The Masterschool - Frequently Asked Questions
When can I apply for the Masterschool?
• Applications for the Masterschool 2021 programme are open until 15 November2020.
The project I apply with - how far developed can/should it be?
• The applicant should submit project ideas which are well researched and come with a teaser or raw material. The project has to be suitable for international development. It is important that the projects have a strong storyline that does appeal to a broad international audience.
• The applicant should not submit an idea that needs to go into production before the Pitch, which takes place after 5 months of development.
• Projects that have already been pitched internationally are ineligible.
• The applicant has to hold the author’s rights for the submitted project(s).
• The applicant has to be able to give evidence of access to key characters or institutions.
How can I prove the evidence of access to key characters or institutions?
• You can include this information as a written statement in your treatment (letter of commitment) and/or this can be part of the visual material in your teaser. Releases of main protagonists MUST be signed by the second session.
When I apply as an author or director, is it necessary or recommendable to have a producer committed to the project?
• Generally, it is not necessary that the applicant has a producer at his/her side for the project to get selected. Documentary Campus will provide support to find a suitable producer. But it is helpful if the project is supported by a fund/ foundation or commissioning editor. A respective letter of support is appreciated.
• If the applicant is less experienced, it is recommended to apply with an experienced producer at his or her side. Furthermore, in this case a letter of support from a fund/foundation or commissioning editor is appreciated.
What kind of letter of support do I need to include with my application?
• We ask you to submit a non-financial letter of support from either a commissioner, funder, experienced production house or experienced distributor.
• An experienced production company is a successful operating company which fulfills at least one of the following criteria: 5-10 productions per year; producing for various clients and/or genres; international contacts; experienced in int. co-production and national funds.
• An experienced distributor is one that enjoys a good reputation, has an international network, sells to key territories (Western Europe, North America, Canada), offers co-financing possibilities and presales or gap-financing (minimum guarantee).
• Commissioners, Funders, Producers or Distributors may contact us for any queries.
How many projects am I supposed to submit?
• The applicant can apply with one or with two projects.
Can I apply with a team partner?
• Yes. If you do so, please state this in the application process. The 4 Masterschool workshops can be attended with a team partner, but you should have clearly defined separate roles – i.e.: director and producer or director and writer – and you should clearly state who is doing what.
• If you apply with 2 projects, you can apply with a different team partner for each project - if applicable.
Who is going to select the projects for the new Masterschool year?
• The 15 participants of the Masterschool will be selected by a selection committee composed of renowned commissioning editors from European broadcasters and production houses. They then also have to be confirmed by the funding bodies of Documentary Campus.
• In recent years, the members have come from ARD, ARTE, BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, France Television, Netflix, Spiegel TV, SVT and production houses such as Cineflix, Submarine and Terra Mater.
When and how do I get information about the results of the selection?
• 15 projects will be selected by an international committee of industry leaders by end of 2020. Short-listed project teams will be interviewed via Skype latest in January 2021. After the selection has taken place, the projects need to be confirmed by our funding bodies. After that the selected project teams will be officially invited to take part in the Masterschool and mentors will be allocated. After this, preparation for the first workshop, Storytelling for Global Audiences, begins.
How many times can I apply for the Masterschool if my project is not selected this time?
• There are no limitations. You may apply as often as you wish. However, if your project is selected you can only attend the Masterschool once.
Is there a guarantee that my project will be realised after attending the Masterschool?
• No, we cannot give you that guarantee. BUT it is our biggest ambition to help realise the Masterschool projects, and to do so, Documentary Campus offers all necessary contacts and know-how. However, it is ultimately the applicant’s motivation which will make his/her project happen.
How many of previous Masterschools' projects have been produced?
• Generally speaking, up to 70% of the projects developed each year at the Masterschool are produced.
• Recent developments in the media landscape, however, have made financing for documentaries more difficult and over the years we have adapted the Masterschool program to the current trends of the market to better support participants and projects to get financed and produced. It is our ambition to help create projects that are market competitive and ready to go into production.
What happens when my project does not go into production? Do I have to repay the €8,000.00 to Documentary Campus?
• No, in this case no repayment has to be made.
• When the developed project goes into production, the project development and vocational training costs, will have to be repaid to the funding bodies. As the repayment is made out of the production budget, market-based project development costs are expected to be part of the final production budget. This means that the repayment does not come out of the applicant’s own pocket.
Is there an option to apply for financial support regarding expenses incurred ( e.g. travel, accommodation, etc.) during the Masterschool workshops? Where can I apply for it?
• Four Masterschool students from countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme, who are in special need and otherwise could not afford to take part in the training course, may apply for a grant to support their travel and accommodation costs during the four workshops. At the beginning of the Masterschool year, grant application letters can be sent to Documentary Campus. After a careful assessment of all grant applications, the recipients will be notified.
• The local Creative Europe Desks and other local funding institutions also offer grants for travel and accommodation. A personal application is needed.
Is there an option to attend the Masterschool workshops or Industry Events if I am not a participant of the Masterschool?
• The admission to the Masterschool workshops is restricted to Masterschool participants.
• Documentary Campus Industry Events offer presentations, case studies and panel discussions as well as outstanding networking opportunities to a broad, professionally interested audience. You can find information on our upcoming events on our website.
Can a third person attend Masterschool workshops (i.e. someone working on the project who is not the main participant or the team partner)?
• In special circumstances, yes, this is possible. However, we are unable to cover any costs for a third person. If a third person wishes to attend the pitch at the Leipzig Networking Days, they must pay the delegates' fee.
Is it possible to apply for the Masterschool if I am not a citizen of a EU member country?
• Yes, it is possible. You can attend the Masterschool as a team partner together with a producer, author, director who has citizenship of a EU member country or a member country of the Creative Europe Programme. This person submits the project(s) together with you and will be the one to sign the contract with us.
• Besides the EU Member States, the following countries participate in the Creative Europe Programme: United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Serbia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Tunisia, Armenia and Kosovo*.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence