Illustration: Adeline Pericart
The Masterschool, is a Europe-wide development programme offering film-makers a unique opportunity to access the international non-fiction market. It is a tailored programme in which 16 European producer/director teams develop their documentaries at workshops across Europe over an intensive nine-month period with the help of international experts matched to the particular needs of each year’s Masterschool intake.
How it works…
• 16 projects submitted will be selected for the Masterschool.
• Their producer/director teams will be interviewed via skype prior the first workshop.
• The teams will be invited to 3 intensive development workshops and trained to pitch their concept.
• At the Leipzig Networking Days, the teams will present their fully developed projects to leading commissioning editors from around the world.
• In the 4th workshop after the pitching, we will assist in devising a finance strategy.
Each workshop takes place in a different European city and addresses different aspects of international production: storytelling for international audiences; how to finance films internationally; distribution; marketing; creating an online presence, and pitch-training. Participants are given tools to help them develop their idea and are prepared to pitch it to a specially-selected panel of international financiers. After the pitch the teams reassemble to plan the next steps needed to get the projects financed, with the help of legal and finance experts.
Each team is allocated a specially-chosen mentor from among the most distinguished TV executives in the industry. They will act as your trusted guide, advising on the best way to develop the idea to appeal to global audiences and funders.
Who can apply?
Professional producer/director teams from across Europe.
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, human interest.
• Great stories that need additional development before being pitched internationally.
• Stories and characters that can reach global audiences.
NOTE: Projects that have already been pitched internationally are ineligible.
What to submit
You can submit 1 or 2 projects for the Masterschool 2014.
• Application form
• 2-page proposal
• Evidence of access to key characters or institutions
• 1-page budget and financing plan
• Teaser or character reel (max. 3 min) of key protagonists or a mood board
• Info on production team: CVs and company profile, if applicable
• Self-presentation film (max. 4 min) explaining your motivation to take part in the Masterschool
• Brief showreel of previous work
• A letter of recommendation from a commissioner, funder, experienced production house or experienced distributor is not applicable but of help
What happens next?
16 projects will be selected by an international committee of industry leaders by early 2014. Short-listed project teams will be interviewed via Skype in February, after which the selected project teams will be officially invited to take part in the Masterschool and mentors will be allocated. Now work starts to prepare for the first workshop: storytelling for global audiences.
The first workshop will take place on 02 – 06 June 2014, ahead of the Sheffield Doc/Fest (07 – 14 June 2014).
Workshop two will take place in August and the third workshop will take place in October in conjunction with the Leipzig Networking Days. The fourth workshop will take place in early November 2014.