Thessaloniki’s Meet the Future Spotlights Emerging Serbian Talents

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Amid the celebrations and retrospectives when the Thessaloniki Film Festival hosted its 60th edition in 2019, the organizers unveiled a new program, Meet the Future, designed to look ahead to the next generation of emerging film talents set to make waves in the host nation, the region, and beyond.

For its first edition, Meet the Future showcased 15 promising young Greek directors who are developing their first feature films; a year later, the program trained its lens on up-and-coming Greek talents behind the camera. This year, at the 23rd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, the spotlight falls on up-and-coming documentary filmmakers from Serbia, with five projects currently in post-production being presented to industry guests.

Yianna Sarri, the head of Thessaloniki’s industry arm, Agora, says that it’s the culmination of a growing trend she’s witnessed in the Balkan nation. “In recent years, especially documentary, Serbia has had many talents to show, and on many different topics,” she says.

Some of those talents have passed through Thessaloniki en route to wider recognition. Three years ago, Marta Popivoda’s “Landscapes of Resistance,” which traces the life of one of the first female partisan fighters in the former Yugoslavia, appeared in Thessaloniki’s works-in-progress section, where it took home an award. This year the film premiered at IDFA and will screen in Thessaloniki as part of the Film Forward International Competition.

“It’s a project that we watched from the beginning,” says Sarri. “From that point on, we realized that in Serbia there are many very talented, young documentary filmmakers that are now creating very good documentaries, and we really wanted to put them on the stage.”

Here are the five filmmakers and projects selected for this year’s Meet the Future program: