BritDoc is a non-profit foundation that recognises how documentary has the ability to challenge and alter the way we see the world. Their aim is to forge relationships between emerging film-makers, acclaimed broadcasting companies, businesses, charities, celebrated directors and anyone else who will facilitate in the production of innovative documentaries – kinda like one big film loving family! Luke Moody is BritDoc’s film and distribution manager and we got to have a little chat with him…
JJ: In your own words, what is BritDoc?
LM: BritDoc exists to try and make sure that documentary continues to exist. Funding has gone down, support for investigative journalism has gone down; we try and find new funding sources and forge long lasting creative relationships. Without those it is very difficult to get a project off the ground! We run a pitching forum called the Good Pitch. We basically get a lot of people talking in a room; it is very supportive as documentaries need a lot things to really get going!
JJ: Why do you think there is less funding?
LM: Well, in general, there is less funding. Broadcasters have less funding and the fact that Dazed and Vice now produce their own film content has an impact. Broadcasters are less prepared to take risks and want to see ‘proof’ of your creative abilities. I would advise emerging filmmakers not to approach their subject directly. They should start by looking at other avenues and platforms… Use competition prize money and think about finding small amounts of money to develop ideas and characters.
JJ: What would you say is the most important thing to bare in mind for people submitting to EYE WANT CHANGE?
LM: There needs to be some sort of ‘challenge’. Naturally, that ‘challenge’ is dependant on the narrative, characters involved and the journey of the piece. However, you need to start a piece knowing what is going on.
JJ: What is the best documentary you have seen recently?
LM: Levithan. It is also relevant to the ethos of Eye Want Change because the film was shot on small go-pro cameras and doesn’t have a conventional narrative. It focuses on placing you in a place and situation. Another fantastic one is the Act of Killing, it merges ideas that emanate out of the fictional genre and readdresses what a film can be.
JJ: Tell us a little bit about the BritDoc box set prize for our winner…
LM: The box set is complied of winners of the PUMA Impact Award. The award celebrates documentaries that have created the most social change in the world, last year it was won by the Act of Killing. The award aims to recognise that films can have the power to be more than just a film. They can alter people’s perceptions of the world; where they shop, what they buy and it is really cool when film-makers work that realises that potential. Film-makers can spend years making their work and the only process can be a truly inspiring one – they have the potential to spark debate around a subject and campaign for something they care about.
JJ: Do you need to care about something to create it?
LM: Well, no, but you need to be able to make your story convincing and about a subject. If you are going to spend three years on making a long form documentary you need to have your heart in it! There will certainly be a lot of sacrifices on the way! It can be that you simply have a creative vision or you just really want people to know your subject.
Words by Jade Jackman
Follow @eyewantchange for more information
Send film submissions to email@example.com / contact us there for more information
More on BritDoc can be found here: @C4BRITDOC