Organisations and companies useful to filmmakers creating and interested in Documentary films
Where You're Meant To Be, Paul Fegan's 2016 documentary supported by SDI (Scottish Documentary Institute)
Doc Society (formerly known as BRITDOC)
The Foundation exists to nurture independent documentary filmmakers from the UK and around the world. Doc Society supports filmmakers and films, and brokers new partnerships, builds new business models, shares knowledge and develops audiences globally.
Doc Society offers and partners on various content-driven Funding streams including Bertha BRITDOC Journalism Fund, Betha BRITDOC Connect Fund, Pulse BRITDOC Genesis Fund, BRITDOC Circle Fund, Threshold Fund and Flex Fund.
Doc Society also offers various support and resources via Projects including Good Pitch, The Doc Impact Award, Impact Field Guide, Doc Academy and Something Real.
British Film Institute (BFI)
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK. It distributes Lottery funds for film. BFI offers a specialised funding application process for documentary support via pitching sessions held three times each year. Pitching sessions are organised in conjunction with the Sheffield Doc/Fest, and are held in Sheffield in June, and in London in October and February. Funding awards are made three times a year, following each pitching session.
The BFI website also hosts a useful Funding Finder guide to the wide range of funding opportunities for new and emerging writers, directors or producers, to assist with short and feature length film and professional development.
DocHouse's mission is to promote the very best independent, international documentary at all levels - in the cinema, online, via social networks and in collaboration with international broadcasters, to develop new audiences, and to encourage further impact for the films DocHouse showcases. DocHouse has various initiatives including:
Bertha DocHouse a dedicated year-round documentary cinema venue, the UK's first cinema dedicated solely to documentary. Based in Central London, Bertha DocHouse screens the best new releases, festival favourites, retrospective titles and curated seasons providing an exciting platform for documentary filmmakers and nurturing a new generation of doc lovers.
Online Hub - a digital space of essential resources and delights for anyone looking to grow their knowledge and indulge their passion for documentaries.
EDN (European Documentary Network)
European Documentary Network is a global network for professionals working with documentary film and TV and covers all areas of the genre. EDN provides documentary consulting and informs about possibilities for funding, financing, development, co-production, distribution and collaboration across borders. This is done via individual consultancy to members on documentary projects, workshops, seminars and conferences as well as through its two indispensable resource publications the EDN Financing Guide and the EDN Co-production Guide.
(The UK-based Documentary Film Group (DFG) merged with the EDN in 2016).
The Grierson Trust and Grierson Awards
Established in 1972 by the Grierson Trust, the British Documentary Awards - more fondly known as The Grierson Awards, recognise and celebrate documentaries from Britain and around the world that have made a significant contribution to the genre and that demonstrate quality, integrity, creativity, originality and overall excellence. The Trust also presents an annual award to the best documentary shown at the BFI London Film Festival.
The Trust also encourages young filmmakers through its outreach, education and mentoring initiatives.
British Council Film makes a selection of nominated films from the Grierson Awards available to screen internationally each year as part of the British Council Touring Packages collection.
SDI (Scottish Documentary Institute)
SDI specialises in documentary training, production and distribution, supporting filmmakers through its diverse programme of international activities and high quality training programmes. Aiming to nurture documentary filmmakers and audiences in Scotland and beyond, SDI offers a bridge between art and industry, and is committed to supporting authored films driven by content and emotional experience.
SDI comprises two entities SDI Outreach and SDI Productions. SDI Outreach, is a non-profit organisation, delivering a ladder of development opportunities to benefit all Scottish filmmakers and producers. SDI Productions is the feature production arm of the Scottish Documentary Institute and is now one of the leading independent production companies for creative documentary in Scotland.
British Council Film works regularly with SDI on the Stories workshops, a programme to assist local filmmaking communities around the world tell their own documentary stories.
Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival, celebrating the art and business of documentary and all non-fiction visual storytelling. Doc/Fest is a hub for all documentary and non-fiction content across all platforms, from feature length to shorts, and including interactive and virtual reality projects. The Festival welcomes filmmakers and professional delegates from around the world and its main activities are: International film programme; Alternate Realities for digital and interactive innovation; Talks & Sessions to inspire, inform and debate; Marketplace for international business; Live events and networking, alongside a year-round programme of screenings and training events.
Since 2010, British Council has supported groups of documentary fimmakers from around the world to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest as part of a growing section of international delegations.
The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation whose aim is to improve the health of humans and animals. For many years the Trust has been encouraging the collaboration between scientists and artists to help generate understanding and debate around key issues affecting science and society. This is achieved through a variety of awards and initiatives open to all art forms including documentary film and TV.
The Wildscreen Trust
The Bristol-based Wildscreen Trust aims to convene the best photographers, filmmakers and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists to create compelling stories about the natural world; that inspire the wider public to experience it, feel part of it and protect it.
The Trust's three main areas of activity are: Wildscreen Festival - the internationally renowned festival that celebrates and advances the art of natural world storytelling which also awards the prestigious Panda Awards; Wildscreen Exchange - A unique global hub that empowers conservation organisations by connecting them with world-leading filmmakers and photographers to create ground-breaking communications about our natural world; Wildscreen Arkive - the world’s leading online natural world encyclopaedia.