For the second edition of the Global Short Docs Forum, 16 short doc filmmakers, 7 digital platforms and a whole host of industry experts gathered at Docudays UA in Kyiv, Ukraine. The 4-day workshop was an incredible whirlwind of masterclasses, storytelling, collaborating, mentoring and pitching.

From heartfelt debates on their favourite short docs, to an intense day of energetic pitch meetings, it has been so inspiring to meet such a talented and passionate group of short doc filmmakers.

I learned so much. It’s the first time I have ever made a pitch to any platform whatsoever, and it’s been such a good experience to be able to talk about my film to prospective commissioners, to funders, and people interested in genuine human stories. – Damilola Onafuwa, Filmmaker (Nigeria)

Keep scrolling or click on a day below to read more about the events, workshops and panel discussions from throughout the Forum.

DAY ONE

Tuesday 26 March, 2019

WHAT IS A SHORT?
with Flora Gregory

This session was an opportunity to discuss why the filmmakers wanted to be at the Global Short Doc Forum, and what they hoped to achieve from the week. Flora also touched on important topics such as: ‘What demographic and technological changes have happened in the last decade?’ ‘How do we watch films and documentaries, and specifically short docs?’ and ‘What do we think is going to happen in the future?’

With over 30 years’ experience in broadcasting and many awards under her belt, Flora is always on a mission to uncover and mentor new talent, and to bring stories made by local filmmakers around the world to an international audience. She conceived and ran Channel 4’s long running Unreported World, and was the founding commissioning editor of Witness, Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand which transmitted to 280 million homes worldwide.

I got to sit during the breakfast with a filmmaker from Colombia and a filmmaker from Nigeria, and from Georgia, and Germany, at one table, talking about films, talking about culture. It’s very interesting, and unique. – Denys Lukoshkin, Filmmaker (Ukraine)

MASTERCLASS: TIME AND RHYTHM IN SHORTS
with Qutaiba Barhamji

Qutaiba showed us how to build a structure, and how editing can transform footage and create emotions – an important initial reaction. He highlighted that a good trailer is a key tool in getting interest in your film, and perhaps a commission!

Qutaiba is an award-winning film editor and director based in Paris. He has edited films in 12 different languages, full length documentaries as well as fiction films. His works are traveling around the globe at festivals like Venice, Berlin, IDFA, Rotterdam, Paris, Nyon, and many others.

GROUP WORK

Throughout the Forum, there was plenty of group work, with each filmmaker taking it in turns to pitch their project to different combinations of fellow filmmakers and mentors. Filmmakers received feedback on each presentation, improving their pitch for the next round.

It’s an amazing thing to have this new network of colleagues all across the world who are making such incredible and fascinating work. I’ve seen some beautiful films here, and some incredible stories and some great storytelling. The filmmakers are such a diverse and interesting group, and it feels like we’re all friends even though we’ve only known each other five days. – Isobel Cockerell, Filmmaker (UK)

DAY TWO

Wednesday 27 March, 2019

SHORT DOCS CASE STUDIES
with Flora Gregory

This session with Flora was an opportunity to share and discuss our favourite short documentaries: How do we watch them? Why do we like them? How can other people access them? How were they funded? What can we learn from them?

MASTERCLASS: FORMING THE STORY
with Dominique Young

Dominique focused on the importance of writing and clarifying a story to oneself as a filmmaker, while at the same time conveying a story pitch to a commissioning editor. She was also one of the GSDF mentors, allowing her to continue to help individual filmmakers throughout the Forum.

Dominique Young is an Executive Producer in international documentary and factual programming. For many years she was also Senior Commissioning Producer for the Witness observational documentary strand on Al Jazeera English.

Quite often emerging documentary makers work alone. They have no one to bounce their ideas off. The people at this venue are the first audience for your idea and what you’ve filmed so far, and how you’ve described it. It’s such a useful opportunity to start practising your pitches for the future because if the people here get your idea, then you’re on the right lines.
– Dominique Young, GSDF Mentor

CASE STUDY: PLATFORM-DOC & FESTIVAL-DOC
with director Alisa Kovalenko & producer Stéphane Siohan, moderated by Daniel Abma

Home Match and Home Games: Two films from the same story, each produced with a different target in mind. By discussing and comparing the films with their makers, we were able to discover the differences and similarities between the world of the online-doc, and the world of the festival-doc. Why did they make two versions? What were the do’s and don’t’s in this process?

DAY THREE

Thursday 28 March, 2019

OVERVIEW OF DIGITAL PLATFORMS
with Flora Gregory

In advance of the final day of pitching, Flora ran through each of the digital platform representatives who would be joining us the following day. In this useful session, information and experiences were shared, allowing the filmmakers to build a clear picture of the platform reps, their platforms and what they would be looking for.

