The Greek festival will offer 10 films as works in progress and there will be 250 international titles in Film Market.

Agora/Market, the industry section of the 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival is poised to play this year an even greater role than usual as the financial crisis affects countries in the Southern Europe.

Projects coming from the Balkans, Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean areas look towards such Agora/Market sections as Crossroads and Works in Progress to secure funding outside their national borders towards development, co-production and post-production.

Crossroads, the MEDIA programme-supported Co-Production Forum headed by Marie-Pierre Macia and coordinated by Angeliki Vergou, will present 17 feature projects in its seventh year (that’s two up from last year). All are produced or co-produced by a country in Southeastern and Central Europe or the Mediterranean area or containing plot elements linked to these regions.

The selected projects are:

  • Back to the Jungle, director: Wissam Charac, producer: Charlotte Vincent, Aurora Films France/Lebanon
  • Barbarians, director: Ivan Ikic, producer: Milan Stojanovic, Sense Productions, Serbia
  • Beirut Hold’Em, director: Michel Kammoun, producer: Georges Schoucair, About Production,  Lebanon
  • Colored Feathers, director: Mohammad Hushki, producer: Rula Nasser, The Imaginarium Films, Jordan
  • The Couch, director: Duccio Chiarini, producer: Fabrizio Mosca, Acaba Produzioni, Italy
  • Hole in the Wall, director: Hadar Morag, producer: Shuki Friedman, Shuki Friedman Productions, Israel
  • The House, director: Zoran Sudar, producer: Igor A. Nola, Mainframe Production, Croatia
  • Low Lives,director: Zeki Demirkubuz [pictured], producer: Gökçe Işıl Tuna, Motiva Film, Turkey
  • The Miner,director: Hanna Slak, producer: Dunja Klemenc, Studio Maj, Slovenia/Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Radiogram, director: Rouzie Hassanova, producer: Ralitsa Veleva, Hassanova Films, Bulgaria
  • Righteous Path, director: Okacha Touita, producer: Yacine Laloui , Laith Media, Algeria
  • Sea Burners, director: Melissa Önel, director: producer: Nadir Öperli,  Bulut Film, Turkey
  • September, director/producer: Penny Panayotopoulou, P.P Productions, co-production: Thanassis Karathanos, Twenty Twenty Vision, Greece/Germany
  • Silence s’il vous plait, director: Thodoris Papadoulakis, producer: Ioanna Davi, Indigo View Productions, Greece
  • A Slight Concern, director: Cyril de Gasperis, producer: Jean-Christophe Soulageon, Les Films Sauvages, France
  • Standing Aside, Watching, director: Yorgos Servetas, producers: Fenia Cossovitsa & Konstantinos Kontovrakis, Blonde Production, Greece
  • Virus, director: Angelos Frantzis, producer: Maria Tsigka, Argonauts Productions, Greece

They will vie for the attention of industry professionals including producers, distributors, broadcasters, sales agents and consultants gathered in Thessaloniki for the festival.  

Past success stories from Thessaloniki’s industry sections include Jasmila Zbanic’s Grbavica and Hanny Abu Asad’s Paradise Now, plus recent films including Bujar Alimani’s Albanian Oscar submission Amnesty and Greek festival hits Unfair World and Wasted Youth.

An international jury formed by Eurimages’ executive director Roberto Olla, French producer Guillaume de Seille and his Greek producer Yorgos Tsourgiannis will decide the awards offered by Crossroads partners and backers. The awards include those from France’s CNC (€7,000 for development funding), the Greek post production power house 235 (image and sound services), the Cannes Film Festival Producers Network (a free accreditation to the Cannes 2012 Producers Network), the March 2012 Sofia Meetings in Bulgaria, the Mediterranean Film Institute (MFI Script 2 Film) in Greece and the French consultancy agency Initiative Film.

Crossroads directors’ previous films will be available online at Festival Scope thanks to a deal struck between Thessaloniki and the industry online platform earlier this year.

Another 10 titles have been selected for the Work in Progress section (for films in post):

  • Beyond the Hill, director: Emin Alper, producers: Enis Kostepen, Seyfi Teoman, Bulut  Films, Turkey
  • The Boy is Eating the Bird’s Food, director: Ektoras Lygizos, producers: Ektoras Lygizos / George Karnavas, Stefi Productions, Greece
  • Chinatown-The Three Shelters, director: Aliki Danezi-Knutsen, producer: Anna Tsiarta, Roads and Oranges Film Productions, co-producer: Christoph Heckenbuecker, Cyprus
  • Dogs, Cats and Rats, director/producer: Andrianos Georgantas, co-producer: Yannis Exindaris, Guillaujme de Seille  A&G Productions, N.Orasis, Arizona Films, Greece, France
  • Out in the Dark, director; Michael Mayer, producer: Lihu Hoter, Cyns Rios Ltd, Israel
  • Private Universe, director: Helena Třeštíková, producer: Kateřina Černá, Pavel Strnad, Negativ Czech Republic, documentary
  • Rabbit Woman, director: Verónica Chen, producer: Luis Angel Ramirez, IMVAL Producciones, co-production Bambu Cine, Spain
  • Shanghai-Belleville, director: Show-Chun Lee, producer: Juliette Grandmont, Clandestine Films, France
  • When I Saw You, director: Annemarie Jacir, producer: Ossama Bawardi, Philistine Films, Jordan.
  • Zincograph, director: Emil Christov, producers: Vladislav Todorov, Bouriana Zakharieva, Peripeteia, Bulgaria.

Several of those films had participated in the Balkan Script Development Fund or Crossroads in the past.

A three-member international .jury will hand out to the wining film a complete post production package in kind offered by Kodak Cinelabs Greece and the local  digital intermedia (DI), special effects and production powerhouse Graal S.A. 

The jury is formed by Berlin Film Festival delegate Nikolaj Nikitin, Olimpia Pont Chafer from the Berlin/Paris based sales company Coproduction Office and Greek distributor Zinos Panagiotidis (Rosebud)

Also, Thessaloniki’s Film Market run by Yanna Sarri boasts this year a record number of 250+ international titles. For the first time, the Market will also offer market screenings of recent Greek films — including the likes of Alps, Amnesty, Wasted Youth, Burning Heads, Hannibal Ante Portas and Fish & Chips.

The festival runs Nov 4-13, with the Agora/Market running Nov 5-12, Crossroads Nov 8-12, and Works In Progress Nov 11.