21 new documentary projects will be ready for pitching in Thessaloniki in March
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The selected projects will be developed, rewritten and pitched at the European Documentary Network session to be held between 16 and 20 March
The European Documentary Network is currently finishing the programming of Docs in Thessaloniki, the annual pitching forum that it has organised since 2001 with Greece's Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century. This year, the forum is scheduled to unspool between 16 and 20 March, while the festival runs from 11-20 March.
The deadline for submitting new documentary projects is 15 January. Usually, the network receives approximately 100 two-page descriptions, from which it selects 21 for the five-day programme in Thessaloniki. There, the projects will be developed, rewritten and pitched – two days are reserved for the pitching part, when the participants introduce their films to a panel of 12-15 international financiers and decision-makers.
The sessions are followed by individual meetings between pitchers and financiers for in-depth discussions about further development and possible future collaboration opportunities. For a select group of top projects, the new outreach programme will offer an opportunity to develop an outreach strategy, optimise distribution plans and enhance audience engagement.
Recent documentaries brought to fruition after the forum include Swedish directors Nima Sarvestani's Those Who Said NO and Åsa Ekman's My Life My Lesson, Norwegian director Håvard Bustnes' Two Raging Grannies [+see also:
film profile], Austrian-Iranian directors Arman and Arash Riahi's Everyday Rebellion, and Croatian director Nebojsa Slijepcevic's Gangster of Love [+see also:
Financiers and decision-makers so far confirmed for Docs in Thessaloniki include Madeleine Avramousis, from France's ARTE GEIE; Jan Rofekamp, from Canada's Films Transit; Jenny Westergård, from Finnish pubcaster YLE; Hanka Kastelicova, from Hungary's HBO Europe; and Claudia Schreiner, from Germany’s MDR/ARD.