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Bertha Foundation is co-commissioning 12 short films with Guardian.

24 May 2016
Bertha Foundation is co-commissioning 12 short films with Guardian.

Here is a bit about the project in case it sparks any interest:

Guardian is relaunching their documentary strand in Summer 2016 in partnership with the Bertha Foundation. For the new Guardian Documentaries strand, the idea is that we will do slightly longer shorts - possibly as long as 20 minutes - and that we will invest up to a maximum of £15,000 per film. This partnership strand with Bertha will comprise of 12 films to be released approximately monthly between Summer 2016 and Summer 2017, so we're looking for our absolute favourite, most impactful, stories to commission.

With this relaunch, we'll want to make sure that the docs we commission will work as standalone films, so whilst we'll still do both originals and alternative versions/works in progress of longer docs, we'll want to make sure that the films always work as standalones in their own merit, with their own narrative arcs, release window and outreach campaigns.  The docs can be on any contemporary subject and these films can be set anywhere in the world, and we welcome global stories.  The Guardian will ensure the commissions are marketed online to attract large engaged audiences, and online screenings can be followed by festival submissions and other multi-platform opportunities for further international audiences.

We want documentaries that have brilliant storytelling and characters at their heart - the films that work best for The Guardian are narrative led and help our audience to understand the contemporary world in creative and entertaining ways. Your ideas don't need to be for news films, we want standalone documentaries, but they should be films that will tell our audience something they don't already know, and surprise them. We're open to different style of docs, but the documentaries should definitely be designed for an online audience, told with good pace, be understandable and engaging for a wide audience, and favour actuality over talking heads.

Your film must be an online exclusive for The Guardian website to be eligible (i.e. we need global exclusive online rights for all our platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook in perpetuity). The Guardian may also be able to help with resources such as archive and music libraries and offer some in-kind production and post-production support if needed.


In the first instance, please send a one page proposal for the film to that makes it clear what stage the film is at (i.e. if you're already making it or not) plus a link to a short trailer, teaser, sample clip or other visual materials that might be useful for us to understand the film.