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Docs in Thessaloniki 2018

March 2 - 6, 2018. Thessaloniki, Greece.

Docs in Thessaloniki is your cost effective fast track to the European and international documentary market, combining on-site and online market opportunities. In Thessaloniki you will develop your project, network with colleagues and pitch to financiers in a relaxed and constructive atmosphere. The Docs in Thessaloniki Digital Extension makes the pitched projects more accessible to financiers than ever before. And through the specially designed outreach program you will have an opportunity to find new ways of audience engagements. The deadline for submitting projects was January 5, 2018.

Docs in Thessaloniki consists of a five-day program, where 21 selected documentary projects will be developed, re-written and pitched to a panel of international financiers. For a selected group of top-projects the new outreach programme will offer you an opportunity to develop your outreach strategy, optimise distribution plans and enhance audience engagement. 

The first three days are focusing on development

The participating project teams are working on their projects’ structure, style and focus of the content as well as the presentation and pitching techniques. This is done by working in small groups under guidance from international experts and through highly informative seminar sessions. At the end of the workshop each project is re-written and presented to the participating financiers in a 2-page presentation. The tutors of the workshop are:

  • Jesper Osmund, Editor, Denmark
  • Gitte Hansen, Deputy Director, First Hand Films, Switzerland
  • Brian Hill, Director, Century Films, UK
  • Paula Vaccaro, Producer, Pinball, UK
  • Christine Camdessus, Producer, Alegria, France 
  • Arash Riahi, Producer & Director, Golden Girls Filmproduction, Austria 

Present from EDN will be: 

  • Cecilie Bolvinkel, EDN Network and Partnerships Manager
  • Ove Rishøj Jensen, EDN Film and Media Consultant

The full list of tutors participating in the event will be announced here as soon as possible.

Docs in Thessaloniki concludes with two days of pitching

You will be pitching to
12-15 leading financiers & experts

During the pitching sessions all participants pitch their projects to a panel of international financiers from leading broadcasters. Pitchers have seven minutes to present their projects. The visual material in form of a trailer or promo has to be included in these seven minutes. After the pitch the panel has seven minutes to give feedback.

The pitching session is followed by scheduled individual meetings, where the pitching teams will meet with financiers and experts. The meetings are for in-depth discussions about further development and possible future collaboration.

The panel will consist of financiers from leading broadcasters and funders. In addition we will have a group of experts on distribution and rights. We expect to have 12-15 financiers and experts present for the Docs in Thessaloniki panel. So far the follow panelists have confirmed their participation: 

  • Jenny Westergard, YLE, Finland
  • Madeleine Avramousis, ARTE GEIE, France
  • Depi Vrettou, ERT, Greece
  • Jan Rofekamp, Films Transit, Canada
  • Beate Thalberg, ORF, Austria
  • Flemming Hedegaard, DR, Denmark
  • Krishan Arora, SBS, Australia
  • Kyveli Short, Moving Docs, Greece
  • Charlotte Madsen, SVT, Sweden 
  • Fiona Lawson-Baker, Al Jazeera English, Qatar
  • Natalia Arshavskaya, Current Time TV, Czech Republic
  • Floor Koomen, EO/IKONdocs, The Netherlands
  • Thierry Detaille, Visible Film, Belgium
  • Hanka Kastelicová, HBO Europe, Czech Republic
  • Barbara Biemann, NDR, Germany
  • Philippe van Meerbeeck, VRT, Belgium

The ERT Doc on Air Award

Upon the conclusion of Docs in Thessaloniki the project with the most promising international potential will be presented with The ERT Doc On Air Award, which consists of 3000 Euro and  broadcasting at the national Greek ERT TV. The award winner will be selected by the tutors of the Docs in Thessaloniki pre-pitch workshop.

Docs in Thessaloniki Digital Extension

In addition to the financiers present on-site for Docs in Thessaloniki the new digital extension of the pitching forum will make the 21 selected projects accessible to a wider group of financiers. 

Shortly after the on-site pitching forum on March 5 & 6 we will have the digital extension of the forum available. With detailed information about the projects, the pitch pilots and the recordings of the actual pitch in Thessaloniki, the digital extension provides world wide financing opportunities for the projects pitched at the forum.

