Hello friends,

“I wanted to change the world and was really inspired all the time, and it was really difficult for me to come into school and sit down and listen to theory that didn't really apply to my real life at the time”.

The British Sri Lankan artist Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam better known by her stage name M.I.A. came to the UK as a refugee at eleven years old and soon started creating with whatever she could lay her hands on, early video cameras, prints and stencils and created many of her early classic compositions on a borrowed Roland MC-505 sequencer.

Every artist has to start somewhere. And making sure that voices as unique and transformational as Maya’s is a Doc Society priority which is why we’re launching a New Perspectives Seed Fund - more below.

This month sees the US/UK theatrical release of Sundance and Berlin premiered documentary about Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. Directed by Stephen Loveridge, edited by Marina Katz and produced by our friends at Cinereach, we’re chuffed to have played a small part in this fantastic film’s 7 year journey. And this month’s playlist is all about getting started and the tools we need to unlock the magic. From Peaches to New Order, Chicks On Speed to Beck - all these artists have deployed the Roland MC-505, the all in one techno music production studio which has defined the sound of a generation. Kicking off with M.I.A’s very first single Galang. London calling/Speak the slang now….


Doc Society is partnering up with Perspective to launch the New Perspectives Seed Fund. An international film fund supporting the development of documentary features on issues of social justice, driven by filmmakers who exhibit a unique perspective granted by their connection to the community or issue at hand.

We know that making a film requires that first leap of faith. For you to take a chance on your story, and for someone to take on chance on you. This fund encourages that spirit. We are at a time where perspective is key to capture the truth of a story. We love supporting documentary film that ignites passion and creates real impact in audiences. We also recognize it’s incredibly difficult to get started.

We are particularly looking for filmmakers who offer a rare insight of the often underrepresented and overlooked; who see more than what’s being shown in the common zeitgeist. We’re looking for those stories that break barriers and explore nuance over polarity.

And when we say global we mean global - from London to Dallas, Charleston to Taipei, Missoula to Nairobi. We’re want to hear from you and support your story no matter where you are from.

Fund open date: 26th September 2018

The application for this fund is open for one month.

All grants are offered with a mentorship component from Doc Society’s Film and Impact teams

Grants totaling 0,000 to be awarded ranging from ,000-,000

All rights to be retained by the filmmaker

For more information and to apply, visit: docsociety.org/new-perspectives


In partnership with the Threshold Foundations High Impact Documentary Films funding circle, Doc Society is delighted to announce the 2018 Threshold Grantees:


Gather (Dir: Sanjay Rawal, Prod: Tanya Meillier)

What we identify as the American food system is based nearly entirely on the food system early colonizers encountered. Squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, many types of beans and peppers are all New World crops cultivated by Native scientists for millennia. At the same time, colonizers including the American government applied asymmetrical warfare to the Native food system – destroying farms, damming rivers and clear-cutting forest food ecosystems as a tactic of genocide. Gather is an portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through sovereignty over ancestral food systems while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.

Knock Down the House (Dir: Rachel Lears, Prod: Robin Blotnick, Sarah Olson)

In 2018, a young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada and a registered nurse in Missouri join a movement of insurgent candidates challenging powerful incumbents in Congress. Without political experience or corporate money, these four women are attempting to do what many consider impossible — until one of them pulls off the most shocking political upset in recent American history.

Midnight Traveler (Dir: Hassan Fazili, Prod: Emelie Mahdavian)

Midnight Traveler follows the struggles of a family of Afghan filmmakers on the run from the Taliban. Told from refugee-Director Hassan Fazili’s unique first-person perspective, their story provides unprecedented access to the complex refugee encounter with the West.

Untitled Safe Schools Project (Dir: Todd Chandler, Prod: Danielle Varga)

Untitled Safe Schools Project is a film about 21st century school safety in the United States, exploring the ways in which we as a nation are working to understand and prevent violence, and endeavor to create safer schools.


Dark Money (Dir: Kimberly Reed, Prod: Katy Chevigny)

Dark Money, a political hriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide—to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, the film uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold.

