Thessaloniki International Film Festival was one of the first institutions in the world to host a podcast competition section, exploring the affinities between this new genre and cinema. The podcasts of the Competition section are competing for the Best Podcast Award, accompanied by a 2,000-euro cash prize. In addition, all podcasters aged 25-35 years old taking part in the Festival, both in the Podcast Competition and the Nexus section, are eligible for the ENS Louis Lumière - French Institute of Greece Award for Upcoming Audio Documentary Creator.
The members of the Podcast Jury of the 64th Thessaloniki International Film Festival are: Katerina Bakogianni, journalist-co-founder of Melon Media-Head of Podcasts of Alter Ego Media Persefoni Miliou, film director, sound designer and sound mixer, Dimitris Vrachnos, programme director at the 99.2 Melodia radio station, and radio producer.
Katerina Bakogianni is a US-educated journalist with more than twenty-five years of career under her belt, working in top positions for the largest Greek media organizations. A pioneer in the podcast market, she co-founded the first Greek podcast production company pod.gr, which established podcasts in Greece. She is now co-founder and director of Melon Media, a premium podcast production company, created on the belief that sound can be more powerful than visual images. As of September 2022, she is the head of podcasts for the Alter Ego Media Group.
She has been working in the film industry since 2004 as an editor and documentary director, and for the last 15 years almost exclusively as a sound designer and mixer. Her films have been awarded at major festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival / Short Film Palme d’Or (The Distance Between Us and the Sky, directed by Vassilis Kekatos – sound design and mixing), Tribeca Festival / Best International Narrative Feature (The Son of Sophia, directed by Elina Psikou), San Sebastián Festival / Young Directors’ Award (Park, directed by Sofia Exarchou), Berlin Festival (many Greek entries such as films directed by Konstantina Kotzamani, Elina Psikou, Udita Bhargav), Venice Festival (Third Kind, directed by George Zois and Electric Swan, directed by Konstantina Kotzamani). She has been twice awarded by the Hellenic Film Academy, in 2023 for the sound in the film Behind the Haystacks by Asimina Proedrou and in 2016 for the film Park by Sofia Exarchou. She also directs documentaries (Mikropoleis [documentary series for ERT] and Body Matters [a feature documentary, co-directed with Yannis Gaitanidis]). She is currently in post-production of her second feature-length documentary, Voices, where the element of sound is the film’s protagonist.
Dimitris Vrachnos studied Communication and Media at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He started working for radio stations in 1993, hosting shows on Greek “entehni” (modern folk) music. Since 2006, he has been working at the 99.2 Melodia radio station and became the station’s program director in 2015. He is currently co-hosting the morning show “Good Morning, Melodia” together with Matoula Kousteni, while he is also a member of the station’s podcast production team.