AGORA Series: November 4 - 5


AGORA Series, the successful new initiative of the Τhessaloniki International Film Festival, that was launched in 2022, returns this year with an extended two-day programme on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November.

AGORA Series invites audiovisual production professionals from Greece, Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean to attend numerous events such as masterclasses, panel discussions and case study presentations, while providing its participants with the opportunity to expand their industry networks. AGORA Series will be attended by both local and international special guests.

At the same time, AGORA Series is inaugurating new partnerships with prestigious organizations specializing in series content production and promotion as well as professional training in the field of content development for TV and streaming platforms.

AGORA Series 2023 program consultant is the UK based producer and CEO of Paper Entertainment, Julien Leroux best known for co-producing Tehran for Apple TV.

The program is focusing on the creative process of series screenwriting and features diverse industry events and exciting networking opportunities, bringing forward the region’s emerging talents and most-promising upcoming audiovisual works. The AGORA Series days include an extensive two-day program with masterclasses by serialized storytelling experts, panel discussions with local and international series professionals and other networking opportunities.

The main program is accompanied by special screenings of unseen episodes of Greek and international series.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 09.00 - 10.00 @ Green Room, 1st floor Olympion Complex

AGORA Series Breakfast Meetings 

Entry only to accredited guests upon online registration. Limited capacity up to 20 participants.


Alex Traila, Programme Manager - Council of Europe Pilot Programme for Series Co-Productions Eurimages (FR) 

Caroline von Kühn, Executive Director - Oxbelly (GR) & Caroline Demopoulos, Episodic Program Manager - Oxbelly Episodic Program and Writers Retreat (GR)

Anna Kasimati, Head of Media Desk Greece, Creative Europe MEDIA Desk Greece TV & Online content (GR)


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 10.30 - 11.30  @ Pavlos Zannas Theatre - Olympion 5th floor

AGORA Series Masterclass - From Six Feet Under, to the Top: The Evolution of Contemporary Television 

Award-winning feature film and television director and producer Jeremy Podeswa is giving a masterclass on the future of storytelling. Podeswa, who is numerous times nominated and awarded for series such as Six Feet Under, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, The Pacific, True Detective and more, shares  with the audience his personal experience on how a lead director is setting the tone in the production process and on the evolution of series content throughout the years. With insightful information from his personal journey in series projects, this masterclass is moderated by Lefteris Charitos, film and series director and Chairman of the Hellenic Film Academy.

Jeremy Podeswa, Director / Producer (USA)
Jeremy Podeswa is an award winning feature film and television director who has been nominated four times for the Best Director Emmy Award (for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones (twice), and for the Tom Hanks/ Steven Spielberg produced The Pacific (HBO, also nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award).  He has Executive Produced and Directed the HBOMax limited series Station Eleven (based on the novel by Emily St. John Mandel, nominated for 7 Emmy Awards, and the DGA Award).  And he has most recently directed The Three Body Problem for Netflix (from Game of Thrones creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff), and The New Look for Apple (starring Juliette Binoche). He has additionally directed many of the most groundbreaking cable television series and mini-series, including for HULU The Handmaid’s Tale; for HBO, Game of Thrones. True Detective, The Newsroom, Here and Now, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Rome, Six Feet Under, Carnivale and The Pacific; for Apple The Mosquito Coast; for Showtime, The Loudest Voice, On Becoming a God in Central FloridaHomeland, Ray Donovan, The Borgias, The Tudors, Dexter, Weeds, Queer as Folk, The L Word; for AMC  The Walking Dead; for F/X American Horror Story: Asylum and Coven; and for TNT the mini-series Into the West (produced by Steven Spielberg and nominated for 16 Emmy Awards). Other credits include the television movie After the Harvest, starring Sam Shepard, winner of the Directors Guild of Canada Award for Best Direction.

He has also written and directed three award winning feature films: Fugitive Pieces (Samuel Goldwyn Films, Opening Night, Toronto International Film Festival) starring Stephen Dillane and Rosamund Pike; The Five Senses (Fine Line Distribution, Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival) starring Mary Louise Parker; and Eclipse (Berlin and Sundance Festivals).

Moderator: Lefteris Charitos, Director / Showrunner, Chairman of the Hellenic Film Academy (GR)


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 16.30 - 17.30 @ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series Talk - Storytelling : A Narrative Bridge Between Film and Series 

Creators from the broader Mediterranean region Lefteris Charitos of local sensation The Witch, Nima Javidi, winner of this year's Series Mania award for The Actor and Berkun Oya, creator of the successful Netflix series Ethos discuss the creative process of developing scripts for series. Through the discussion, the bridge between cinema and series emerges.

