TDF: Agora Doc Market celebrates success with awards.

The Agora Doc Market was successfully completed online for the first time in its history, after the postponement of the 22nd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, due to the coronavirus.

Thursday 12 March 2020 - Hundreds of film professionals from all over the world, defying the challenges of time zones, participated in the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum and the Docs in Progress.

Aiming to strengthen the Agora Doc Market, the Festival presents a Golden Alexander award, which is bestowed upon important figures of the audio-visual sector for their achievements in documentary. The first Golden Alexander award in the history of Agora Doc Market is bestowed to sales agent Catherine le Clef. Le Clef is considered one of the best-connected figures in the world of documentary sales. As a sales agent she has taken on award-winning docs such as: Citizenfour, Cameraperson, Communion, Sonita, Our Time Machine, Five Broken Cameras, China’s Van Goghs, Last Train Home.

Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Awards

The jury of the first Thessaloniki Pitching Forum announced its awards after participating in the online Pitching session that took place on Monday March 9.

The international jury of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum consisted of:
Heidi Tao Yang, Hot Docs Film Funds - Canada
Gitte Hansen, First Hand Films - Switzerland
Hanka Kastelicová, HBO Europe ­- Czech Republic

The members of the jury congratulated the participants and the organizing team for handling amazingly the online events. Hanka Kastelicová said the jury was really thrilled with the selection, they have heard 12 strong pitches and it was hard to find the winners, as many projects would deserve an award.

The Thessaloniki Pitching Forum Award of 2,000 euros is bestowed to:

Direction Mattia Colombo, Gianluca Matarrese, Production Giovanni Donfrancesco, Altara Films, Co-production Jasmina Sijercic, Bocalupo Films, Italy, France

The award is bestowed “to what we found was the best pitch overall, it has a lot of potential, is a wonderfully unique project and it is extremely timely capturing the essence of desperation and hope through a trip on a bus. The filmmakers were able to capture a key anxiety happening all around the world that we can all relate to where we fight for scarce resources”, mentioned the jury.

The ERT – Thessaloniki Pitching Forum award of 2,000 euros to a Greek project is bestowed to:

Σκηνοθεσία Άγγελος Ράλλης, Παραγωγή Maria del Mar Rodriguez, Άγγελος Ράλλης, AR Productions, Συμπαραγωγή Birgit Kemner, Manny Films, Ελλάδα, Γαλλία.

«Επιλέξαμε μια όμορφη αλλά σπαρακτική ιστορία, η οποία ενέχει την οικουμενική θεματική της ταυτότητας σε μια περίοδο αναταραχής στον κόσμο της νεαρής πρωταγωνίστριας» σημειώνει η κριτική επιτροπή.

Το βραβείο MFI Script 2 Film Workshop για το Doc Lab ανακοινώθηκε από τον εκπρόσωπο του Μεσογειακού Ινστιτούτου Κινηματογράφου, Τάκη Βερέμη. Η υποτροφία αξίας 2.500 ευρώ απονέμεται στο πρότζεκτ:

Direction Angelos Rallis, Production Maria del Mar Rodriguez, Angelos Rallis, AR Productions, Co-production Birgit Kemner, Manny Films, Greece, France

“We have selected a beautiful, yet heart aching, coming of age story. It is a story that deals with the universal themes of identity in a time of turbulence in the world in this young girl’s life” mentioned the jury.

The MFI Doc Lab Script 2 Film Workshop award and the full scholarship worth 2,500 euros, was presented by the representative of the MFI Takis Veremis. The award is bestowed to:

Direction Alisa Kovalenko, Co-author Stephane Siohan, Production Stephane Siohan, East Roads Films, Co-production Valery Kalmykov, Trueman Production, Ukraine, France

The jury mentioned that the project promises good drama potential for the development of characters and their interaction.

The award of digital transfer of archive material by Aylon Production Digital is bestowed to:

Direction Luca Lancise, Production Simone Catania, Michele Fornasero, Indyca, Italy

“It’s a story about an Italian who becomes a national idol in Argentina. We follow him through his teenage years until he becomes rebellious from his very conservative family in Italy but also form a conservative society, and he turns himself into a punk musician. We wish you congratulations and we look forward to seeing the final film” mentions the jury.

The DAE (Documentary Association of Europe) Award which will offer four consultations and a free membership is granted to:

ΒARK OF A STARVING DOG (working title)
Direction Ketevani Kapanadze, Production Ana Tsimintia, This Street Hurts Me, Georgia.

“Founded February 2020, DAE is a new Pan-European Association for documentary professionals to strengthen the industry, unite the community and create sustainable support for the genre. We are lucky enough to present the DAE Mentoring Pitch Award at this year’s Pitching Forum. It’s a free DAE membership for one project, director and producer valued at 200 euros for one year as well as four tailored mentoring sessions with DAE members. This prize is a Talent Development Encouragement Award” said Selin Murat. “We loved this project, we really believe in its team and the talent behind this incredible story and we can’t wait to have the tailored sessions with you over the year and to welcome you as members of DAE” she added.

Watch the announcement of the Thessaloniki Pitching Forum awards:


Docs in Progress awards

The international Agora Docs in Progress jury consists of:

Anja Dziersk, Rise and Shine World Sales, Germany

Giona Nazzaro, Venice International Film Critics’ Week & Visions du Réel, Italy

Vicky Miha, asterisk*, Greece

The jury after watching the selected projects in the online platform Cinando decided upon the awards.

The Two Thirty Five post-production award and Visions du Réel award goes to:

Direction - Production Jude Chehab, Development Production Rita Baghdadi, Chehab Films, USA, Lebanon

“God moves in mysterious ways and so do women. The project the jury decided unanimously to award, is a voyage into a world of mysticism, beauty and pain that challenges all our pre conceived notions”, said Giona Nazzaro.

The music and sound services Award by MuSou Music Group, which was announced by Vicky Miha, is bestowed to:

Direction Sean Wang, Production Jia Zhao - Muyi Film, Co-production Zijian Wang - Black Fin, Valérie Montmartin - Little Big Story, Rea Apostolides, Yuri Averof - Anemon Productions, The Netherlands, China, France, Greece

The Greek Film Centre Award is bestowing a cash prize of 3,000 euros to a documentary in Docs in Progress. The award is decided by the jury of the Agora Docs in Progress and goes to:

Direction Gonzalo Recio, Co-direction Héctor Domínguez-Viguera, Carlos Mora, Production Andrés Díaz, Zerkalo Films, Spain

The Neaniko Plano subtitling Award, which was announced by Anja Dziersk, is bestowed to:

DISPLACED IN HEAVEN (working title)
Direction - Production Khaled Jarrar, Jenin Films, Co-production Thomas Kaske, Kaske Film, Palestine, Germany, Qatar

“We think in this crucial moment of our collective history this is an important document that should be shown all over the world, we hope the subtitles will help in that matter” said the jury.

Watch the announcement of the Docs in Progress awards:


Notes: Press Release - Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF) - Thursday 12 March 2020