Doc Pitch


A series of workshops held at the University of Auckland.
Our Clinics offer great ways to get more guidance, insight and knowledge through in-depth talks
and workshops from experienced film professionals.

This year’s Doc Clinic programme is a new initiative organised by Doc Edge. Doc Clinic is supported by the NZ Film Commission and is primarily focused on preparing filmmakers for the Doc Pitch event in May 2018.

Leading up to Doc Pitch, the Doc Clinic programme will prepare filmmakers by focusing on subjects such as proposal writing, budgeting, presentation and audio-visual material. The two Doc Clinics following Doc Pitch will support filmmakers in the production and delivery phase of their project.

All successful projects selected for Doc Pitch will be required to attend Clinic #3-6.

This year we are offering filmmakers support throughout the whole creative process. We want your projects to amaze the Doc Pitch assessment panel and, ultimately, we want to see them premiere on the big screen at a future Doc Edge Festival.

Doc Clinic will be held from February through to September 2018 at the University of Auckland. 


Doc Pitch is a significant opportunity for filmmakers to pitch their documentary proposals to industry experts, receive feedback, find new partnerships and progress their ideas through to the funding stage. Doc Pitch 2018 will be held in Auckland on 25 May at the University of Auckland.

DOC CLINIC #1-2 (open to all by registration)
If you are interested in applying to Doc Pitch, you are invited to register for two introductory Doc Clinic in Auckland:

Clinic #1The Art of Pitching  |  Sat 24 February 10am – 1pm
Clinic #2Proposal Writing & Budgeting  |  Sat 24 March 10am – 1pm

Selected projects are required to attend a series of four Doc Clinic events in Auckland:          

Clinic #3Presenting Your Project +AV Part 1  |  Sat 21 April
Clinic #4Presenting Your Project +AV Part 2  |  Sat 28 April
Clinic #5Post Pitch & Production |  Sat 28 July
Clinic #6Delivery, Distribution & Exhibition  |  Sat 29 September

  • Saturday, 24 March 2018  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Rm 220, Arts 1 Building, University of Auckland, 14A Symonds St.

    Doc Clinics are wrapped around the Doc Pitch to provide better support. Doc Edge invites all filmmakers who are interested in pitching a project at Doc Pitch or want to learn more about the pitching procedure to register for Doc Clinic #1 before Saturday the 24th of February. Both Doc Clinic #1 and #2 are introductory sessions to pitching, looking at story development, writing proposals and creating audio-visual support clips. In this first Clinic, Filmmakers David Farrier, winner of Best Pitch in 2014 (Tickled), and Jazz Thornton, winner of Best Pitch in 2017 (Silent Killer) will share their pitch experience.

      – Introduction to Doc Pitch
      – Why pitch your project?
      – The elements of a Pitch – story, written pitch, budget, audio-visual material, verbal pitch
      – Story ideas
      – Case studies – hear from successful pitchers
      – Impact/Audience

    Filmmaker David Farrier (Tickled, 2016), Filmmaker Jazz Thornton (winner Doc Pitch 2017), Doc Edge Director Alex Lee, the new Doc Edge Industry Producer Lara Sitruk.

    SCREENING Tickled + Q&A
    Join us after Doc Clinic at Doc Edge Presents for the screening of the film Tickled at the Academy Cinema at 2 pm followed by a Q&A with filmmakers David Farrier and Dylan Reeve. You can purchase a combination ticket for the Doc Clinic + screening here. 

    We encourage students interested in documentary filmmaking to attend the Doc Clinic and screening as well (reduced price ticket with student ID).

    TICKETS (excluding GST)
    Doc Clinic + Screening of Tickled + Q&A:  Regular $20.00 + GST
    Doc Clinic Only:  Regular $15.00 + GST
    Doc Clinic + Screening of Tickled + Q&A:  Student $5.00 + GST

  • Saturday, 24 March 2018  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Rm 220, Arts 1 Building, University of Auckland, 14A Symonds St.

    Doc Clinic #2 is aimed at documentary filmmakers who want to improve their proposal writing skills and learn more about preparing a clear budget overview. These are essential skills when submitting a project to Doc Pitch or making any other pitch.

    The Clinic is dedicated to how to write a strong and compelling story that draws in the audience, how to translate a film story into a written proposal and why this skill is so important. An experienced producer will share valuable tricks and tips in this field.

    The Clinic will also cover how to set up a budget, who will read your budget overview and what the most important points are that will need your attention. A film professional with years of experience in the budgeting area will share inside knowledge and will be available for questions.