Intro by Alexandra Gabrižová, Program Coordinator, MIDPOINT Institute (CZ)



Lefteris Charitos, Director / Showrunner (GR)
Lefteris Charitos is a fiction and documentary film director. He studied film at the Royal College of Art in London. He is most famous for the Drama Series Wild Bees (ANT1 TV 2019-2022) which became an instant success, as did his new series The Witch (ANT1 TV 2023-). His feature documentary Dolphin Man (2017, Greece-France-Canada-Japan-Italy in co-production, with ARTE, French and Greek Film Centers, WOWOW, SVT, Knowledge Network, ERT, RTS) received the IRIS AWARDS for best documentary and best newcomer in 2018. He has also directed many fiction and documentary series for Greek television, including the highly acclaimed history documentary series 1821 and The Journey of Food (COSMOTE TV) and the fiction crime series Zone Defense (ERT). Since October 2022, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Film Academy.


Nima Javidi, Writer / Director (IR)
Nima Javidi is an Iranian screenwriter and director, born in 1980. His first feature Melbourne (2014) which was the opening film in critics' week in Venice Film Festival (2014) has attended more than 90 festivals around the world including Tokyo Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival , Zurich Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival, Mar Del Plata Film Festival, Shanghai Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, etc.

For his first film Melbourne he received 14 international awards including Best Film in Cairo Film Festival (2014), Best Script in Stockholm Film Festival(2014), Best Script in Asia Pacific Awards(2014) and Best Director and Best script in Gijon Film Festival(2014).

His next feature The Warden was shown in 63rd London Film Festival as its premiere and attended more than 27 festivals around the world. His next script which is written with famous Iranian director Majid Majidi, Sun Children was screened at the official section of Venice Film Festival (2020) and was among the 15 movies shortlisted in the foreign language film category at the 93rd Academy awards. His last project is a series named The Actor which won the Grand Prize in Series Mania Festival (2023) and Honorable Mention in Serien Camp Festival (2023) and was nominated for Best Mini series, Best Script and Best Actor in Seoul Drama Awards (2023). Moreover he is a member of Asia Pacific Academy Awards and was a member of jury in 54th Gijon film festival (2016), 19th Tbilisi film festival (2018) and 2th Dostluk film festival (2019).

Berkun Oya, Writer / Director (TR)
Born in 1977, Berkun Oya started writing for theatre, film and TV in his early twenties and became the youngest playwright commissioned by the State Theatre of Turkey. He founded Krek Company in 1999, a production/publishing house and one of the most influential contemporary theatre companies based in Istanbul today. He was awarded many times as a writer and a director. TV series created and written by Berkun Oya have been licensed to many countries as a format; US, Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands. Ready mades are sold in more than 20 countries. His latest series was Ethos for Netflix, written, produced and directed by Berkun Oya.


Moderator: Müge Ozen, Producer (TR)

Muge has worked in film sales & acquisitions for 6 years before joining the dynamic Turkish production company AC Film as a producer. She still produces mainstream films and series with the company. She founded Solis Film in 2015 focusing on international co-productions and completed EAVE Producers Workshop. Her films have been shown in festivals such as Toronto, Tallinn, Sitges and won various awards. She has worked as the co-director of Antalya Film Forum 2021. Since 2020, she has been offering training programs for emerging filmmakers. Muge is also one of the founders of “m2”, a scriptwriting and project development workshop for Turkish filmmakers.

Ιn collaboration with MIDPOINT Institute


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 17.45 - 18.45 @ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series Talk - From Script to Screen: Does IP Matter? 

Co-curated with the European Producers Club, this panel of speakers engages the audiovisual sector in a discussion on the European regulations which aim to protect the works’ copyright.


Dr. Ferdinand Dohna, Producer, Beta Film (DE)
Dr. Ferdinand Dohna, born in 1969, studied Classical Archeology, Ancient History and Ancient Greek in Bonn and Heidelberg. After a 2-year-stay at the German Archaeological Institute in Rome he received his PhD in 1999. During this time he worked as story editor at the Italian production company Luxvide, while in 1999 he started working as producer for international co-productions at KirchGruppe. In 2001 he left KirchGruppe together with Jan Mojto to build up EOS Entertainment. Since the merger of EOS Entertainment and Betafilm, Ferdinand Dohna has been in charge of international productions and co-productions. He is known for productions such as War and Peace, Borgia, The Same Sky, Sisi.


