Festival In Focus: Thessaloniki’s Agora Industry Strand Adapts To Production Boom In Greece With New TV Section, Think Tank Initiative & More


In a bid to adapt to the ever-changing content market, Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s industry component, Agora, is unveiling a slew of new initiatives as it gears up for its 63rd edition. 

This year, it’s launching its newly-established Agora Series section, where it will dedicate an entire day (November 10) to shining a spotlight on the TV sector. Representatives from Greek broadcasters and international execs from places such as Netflix Italy, Sky Studios and Germany’s Nadcon Production, will touch down for the event, which will also feature networking events, discussion panels and a masterclass from Big Mouth and Glow scriptwriter and producer Victor Quinaz.  

“We wanted to introduce this to the Agora line-up to reflect what is happening right now in Greece and how we’re working with TV series,” says Angeliki Vergou, head of Agora. “There has been a boom of production in Greece right now from abroad and that, coupled with Greece’s economic crisis we had for many years, meant that the production of TV series in the country sort of went to sleep. But now, people are waking up and turning their heads to television again. 

“We don’t have many platforms in Greece besides the international ones but we are making our own content and it is starting to happen now. So we think that it’s the ideal time for us to include Agora Series in this international event to see how we can support the local creators and content and how we can learn from international experts to help them develop their craft.” 

Angeliki Vergo, Head of Agora

Thessaloniki Film Festival

Agora will also kick off a Think Tank series this year to focus on the future of film markets, making a call to all European markets for a joint discussion of suggestions and changes that would offer support to the filmmaking community. 

“The biggest challenge right now is the volume and diversity of events happening in general across the film and television sectors,” says Vergou. “I think that the speed of the digital environment has augmented things so that everything is happening at a very fast pace and we don’t have time to sit and think.” 

She points to wider issues such as the war in Ukraine and the global climate crisis as being key issues up for discussion this year. On one hand, she says, it’s important to be a part of the climate change discussion and minimize carbon footprints, but physical events can make this difficult. “And it’s important that people meet face-to-face and for us to facilitate them in making wonderful cinema.” 

“With the Think Tank, we’re hoping this will help us understand where we should be more focused and who needs more help, what we can eliminate, that kind of thing,” she says. “Sustainability issues are key points. The digital era has helped many people connect into business anyway but we feel that the human factor needs to be preserved because otherwise we’ll be living in this metaverse.”

Elsewhere, Agora’s reputable Crossroads Co-Production Forum is back as usual this year along with its Works In Progress program. The industry events will showcase projects in development from Southeastern and Central Europe, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean regions and give producers of selected projects a chance to discuss their work with co-producers, distributors and international sales agents. 

Previous projects from its Crossroads Co-production forum include Locarno Film Festival entries Nightsiren and How Is Katia? and Azra Deniz Okyay’s Ghosts, which won the Grand Prize at Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week in 2020. 

“Thessaloniki has always been a very multicultural city so we’re trying to bring different stories together and help them find financing, co-producers and partners in general,” says Vergou. 

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival takes place November 3-13. 


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