Thessaloniki Documentary Festival reveals its line-up
by Joseph Proimakis
- Boasting over 200 films and a new competitive section, the go-to doc gathering of the Balkans is ready for its first edition under new management
With over 200 films spread over its nine sections (including three newly minted ones), and on the cusp of inaugurating its first International Competition programme, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF), the go-to doc gathering of the Balkans, is ready for its 19th edition (2-13 March), its first under the new management of Elise Jalladeau as its director and Orestis Andreadakis as its artistic director.
With Dimitri Kerkinos as its chief programmer, the TDF will kick off this year’s edition with Paul Dugdale’s The Rolling Stones – Ole! Ole! Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America, following the legendary rock band during its 2016 tour across the titular continent, which culminated in the band’s first ever gig in Cuba.
This year sees the inauguration of the International Competition, which will bestow its first ever Golden Alexander Award for best of show (accompanied by a €5,000 monetary prize), along with a Special Jury Prize (worth €2,000), upon two of the festival’s 12 debut or sophomore feature-length docs vying for the trophy, three of which are of local descent.
Featuring one world premiere (Nada Mezni Hafaiedh’s Tunisian film Upon the Shadow) and four European unveilings, the TDF will spread out its wealth of movies across some older sections such as Habitat (focusing on environmental issues), Human Rights and Music, while also inaugurating three new ones: Cinema will focus on docs tackling iconic moments, stories or personalities of film, Film Forward will round up experimental visions, and Food vs Food will have viewers’ salivary glands working overtime with its culinary subject matter.
Providing the TDF with its industry heartbeat, the gathering’s Agora will again welcome over 100 film professionals from around the world (with almost 80 buyers in attendance), and is always on the lookout for the latest developments on the documentary circuit. Docs in Progress will present a hand-picked selection of films at various stages of production looking for sales agents, festival representatives, distributors or producers, Market Talks will provide an inspiring platform for networking and innovation, while the European Documentary Network will once again hold its annual pitching forum, and will also invite Canadian producer and editorial and visual researcher Elizabeth Klinck to present a master class focusing on footage research and intellectual rights.