The Agora Doc Market of the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival is enhanced by three new initiatives in 2020, aimed to boost doc activity in the South-east Europe and Med region.
These are the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum, a co-production and co-financing platform for creative, television and new media documentaries; the Agora Lab, a development workshop, where internationally acclaimed documentary experts offer free guidance to Greek filmmakers who have projects at editing stage, and Doc Counseling, which offers one-on-one advisory sessions to documentary filmmakers.
Thessaloniki Pitching Forum is the new co-production and co-financing platform for creative and TV documentaries, as well as for new media documentaries (virtual and enhanced reality). The 14 participating projects will have the opportunity to discuss, prepare and pitch to a panel of industry professionals, followed by one-on-ones.
Cash prizes are The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (€2,000), the ERT-Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award (€2,000) to a Greek project and the Mediterranean Film Institute Award (MFI Script2Film Workshop), that offers a DocLab scholarship worth €2,500 euro plus accommodation in Nisyros and Rhodes (where the MFI takes place).
In the Agora Lab three experienced editors and doc professionals guide five filmmakers and projects in fine-tuning their projects toward final cut, boosting their individual strengths and navigating them through the tricky terrain of festival strategy. The experts are Cecilie Bolvinkel (Rough Cut Service, Finland), the editor/director Francois Sculier and DOP/director Philippe Bellaïche.
Doc Counseling is a new service offered to attending filmmakers providing hands-on, one-on-one consultancy sessions on topics such as festival strategy, documentary funding, distribution, Media desk help, TV sales, social media and marketing. The list of experts on hand reads like a who’s who of top executive talent within the international doc terrain and includes Jan Rofekamp (Films Transit), Debra Zimmerman (Women Make Movies) and Selin Murat (Montreal International Documentary Festival & DAE) among its numbers.
The Agora Docs in Progress session includes 11 projects from South-eastern Europe and the Mediterranean region that will participate in closed sessions exclusively for Thessaloniki’s invited industry professionals, sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers.
With the aim of strengthening the Agora Doc Market, the Festival will present the inaugural Golden Alexander award to sales doyenne Catherine le Clef for her achievements in documentary.
In addition, with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA, the Agora Doc Market will present more than 400 documentaries in its digital video library to more than 170, industry professionals from leading sales, distribution and broadcast outlets.
The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Visions du Réel (Switzerland) continue their 2019-2020 collaboration whereby both festivals/markets agree on mutual exchange and screening of six national films in their markets and media libraries.