Global Short Docs Forum is a much needed and dedicated initiative to nurture new talent in documentary shorts, giving them access to the growing number of digital media platforms.

Dedicated to shorts. Pitching and development forum wholly dedicated to documentary shorts: GSDF is the first of its kind.

New and diverse voices. Fresh and unique narratives offering original perspectives on the dominant digital platforms.

Meet the gatekeepers. Curated workshops, pitch training, and networking opportunities between the experts and the makers.

Access to market. Access for diverse filmmakers to the growing market of online platforms seeking untold stories.

Positive storytelling. We have a special interest in stories that have a social, political or cultural narrative, take a solutions journalism approach or give us a new perspective on the changes we want to see in the world.


  • Open for applications: June 2020
  • Entry deadline: August 2020
  • Filmmakers announced: October 2020

Who is it for?

Filmmakers of documentary shorts & digital platforms looking for new voices and new narratives.

GSDF supports and trains diverse voices to tell local stories of a social, political or cultural nature.

The Forum is open to applications from all parts of the world, with documentary projects up to 30 mins. The focus is on filmmakers from areas with low production capacity and little visibility, as well as filmmakers from minorities in geographical areas of established media production, thereby encouraging new narratives and underreported stories.

How does it work?

The Global Short Docs Forum brings together 12 filmmakers selected from a global call, to attend an intensive online training programme and pitching forum. Over four weeks of masterclasses, workshops and mentoring we will take your short doc from conception to commission.

You will be joining a supportive environment of international filmmakers coming together to discuss, develop and rework your pitches, leading up to the final day of one-to-one meetings with representatives from digital platforms.

We champion new and diverse voices telling international stories. We have a special interest in films that have a social, political or cultural narrative, take a solutions journalism approach or give us a new perspective on the changes we want to see in the world.

Selection is based on the filmmaker’s proven ability and the strength of the story, characters and footage provided.

Why now?

There’s a growing number of online media platforms looking for documentary shorts. Yet currently, there is no dedicated event of this kind to bridge the gap.


Rapidly Evolving Market

Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of online content – including platforms for documentary shorts from longstanding print publications to Internet giants. There have also been omnibus projects and ventures, as well as dedicated shorts and documentary platforms. These online media platforms are globally accessible to massive audiences, creating huge opportunities for talented filmmakers. But the short itself is an art form which requires particular skills and training separate from long form documentary.

The online market for short documentaries is evolving rapidly and is very different to the market for feature length docs. GSDF offers training and workshops on both the form and the market.


New voices meet decision makers

It is often difficult for filmmakers to determine the relevant decision makers, as well as the style and subject matter they are looking for. Global Short Docs Forum fills this crucial gap in the market, acting as a matchmaker between the relevant commissioners and emerging filmmaking talent.

The Forum fosters a more sustainable culture of short documentaries, giving filmmakers access to valuable training and top decision makers; and ensuring that these commissioners can likewise access a global pool of the best new filmmaking talent, resulting in more diverse and untold stories.

If you have any questions about your application, or would like to find out more about the Global Short Docs Forum, please get in touch via email or call us on +44 (0)207 922 7941