The Forest by Lidia Duda is going to have its world premiere, but the program of the event will also include We Are Perfect by Marek Kozakiewicz, In the Rearview by Maciek Hamela, and Magic Mountain by Mariam Chachia and Nika Voigta.

The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival was established in 1991. This international event is dedicated to documentary film. The organisers have focused solely on presenting and promoting the most important international documentary productions. Debates and presentations on the future of the industry and new technologies are equally important to them. The industry section is an integral part of the event. The festival is held under the patronage of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

Invited to the festival, We Are Perfect by Marek Kozakiewicz tells the story of LGBTQ+ adolescents in Poland who are auditioning for the role of a trans boy in Netflix's feature Fanfic. The participants do now know one another, but they face the same problems every day: living in a world that goes out of its way to make them feel unwelcome. It's a cinematic mosaic that transports us into their reality and lets us see what life in Poland is like for them. Will they find their place in a world that forces them to define themselves as the perfect man or woman at every step? How will they cope with the sense of going against the expectations of the society and their parents?

In turn, Maciek Hamela's In the Rearview captures the beggining of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Suspended in time and space, facing an uncertain here and now, a group of people decides to abandon what's most precious to them and without hesitation get into a dusty van on foreign plates. The car covers thousands of kilometres, serving various functions: a waiting room, a hospital, a shelter, and above all, a space for confessions and admissions, which the fellow travellers start to share naturally. In The Rearview is a collective portrait composed of the experiences of people who have one goal: to find a safe haven. In the van, their temporary asylum, differences of gender, age, skin colour, physical ability, origin, identity, views, or beliefs fade away altogether. In the Ukrainian and Polish titles (Zvidky kudy, Skąd dokąd), “where from” (звідки / zvidky) and “where to” (куди / kudy) are also routine questions asked when passing through numerous checkpoints scattered all across Ukraine.

The Polish-Georgian Magic Mountain by Mariam Chachia and Nika Voigta takes viewers high into the mountains to the majestic residence of the last member of the Romanov dynasty. The building, now on the brink of collapse, is a far cry from its former glory; instead it functions as the Abastumani health resort that receives patients with infectious tuberculosis who are consigned to the margins of society.

In turn, the animated short There Are People in the Forest by Szymon Ruczyński follows a lonely limping man who is approached by a truck. Armed men jump out of it. They grab him and drive him back into the forest. The residents of a nearby village are the only witnesses. Since 2021 situations like this one have become part of everyday life on the Polish-Belarusian border. It's an animated documentary about the refugee crisis created by a resident of a border town.

The entire festival program can be found on its official website.