  • Carina Bordewich, NRK, Norway
  • Nikki Heyman, POV, USA
  • Stefan Kloos, Rise & Shine World Sales, Germany  
  • Charlie Phillips, The Guardian, UK
  • Kathrin Brinkmann, ZDF/ARTE, Germany
  • Mark Edwards, ARTE France, France
  • Heidi Fleisher, France 2, France

Master Class with Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

As part of the Docs in Thessaloniki program, EDN is presenting a master class with Ben Johnson entitled:


Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 17:30 – 19:30 at the Pavlos Zannas Theater, 5th floor of Olympion Cinema.  

How do you reach and build audiences in the early stages of a film production? The answer lies in aligning your marketing early on, and thinking about the wider scope of the life cycle of your production. Successful producers think further down the line of simply raising production budgets and making their films. Ben Johnson, CEO at Gruvi provides valuable insights that can help you with your digital film marketing. In a connected world of new media and distribution, traditional marketing strategies focused around the week of release for any film promotion are no longer relevant or effective. Audience behaviours are evolving. In order for your film to stand out of the crowd and to attract new audiences you need to be thinking about a new set of tools and methodologies to reach them.

With over 10 years of Digital marketing experience the presentation will focus on:

  • Highlighting what’s wrong with the traditional industry thinking & the myth of the opening weekend
  • Understanding the films value chain and how early stage marketing practices can help in negotiation, money raising as well as ticket sales
  • Reviewing the targeting, marketing options and technologies that are available to help make the right decisions along the value chain
  • Providing an understanding of how important the creative choices are in the development of the film’s actual promotional materials at the time of launch
  • Reaching targeted audiences online and converting them into watching your film whether that be theatrically or online.

All this work will be based on the case studies and work from Gruvi’s free e-book Winning your Audiences: Marketing Movies in the Connected World that includes many case studies from European independent releases.

Projects selected for Docs in Thessaloniki 2018

The following projects have been selected to take part in Docs in Thessaloniki 2018:

A Violent Past | Director: / | Producer: Alex Tieleman | Co-Director: Marjolein van de Water | The Netherlands
ALL-IN | Director: Volkan Üce | Producer: Emmy Oost | Cassette for timescapes | Belgium
Antoine the Fortunate | Director: Nefin Dinç | Producer: Ömer Atay | Atlantik Film | Turkey
Blazing the Trail | Director: Ariadna Relea | Executive Producers: Luis Collar & Senay Ozdemir | Nephilim Producciones/ House of Red & White | Spain/The Netherlands
Debouttes | Director: Maxime Faure | Producer: Estelle Robin-You | Les Films du balibari | France
Eyewitnesses | Directors: Ditteke Mensink & Dirk Boelhouwer | Producer: Martijn Winkler | VERTOV | The Netherlands
Franci Goes to Hollywood | Director: Lorand Balazs Imre | Producers: Laszlo Jozsa, Franciska Farkas & Lorand Balazs Imre | SpeakEasy Project | Hungary
Holy Father | Director: Andrei Dăscălescu | Producer: Anamaria Antoci | Tangaj Production | Romania
Into the Bank | Directors: Eva Hillström & Oscar Hedin | Producers: Oscar Hedin & Åse Fougner | Film and Tell | Sweden
MEL | Directors: Inna Sahakyan & Paul Cohen | Producer: Vardan Hovhanisyan | Bars Media | Armenia
My Father's Daughter | Director: Lea Podhradska | Producer: Balázs Lévai | Színfolt Film | Hungary
People, Gods and Other Creatures | Director: Sveta Strelnikowa | Producers: Frank Müller | Viktoria Lupik & Vicky Miha | Germany/Russia/Greece
The Pasha, My Mum and I | Director: Nevine Gerits | Producers: Bram Crols & Nina Landau | Associate Directors | Belgium
Riders of Destiny | Director: Michael Niermann | Producer: Ansgar Pohle | 7T1 Media | Germany
Salam’s Odyssey | Director: Jonas Bruun | Producer: Malene Flindt Pedersen | Hansen & Pedersen Film and Television | Denmark
Society must be Defended | Director: Antonino D'Ambrosio | Producer: François Le Gall | a_BAHN | France
Bottlemen | Director: / | Producer: Nemanja Vojinović | Rt dobre Nade | Serbia
The Pipe | Director: Marko Kumer | Producers: Katja Lenarčič & Marko Kumer | EnaBanda | Slovenia
The Unbearable Lightness of the Golden Age | Director: Ana Lungu | Producer: Anca Puiu | MANDRAGORA | Romania
The World According to Amazon | Director: Jean-Baptiste Malet | Co-Director: Adrien Pinon | Producer: Valérie Montmartin | Little Big Story | France
Women of the Sun | Director: Nuray Sahin | Producers: Alex Tondowski & Ira Tondowski | Tondowski Films | Germany

