Warehouse C, 18: 00–19:00)
A new initiative of the Thessaloniki IFF and the Agora that focuses on the younger generation of Greek filmmakers. Film directors, whose films have participated in important festivals all around the world will come to the 60th Thessaloniki IFF to present their debut feature film, which either has not arrived at the shooting stage, or hasn’t been completed yet. An opportunity for foreign professionals to meet in person the new representatives of Greek cinema. In collaboration with the Onassis Foundation. A new TIFF initiative turns its gaze to the future of cinema. The new “Meet the Future” section, inaugurated at the 60th Anniversary of the Festival, will focus on young professionals from different fields of filmmaking and different countries or geographical regions each year.
The first year of Meet the Future will present directors of Greek films whose short films have been selected in the past five years for the programmes of the thirteen most notable Film Festivals worldwide (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastián, London, Rotterdam, New York, Tribeca, Toronto, Sundance, Busan) or been nominated for the Academy Awards, but who have not yet made their first feature film.
The directors will present drafts of their debut feature film projects in development at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival Agora. This is an opportunity for professionals to meet the new blood of Greek cinema. The project is a collaboration between the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Onassis Foundation.