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This year, our short documentary pitching and development forum returns, tailored specifically for an online world.

Open to short doc filmmakers all over the world, the Global Short Docs Forum 2020 will bring together 12 filmmakers to attend an intensive 4-week series of online workshops and mentoring, followed by one-to-one pitch sessions.

We are thrilled to be joined by some of the most established digital media platforms in the industry: AJE Witness, Arte France, BBC Arabic, CBC, The Guardian, NHK, Thomson Reuters Foundation and VICE World News.

Filmmakers 2020

Jeremy Luke Bolatag

Filming in Philippines

Miriam Chandy Menacherry

Filming in India

Daniel Cook

Filming in Scotland

Mélanie Gouby

Filming in France

Jessi Gutch

Filming in Ecuador

Diego Lynch

Filming in USA

Camila Martins

Filming in Brazil

Prashun Mazumdar

Filming in India

Marta Miskaryan

Filming in Armenia

Joan Njeri Maina

Filming in Kenya

Marina Shupac

Filming in Kyrgyzstan

Eoin Wilson

Filming in Mexico

Mentors 2020

Platform Representatives 2020

Find out more about the
Global Short Docs Forum

Flora Gregory

With over 30 years’ experience in broadcasting and many awards under her belt, Flora is always on a mission to uncover and mentor new talent, and to bring stories made by local filmmakers around the world to an international audience. She conceived and ran Channel 4’s long running Unreported World, and was the founding commissioning editor of Witness, Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand which transmitted to 280 million homes worldwide. Since leaving, she has run workshops for BBC Media Action with Libyan filmmakers, and acted as a mentor for IDFA Academy, East Doc platform, EsoDoc, Docs in Thessaloniki (with the EDN) and Medimed in Sitges. She is the Director of Global Short Docs Forum, and an Executive Producer and a mentor for the One World Media Fellowship.

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Dominique Young

Dominique is an Executive Producer in international documentary and factual programming. For many years she was Senior Commissioning Producer for the Witness, the observational documentary strand on Al Jazeera English, executive producing programming from Africa and the Middle East with an emphasis on developing young, regional documentary makers. She was also International Executive Producer at Zinc Network, a production and communications company specialising in social change campaigns, overseeing all international filmed output for online platforms.

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LAURENCE TOPHAM

Laurence has worked at the Guardian for over 10 years. He was initially an in-house video producer, working across a wide-range of international news stories, documentaries, interactives and investigations. He has won multiple awards for his work – including Firestorm, Fast Ice and Building the Bomb – and has filmed in places such as Antarctica, the Arctic, West and East Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and all across the United States. Laurence is currently a Special Projects Editor and oversees many of the Guardian’s in-house documentaries and multimedia projects – such as The Trap, The Tower Next Door and Beyond the Blade.

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Fiona Lawson-Baker

Fiona is the Executive Producer for Witness, the flagship global documentary strand on Al Jazeera English (AJE). With a small but excellent editorial team, Fiona oversees the broadcast of more than 100 international documentaries annually for the strand. Witness has won numerous awards and has a loyal global audience with more than 1.2 million followers on social media. With more than 20 years’ experience working with documentaries for broadcast, Fiona has commissioned and executive produced films by independent filmmakers from across the globe. Prior to Witness, Fiona worked at the BBC, SBS and is an award-winning graduate of the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Her career spans living and working in the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Qatar, where she is currently based.

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Horia El Hadad

Horia is a filmmaker and documentary producer at Al Jazeera English, based in Doha. She has been with the channel since 2012. Horia’s films include A Marrakech Tale, Paris: Voice of the Suburbs, When Time Stopped at Sea, East End Undertakers, Undocumented and Under Attack and Out of Sight in Kashmir. Horia is interested in multi-layered, non-judgmental and impact-driven films that explore global issues through personal narratives.

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Marianne Lévy-Leblond

Marianne commissions original digital productions within ARTE France Digital Department. Our objectives are to support creativity, innovation, and public service for digital ecosystems. Some recent coproductions include VR productions Gloomy Eyes and upcoming Battlescar and 4 feet high, fiction series Tu préfères, documentary series Fail in Love and The Internet of Everything.

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Rosie Garthwaite

Rosie is the Digital Documentaries Producer for BBC Arabic, and the founder of Mediadante; an award-winning independent production company making films about the Middle East region for a global audience. She is the producer of the multi award-winning The Workers Cup that premiered on the opening night of Sundance 2017. The International Emmy-award winning Escape from Isis which she developed for Channel 4 and PBS was referenced by the UK Prime Minister in a key speech and shown to the U.S. Congress. She exec produced a CINE Golden Eagle winning series following the rst Saudi woman up Everest, and she is the author of the award-winning book How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone (Bloomsbury, 2011).

