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Doc Clinic is a talent development initiative supported by the NZ Film Commission and NZ On Air.
Doc Clinic is primarily focused on preparing filmmakers for the annual pitching forum, Doc Pitch held during the Screen Edge Forum.

Leading up to Doc Pitch, the Doc Clinic programme prepares and upskills filmmakers by providing bespoke mentoring on subjects such as proposal writing, budgeting, public speaking and producing audio-visual material. The two Doc Clinics following Doc Pitch support filmmakers in the production and delivery phase of their project.

All successful projects selected for Doc Pitch 2019 are required to attend Clinic #3-6.


If you are interested in applying to Doc Pitch 2019, you are invited to register for two introductory Doc Clinics:

Clinic #1The Art of Pitching  |  Sat 23 February 10am – 1pm
Clinic #2Proposal Writing & Budgeting  |  Sat 23 March 10am – 1pm

Selected Doc Pitch finalists will collaborate with mentors to develop their pitches/projects during two exclusive Doc Clinics:       

Clinic #3Presenting Your Project +AV Part 1  |  Sat 4 May
Clinic #4Presenting Your Project +AV Part 2  |  Sat 18 May

The final two Doc Clinics are open to all by registration:

Clinic #5Post Pitch & Production |  Sat 27 July
Clinic #6Delivery, Distribution & Exhibition  |  Sat 28 September


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 2019 will be held on 7 June at the Ellen Melville Centre, Auckland.

  • Saturday, 23 February 2019 |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Atea, Te Auaha, 65 Dixon Street, Wellington

    Doc Edge invites all filmmakers who are interested in submitting an application to Doc Pitch 2019, or who want to learn more about the pitching procedure, to register for Doc Clinic #1 on Saturday the 23 of February in Wellington. Both Doc Clinic #1 and #2 are introductory sessions looking at how to pitch, story development, writing proposals and creating audio-visual support clips.

    Doc Clinic #1 is kindly supported by NZ Film Commision, NZ On AirScreen Wellington and Film for Change Aotearoa.

    – 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

    Jess Feast 
    Jess is a documentary filmmaker with 20 years’ industry experience. She was awarded Best Pitch (Short) for her project Shot Bro which is currently in pre-production with Maori TV and The Spinoff. Jess’ independent features Gardening with Soul and Cowboys & Communists have successfully screened in cinemas and at international festivals, winning awards at home and overseas.  She has also made prime-time documentaries and series for TVNZ and TV3 and created online content for a range of organisations including Oxfam, Motu and Auckland City Council. She has also worked as a factual development executive for Gibson Group and together with partner Robert Appierdo is the director of Wellington production company Storybox.

    Jude McLaren
    Jude is the NZFC’s Talent Pathways Manager. Jude manages the funding process for the bi-annual Fresh Shorts rounds, including development labs. She supports filmmakers in their career development from the short to feature space. Jude has extensive production and development experience in the New Zealand screen industry. Commencing her career initially as Production Manager in factual and documentary then Development Executive at the Gibson Group which included developing numerous factual series and one off documentaries. Jude is graduate of Victoria University with a BA in Theatre and Film and the New Zealand Broadcasting School with a BA in Television Production.
    Jazz Thornton
    Jazz is a founder of mental health advocacy organisation Voices of Hope. In 2017, she was awarded Best Pitch (Short) at Doc Pitch for her web series project Jessica’s Tree. The project was picked up by producer Cass Avery from Augusto and will be available online via NZME later in 2019. Jazz is also the subject of a feature film, currently in post-production, also produced by Cass Avery, with director Leanne Pooley and producer Alex Reed. Jazz is a graduate of South Seas Film School’s directing course, and she is the director of viral video Dear Suicidal Me as well as being the director of all international video content for Voices of Hope.

    Jazz’s links:
    – Watch Dear Suicidal Me or Augusto web series
    – Read Stuff article on Doc Pitch
    – Follow on Instagram @jazzthornton

    We encourage students interested in documentary filmmaking to attend the Doc Clinic with a reduced price ticket with student ID.

    Regular: $17.25
    Student: $11.50

    Register Now
  • Saturday, 23 March 2019  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Venue TBC

    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.


    Saturday, 4 May 2019  |  10am – 1pm
    Venue TBC



    Saturday, 18 May 2019  |  10am – 1pm
    Venue TBC
  • Saturday, 27 July 2019  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Venue TBC

    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?

  • Saturday, 28 September 2019  |  10.00am to 1.00pm
    Venue TBC
    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?

Supported by

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