Photo from Creative Europe Doc Day

Catch up on Creative Europe Doc Day

Over 130 documentary professionals joined us at the BFI Southbank for Creative Europe Doc Day, our event featuring panel discussions with key figures working in documentary across Europe and internationally.

Paul Pauwels, director of the European Documentary Network (EDN), was the first speaker to the lectern and outlined how their network has created an international community, bringing 1,000 documentary filmmakers together over the last 20 years.

Pauwels also spoke about how EDN can help emerging documentary directors and producers to network at key events such as Meet the Docs at the Berlinale’s Creative Europe-funded European Film Market and the Docs Corners in Cannes. He emphasised the importance of producer-to-producer relationships as “the key to success and to finding a more international audience”.

Chaired by Flore Cosquer from the Scottish Documentary Institute, our first panel discussion focused on the opportunities available through the three Creative Europe-supported training programmes: Documentary CampusDOK.Incubator and European Social Documentary (ESoDoc).

Panelists discussed the practical benefits of their courses, as well as how much participants gain from being with like-minded peers with a shared passion. Some high-profile documentaries have triumphed thanks to the advice and support gained on their courses. Documentary feature How to Change the World came though Documentary Campus and went on to secure Creative Europe Slate development funding, for example.

Following an information session about the funding and opportunities on offer from Creative Europe and a networking lunch, the conversation turned to how to find the right financiers. Brigid O’Shea, DOK Leipzig, advised the audience to look at the market guest list from the previous year before spending money on a ticket. Anna Parker, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Irem Couchouron, Sunny Side of the Doc, talked about the format of their international markets and revealed how to access discounts. 

The final panel featured festival specialists from DoclisboaInternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. Will Massa from the British Council Film Team chaired their conversation about how to choose the right location or festival to show your film. Joost Daamen from IDFA stressed the importance of having a strategy for your film’s première as well as an audience strategy for each continent.

The conversation continued to flow during one-to-one and group sessions to round off the day.

Couldn’t make it? Catch up online...

If you missed the event, you can catch up with filmed recordings of all sessions on our YouTube page.

Photo: Linda Nyland