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Ahmed El Shamy

Ahmed is an award-winning senior investigative journalist and producer at BBC Arabic Documentaries. He’s responsible for building up and strengthening a network of freelance investigative journalists, to produce important in-depth stories from the Middle East and Arab world, to give voice to more voiceless people. He was working with IMS, the Guardian Foundation and ARIJ, as an investigative documentary producer and trainer on a long-term project “Syria in Depth”. Ahmed has a journalism professional fellowship program managed by the international centre for journalists ICFJ, which is funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (USA, 2014).

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Lesley Birchard

Lesley fuses success in television and digital production with a passion for mentoring and inspiring the next generation of documentary filmmakers. As Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Docs at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Lesley created the award-winning CBC Short Docs – point of view documentaries available internationally on the CBC Docs Youtube channel, on the streaming service CBC Gem in Canada and regularly broadcast nationally on CBC Television. CBC Short Docs have premiered and won awards at festivals worldwide including TIFF, Hot Docs, IDFA, Sheffield, Sundance, DOC NYC and many more. Lesley is passionate about working with and highlighting the voices of filmmakers from underrepresented communities, and her commissions reflect that commitment – over 75% of CBC Short Docs are by BIPOC filmmakers.

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Lindsay Poulton

Lindsay is a multi-award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist who is passionate about innovation in digital storytelling and new platforms. She has produced a wide range of documentaries and multimedia interactives on subjects ranging from climate change to the First World War, the global garment industry in Bangladesh to the psychological impact of solitary confinement in American prisons.

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Jess Gormley

Jess is Executive Producer of Documentaries and Features at the Guardian. Her documentary titles include; Our Iranian Lockdown, Divided Cities (5 x part series) and Crossing the Line (5 x part series). Her best known drama projects include; What has the ECHR ever done for us? with Partick Stewart and a series of scripted monologues entitled Brexit Shorts and Europeans. Prior to the Guardian, Jess produced and exec produced both documentaries and drama for television, cinema and online, including titles such as; McCullin, double BAFTA nominated feature documentary, Attacking the Devil about the Sunday Times editor Harold Evans which was the Sheffield Jury Prize Winner 2014, Radiator, micro-budget drama feature film exec’d by Rachel Weisz, Akram Khan: Homeland – More 4 one-off documentary on the dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, Rankin Presents; Collabor8te a four part series for Sky Arts exploring the craft of short filmmaking and finally ‘The Arbor’ BAFTA nominated docu-drama, directed by Clio Barnard.

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Valeria Cardi

Valeria began her career in photography and documentary producing multimedia and short films for the Italian photo agency Prospekt. In 2011, she joined Panos Pictures, producing, shooting and editing films in Afghanistan, DRC, Jordan, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, South Africa and Thailand among others, for online newspapers and magazines, NGOs, international organisations, and film festivals. She joined the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2016 as a multimedia producer, where she covers humanitarian news and plays a key role in producing and editing the Earth Focus climate change series in partnership with American broadcaster KCET.

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Martha Holeyman

Martha started off her journalism career at ITV Wales and BBC Wales working as a researcher and producer for current affairs programmes in both the English and Welsh language. She moved to London in 2016 and freelanced as a video journalist in the indie sector and for the newly-launched Victoria Derbyshire Programme. In 2017, Martha joined the Channel 4 News newsroom at ITN working as a producer and reporter for the award-winning digital team, covering the Grenfell Tower fire, two UK elections, the EU Referendum and a number of terrorist attacks. She later took on the role of Team Leader of digital short form, leading a team to create viral digital campaigns around Channel 4 documentaries and series such as Dispatches and Unreported World. Martha joined the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2020 to help set the new creative direction of the organisation’s long-form content and YouTube channel.

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Shin Yasuda

Shin joined NHK in 1997. He began his career in program-making at NHK Hiroshima Station where he wrote and directed documentaries about untold stories of Atomic Bomb survivors. In 2001, he moved to NHK Broadcasting Center in Tokyo where he continued to direct factual programs focusing on arts and culture. In 2009, he joined NHK’s international co-productions team and assisted the development of large-scale co-pros with international broadcasters as well as author-driven projects with independent filmmakers from around the world. Shin is currently a senior producer in the Media Design unit of Program Production Department, overseeing NHK’s half-hour documentary strand No-Naré while producing one-off specials with domestic and international partners.

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Lianne Turner

Lianne is an award-nominated journalist with over a decade of experience producing and directing documentaries, news and feature content. Prior to her current leadership role at VICE World News, she spent over ten years at CNN International covering breaking news and producing films on human rights, business, the environment, technology and culture. In 2015 she launched CNN Style, overseeing a global team creating films across TV, digital and social platforms. She currently heads up the digital team at VICE World News in London and continues to direct her own independent documentaries.

