Thessaloniki gears up (2)
by Natasha Senjanovic
14/11/2006 - Apart from offering a record-breaking number of films (see article), the 47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November 17-26) is hosting numerous collateral events for industry professionals.
Foremost is the second edition of the Agora market (November 17-26), which will be attended by film buyers, distributors, sales agents, producers and festival programmers from throughout the world, including representatives from France’s MK2, Germany’s Greenlight Media AG and Bavaria Film International and Denmark’s Nordisk, to name but a few.
Also in its second edition, the Crossroads Co-production Forum – aimed at supporting producers of feature films with ties to the Mediterranean and Balkan regions by introducing them to a network of international financiers, co-producers and leading industry specialists – will take place from November 23-25.
The fourth Balkan Fund, a script development fund for Balkan films, will be held from November 18-20. One of the programme’s most noteworthy projects (workshopped in 2003) was this year’s Golden Bear-winning Grbavica by Jasmila Zbanic, which will be the focus of a special case study.
Other events include the Salonica Studio student workshops; the Southeastern European Cinema Network (Production Development Fund); a European Film Promotion workshop on Greek film promotion (November 25-26); and a conference on European Screenwriting (November 21-22).
The general assembly of the Media Programme initiative EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) will also take place during the festival.
New initiatives include the Industry Centre, a large warehouse space dedicated solely to most of the aforementioned events, and Just Talking, a daily open discussion session aimed at promoting networking among festival guests. Informal discussion groups will be held each afternoon – made up of directors, journalists and other films professionals – at which accredited festival attendees can choose to either simply listen or participate.