    Alex Clark has 20 years’ experience in developing, directing and producing high-rating and critically acclaimed documentary and docu-drama productions. Alex has been a staff producer at NHNZ and Gibson Group, produced the Fresh Shorts films Coconut (NZIFF, Show Me Shorts) and CLEAVER and has co-produced two independently-financed feature films The Cure and Contract Killers. In 2016 Alex secured a Producer’s Mentorship placement working alongside the Producers of Paramount Pictures Ghost in the Shell as well as co-producing the telefeature Resolve.

    Charlotte Purdy is an experienced independent producer and director who has worked in the TV industry for 23 years. Her company, Rogue Productions, makes high-end, factual content as well as drama. Productions of note are Erebus; Operation Overdue (Doc Edge Festival), a multi-award-winning docudrama, The Palace – which gained exclusive access to Parris Goebel and her dance studio, and Anika Moa’s entertainment series for MTS and TVNZ.

    Regular ticket $15 + GST
    Student ticket $5 + GST


    Saturday, 21 April 2018  |  10am – 1pm
    Rm 206-315, Arts 1 Building, University of Auckland, 14A Symond St.



    Saturday, 28 April 2018  |  10am – 1pm
    Rm 206-315, Arts 1 Building, University of Auckland, 14A Symond St.
  • Saturday, 28 July 2018  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    University of Auckland, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Rd, Room 260-057 Caseroom 2, Owen G Glenn Building, level 0.

    Turn that great idea into a reality.

    Following on from Doc Pitch in May, Doc Clinic #5 is the “Where to Now?” for filmmakers looking to move their documentary projects from the development phase into production.

    After the pitching process, filmmakers may have many questions as to how to find funding and to move their projects into production: How do you follow through on the feedback from your pitch? Does your story need to change focus? What is your audience engagement plan and has it shifted since your pitch? Should you pitch it again at a film market? How do you attach a producer? How do you find funding? What revenue streams are available domestically and internationally? Should you be looking overseas for co-producers? What contracts need to be put in place at this stage? Do you need consent from your subjects? Can your documentary have a social impact campaign? Should you start thinking about finding a crew?


    Annie Goldson, director/producer  (Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web, He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Brother Number One, There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho)

    Leanne Saunders, Head of Development and Production, New Zealand Film Commission.

    Q&A sessions to follow

    Numbers are limited due to space, please register asap to be assured of attendance.


    We encourage students interested in documentary filmmaking to attend Doc Clinics (reduced price ticket with student ID).

    Please join us after Doc Clinic for the screening by purchasing a combined ticket.

  • Saturday, 29 September 2018  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    University of Auckland, 14A Symonds Street, Lecture Theatre at Arts 1 Building, Room 220
    Join us for Doc Clinic #6 on Saturday 29 September. Doc Clinics are a great way to get more guidance, insight and knowledge through in-depth talks and workshops from experienced film professionals. Doc Clinics are supported by the NZ Film Commission.
    You’ve finished your shoot and you’re just about to finish post-production, but finishing the film is only the first step in the process. A good producer knows that a good film is nothing without an audience. Doc Clinic #6 will show you how to find the right audience at the right time.
    Topics for discussion will include:
    • What are deliverables and what should you know in advance?
    • How do you find a distributor, or do you self-distribute?
    • Do you appoint a sales agent, and what’s the difference between a sales agent and a distributor?
    • What does a typical distribution agreement look like, and what are some key things to look out for when negotiating a deal?
    • Which territories will best be suited to your film and which festivals should you focus on and why?
    • How is the world of Netflix and VOD changing distribution and would it be better for you to release online or theatrical?
    • How does distribution strategy differ for documentary from fiction/drama?


    Jasmin McSweeney | Head of Marketing, NZ Film Commission
    Jasmin is responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films in New Zealand and internationally. She consults with filmmakers, international sales agents and distributors on international film festival and market placement. Within New Zealand, she assists distributors and filmmakers to identify and engage with their film’s audience through test screenings, audience research and distribution grants.
    Fergus Grady | Limelight Distribution
    Fergus is a producer, sales & distribution consultant who has over ten years’ experience in the film industry. As head of Acquisitions and Theatrical at Umbrella Entertainment for four years, Fergus was involved in a number of important acquisitions including The Babadook, Girl Asleep, Jungle and the Netflix original film Cargo which he was also an executive producer on. He’s producing a slate of projects of which his first; West of Sunshine premiered at Venice Film Festival 2017 and he EP’d The Marshes which launches on SVOD platform Shudder later this year.
    We encourage students interested in documentary filmmaking to attend Doc Clinics (reduced price ticket with student ID).


Supported by

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