How far in the development process must my project be?
Project ideas are welcomed that are well-researched and come with a teaser or raw material.
I need to start production before the end of Masterschool, is that okay?
No projects can go into production before the Pitch at the Leipzig Networking Days in October.
When I apply as an author or director, is it necessary or recommended to have a producer attached 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 their 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 fulfils at least one of the following criteria: 5-10 productions per year; producing for various clients and/or genres; international contacts; experienced in international co-production and national funds.
An experienced distributor is one with a good reputation, has an international network, sells to key territories (Western Europe, North America, Canada), offers co-financing possibilities and pre-sales or gap-financing (minimum guarantee).
Commissioners, Funders, Producers or Distributors may contact us for any queries.
How many projects may I submit?
Each application can apply with one or two projects.
Can I apply with a team partner?
Yes. If you do so, please state this in the application process. Masterschool 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. The projects 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?
Projects will be selected by the end of 2022. Short-listed project teams will be interviewed via Skype/Zoom in latest January 2023. After the selection has taken place, the projects need to be confirmed by our funding bodies. Once confirmed, 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 realize 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 their 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 have made financing for documentaries more difficult so 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.
If 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.
If my project does go into production, does the €8,000.00 repayment come out of my pocket?
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.
Can I apply for financial support for expenses incurred (e.g. travel, accommodation, etc.) during the Masterschool workshops?
Four Masterschool students from countries participating in the Creative Europe Program 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. However, Documentary Campus offers many other Industry Events with 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 delegate 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, or 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: Iceland, Norway, Liectenstein, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, 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