About the Programme

What is the Masterschool?

The Documentary Campus Masterschool is a European training programme and international networking platform dedicated to the development of factual content for an international audience. For more than 20 years, the Masterschool has carefully matched European media professionals with key players from the international industry and assisted in developing, financing and marketing their factual based formats for public release, whether on the traditional TV market or on new digital platforms.

Since the programme began back in 2001, it has generated a whole host of great films – including 2016’s festival hit “Notes on Blindness” and its corresponding VR experience “Into Darkness”; Slovenia’s official Oscar entry: “Houston, we have a Problem” and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hanna Polaks “Something Better to Come”.

Here is what Masterschool alumnus Michael Grotenhoff had to say about the programme:
"With the 2012 developed cross-media project „netwars“, I went unconventional ways in which the Masterschool enabled me to develop not only the project, but also an alternative business model for financing multiplatform projects. This was an enormous help for the whole company, to become sustainable in the radical shift of digital media. The company has reinvented itself as a production partner for high-quality documentaries that stand for innovative storytelling – be it dramatically or technically."

This is a sum-up from our alumnus Peter Middleton and his team partner James Spinney:
"Documentary Campus 2013 was a formative experience for us both, helping us navigate the complexities of developing our first long-form documentary - "Notes on Blindness". The structure of the workshops gave us the time and resources to interrogate the project (including planting the seed for our accompanying virtual reality experience "Into Darkness"), as well as providing an invaluable opportunity to connect us to industry contacts from across the European documentary community."

Recent Alumnus Hansjürgen Schmölzer describes his Masterschool 2019 experience in these words:
“The new contacts I could establish during this programme provide a wide range of new possibilities for further projects and for my production company as such. We are already in in-depth strategic talks with other partners I got in touch with during this programme that will potentially reach way beyond the specific project I developed during the Masterschool."

The Documentary Campus Masterschool offers the Perfect Mix of Networking & Training:


• Selection of 15 European factual projects in development (all genre, all formats)
• 10 months training programme consisting of 4 workshops & additional webinars
• More than 40 International experts
• See our Workshops & Experts page for a detailed outline of the training modules


• 4 Industry Training Events in collaboration with key industry events (markets & festivals)
• Final Pitching Forum - Leipzig Networking Days
• See our Industry Training Events page for future and past industry events


The Documentary Campus Masterschool is powered by MDR and supported by

picture alt