Roll Red Roll (Dir: Nancy Schwartzmann, Prod: Steven Lake, Jessica Devaney)

At a pre-season football party in small-town Steubenville, Ohio, a heinous crime took place: the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. But it was the disturbing social media evidence uncovered online by crime blogger Alex Goddard that provoked the most powerful questions about the case, and about the collusion of teen bystanders, teachers, parents and coaches to protect the assailants and discredit the victim. As it painstakingly reconstructs the night of the crime and its aftermath, Roll Red Roll, uncovers the engrained rape culture at the heart of the incident, acting as a cautionary tale about what can happen when teenage social media bullying runs rampant and adults look the other way. The film unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”


It’s here, the 2018 European flagship edition of Good Pitch kicks off in Amsterdam at the impressive Koepelkerk (featured in the picture) on Monday 1st October with six film teams experiencing (and providing!) the Good Pitch magic and over 250 participants comprising of issues experts, inspiring community, business leaders, organisers, philanthropists and tech networks and many more... all coming together for an exhilarating day of pro-activity in support of radical collaboration for social change. Find out more about who’s coming to Good Pitch Europe 2018 here.

We give a big thumbs up to the film teams participating this year for all of their amazing focus and hard work and wish them the very best Good Pitch.

Follow our news #goodpitch and check out our brand new Good Pitch website here.


Next stop on the Good Pitch Local train...the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection! This time around, Doc Society is teaming up with some great Philly organizations such as BlackStar Film Festival, Scribe Video Center, The Leeway Foundation, and Temple University’s Film & Media Arts Program to bring the day-long pitching forum to the greater Philadelphia area, on Tuesday, December 4th.

If you’d like to attend, or submit a pitch, please check out the Good Pitch website for more details!


Doc Society is excited to announce a new partnership with the Grierson Trust. We are the sponsors of the best cinema doc award, the BFI Doc Society Fund Best Cinema Documentary. This partnership includes a training programme, with participants from the BFI Doc Society Fund features and short film grantees, and the Doc Society Fellows.

The award will recognise the creative ingenuity that brings the art of non fiction to life in the most potent and impactful way on-screen. Viva docs!

To find out more about the new award visit: http://www.griersontrust.org/grierson-awards/the-grierson-awards/


Deadline is 19th October at NOON (not midnight!) so please get applying! We’re looking for feature docs (69 mins +) with bold cultural and social ambitions, keen ambitions that take risks with form and content and really consider diversity in all its forms behind and in front of the camera. We’re looking forward to receiving you!

For more information including the crucial guidelines, cultural test and to apply, please head over to the BFI Doc Society webpage: https://docsociety.org/bfi-doc/


Save the date: Wednesday 14th November

Location: MAC Birmingham

In March 2018, the BFI Doc Society team, was joined by Northern Film and Media, VICE UK, The Guardian, Film Hub North, NOWNESS, Northern Ireland Screen, Scottish Documentary Institute and many most excellent filmmakers at the top notch Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle to meet the documentary film community working on film projects around the North East of England and Scotland. Since then we’ve opened (and closed) our first round of feature funding and our fund for short documentary (with BFI Network). And here are the facts. There is a hell of a lot of talent out there and we can’t wait to meet more of you in person and learn more about your ideas.

Our next travelling stop is to the good people of the Midlands where we will join Film Hub Midlands for a day of fund-talk, listening, hearing and networking. We encourage anyone who is interested in creative documentary filmmaking (or simply doc curious) in and around the Midlands to save the date: November 14th and look out for news.


Climate Week NYC takes place from 24-30 September during the UN General Assembly. Climate week is a vital fixture, bringing together government ministers, investors, governors, CEOs and mayors as well as businesses, governments, academic institutions, arts and music organisations, and NGOs from across the world; who are shaping markets and setting policy to affect climate change. We’re heading over there to dig deep into the latest innovations, debate and real action around climate change: the most pressing issue of our time. We will report back next month.

Tune in to Mothers of Invention: Episode 5

Our climate mitigating Mothers continue to make waves with over 33,000 subscribers in a few short weeks! This week the production team head to New York to deliver a special sixth Climate Week bonus episode with Mary, Maeve and some knockout guests. We’re dedicating this one to the new baby of invention (!) born to MOI Series Producer Lina on 8th September). That’s some serious mother action all round.

If you have enjoyed Series One and want to help us keep on the airways, please join our Drip crowdfunding campaign. Pledging a few dollars a month from our listeners will help keep the Mothers on air through 2019. Help us if you can, and know that every little helps.

Doc Soc Team Say Adios to Waste

..And inspired by the pod-gospel of Mothers of Invention, Doc Soc team NY have swept up the eco-gauntlet with gusto by meeting the Zero Waste Week challenge (which took place earlier this month from 3rd-7th September) head on. London office shuffle feet sheepishly. Be equally as joyful as Doc Soccers Jaad and Shannon pictured and get uninvolved with waste forever with these nifty tips.


THE REAL PARTY by Doc Society @ BFI London Film Festival 2018

Wednesday 17th October, 9pm - late

Doc filmmakers and allies mix up the non-fiction medicine as Doc Society and LFF bring together international and UK documentary filmmakers to celebrate another year of bold & beautiful visions. We’ll raising a glass all the filmmakers featured in the festival, including Pulse Doc Society and Circle fund grantee Robert Greene with Bisbee ‘17 , Threshold Fund grantees Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown for United Skates and Good Pitch 2018 participants Orlando von Einsiedel & Jo Natasagara with Evelyn, which has its world premiere on Thursday 11th October.

Open to all 2018 LFF delegate pass holders, check out LFF comms for more details.


Matangi/ MAYA/ M.I.A released in the UK & US - catch it now!

Following it’s Sundance premiere, a wonderfully candid music-icon doc about the undefinable, formidable artist and activist M.I.A is on release in the UK and US now. Directed by Steven Loveridge, produced by our friends at Cinereach in association with Doc Society, and with footage shot by M.I.A spanning over 20 years, the film rocks convention and brings rich authenticity. For all the news and screenings near you: https://www.miadocumentary.co.uk/home/

Evelyn (part of our Good Pitch Europe 2018 cohort) and Bisbee ‘17 (Circle, Pulse Genesis Grantee) have been selected for the Grierson Best Documentary award at this year’s BFI London Film Festival which runs from 10th - 21st October 2018. For screening dates and times see the BFI London Film Festival website here.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Threshold Grantee) The incredible Hale County; This Morning, This Evening is circuiting festivals worldwide, including a recent trip to Open City Doc Fest in London. Just look at this gorgeous, enigmatic poster they’ve just released.


Are you attending IDA’s Getting Real Conference (Sept 25-27) in Los Angeles? If so, our Film and Partnerships Executive, Marjon Javadi, will be at the New Development Funds panel on September 26th. Do come by, if you’re there!

BBC Three Northern Docs Shorts Scheme

Calling filmmakers with projects exploring contemporary life in Northern England. The BBC Three Northern Docs Shorts Scheme aims to act as a stepping stone opportunity for talent seeking to develop a career in documentary, two emerging or up-and-coming Northern filmmakers will receive the chance to produce a short ten-minute film for broadcast by the BBC.

Deadline for application: 12th October 2018.

Scottish Documentary Institute Consultancies

Throughout the year SDI offer professional consultancies to Scotland-based filmmakers, for projects (shorts and features) in development, production or distribution.

Deadline: 2nd November 2018.

CPH: Dox Forum

is open for submissions

Deadline for project application: November 15, 2018

2019 SFFILM New American Fellowship

Directors and producers from across the country who have arrived in the U.S. in the past 10 years are eligible for this fellowship that includes a ,000 grant and 2-month residency in San Francisco. Submissions Deadline 10 October 2018.

Hot Docs CrossCurrents: International Fund

The CrossCurrents Fund is an international fund for of documentary filmmakers with auteur driven stories from underrepresented and marginalized communities from Canada and around the world.

Deadline: 28 Sept 2018

International Film Festival Rotterdam

Feature submission deadline 15 October

ScreenCraft Film Fund

ScreenCraft is offering two production grants per year to talented filmmakers for narrative features, short films and TV pilot series scripts and documentaries that display originality, vision & exceptional potential. Grant amounts will vary from ,000 to ,000 depending on the scale and merit of each project. Deadline: 1 Oct (Regular), 1 Dec (Final)

Sundance Documentary Fund

The Sundance Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for projects that display: artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience.

Deadline: 31 October 2018


If you're looking to pitch your documentary to Europe's leading commissioning editors, and you've got the budget for the participation fee, this networking workshop could be for you.

Deadline: 13 November 2018

Film London Arts Moving Image Network - FLAMIN

FLAMIN Productions have announced their 8th round of funding for artists moving works.

They will be offering a production award of £30,000 to two projects.

Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 03 December 2018.

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