Elli Filippopoulou, Lawyer / IP Expert (GR)
Elli is a Lawyer and a Regulatory consultant specialized in Copyright/Intellectual Property Law, the Law and Policies of the E.U. and European Competition Law (LL.M of Cambridge University).  With professional experience of 30 years, in international and national audiovisual productions, Elli acts as legal and regulatory counsel of production companies, authors, artists and stakeholders’ organizations from Greece, the EU and the US which she represents during consultations on legislation transposing in Greece EU law on Copyright and audiovisual policies.

Elli has been a regulatory consultant of the European Commission, the OECD and the World Bank in projects targeting the enhancement of the business environment in Greece.


Julien Leroux, Producer / Paper Entertainment (UK)
Julien Leroux is the founder and CEO of London based production company Paper Entertainment.  He has worked for over 15 years in international distribution, co-production and financing for companies including Cineflix, Newen and Mediawan working on titles such as Spiral, Marcella, The Minister, Ouro and Coroner.  In December 2018 Julien started working on the financing, distribution and production of the Israeli spy series Tehran. In June 2020 he closed a deal with Apple who acquired the series which quickly became one of their most watched programmes.  In November 2020, Julien created Paper Entertainment which focuses on bringing unique local stories to a global audience. In June 2021 Channel 4 invested in Paper Entertainment and secured a minority stake in the company.  In November 2021 Tehran won the Emmy award for Best International Drama Series and in May 2022 its second series was launched starring Glenn Close to critical acclaim.  

Paper Entertainment is currently developing new international scripted series with David Hare, Isis Davis, Tim Loane, Rupert Taylor, Giula Sandler, Amy Pocha, Dana Fainaru, Leonardo Fasoli & Maddalena Ravagli, Seth Cohen & Chris Silber amongst others.


Amanda Livanou, Producer, Founder, Neda Film / Member of the Board, Audiovisual Producers’ Association of Greece SAPOE (GR)
Amanda is a Greek producer and founder of Athens based Neda Film. During her 25-year career she has worked in film and television as well as Greek film Institutions.  Select titles include L, Pity —2012 & 2018 Sundance World Dramatic Competition, & Birds (or How to Be One), Rotterdam FF 2020 by Babis Makridis; Park, by Sofia Exarchou, Best New Director at San Sebastian FF; Broadway by Christos Massalas, Rotterdam FF 2022; New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilisation (doc) with Bill Murray directed by Andrew Muscato, Official Selection, Cannes FF 2022); On Xerxes Throne by Evi Kalogiropoulou (short) Prix Canal+, Semaine de la Critique, Cannes 2022; The Invisible Fight, by Rainer Sarnet, Official Competition, Locarno FF 2023. Upcoming projects include Buzzheart by Dennis Iliadis, Unclickable by Babis Makridis & Guy Krief, Cora, by Evi Kalogiropoulou, Hot Spot by Agnieszka Zmoczynska, Costa Armonia (TV series) created by Lefteris Charitos & Peter Carlton, Travel Bugs, TV children’s animation by Fokion Xenos. Neda’s slate of development is supported by Creative Europe. She is a Sundance Creative Producing Summit Fellow, a member of both the Hellenic and European Film Academies and serves on the Board of the Directors of the Hellenic Producers Association (SAPOE).


Alex Traila - Programme Μanager, Council of Europe (FR)
Alex Traila is a European audiovisual policy expert with over 15 years of experience in the film industry and governmental affairs. He is currently programme manager for the Pilot Programme for Series Co-Productions at the Council of Europe.


Moderator: Alexandra Lebret, Managing Director, European Producers Club (FR)
After graduating with a master's degree in Macroeconomics at Dauphine University, and an MSc in International Economics at ESSEC and at the Università di Bocconi, Alexandra has dedicated her career to the cinema industry. In 2002, she was named Managing Director of the EPC and has since then driven the association into a new era, working at transforming the association into the renowned actor it has become. She was decorated in 2013 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her work and dedication in favor of European cinema. In 2014, she became a producer herself, founding the production companies Mare Nostrum Productions and Halley Production, and produced 8 films in 2 years which received 16 awards. Her most recent film is Iciar Bollain’s latest work called La Boda de Rosa which was presented at the 2020 San Sebastian International Film Festival. In 2020, Alexandra also participated in the APPLE FILM production of Oleg Sentsov’s film Numbers as a co-producer which premiered at the Berlinale.


Co-curated with The European Producers Club


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 09.00-10.00 @ Green Room, 1st floor Olympion Complex.

AGORA Series Breakfast Meetings 

Entry only to accredited guests upon online registration. Limited capacity up to 20 participants.


Alexandra Gabrižová, Program coordinator - MIDPOINT Institute Series Launch, Writers’ Room (CZ)

Eleni Kalogeropoulou, Program  Coordinator - Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI) Script 2 Film Workshops, Series Lab (GR)

Christina Mitropoulou, Head of Development, Athens Film Office - The Owl (GR)

Katerina Grammatikopoulou, Project Manager, Greek Film Centre - Film Production Support Programs offered through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “GREECE 2.0” (GR)


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 12.00 - 13.00 @ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography 

AGORA Series Talk - How the Greek Audiovisual Ecosystem Embraces Creativity

Greek industry experts and institution representatives are contributing to a discussion on the strategies to strengthen and transform the local audiovisual sector.


Leonidas Christopoulos, President / CEO, EKOME (GR)
Leonidas Christopoulos took over as President and CEO of EKOME SA in July 2023. He was the Secretary General of Digital Governance and Simplification of Procedures of the Ministry of Digital Governance, from July 2019 to July 2023, and had EKOME under his supervision. During this period, significant improvements were made to the cash rebate scheme for audiovisual works in Greece, while the Tax Relief incentive was reactivated, and the Fund of Guaranteeing Loan for Companies Producing Audiovisual Work was established in collaboration with the Development Bank. He holds a BSc in Political and International Studies from Panteion University of Political and Social Studies, Athens, and an M.A. in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, where he studied Political Economy of Mass Media.


Fenia Cossovitsa, Producer, Blonde / Vice President, Audiovisual Producers’ Association of Greece - SAPOE (GR)
Fenia Cossovitsa is an acclaimed Film Producer with many years of experience in the development, production and post-production of feature films, documentaries, TV series and other audiovisual programs. Her portfolio includes over 30 Greek and international feature films, TV series and documentaries while she has worked with internationally acclaimed filmmakers as Peter Bogdanovic, Jonathan Nossiter, Tony Gatlif, Dominik Moll, Delphine and Muriel Coulin, Cedric Klapisch. Her résumé includes high quality TV series (Eden, Tehran Season 1,2 and 3 for Apple TV, Eteros Ego lost souls, Catharsis and Nemesis for Cosmote TV, Greek salad by Cedric Klapisch for Amazon Originals and Karantina for MBC) and international co-production partnerships for more than 20 Greek and foreign feature films (Italy, France, Germany, Canada, Algeria, Cyprus). Blonde has serviced numerous high budget international projects (Monday, Treadstone, Eden, Tehran, Jack ryan 3).


Markos Holevas, President, Greek Film Centre (GR)
Markos Holevas  was born in Strasbourg. He studied economics at the University of Macedonia and film direction at the Eugenia Hadjikou film school. He attended postgraduate seminars at French Television (FR-3 Alsace) and at INEP-Paris.  He is a member of the editorial board of the film magazine Cinematographic Notes as well as a founding member and president of the Super-8 Thessaloniki Festival. He taught TV production  at the Journalism and Media Department of AUTH. In his capacity as special advisor to the Greek Film Center,  he undertook the creation of the Hellenic Film Commission He has directed several documentaries, two films for television  and two feature films.  His first film for television Onira Glyka was included in the Pompidou Cultural Center film library, while the international co-production of the documentary The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece was honored with the patronage of the European Parliament president, Pat Cox. He has directed all types of films: fiction, documentaries and animations and is currently the Chairman of the Greek  Film Center Board of Directors.


Faye TsitsipiSenior Manager Market Insights & Content Production COSMOTE TV (GR)
Mrs. Faye Tsitsipi has 15 years of experience working in TV content strategy, research, marketing and sales advertising in various roles. She started her career in OTE Group in 2016, working as a Senior Expert TV Content for Deutsche Telekom TV Europe and COSMOTE TV, then promoted to Senior Manager for Market Insights and Original Content Production at COSMOTE TV (documentary, fiction, entertainment). Before joining OTE Group, Mrs. Tsitsipi worked for ALPHA TV and RTL Group for a decade in various roles. Mrs. Tsitsipi holds a BA in Political Science from Panteion University of Athens and an MA in Media & Communications from City University of London, UK.


