MeetMarket is the pitching initiative at Sheffield Doc/Fest designed to match documentary and interactive media makers' most innovative project ideas with UK and international decision makers.
MeetMarket is a flexible format of pitching that can accommodate all kinds of projects, filmmakers and media makers. All pitching takes place in individual meetings where both pitchers and funders want to be in the meeting, and you can get straight into creative and financial discussions.
You can see which projects were selected in 2013 here. For future MeetMarket submissions, it's highly recommended that you read all the information on this page before applying - we want you to make your project the very best it can be when applying.
Decision Makers view one-minute pitch teasers of innovative documentary ideas online (uploaded via Distrify), along with short synopses, biographical information and headline budget figures in advance of Doc/Fest. From this they select which projects they would like to discuss in one-to-one meetings at MeetMarket. Projects can also be in any genre of documentary/factual, from factual entertainment through to art/installation documentaries. We also welcome cross-platform/interactive projects and those projects looking to raise finance and distribute/exhibit their projects through alternative strategies including via crowdfunding and third sector support. MeetMarket featureS experts in these areas for you to meet, alongside broadcasters, film funds, sales agents and distributors.
In 2013 we received 614 entries from 53 countries for MeetMarket. The 63 projects selected for MeetMarket 2013 can be viewed here and you can see which Decision Makers attended here.
If you are not selected for MeetMarket we offer many other marketplace opportunties - there will be more than ever in 2014, through which we are dedicated to helping all Doc/Fest delegates get the market support and meetings they need. If you'd like to discuss how your projects can benefit from any of the opportunities at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014, we'd be delighted to talk about it with you, so feel welcome to email us and discuss what help we can get you in our marketplace.
Submissions for MeetMarket 2014 open on Monday 6th January 2014.
In 2013, there were 260 confirmed commissioners and Decision Makers at Doc/Fest. Go here to see which 63 projects were being pitched. These projects were part of over 1,200 meetings taking place over two days with 18 meetings per project (on average) and millions of pounds done in deals
"MeetMarket is definitely the place for the trend-setters in the documentary world."
"The meetings we had during MeetMarket were meaningful, intimate and well organised, and the commissioning editors were warm, approachable and receptive."
"The access we had to the international doc community at MeetMarket was unparalleled."
"Pitching in intimate one-to-one sessions was a big comfort. It reduces tension and competitiveness and makes the whole thing much more relaxed and fun. "
Here at Sheffield Doc/Fest we are proud to publish the MeetMarket Report celebrating the first seven years of MeetMarket, and its impact on the international documentary industry.
Since 2006, when Sheffield Doc/Fest first introduced the format of matchmade individual pitching meetings at MeetMarket, a total of £27m has been raised for 369 documentary and digital projects, from 35 countries, at 5,900 one-to-one meetings. MeetMarket projects have gone on to win prizes at Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA, Hot Docs and Sheffield Doc/Fest. Many of the success stories of recent years are projects by first-time filmmakers who've been nurtured and mentored by Marketplace Director, Charlie Phillips. The report offers case studies on some of the most successful projects to emerge from MeetMarket in the last seven years.
"This report shows the substantial impact that MeetMarket has had on the international documentary industry. Without it, lots of films and TV programme simply wouldn't have got made and been seen by audiences. We're delighted to be helping filmmakers and keeping documentary-making sustainable. We're looking forward to the next seven years of MeetMarket".- Charlie Phillips, Marketplace Director
The MeetMarket Report is available as a download from the left-hand side of this webpage.
We're always happy to help you get your project submissions ready for any marketplace opportunity, so as you plan your submissions for any marketplace pitch, or your general strategy for presenting projects in Sheffield to Decision Makers, here are some guidelines for you:
- MeetMarket is open to all documentary makers, from any country. No prior credits are necessary.
- Your project can be at any stage of development, production, or post-production. We're no longer accepting completed projects - you should submit these to the Videotheque.
- Interactive factual/documentary; broadband, web-based, mobile phone/mobile device content, cross-platform and convergent media projects are also eligible and indeed highly encouraged, with specialised commissioners, funders and advisers present. Your project will be considered simultaneously for the new Crossover Market as well.
- You can enter as many projects as you like, but we recommend you don't submit more than 5 because we're very unlikely to take more than 2 from any one company
- Your projects must have international appeal and take an innovative/fresh approach to either the content, the execution of the idea or both.
- Your project may take any form or specialist focus, e.g. feature documentaries, television, series or specialised genres. Natural history, science and arts projects are very welcome.
- We also welcome projects looking to raise finance and distribute/exhibit their projects through alternative strategies including via crowdfunding, self/hybrid distribution and 3rd Sector support, as well as those with innovative outreach strategies.
- Projects do not need to have financing already in place.
Applications for 2014 MeetMarket open on January 6th 2014 where you will find an online application form on this page to fill and submit. You might find these tips useful in planning your submission for future MeetMarkets and for generally making your projects the best-presented they can be.
- We're always very happy to help you with any aspect of your submission, whether technical or creative. If you're struggling with the application form in any way, please ask us for help rather than getting frustrated. If you do need help, we recommend you try and contact us as early as possible, so even if you can't fill in all the details until close to the deadline, take an early look at what the form involves, and ask us for support earlier in the process.
- There's a 'Save' button at the bottom of every page of the form - if you hit this, you can come back to the form later, so you don't need to complete the whole thing in one go.
- The information you submit on the application is what Decision Makers see when they choose if they want to meet you - This information is exactly what goes in the Project Guide distributed to participants, and accessed online in the assessment area by Decision Makers. If you're selected, we give you a very small time to make any changes, but by-and-large, what you submit on application is what Decision Makers see, so make it good.
- Project Information/Synopsis - We offer you the chance to submit short (100 word) and long (500 word) synopses - in both cases remember you don't have to go right up to the word limit. The quality of your description is what matters. Remember this description has to entice assessors to want to choose you and buyers to want to meet you, so get them interested and leave them wanting more. And whilst you should get them excited with the ideas, don't forget to give them story and character as well. Please note, we are no longer accepting uploads of longer explanatory treatments unless your project is an interactive/cross platform one - your synopses are your real sales documents.
- Details - Length, Intended slot, Format, Status, Date of Production/Release - you may not know for sure yet depending on what stage your project is at, but be as realistic as possible - research what slots exist in international TV, cinema and cross-platform, and tally your length and slot with that. Make sure your budget information is consistent with the length you specify. It's fine to keep your options open and specify, for example, a TV hour and a 90' version. We also ask you if you've pitched the project in other markets - it's not a problem if you have, it just helps us to know which Decision Makers may already be aware of it.
- Financing - State your total budget and total already obtained (plus who has already committed funds) in Euros and Pounds. Please check that your calculations are accurate before you submit the form. Remember assessors and buyers you may put down here also read this information so don't exaggerate any interest. Do not put figures relating to your own investment in the project - remember, you don't have to have finance secured to be selected for MeetMarket. You can also upload a more detailed finance plan as a spreadsheet - but remember assessors and buyers may not scrutinise this in detail. This section is also your chance to tell us if you're looking for distribution - this is important because we'll use this information to base some of your matchmade meetings on if you're selected, so answer it carefully.
- Participants - Give us brief information on your production team (up to 100 words each for biography and filmography). Don't paste your CV here, these biographies are part of your project information and need to be as enticing as your synopses, so make them interesting. Remember that your biogs go here, they don't go in your synopsis - you're wasting your chance to write about your project if you put your biogs in there. Also remember that you must split your biography (your personal history and profile) from your filmography (list of your films/other projects)
- Teaser Clip - How to upload - We're now using Distrify for teaser uploads. For full instructions on what to do check the Video Help page. We especially recommend that you review the Distrify Encoding Specs before uploading your clip especially this advice on frame rates. The process is quick and easy, but if you have any concerns about uploading your teaser clip, please email us and we can help.
- Teaser Clip - How To be Creative With It - Your clip's purpose is to interest funders, and not to be a short film in itself. We specify a length of about one-minute because we think it helps you to focus on clearly getting the key information in there - why funders would want to invest in your project. There are infinite ways to do your clip but primarily use this one minute to get funders and buyers interested and want to know more. Show them the quality of what you've shot and the strength of your characters and narrative, and give them a taste of your on-screen style. Be visually creative - remember this is your visual pitch, and documentary is a visual form - save your words for the synopsis. Make your teaser stand out, so make it unusual...without getting too obscure unless of course it matches your subject.
- Cross-Platform, Interactive and new Funding/Distribution Projects - We recognise that these kinds of projects might need additional or different kinds of information. For the 2013 application form, there is even more space for you to explain in detail how your project uses interactive media, outreach strategies and new methods of funding and distribution. For cross platform and interactive projects specifically, we also advise that you use the teaser clip to showcase the general look of your project, and that it doesn't necessarily need to use moving image in the way a linear doc project would. Plus we especially advise you to use the facility to link to an external website to link your submission to another platform where assessors and buyers can play with and explore your project in detail. You can now also upload a longer document demonstrating the interactivity of your project.
Above all, remember that your submission is a whole package and is assessed as so. So think about how all these elements fit together, and good luck.
We offer lots of alternative ways to get your projects heard and to get connected with Decision Makers - these are listed on our Marketplace Overview page. In particular, we offer the Switchboard service where our team can give advice on who might be useful for you to meet in the Marketplace in Sheffield. This advice will be especially useful to you if you've entered MeetMarket and we've reviewed your project and know it well.
WHAT ARE THE MEETMARKET INITIATIVE TERMS AND CONDITIONS?
An administration fee of £25+VAT applies per project.
The organisers accept no liability in the event that their publications reproduce inaccuracies that you provide in submitted materials.
Scheduling of meetings is at the discretion of the organisers.
If your application is successful, you agree to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 for the duration of the MeetMarket. Failure to do so may result in your project being withdrawn.
If your application is successful you must register for Doc/Fest and Early Bird Doc/Fest registration rates for at least one person per project even after the deadline of Early Bird registration. If you do not register for Doc/Fest, you will not be able to participate in the MeetMarket. Subsequent project team members must register for additional passes.
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.
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.