Film Forward International Competition Jury

The Film Forward Competition Section presents the work of new, daring filmmakers who challenge our relationship with storytelling and aspire to renegotiate it, beyond the boundaries of film genres. The films compete for the Golden Alexander (8,000 euros cash prize) and the Silver Alexander (4,000 euros cash prize).

The members of the Film Forward Jury of the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival are Köken Ergun, filmmaker and moving-image artist; film practitioner, writer, and scholar Ana Grgić, and filmmaker Nikos Pastras.



Nikos Pastras was born in Athens. He is a self-taught filmmaker and has been working in cinema since 2007. He has directed four short films (Theremin [2008], Lost Girl [2012], Acrylic [2016], Melatonin [2020]), as well as TV documentaries and commercials. He has extensive experience in editing short films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos, and has contributed his editing skills to the final two films of Nikos Panagiotopoulos (The Limousine and Rembrandt's Daughter). He also edited the film Winona by The Boy, receiving the Iris Award from the Hellenic Film Academy for his work. He also works as a graphic designer and illustrator, creating titles and posters for short and feature-length films, as well as album covers. His debut feature film, BASTARDS, was awarded the Silver Alexander at the 63rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival.


Köken Ergun (born 1976, Istanbul) is a Turkish artist/ filmmaker with a background in performing arts. After working with American theatre director Robert Wilson, Ergun became involved with video art and film. His works have been exhibited internationally at institutions including Documenta 14, Paris Triennale, Jakarta Biennial, Kathmandu Triennale, SALT, Garage Moscow, Para-Site Hong Kong, and Casino Luxembourg. His films received several awards at film festivals, including the Tiger Award for Best Short Film at the 2007 Rotterdam Film Festival and a Special Mention at the 2013 Berlinale. Ergun’s films are included in public art collections of institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Stadtmuseum Berlin, and Kadist Foundation.


Ana Grgic is a cosmopolitan film practitioner, writer, and scholar. She has a PhD in Film Studies from the University of St Andrews, and teaches documentary film production and world cinema as Associate Professor of Cinema and Media at Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania. She has published books and articles on Balkan and Eastern European cinema, memory and identity. Ana regularly serves on international film festival juries and collaborates on film heritage projects (5C project, Archives in Motion, and Feminist Film Heritage). Previously she worked in visual effects production on HBO's hit TV series Rome Season II, CBS's American Assassin, and the Academy award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody. She is currently developing several film projects: a documentary about her family and country's history and memory, and a documentary TV series about the beginnings of cinema in the Balkans.