Moderator: Eleni Chandrinou, Producer, Audiovisual Consultant / Eurimages Greek Representative (GR)
Based in Brussels and Athens, Eleni Chandrinou has extensive experience working in and for the film industry. Her mission is to support the development and production of independent films, with an emphasis on documentaries. To that end, she advises filmmakers on all aspects of the creative process from the early-stage development to advanced presentations and funding strategies. She also provides expertise to festivals, markets, and major national and international film funding bodies. From 2020 to 2022 she served as vice president of the board of the Greek Film Center and currently represents Greece at Eurimages.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 14.30 - 15.30 @ MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography  

AGORA Series Talk - Series Content: Leading the Way to Diversity and Inclusion

Α discussion about inclusion and diversity at the content level in series. The goal of the panel is to highlight best practices of representation and inclusion in series, and how these can be ensured, from the conception of the idea to the implementation of production and the dissemination to the audience.


Peter Carlton, Producer & CEO, Warp Films (UK)
Peter Carlton has been joint-CEO of UK-production company Warp Films for more than ten years. Prior to that he was Senior Commissioning Executive at Film4. His production credits include acclaimed TV series Little Birds, The Last Panthers and Southcliffe, feature films Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England and Miranda July’s You & Me and Everyone We Know. He is currently working on The Abbess, a series about a vicious power struggle in a convent for Sky and Costa Armonia, a dark horror series in a luxury wellness retreat run by AI, co-created with Lefteris Charitos and Neda Film in Greece.


Yiannis Donos, Original Content Manager & Head of Acquisition, ANT1+, Antenna Group (GR)
Yannis Donos has been working in the field of Entertainment over 20 years holding – among others - the director positions of Marketing and Communication, Production, Distribution, Acquisition, of the largest companies in Greece which were also licensees of the Major Film Studios.  Over two years now is holding the position of the Original Content Manager and Head of Acquisition of ANT1+  the  streaming OTT platform ANTENNA GROUP (the largest media group in Greece) has developed and launched in April 2022, designing and implementing the content production and acquisition Strategy. ANTENNA PLUS (ΑΝΤ1 +) has a presence in Greece and Cyprus with a vision of global launch soon. Recently ANTENNA GROUP acquired Sony Pictures Television Network Portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe securing 22 Pay TV channels and two OTT services in 12 territories.


Caroline von Kühn, Executive Director, Oxbelly  (GR)
Caroline von Kühn is the Executive Director of Oxbelly and a Director at Faliro House. She was most recently Director of Industry & Catalyst at Sundance Institute, running their independent film financing initiative after serving as Director of Artist Development at SFFILM where she launched SFFILM Invest. She was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Points North Institute (Camden International Film Festival), where she remains on as Board Chair. Recent producing work includes Slow Machine (2020 Rotterdam, NYFF), Burn Country (2016 Tribeca winner) and directing a production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt with Norway's National Theatre. She has a BA in Financial Economics from University of Virginia and an MFA from University of Manchester (UK).


Konstantinos Sousoulas, Chief Content Officer, Mega TV (GR)
Konstantinos Sousoulas has been working in the Film, TV & production industry since 2000. Currently he is the Chief Content Officer of Mega Channel (since Jan 2021). He is leading Mega’s content division and plays a key role in the strategic decisions for the continued development of all Mega’s departments. At the same time, he is responsible for Mega’s content worldwide sales and operations. Prior to joining Mega Channel, Kostas was General Manager in major companies of Alpha TV Group (2013-2020) responsible for all facets of development and function for Alpha TV, Plus Production and Green Pixel (production company). 

Kostas Sousoulas also spent 12 years in major Greek audiovisual production companies such as Anosis, PLD Productions, TVE, studio ATA, Cut Productions, N-Orasis, Village Plus. From 2000 to 2008 he was focused on TV series production as well as commercial production. Since 2008 he has played a major role being an Executive producer for the execution of feature films with great acceptance from the audiences (such as Christmas Tango, What If, Worlds Apart).  His career in the film industry has met great distinctions, with the most recent being Christopher Papakaliatis’ movie Worlds Apart, which won the audience award for best film in the L.A. Greek Film Festival. Ηis career in TV sector proved successful by the results of the companies he worked for and its performance in Greek TV scene. His vital role in great fiction series (such as The Island, Min Arhizeis ti Mourmoura, To Soi Sou, Silent Road, Maestro) created a truly exceptional result. He has also served as member and critic at the European Film Awards.


Moderator: Zac Ntim, Journalist, Deadline (USA)
Zac is an International Film Reporter, currently based in London.