Sheffield Doc/Fest



  • WHAT DOES MEETMARKET LOOK LIKE? - A film by Buzz Films









    MeetMarket is the flagship pitching initiative at Sheffield Doc/Fest designed to match documentary and interactive media-makers' most innovative project ideas with the key 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 have requested the meeting, which allows you to get straight into creative and financial discussions.

    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, 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 2015 we received over 600 entries from 54 countries for MeetMarket. You can view the 64 projects selected for MeetMarket 2015 here and you can see which Decision Makers attended here.

    If you are not selected for MeetMarket we offer many other marketplace opportunities including the Crossover Market which was open to all international applicants for the first time in 2014. If you'd like to discuss how your projects can benefit from any of the opportunities at Sheffield Doc/Fest, 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.


    WHAT DOES MEETMARKET LOOK LIKE? - A film by Buzz Films



    In 2015, there were over 300 confirmed commissioners and Decision Makers at Doc/Fest. Go here to see which 64 projects were being pitched. These projects were part of over 1400 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."



    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 Film Programme or 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 - please read the information about that market carefully and see if you are eligible.

    - 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 third sector support, as well as those with innovative outreach strategies. If your project fits this criteria, your project will be considered simultaneously for the new Crossover Market as well - please read the information about that market carefully and see if you are eligible.

    - Projects do not need to have financing already in place.




    - 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 amount of 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 that section. 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 Vimeo for teaser uploads. The process is quick and easy, but if you have any concerns about uploading your teaser clip, please read Vimeo's FAQs or 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.

    - Teaser Clip - Getty Images Partnership - Getty Images, with Sheffield Doc/Fest, are pleased to offer MeetMarket applicants the use of content from the world’s largest collection of images in their pitches and market submissions. All MeetMarket applicants are eligible to download up to 500 hi res footage clips and stills including premium quality HD content from BBC Motion Gallery, Discovery Channel, Red Bull Media and Sky News. Search over two million creative, editorial and archival clips, tens of millions of stills, and an archive dating from the early 1900’s.

    - Cross-Platform, Interactive and new Funding/Distribution Projects - We recognise that these kinds of projects might need additional or different kinds of information. 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. Remember - if you fill in this section, your project will be considered simultaneously for the Crossover Market as well - please read the information about that market carefully and see if you are eligible.

    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.



    An administration fee of £26+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 2015 for the duration of the MeetMarket on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June. Failure to do so may result in your project being withdrawn.

    If your application is successful you must register to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest. You will be eligible for a MeetMarket Discount pass at a rate of £249+VAT which you must register for ahead of the festival. If you do not register for Doc/Fest, you will not be able to participate in the MeetMarket. Subsequent project team members must also register for additional passes if they wish to participate in MeetMarket meetings.

    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.



    The Crossover Market runs parallel to the MeetMarket, but offers a focused pitching opportunity for projects which are led by digital or interactive media, or which will be funding or distributing their projects in innovative ways such as crowdfunding, self-distribution, VOD, or even voluntary donation. You use the same application form to apply for both MeetMarket and the Crossover Market.



    If you have any queries about how MeetMarket works or the submission process, please email the Marketplace team.