The Masterschool

What is the Masterschool?

The Masterschool is an intensive training programme for documentary filmmakers, taking place over a time span of a 10-month period. Its aim is to mentor directors and producers to make exciting documentaries (one-offs and series) for the international non-fiction market.

Over the course of four 5-day workshops in the 10-month period, 16 European producer/director teams are assisted in developing their documentary projects to appeal to international audiences. The teams receive invaluable feedback from experienced documentary professionals and have the chance to pitch their projects to a panel of carefully-selected international commissioning editors at our largest Industry Event, the Leipzig Networking Days, in October.

Here is what Masterschool alumnus Alexander Nanau had to say about the programme:
"At Documentary Campus I have learned more than in four years of film school! It changed completely the way I prepare and put together a film, its story and style and present it to the industry in search for the right partners."


How it works?

• Sixteen of the submitted projects are selected for the Masterschool;
• The producer/director teams are interviewed via Skype before the first workshop;
• The teams are invited to three intensive 5-day workshops and trained to pitch their film ideas;
• At the Leipzig Networking Days, the teams present their fully developed projects to leading commissioning editors from around the world;
• In the fourth and final workshop after the pitching, the teams are assisted in devising their finance strategy.

Each workshop takes place in a different European city and addresses a different aspect of international production. Click here for a breakdown of what each workshop covers and please refer to the FAQ Section for further queries.


Mentors

Each team will have a specially-chosen Mentor assigned, chosen from among the most distinguished TV executives in the industry. They will act as the team's trusted guide, advising on the best way to develop the idea to appeal to global audiences and funders.


Tutors

Each project will also have a Tutor, an industry commissioner or executive producer with a broadcaster. Their role is to bring the market intelligence to the project to ensure its relevance to and success in the international market. The Tutors are also there to help with networking opportunities.


Market Visits and Internships

The Participants are encouraged to attend international markets and festivals - a great opportunity to meet commissioning editors who could help to get their projects off the ground. The Participants are also supported if they wish to do an internship with an international production or distribution company in their fields of interest or with an international broadcaster. Documentary Campus offers discounted passes to attend various festivals and markets and helps the Participants cover expenses for these visits.


Who is it for?

Director/producer teams from across Europe and international projects. Find further information on specific countries in our FAQ page.


We are looking for…

• All types of factual media, especially television series, creative docs, multiplatform or two-screen formats;
• Genre films, such as history, science, arts, wildlife, natural history, environment or human interest;
• Great stories that need additional development before being pitched internationally;
• Stories and characters that can reach global audiences.

Click here to view some of the past Masterschool films to get a better idea of what we are looking for.

NOTE: Projects that have already been pitched internationally are ineligible.