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BBC Northern Docs Pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Doc/Fest is delighted to announce the BBC Northern Docs Pitch, which we’re hosting in partnership with the BBC for the first time.

The BBC is on a mission to start new collaborations with talented filmmakers based in the north of England who are yet to direct a long-form film for broadcast. This is an open call for directors to submit new film ideas for consideration by BBC commissioners. Once applications have been reviewed, we will invite six directors to pitch to a panel of commissioners and industry representatives in front of a live audience during Sheffield Doc/Fest. The BBC will announce the winning pitch on the day.

The director of the winning pitch will be offered a commission to make a 60 minute film for the BBC plus mentoring and production support from an independent production company based in the north of England. 

Please note - we are currently processing applications for this pitch, and will get in touch with selection information to all applicants within the coming days. 



The successful director will receive the following:

  • A long form BBC commission offer in 2017/18 for BBC Three.
  • Support from a northern-based independent production company who will provide mentoring and executive producing support.



Six shortlisted new directors will vie to prove that they are ready to take on the challenge of a long form documentary for BBC Three. Each director will introduce their proposed film idea in front of an audience and a panel of BBC commissioners and industry representatives. Together the panel will decide – in front of the Sheffield audience – who they think is the most promising director and award the prize at the end of the session. 



The deadline for this pitch has now passed. We are currently processing the applications, and will reach out to all applicants with further information in the coming days.

Applicants will need to submit an up-to-date CV and a one-page summary of their project. The candidate must think carefully about why it belongs on BBC Three and how it will appeal to a younger audience. Subjects that the younger audiences engage with are usually ones that directly affect their lives – identity, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships… but there must be story.

Applicants for the BBC Northern Docs Pitch must be available to attend the pitch event on Monday 12 June as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest. If you cannot make this commitment, you are not eligible to enter the pitch competition. All six finalists will be offered a Festival Day Pass, which will give access to all Doc/Fest films, events and sessions on the day.




• Filmmakers who have not yet directed their own documentary hour for TV broadcast. 

• Filmmakers living in the following counties: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria, County Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire.