Around the world, many of our societies are in a democratic crisis. Levels of dissatisfaction with the system, and desire for change are at an all-time high. The Future of Democracy is up for grabs. We need to engage global publics with the most important debate of all – how should we govern ourselves? What do we want democracy to look like?

Following the success of the approach taken by our Climate Story Unit, Doc Society is launching a new Democracy Story Unit to include Labs and Funds. The Unit will bring storytellers into an ecosystem with academics in the democracy space, activists, journalists and social scientists to think together about what narratives are most needed and most effective.
The goal is to stimulate the production and distribution of non-fiction narratives that help us understand the issues at hand and worldbuild for the futures we need and deserve.

One of the first initiatives of the Unit is a new European Documentary Journalism Fund to support the production of independent journalistic nonfiction storytelling by European filmmakers. Designed to maintain the richness of debate and discourse that are the very hallmark of healthy democracies, the fund seeks to bolster a more sustainable ecosystem for independent media in Europe.

Thanks to support from the Swedish Postcode Foundation Doc Society conducted research to identify ten trends affecting independent documentary journalism in Europe and the opportunities that each brings for the independent documentary sector in Europe. You can download the trends here

Visual journalism is at the heart of this fund. You don’t need to be affiliated with a news organisation to apply or receive funding but we are looking for filmmakers that not only embody journalistic practice but who go deeper than traditional news or current affairs to engage audiences with complex stories, nuance and truths that make us look at the issues in a new way. Rooted in research, factual accuracy, ethics, and other standards of journalistic tradition in the public interest.
Films that help protect our freedom of expression and freedom of the press
Films that strengthen our democracies and sustain healthy societies
Films that fight against polarization, authoritarianism and mis/disinformation
Films that hold power to account

Find out more about the European Documentary Journalism Fund >