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The Guardian is back at Sheffield Doc/Fest, offering filmmakers selected from an open submission the chance to pitch ideas for short documentaries, receive £7,500 towards their film, and the chance of an online premiere on The Guardian website.

The Guardian are looking for documentaries of approximately 10 – 20 minutes about climate change. This year, The Guardian has joined forces with IBT (the International Broadcasting Trust) for its first themed film pitch. They are asking filmmakers to come up with a fresh and interesting way of engaging a global audience with one of the most urgent subjects of our time – climate change.

Short documentaries for The Guardian are story-led, contemporary, global facing and surprising. The Guardian looks for films that do something new with the subject of climate change and do not focus purely on climate science but take a broader approach and look at aspects of life that are affected by climate change. You could look at the role of business and the energy sector, for example, or the role of consumers and changing patterns of consumption or the contribution of science and technology in achieving change.

Most importantly, think differently in how you approach the style of the film – this shouldn't be the usual climate change documentary. How can you get The Guardian's audience on their platform and social media platforms to engage with a subject that they may feel they've seen a lot on already? It's up to you to find an approach that you think will work and that would engage a wide audience in a populist way. Feel free to experiment and think hard about what style of documentary will really engage online viewers.

The Guardian is looking for films that are story and character led, and which shed light on an important aspect of climate change in an entertaining and unusual way. Make sure you watch their latest documentaries on www.theguardian.com/documentaries to get an idea of what documentaries work best for them, and take a look at their Facebook Video page for ideas on different styles of video that can work.


The Prize

IBT will be offering £7,500 in funding to the winning pitch, after which The Guardian will executive produce the film and be editorially responsible for its development with the filmmaker.

Funding may already be attached to a project as long as it does not involve rights that conflict with The Guardian requiring rights to release the film globally without restriction. Funding may be able to be matched with other sources in future depending on source.

Five shortlisted entrants will receive training and the chance to pitch their project in front of an audience at Sheffield Doc/Fest. The best documentary pitch will be decided by a panel of judges.

NB - The Guardian would intend to release the film on their website, but reserves the right to not publish any documentary arising from this pitch should it not meet their editorial guidelines.


How To Apply

There are no restrictions on who can apply. All applicants are eligible. 

Apply by downloading the application form here, and return it to Jenni Tuovinen via email jenni.tuovinen@sidf.co.uk

Application have now closed for this pitch.


Terms & Conditions

Your application and participation implies unconditional acceptance of these guidelines.

The selection committee decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome. Feedback is not guaranteed if your application is unsuccessful.

Only one application will be accepted per participant.

The organisers reserve the right to change the guidelines or processes at any time and without notification.

The organisers will not take rights or liabilities in projects selected.

The organisers accept no liability in the event that their publications reproduce inaccuracies that you provide in submitted materials.



For any questions regarding the pitch, please contact Marketplace Sessions Coordinator Jenni Tuovinen at jenni.tuovinen@sidf.co.uk