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Mélanie Gouby

Mélanie is a French investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker based in London. She has produced and directed short documentaries for The Guardian, NBC Left Field and Vice among others. Always seeking to let underrepresented communities and the story they want to tell guide her process, Mélanie has documented the diamond trade in the Central African Republic, pangolins trafficking in Cameroon, reported on the political crisis in Burundi, travelled with khat smugglers in Djibouti, and been smuggled herself behind army lines by activists in Sri Lanka. She was a nominee for the inaugural Mary Chirwa Award for Courageous Leadership.

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Marta Miskaryan

Marta is a documentary filmmaker, photographer and writer of Armenian origin. Currently based in London, she continues to develop her independent projects whilst contributing to cultural magazines and working for productions of digital learning content. Her latest short film was about the aftermath of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, which fuelled her interest in the issues of cultural heritage, identity and collective memory. She is currently developing a new film project in Armenia, which documents a revival of an abandoned scientific heritage site.

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Daniel Cook

Daniel is an artist and filmmaker based in Glasgow. He immerses himself in the lives of his subjects creating work that is at once performative, factual and fictional. In 2017 he screened his debut film ‘The King and I’ about new town Edinburgh eccentric Graham Croan Bee. It has since screened at numerous festivals within the UK and abroad. He had his first solo exhibition ‘Glassmount’ at the Embassy Gallery in Edinburgh in 2018. Regularly collaborating with artists, he was approached by female performance group Stasis to collaborate on several projects including a music video named ‘Faux Pas’ which featured on Nowness in 2017.

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Diego Lynch

Diego is a self-taught videographer, editor, and independent filmmaker from San Diego, California. Through his production company, Diego Lynch Productions, he provides videography services, amplifying the voices of social change-makers. Prior to starting work on “Democracy in America’s Little Baghdad” Diego was in New York – working as a news writer and videographer, after obtaining his M.A. in Journalism from New York University. Diego came from a writing and political-campaigning background before grad-school and received two B.A.s – Economics and Politics from the University of California Santa Cruz.

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Miriam Chandy Menacherry

With a background in filmmaking and journalism, Miriam has always made films that celebrate everyday heroes whether it was a rat killer in Mumbai (The Rat Race), children choosing music over violence in an area known for gang warfare (Lyari Notes) or the unsung heroes of Indian cinema (Stuntmen of Bollywood). Now, she turns the spotlight on the valiant survivors of child sexual violence as they emerge ‘from the shadows’. Miriam’s films have premiered at IDFA, where they were nominated for awards, won the MIPDoc Co-Production Challenge at Cannes, and was nominated for the youth jury award at Sheffield. They have had theatrical release as well as been broadcast on channels like Arte, National Geographic Channel, and Netflix. Miriam is one of 18 mid-career filmmakers selected for the Global Media Makers Fellowship for 2020-21 by Film Independent and the US State Department.

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Marina Shupac

Marina is an award-winning journalist and emerging self-shooting documentary filmmaker from Moldova. Most of her journalistic work is featured by NewsMaker. She was awarded the Senior Minority Fellowship with the UN Human Rights Office and the Sakharov Fellowship with the EU Parliament. She also worked with the UN in Chisinau and Geneva. Last year Marina won the Chevening Scholarship which allowed her to achieve her dream and study DocFilmmaking in the UK. Coming from an ethnic minority background and born in the small town Bessarabca, Marina is passionate about stories that diminish divisions between “us” and “them” and create solidarity among people.

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Jeremy Luke Bolatag

Jeremy is an emerging Filipino filmmaker who earned his bachelor’s degree in Film at the University of the Philippines. He seeks to highlight underrepresented Filipino stories through his work, tackling themes on diaspora, geopolitics, and equality. His short film, Katong Gabii, received international acclaim, including being shortlisted for the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards and nominated for Best International Short Film at the 2019 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. It was most recently screened at the 2019 Visual Documentary Project in Japan. Jeremy is an alumnus of Tribeca Film Institute and In-Docs’ If/Then 2020.

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Prashun Mazumdar

Prashun is a Delhi-based independent filmmaker and journalist. He has produced and co-directed long form documentaries and features for Al Jazeera, France 24, Channel News Asia, DW and ABC among others. A graduate of Delhi University, he has also contributed to pieces for The Telegraph (Calcutta), The Indian Express, USA Today, Le Monde and Los Angeles Times. His work deals with themes of human rights, personal journeys, culture and politics.

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Eoin Wilson

Eoin is an Irish-Scottish filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Mexico City. His first documentary, ‘Altsasu’, premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and he has worked for the Guardian, VICE, Al Jazeera, the Irish Times, the New Internationalist, the Herald, Middle East Eye, the Electronic Intifada, the Ferret and others. His work usually focuses on individuals and communities resisting injustices, particularly state violence. Eoin has worked in Mexico, Palestine, Jordan, Ireland and the UK.