MASTERCLASS: BUDGETING FOR YOUR DOCUMENTARY
with Jean Garner

In this masterclass, Jean Garner took a deeper look at the role a budget plays in production. Not only outlining how much money will need to be spent, but also how to calculate the real costs of producing a film. The filmmakers were able to go though their existing budgets for the GSDF projects, as well as gain a better understanding of how to effectively create a budget for any future project.

Jean has worked with documentary filmmakers for the past 15 years. She has previously worked for ABC News’, Nightline and Al Jazeera’s, Witness. Today, she works with journalists and filmmakers for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, whose work is based in some of the most difficult regions for free expression; including Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia and Iran.

One of the things that distinguishes this forum is that it’s speaking to a sector of the documentary realm that has been neglected and overlooked, and in some ways disregarded. Now, in part because of audience response, in part because the media world itself is exploding in terms of platforms, short-form documentary is finding its home and it’s finding the respect that it has long been deserved. – Jean Garner, Senior Exec Producer

MASTERCLASS: BUILDING AN AUDIENCE
with Rich Evans

This session guided filmmakers on how to set themselves up for success on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook’s Rich Evans explained how to use these platforms to reach and grow audiences, along with best practices for building a community and publishing content.

DAY FOUR

Friday 29 March, 2019

ONE TO ONE PITCH MEETINGS

Global Short Docs Forum 2019 had representatives attending from 7 platforms: AJECurrent TimeThe GuardianHromadskeLUSHVice and Zaborona.

I have been absolutely blown away by all the incredible ideas, by the passion, by the enthusiasm, by the level of detail and care and attention that’s been put into each of these projects. It’s been very exciting to see all of this young talent out there that’s waiting to share their stories with the world. – Erica Edwards, LUSH

On the final pitching day, 16 filmmakers and 8 platform representatives met for a series of one-to-one meetings, where the filmmakers had the opportunity to meet the commissioners and present their films.

After 4 days of intense practice, training and support, the filmmakers were well prepared for the meetings, armed with the skills and confidence to present their projects in the best possible light. The one-to-one nature of the meetings allowed the filmmakers to go into as much detail as needed, for the platforms to explain how they work and what they need, and for both sides to establish a personal connection that goes beyond the project being pitched.

A special mention for Taisiia Kutuzova and Yurii Yudin who were recipients of awards from the British Council, in partnership with media organisations Zaborona and Hromadske, for their film projects.

I think it’s really important what One World Media are doing here today by bringing together young filmmakers from a whole mix of different backgrounds, and bringing them face to face with commissioners from a whole mixture of different platforms. I think we constantly have to challenge the way in which we’re commissioning content on platforms that have global audiences and global impact. Laurence Topham, Guardian

Clothilde Redfern

Clothilde is the Director of One World Media. She is responsible for the growth and success of One World Media’s programmes including its production fund and industry events. She strives to support media which highlights our common humanity, breaks down prejudice and enables new voices to be heard.

Clothilde started her career in France working for the International Herald Tribune in Paris, she moved to London in 2005 and joined the Media Trust’s production team making documentaries for the Community Channel. She then spent three years as a documentary programmer for Birds Eye View Film Festival, which exclusively showcased films made by women. Prior to joining One World Media she spent 4 years at Channel 4 where she worked in the Documentaries department and Film 4.

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Flora Gregory

With over 30 years’ experience in broadcasting and many awards under her belt, Flora is always on a mission to uncover and mentor new talent, and to bring stories made by local filmmakers around the world to an international audience.

She conceived and ran Channel 4’s long running Unreported World, and was the founding commissioning editor of Witness, Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand which transmitted to 280 million homes worldwide. While at Witness she commissioned, co-produced and acquired hour and half hour films, and launched Viewfinder for new filmmakers. Since leaving, she has run workshops for BBC Media Action with Libyan filmmakers, and acted as a mentor for IDFA Academy, East Doc platform, EsoDoc, Docs in Thessaloniki (with the EDN) and Medimed in Sitges. She is also a mentor for One World Media’s Production Fund.

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Lisya Yafet

Lisya has worked with One World Media in various capacities since 2013. She is currently responsible for producing the first edition of Global Short Docs Forum, and managing One World Media projects for nurturing new talent, including the Production Fund and international reporting workshops. 

Lisya is a freelance producer, working on film and event production. She has worked with Open City Documentary Festival, Quadrangle Film Festival and DocumentarIst Istanbul Documentary Days as a programmer and coordinator, producing regular screenings, panel discussions and development workshops. She produces films and videos with Superplex Pictures, Loft Films and Hiten Media, and runs practical filmmaking workshops at Arcola Theatre.

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Jennifer Igiri

Jennifer joined One World Media in 2017 as a Creative Access trainee Comms Officer. She is now responsible for all digital communications, including website maintenance and social media content. Jennifer has a BA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Middlesex University. She is interested in the stories that don’t get told, the reasons why, and the media’s role in how things are perceived. She is an avid script writer and poet and she will be starting an MA in Screenwriting at the LCC in Fall 2018.

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