Move comes as Balkan Fund strand will end.

The next Thessaloniki film festival (December 4-13) will see a boost in its industry Agora Market section with new developments and expansions spearheaded by festival topper Dimitri Eipides.

The five-year-old Crossroads Co-production Forum is opening up to new countries. Taking a significant step towards Central Europe, Crossroads will now include co-production projects from the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Poland and Hungary.

Crossroads, steered by French producer Marie-Pierre Macia, had been catering only to projects coming from South-Eastern Europe including the Balkans and from the Mediterranean region’s European, North African and Middle Eastern countries.

The award for the winning project is backed by a €10,000 purse and its producer is entitled to a free accreditation at the following Cannes Producers Network.

Crossroads is expanding as the festival has decided to end the Balkan Fund strand catering to projects at script development stage coming from the Balkan countries. Past projects nurtured by the Balkan Fund include Grbavica, Snow, Man at Sea and Loverboy.

The festival, also in consultation with regular industry attendees, has recognised that the industry wants more emphasis on co-production activities, as well as marketing and innovative distribution information.

In addition to Crossroads, the Agora Market also includes Works in Progress, with previews of the newest projects from the region, and the Film Market, the fully digital offerig of films in the festival programme as well as selected other titles.