The eight annual Thessaloniki Documentary Festival opened on Friday, and in addition to having the massive pleasure of spending time in northern Greece (I'd like to officially volunteer right now to be Cinematical's eyes on the ground at next year's event), festival attendees have the opportunity to see nearly 200 documentaries from all over the world. The films are organized into theme-based programs, including Stories to Tell, which consists of 16 films "exploring distinctive subjects"; Greek Panorama, made up of local projects (88 of the 180-odd films in the festivals are of Greek origin); and Views of the World which, with its focus on "social topics," bring together perhaps the most prestigious pool of the festival, including Into Great Silence (screening later this month in New York as part of the New Directors/New Films series) and Sundance award-winner Iraq In Fragments.

In addition to its myriad screenings, the festival offers a series of events aimed at filmmakers, the coolest of which is the three day workshop with Canadian documentarian Peter Wintonick. In addition, there is a forum on pitching (no, not the Roger Clemens kind), as well as a buyers market at which filmmakers will have the opportunity to secure distribution for their projects. The festival runs through next Sunday, if you've got some frequent flier miles you'd like to burn.