Thessaloniki’s Agora bolsters its schedule
- During the 60th-anniversary edition of the Greek festival, its industry section will be expanded to feature more initiatives and customised programmes for both local and international professionals
The 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival is ready to unspool in less than a month’s time, and will run from 31 October-10 November. In parallel with the festival, its Agora industry section has announced the complete selection for this year’s edition. Taking place once again at Warehouse C, from 2-9 November, Agora will be spread across different sections that cover the film industry in general and projects at various stages of development. Supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA, Agora is maintaining its focus on Southeast Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean Basin without losing any of its informal, welcoming and professional atmosphere. This year, the Agora ambassador will be well-known actor-director Yorgos Pyrpassopoulos, who will promote the section’s events and goals.
A total of 190 movies will be hosted at the Agora Film Market and will be available via its Digital Video Library from 2-9 November. Also, for the first time this year, the content of the library will not only be available on site during the festival, but thanks to the new partnership with Cinando, it is also accessible online, giving accredited guests the chance to watch the films up to three months after the end of Agora, depending on the rightsholders’ preferences.
As every year, the most notable event is expected to be the 15th Crossroads Co-Production Forum (5-9 November), where 15 projects from 15 countries have been selected based on the quality of their scripts, the teams behind them and the likelihood that they will be produced. Click here for a full overview of the selection.
The other highlight at Agora is the Works in Progress closed session, which will take place on 7 November and will present 12 films currently in post-production to the invited industry professionals, with 11 of them competing for the prestigious €50,000 Eurimages Lab Project Award. All of the selected projects are available to read about here.
Amongst the other initiatives, Agora is hosting the fourth edition of the Thessaloniki-Locarno Industry Academy (4-9 November), and this year, nine young professionals have been invited and will have the opportunity to enhance their experience in the film industry. Furthermore, the Agora Talks event will unspool on 5 November: here, local film professionals will have the chance to hear from established international experts, such as Antoine Le Bos (artistic director of LIM - Less Is More), Katriel Schory and Amanda Livanou (producer at Neda Films), who will discuss the world of micro-budget films, and Alexander Michailidis (HBO Europe), Fenia Cossovitsa (producer, Blonde SA), producer William Herberg and scriptwriter-producer Mike Werb, who have been invited by the Hellenic Film Commission of the Greek Film Centre to showcase the present and future of TV shows.
Also, on 6 November, the “EU & Me” discussion will explore the opportunities and the tools provided by the European Union to film professionals, such as the mechanisms involved in MEDIA and Creative Europe. Tina Zournatzi, head of Strategic Communication at the European Commission, Lucia Recalde Langarica, head of unit for Audiovisual Industry and MEDIA Support Programme, Helene Skikos, programme manager for the implementation of the Creative Europe programme, and Anna Kasimati, the contact person in Greece for the Creative Europe programme, will aim to offer a wide-ranging and comprehensive insight.
Furthermore, the Innovation Day Lab (2-3 November), in partnership with Europa Cinemas, is dedicated entirely to cinema exhibitors. At the event, Iris Praefke (Moviemento Cinema) and Hrvoje Laurenta (Zagreb Film Festival) will examine the topic “How to Make the Most of Our Own Resources: Improving Skills and Renewing Practices for Audience Development”.
Finally, the European Women’s Audiovisual Network’s (EWA) mentoring programme (5-8 November) is aimed at female film producers who already have relevant experience at the national level and wish to evolve further to incorporate a European and international dimension into their careers. The programme has been running for almost a year, having started at Trieste in January, and will be concluded at the 60th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
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