Winners Announced for the ‘IEFTA Best Doc in Development Award’ at TIDF AGORA

Winners Announced for the ‘IEFTA Best Doc in Development Award’ at TIDF AGORA

We are delighted to announce that Director, Hana Elias and Producer, Asmahan Bkerat (Palestine) are the winners of the €10,000 prize for the IEFTA est Doc in Development Award at TIDF26 AGORA‘s “Thessaloniki Pitching Forum”  held at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival on 14 March 2024.

The inaugural award worth €10,000 is funded by the IEFTA Foundation which actively supports  documentary films throughout all production stages.

The film, directed by Hana Elias and produced by Asmahan Bkera, follows a Palestinian man’s return to his hometown to build a house for his family. As the family tends their land, they confront their estrangement from the country as Palestinian citizens of Israel.

If These Stones Could Talk


Synopsis: In his Palestinian hometown of Shefa’Amr, Nassib Elias and his family have tirelessly worked to restore a piece of familial land and build a home after living in the diaspora. In this deeply personal film, we uncover the nuanced relationships that tie the family to the land, as his daughter, filmmaker Hana, intimately captures the whole family’s search for belonging. By continuing to use agrarian practices that have existed for thousands of years and planting a diverse range of native plants, the garden is a testament to Palestinian steadfastness, otherwise known in Arabic as Sumud.


Hana Elias


Hana Elias is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. She is a Palestinian New Yorker, who grew up in Brooklyn, Sudan, Switzerland, and Fiji. Recently, she worked as an Associate Producer with Frontline. In 2018, she worked as an assistant editor on a feature documentary about feminist revolutions in the Middle East, and on an experimental feature about relationships. Hana has a masters from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is known for: Holding Fire, documentary short, 2019 Doc NYC | DC Shorts IFF | Arab Film Festival; The Search Party, fiction short, 2016 (co-director); The Rooftops of Jerusalem, documentary short, 2014 (camera, editor, producer); and Socially Relevant FF | Bristol Palestine FF


Asmahan Bkerat


Asmahan Bkerat is a Palestinian-Jordanian documentary filmmaker. She started her career as a photographer and social justice advocate. Bkerat’s first documentary short, ‘Badrya’ (2017), won the Jury Prize for Best MiniDoc at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. She is also known for ‘The Lost Desert’ (2017) and ‘Yaqin’ (2023), both documentary shorts.

About TIDF AGORA – March 08-16, 2024

Supported by Creative Europe-MEDIA, TIDF AGORA is the biggest annual event for documentary audiovisual works in Greece and the wider region. An international eight-day event, functions mainly as a bridge, connecting the documentary to the powerful medium of television, as well as the new digital distribution platforms. TIDF AGORA promotes and supports the documentary medium from the stage of development to the financing, completion and distribution of the film. We are constantly aiming at developing activities which can enhance documentary filmmaking and documentary distribution.

About Thessaloniki Pitching Forum – March 10-14, 2024

Thessaloniki Pitching Forum is the co-producing and co-financing platform of the TiDF for creative and TV documentaries, documentaries for children and new media documentaries (virtual and enhanced reality). The participants will have the opportunity to discuss their projects, to receive feedback and advice during a two-day lab and prepare for pitching with the help of documentary professionals. Then, they pitch their projects to a panel of industry professionals and have one-on-one meetings with financiers, international decision makers and representatives of the international audiovisual sector.