Time to Go East

Time to Go East

The great and the good of the doc trade will flag up the rights and the wrongs of documentary pitching, production and distribution during the 9th edition of Prague-based East Doc Platform, running March 7-13 2020.


In addition, new documentary content will be up for consideration at the East Doc Forum, whereby 21 feature-length documentaries in development and production from Central and Eastern Europe will be pitched to international industry professionals and potential funders. 


Since its inception, the East Doc Forum, organized by the Institute of Documentary Film in association with One World IHRDFF, has welcomed more than 800 filmmakers and supported over 400 documentary projects, including award-winning films at leading international festivals, such as Over the LimitWhen the War ComesSofia’s Last Ambulance, Village Without Women, Ukrainian Sheriffs, The Russian Job and Brothers. 


During the ‘Czech Docs… Coming Soon’ presentation, five new feature documentary projects will be presented by their producer-director teams to an audience of leading international film festivals, sales agents, funders and distributors. The event is organized in cooperation with the Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA).


Within the wider East Doc Platform programme, leading Swedish documentarian and journalist Fredrik Gertten will give a masterclass on his development of the multi award-winning investigative documentary Push, and will also talk about working with protagonists. Joining Fredrik in the discussion, and sharing her thoughts about the process, will be the main protagonist of Push, Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing.


Two case studies will be presented at East Doc Platform, one in which Austrian producer Johannes Rosenberger of Navigator Film will share his experience and insights  into (co-)producing docs about art, with reference to his award-winning feature-length documentary The Great Museum and successful documentary series The Art of Museums


In the other case study producer Erik Winker will describe the development, financing and shooting of the documentary feature Trees Floating by Salomé Jashi (a co-production between CORSO Film in Germany, the Swiss Mira Film and Sakdoc Film, Georgia), addressing the opportunities offered, and difficulties faced, in producing between countries with starkly different living and financial conditions.


Three lectures will address three very diverse aspects of the docmaking process. Documentary mentor Mikael Opstrup will share his views on pitching trailers and explain the purpose behind “presenting a not-yet-existing film”. Niki Mossböck will show the openings of different documentary films tat she has edited and will discuss both why they are edited the way that they are, and what a good start to a doc should achieve. Documentary sales doyenne Esther van Messel will talk about how to make sure the best stories get out there, get seen, and earn money for their creators.


Meanwhile East Doc Platform will host a panel discussion on overcoming the obstacles and restrictions placed on producing and shooting in the era of alt-truth, fake news and troll farms, at a time when critical filmmaking is deemed more necessary than ever in advocate for the powerless, promoting freedom of speech, addressing injustice and fighting for the truth.