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FESTIVALS Greece

Thessaloniki showcases impressive Docs in Progress selection

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- Friday’s screening session saw nine films vying for funding and pre-sales attention, and the Doc Market’s post-production services award

Thessaloniki showcases impressive Docs in Progress selection
Marco Gastine is present at the Doc Market with his Docville

The newest addition to the Thessaloniki Doc Market, the Docs in Progress section, provides Central European, Balkan and Mediterranean documentary directors and producers with the opportunity to present work at various stages of production, in order to attract attention from buyers, co-producers, festival representatives and sales agents from around the world. 

This year’s tight selection of nine projects includes three local titles and one Greco-Italian co-production, while Germany, Israel, France, Bulgaria and Cyprus have one entry each.

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Marco Gastine’s Docville, a cinéma-vérité documentary series focusing on common Greeks in uncommon settings, is indicative of the state of affairs that the majority of Greek documentarians are faced with: the director/producer was in the process of filming the series’ follow-up to a successful first season for former local state broadcaster ERT, when the network’s sudden shut-down left Gastine’s project in limbo. 

Former ERT producer Dimitris Vernikos has found himself in a similar situation with his Eni Got Her Gun. Currently seeking to have its funding rounded off, the documentary directed by Polly Vlahou follows the story of a woman living in a small village in the mountains, who has chosen to lead her life not only dressing but also behaving like a man. 

Having partnered with MEDIA and the Goethe Institut, Andreas Apostolidis seems in a slightly better place with his War and Peace in the Balkans, an impressively ambitious effort to outline the after-effects of World War One on Eastern Europe, where the conflict heralded the demise of many multiethnic empires, giving way to the rise of a nationalistic mentality in the process.

Co-produced by acclaimed director Athina Rachel Tsangari, Marina Gioti’s The Invisible Hands is joined by Constantinos PatsalidesBeloved Days (Cyprus), Michele Dominici’s Sad People Factory (France), Boris Missirkov’s Revelation Point (Bulgaria) and Rachel Rusinek’s Blend (Israel) in the race to the section’s post-production award offered by Authorwave, while Olli Waldhauer and Farid Eslam’s Istanbul United tops off the group as an out-of-competition entry.

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