In 2020, TAF- Thessaloniki Animation Festival, was the first time the “Balkan Animation Forum” was introduced, the new platform for co-production, co-finance and networking for TAF. This innovation and energy of the festival production is addressed to original animation for feature and short films, series (including new audiovisual practices or VR) from the Balkans, which combine artistic ambition and audiovisual adequacy. The Balkan Animation Forum aims towards the elevation of the Greek and the Balkan scene and their networking, towards opportunity creation for up and coming artists and the aspiring production of their ideas, while also taking into consideration distribution and TV screenings. Important factor of the Forum's success is the panel, which consists of established professionals of the industry (producers, distributors, and investors), from all over the world.
The judges from the last two years, for example, were from Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, England, the United States of America, and Mexico. The Forum participants had the chance to present their projects and talk with the panel in the two day Pitching, which takes place during the festival. Through this process of presenting to producers, while also meeting new creators, the event aims in the creation of collaborations, in the progressive development and raise in domestic productions and the propulsion of them in the international agora. With those thoughts in mind, so much so in 2020 as in 2021, the Balkan Animation Forum, was met with great success, because through it collaborations, co-productions and other important excellences were managed for the project that took part in the Forum. Without a doubt, determinant to the 2021 success, was the cooperation with ΕΚΟΜΕ and Toon Boom, which awarded the winners with 4000€, thus contributing to the elevation of Balkan Animation Forum and bringing us a step closer to its prominence as a new add-on to the festival and a canal to the Greek and Balkan agora.