Docs

Sheffield Doc/Fest launches producer school, pitch competitions

The Sheffield Doc/Fest is launching a training initiative for aspiring feature documentary producers entitled Future Producer School, and will host a record number of pitch opportunities worth £200,000 (US$333,000).
March 10, 2014

UK festival Sheffield Doc/Fest is launching a training initiative for aspiring feature documentary producers entitled Future Producer School, and will this year host a record number of pitch opportunities worth £200,000 (US$333,000).

Future Producer School, an intensive three-day workshop, will take place in May and June and include 12 selected emerging producers. Participants will be invited to Doc/Fest for meetings with executive producers, directors and commissioners from around the world, and – following the festival – they will receive one-on-one mentoring from producer Rachel Wexler, who conceived the project.

The seven pitch opportunities include the inaugural BBC Fresh Pitch – Talent Search, in which six doc makers will pitch two- to 10-minute-long films on disability; returning competition Channel 4 First Cut Pitch, where five new directors will pitch three-minute docs for a chance to make an hour-long, post watershed doc for Channel 4; and the launch of Soundology Breakthrough Pitch, which will see five breakthrough filmmakers without industry experience pitch three- to five-minute docs.

Also receiving applicants is The New York Times Op-Docs Pitch, which offers five projects the chance to make a NYTimes.com short with a US$5,000 budget; and the Wellcome Trust Development Awards Pitch, where biomedical science-based ideas will be awarded grants to be developed into well-researched proposals.

The festival will also feature the Mini-MeetMarket, where 30 projects from new documentary filmmakers will be discussed and pitched in a round-table setting, and the Ramillas Sheffield Interactive Fund, in which five projects in the Crossover Market will be pitched at a public event.

“Doc/Fest is committed to closing the gap between emerging docmakers and the needs of an increasingly innovative industry,” said Doc/Fest deputy director Charlie Phillips in a statement. “To this end, we offer year-round training and workshops as well as individualized mentoring, and we’re thrilled to be adding into that mix the Future Producer School, led by Rachel Wexler.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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