Download the Docs in Thessaloniki flyer


Outreach workshop

Top projects take part in the outreach workshop

In connection with the 2018 edition of Docs in Thessaloniki EDN is offering a dedicated outreach workshop, which is tied to this pitching forum as well as Lisbon Docs. The format will create a synergy between the two events, by selecting the top projects from each forum and bring them together in this post-event session taking place as an online workshop.

Focus for the session will be how the selected project teams can handle the increased need to combine new financing methods and alternative distribution methods with more traditional public funding sources. During the workshop the selected teams will strengthen the understanding of audience building and outreach for their projects in development. Through the online workshop the participants will:

  • ·    Learn about tools for audience engagement
  • ·    Sharpen their distribution strategy
  • ·    Get individual feedback from outreach experts
  • ·    Enhanced promotion and distribution possibilities.

The participants will benefit from these added values without adding extra travel costs and expenses for the production teams, as the seminar will take place online. The workshop is scheduled as a three-day event in early December 2018.

Succesful projects

Projects previously pitched at Docs in Thessaloniki include:

Debut | Directed by Anastasia Miroshnichenko. Produced by Viktar Labkovich, PervajaKinoVideo Company, Belarus | Selected for IDFA First Appearance, 2017. Pitched at Docs in Thessaloniki 2016.

Hobby Horse Revolution | Directed by Selma Vilbunen. Produced by Elli Toivoniemi & Venla Hellstedt, Tuffi Films, Finland | Selected for HotDocs, Visions du reel, DOKLeipzig and many other festivals in 2017. Pitched at Docs in Thessaloniki 2015 as Hobby Horse Sisters.

The Other Side of the Wall | Directed by Pau Ortiz. Produced by María Nova López, Intactes, Spain and Emiliano Altuna, Tatiana García and Carlos Rossini, Bambú Audiovisual, Mexico | Winner of Best International Feature Documentary Award at HotDocs 2017. Pitched at Docs in Thessaloniki 2015 as Outside of Prison.

Ultra | Directed by Balazs Simonyi. Produced by Lászlo Józsa and Balazs Simonyi, Speak Easy Project, Hungary. Co-produced by HBO Europe | Selected for Visions du reel, Sarajevo Film Festival and many more in 2017. Pitched at Docs in Thessaloniki 2015


If you want to have an impression of previous editions of Docs in Thessaloniki we have gathered a selection of photos at our .

Participating as an observer

We are also accepting applications from participants without a project who can take part as observers.

If you currently do not have an international project in development but want to know more about making documentary projects for the international market, gain a network of international colleagues and meet leading international financiers you can of course still take part in Docs in Thessaloniki. Simply apply as a participant without a project. You will take part in all seminars and all sessions on equal terms with the selected project teams.

To apply for as a participant without a project, please send your C.V. and a short motivation for your participation to . You can apply up until the start of the workshop, but as seats are limited, early applications are preferred. 

Participation fee

Please note that there is no fee for submitting your project to Docs in Thessaloniki. 

If your project is selected or if you want to participate without a project, the price for being part of Docs in Thessaloniki is:

  •   - 350 Euro for the first person connected to a project
  •   - 250 Euro for second or third person connected to a project
  •   - 250 Euro for observers

EDN members receive a EUR 100 discount for the first person connected to a project and 50 Euro for the second and third person of the project team (if attending with more than one person)

Besides the whole five-day pitching workshop and forum the participation fee includes all lunches and coffee breaks, dinner on the first evening and a festival pass for the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

EDN Contact Person

Ove Rishøj Jensen



Docs in Thessaloniki is organized by EDN in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival-Images of the 21st Century.






Docs in Thessaloniki is supported by the EU program Creative Europe.