The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival kicks off its 18th edition
by Joseph Proimakis
- This year's gathering, which is set to be director Dimitri Eipides’ farewell edition, will highlight close to 150 new local docs alongside 15 international premieres
Set to be festival director Dimitri Eipides’ farewell edition, the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, which raised its curtain on 11 March, will highlight close to 150 new local documentaries, alongside eight world premieres and seven international first bows hand-picked to populate a programme that will last until 20 March.
The latest works by prominent documentary filmmakers, Oscar-nominated films and intimate portraits of renowned artists are just some of the highlights set to unspool at the country’s top documentary gathering, such as Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos’ Racing Extinction, Claire Simon’s The Woods Dreams Are Made of [+see also:
film profile] and Chantal Akerman’s swan song, No Home Movie [+see also:
The refugee crisis will take centre stage, as the festival’s special tribute “Refugees: Escape to Freedom?” will attempt to highlight the urgency surrounding one of Europe’s thorniest subjects, while this year’s edition will honour the work of Danish filmmaker Jon Bang Carlsen and that of Irish director, writer and curator Mark Cousins, who both document reality in their own innovative way.
The International Doc Market, introduced in 1999, will once again serve as the go-to hub for the festival’s industry attendees, catering to audiovisual professionals from around the world. Approximately 490 films will be available to film professionals via the market’s digital screening booths, including the majority of the movies showing in the 18th TDF’s official programme.
The Market will also host its fifth consecutive Docs in Progress section, with 12 projects from Central Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean region. Here, six- to eight-minute samples will be screened at closed sessions intended for a hand-picked group of sales agents, financiers and festival representatives.
Moreover, the EDN Pitching Forum will hold its 15th edition in Thessaloniki, offering development guidance and pitching sessions to 21 projects from countries such as Belarus, Hungary, Norway and Greece, while producer Sigrid Dyekjaer will hold a master class focusing on documentary series, offering new perspectives on documentary as a narrative medium.