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Jessi Gutch

Jessi is a Producer/Director with an MA in Documentary Journalism. Her graduation documentary – about the exploitation of Egyptian fixers by global news organisations during the revolution – was shortlisted for a One World Media Award. Part of the 2019 cohort for the International Federation of the Red Cross’ Production in Humanitarian Emergencies programme, she has produced and directed complex global shoots including at a sexual violence clinic in Bangladesh’s poorest slum, with Maasai tribes in Kenya’s savannas, and with ex-detainee asylum seekers in the UK. Most recently she was commissioned to make the 21st film for the Uncertain Kingdom – now released under the name ‘The Forgotten C’. She has several non-fiction projects in development that are all related to the climate crisis.

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Joan Njeri Maina

Joan Njeri has 6 years of experience in the media production and communication field. She is a Producer, Production Manager, and Co-founder of Neolight Productions Limited, a company that offers media production services to its clients by equipping them with products that will move their vision forward and connect them with their audiences. She is a stickler for logistics and planning. Joan believes in the use of media to tell Africa’s transformative stories by showing how we are changing our community’s narratives through social enterprises and businesses leading to positive social impact.

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Camila Martins

Born and raised in Brazil, Camila is based in Los Angeles, CA. Driven by her passion for storytelling, Camila is currently dedicating herself to projects like Heart of The Hinterlands, a short documentary shot in Brazil. Some of her recent projects include a 4-part series for NPR’s From The Top and various projects for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her branded work includes pieces for major clients like Starbucks and Red Bull. Camila has been a part of prestigious filmmaking programs such as Film Independent’s Project: Involve, Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access, and Women In Film’s Mentoring Program.

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Zara Meerza

Zara Meerza is an Indian-British filmmaker, journalist, and screenwriter based between London and New York. Previously she worked on projects for HBO, Vice, the BBC, BFI, Sky Arts, Arts Council UK, and Warp Films across feature films, festivals and TV. She has been chosen by the BFI, BAFTA, All3Media, Creative Skillset, and the National Film and Television School for various talent and development initiatives for diverse and underrepresented voices in film and TV. She was a 2018 Sheffield Doc Fest Future Producer and is also a co-founder of Women on Docs LA. She recently finished a stint on Axios on HBO, is currently a Producer at Vice News Tonight, and is directing three feature documentaries. Additionally, Zara serves on screening committees and juries for film festivals, fellowships and screenwriting competitions, including the True/False Film Festival, Camden International, Open City Doc Fest, Women in Film LA, and BAFTA.

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Jesper Osmund

Jesper is a Danish film editor and narrative consultant based in Copenhagen and Buenos Aires, but with the world as his workplace. His career started in fiction, but after editing his first documentary he got immediately drawn into non-fiction: “I got fascinated by the process of ‘editing without a script’. It allowed me as the editor to fully engage in the role as the storyteller, and to take on the challenge of transforming a narrative often based on a high level of information into a multilayered, purely emotional narrative, that I knew so well from fiction.” Today his focus is entirely on nonfiction and he has edited way over 100 creative documentaries. Many of them have been selected by festivals like IDFA, Sundance, Berlinale, HotDocs and CPH:dox and have received numerous awards including an international Emmy Award. Jesper also works worldwide as a narrative consultant and story editor, and is a regular tutor at rough cut and pitching workshops for fx., IDF Academy, EDN and IDF.

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Sifiso Khanyile

Sifiso is an award winning documentary filmmaker and archive researcher. Khanyile started his career working as writer and content producer on talk and magazine shows. Khanyile also worked as a local producer on numerous foreign productions, and produced for ABC News (America) for 4 years between 2012 and 2015. Khanyile’s feature debut ‘Uprize!’ has been in 20 international film festivals and has won Best Documentary. His short documentary on tennis player Arthur Ashe won Best Documentary at the 14th edition of Dieciminuti Film Festival in Italy. He recently won Best Director at Jozi Film Festival for his latest documentary ‘A New Country’. As an archive researcher, Khanyile has worked on several international film and television projects. He is a founding member of the Association for Transformation in Film and Television (ATFT) an organisation that aimed to empower, develop and inspire emerging filmmakers from disadvantaged communities. Khanyile is a judge for the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) and has served as jury member for the International Emmys.

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Karim Shah

Karim is a London based filmmaker. He has produced documentary and current affairs films in close to 40 countries, from Pyongyang to Timbuktu. A versatile filmmaker, Karim’s work ranges from self-shot observational documentaries to undercover investigations. He regularly works for the BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera English and PBS Frontline. Karim was awarded a Foreign Press Award in 2016 and has sat on the jury for the Rory Peck and Royal Television Awards.

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