The new British doc fest BRITDOC has chosen to focus on being an industry festival, and it got off to a good start
By the time this goes to print, the extensive transcriptions of four of the masterclasses run by BRITDOC between 26 and 28 July will have already been posted on the festival website. All four–“Bad Guys and Good Journalism”, “Beyond Frontiers: Adventures in Co-production”, “I Love Archive”; and “The Avid Editing Masterclass”–make a compelling read, with other transcriptions still to come.
Making the masterclasses available to the broader documentary community is a fine way for a festival team to affirm its intention to play a role in the life of a professional community. Backed by Channel 4’s recently launched British Documentary Film Foundation and supported by More4, the new Oxford-based BRITDOC emerged this summer as a new platform for British documentary talent. At the heart of BRITDOC is the engagement with a certain isolationism of the British market and the commitment to encourage the younger British professionals to develop their projects for the international market.
In this vein, the festival started by tackling the basics through a fun presentation on effective networking, then went on to more burning issues. The emphasis at BRITDOC was on how to fund and circulate documentaries across newly emerging platforms rather than on how to make them.