EXCLUSIVE: The Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s industry-focused AGORA section has selected 15 projects from 14 countries for this year’s Crossroads Co-production Forum. Scroll down for the full list of projects.
Hailing from across southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean region, the projects are in various stages of development. The selection features debut and sophomore feature films alongside more experienced directors presenting their third and even fifth film projects. The selection also features ten female directors of different ethnic backgrounds.
Taking place largely onsite with additional online networking opportunities, participants will join workshops on how to present their projects to the industry, with mentorship from producer Amanda Livanou (Neda Film).
As part of this year’s AGORA section, running (Nov 3-11), the festival will also launch Bridge to the North, a new collaborative strand aimed at “creating fertile ground for co-productions, synergies, and cultural exchange” through exploring new opportunities in financing and artistic collaborations. Each year, the strand will platform a guest country from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions. This year, the guest country is Lithuania. In partnership with the Lithuanian Film Centre, a Lithuanian delegation of producers, directors, distributors, and film programmers will attend all AGORA activities and participate with their own projects.
Elsewhere in new additions, AGORA and the Thessaloniki Film Festival have set a new competition prize, the Greener Screen Consultancy Award. The prize comes with a €7,000 cash prize alongside a tailored green production plan for the winning project, virtual training for the eco-manager on this plan, continuous support for the eco-manager during prep-stage and production and optional “Greener Script” consultancy sessions for the writer, director and the creative producer. The prize is part of the festival’s plan to pioneer ecological sustainability throughout the industry.
This year marks the 19th edition of the Crossroads Co-production Forum. It will run Nov 5-9. Recent Crossroads Co-production Forum projects include Cannes titles Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry by Elene Naveriani and Inshallah A Boy by Amjad Al Rasheed. Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s Berlin competition title, 20,000 Species of Bees, was also developed at Crossroads.
The Thessaloniki Film Festival will run Nov 2 – 12.
Selected Crossroads Co-production Forum projects 2023:
40 MARIA LUISA BOULEVARD – In collaboration with Sofia Meetings Director / Scriptwriter: Kristina Spassovska, Production: Maya Vitkova-Kosev – Viktoria Films, Bulgaria
AND ME TOO – In collaboration with Mediterranean Film Institute Director / Scriptwriter: Sondos Shabayek, Production: Kesmat Elsayed – SEERA FILMS Gmbh / See Media Production, Germany, Egypt
BLACK WATER — Director / Scriptwriter: Isabella Margara, Production: Kyriaki Virou – AbFab Productions, Greece
FRIENDS, BIRTHDAYS, MURDER, ETC — Directors / Scriptwriters: Lida Vartzioti, Dimitris Tsakaleas, Production: Ioanna Bolomyti – Atalante Productions SA, Greece
GOD BREAK DOWN THE DOOR – In collaboration with MIDPOINT Institute Director / Scriptwriter: Vojtěch Novotný, Producer: Tomáš Pertold – Perfilm, Czech Republic
THE GRAND INQUISITOR — Director / Scriptwriter: Marat Sargsyan, Producer: Klementina Remeikaite – afterschool production, Lithuania
I MATTER — Director / Scriptwriter: Alina Serban, Producer: Ada Solomon – microFILM, Romania
LADY SUNSHINE — Director: Anna Korom, Scriptwriters: Anna Korom, András Soós, Producer: Anna Szijártó – Kinomoto Kft., Hungary
PETROL STATION — Director / Scriptwriter: Yuliia Hontaruk, Producer: Elena Saulich – BABYLON13, Ukraine
SINGING HORSES — Director: Luka Papić, Scriptwriters: Luka Papić, Vladimir Vulević, Producer: Srđa Vučo – Ranč production, Co-producer: Julia Cöllen – Fünferfilm, Serbia, Germany
SO THE LOVERS COULD COME OUT AGAIN — Director / Scriptwriter: George Peter Barbari, Producer: Christelle Younes – Bee On Set Productions, Lebanon
STRINGA — Directors / Scriptwriters: Maria Hatzakou, Alexandra Matheou, Producer: Maria Hatzakou – Merricat Film, Greece
SYDNEY SMILE FUTURE PERFECT — Director: Gregoris Rentis, Scriptwriters: Gregoris Rentis, Nikolas Kouloglou, Pauline Wolff, Producers: Myrto Stathi, Mando Stathi – Byrd, Greece
TETHYS OCEAN — Director / Scriptwriter: Anna Jadowska, Producer: Maria Blicharska – Blick Productions, Co-producer: Damien Mc Donald – Blick Productions International, Poland, France
YIANNIS — Director: Kyros Papavassiliou, Scriptwriters: Yiannis Gaitanides, Kyros Papavassiliou, Producers: Kyros Papavassiliou, Maria Varnakkidou – dryTree films, Co-producer: Konstantina Stavrianou – Graal, Cyprus, Greece
The Crossroads Co-production Forum Awards:
Two Thirty-Five (2|35) Award Post-production (image and sound)
Onassis Film Award 10,000 euros to a Greek project participating in the Agora (Crossroads Co-production Forum and Agora Works in Progress)
CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée
8,000 euros for script development
Finos Film 3,000 euros to a Greek project
The Producers’ Network of the Cannes FF Free accreditation
Sofia Meetings of the Sofia IFF Project selection
Mediterranean Film Institute Script 2 Film Workshops scholarship
Initiative Film Consultation to one project
EAVE Marketing Workshop Scholarship