The Amsterdam-based Binger Filmlab 1) Named after Dutch film pioneer Maurits Binger, 1868-1923 has been organising post-academic training and education for feature film makers since 1996. Recently it launched two initiatives aimed at documentary filmmakers: Docu Coach (individual coaching on demand) and Doc Lab, an 18-month workshop aimed at developing documentary projects from start to finish.

Selection criteria included having a producer onboard and preferably some funding in place, an idea with a strong narrative drive and an innovative style as well as cultural and/or social relevance. In the end, nine out of thirty projects were selected and the first meetings and workshops, aimed at developing the project, took place last June. DOX was there:

“I was hitting a wall, until I realized I was in the wrong place.”

Christy Galrand, Pietra Brettkelly and Jasmina Fekovic are three of the nine participants. Christy (1968, Canada) has made comedies, drama and documentaries. She summarizes her wish to participate as “trying to find a tribe”.

Canadian filmmakers form a small community but everyone is struggling. Christy: “On my travels, I noticed that there is a tightly knit community of people beyond competition. I saw films from Denmark, Norway, and Holland, and wondered: How have these been funded? I was hitting a wall, until I realized I was in the wrong place.” Now she’s back in training to raise the bar. Her project is called Racing Bastards and is on birdsong competitors in Guyana.

Pietra Brettkelly

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1.  Named after Dutch film pioneer Maurits Binger, 1868-1923