Master's Pitch

A unique format for training and collaboration

The Master’s Pitch is a unique format for training and collaboration, initiated by Documentary Campus and DOK.fest München. It provides an opportunity for nine selected teams to pitch their documentary projects to a jury of international commissioners and experts. The Master’s Pitch delivers constructive feedback and the chance, to kick start the commissioning process in a congenial and collaborative atmosphere. Half of the pitches of 2017 and 2018 resulted in deals with German broadcasters
or co-producers! The audience, including producers, directors, distributors and representatives from major broadcasters, is also asked to give feedback.

Throughout the day, our jury members will be in the spotlight as well, presenting their perspectives on this year’s focus theme – Look Who’s Watching: The Documentary Audience.

The Audience – we want them but what do we really know about them? We want them to engage in our stories but how much effort do we put into finding out who they are, what resonates with them, and how they want to engage? Let’s face it, there are many sad stories out there about great docs that never had great audiences. This day is designed to give filmmakers the tools they need to get to know the people on the other side of the screen. How? Through an essential, fact-driven tool at our disposal – DATA.

We begin with a special presentation – a case study of eco thriller SEA OF SHADOWS by multi award-winning director and DOP Richard Ladkani. Richard will present the calculated strategy behind reaching and engaging their target audience. SEA OF SHADOWS secured this year’s Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary at Sundance. What better proof that the strategy worked!

Guest speakers and jury members include New York based industry guru Peter Hamilton ( Peter will reveal his unrivalled analysis of trends in audience engagement from every market across the world. CEO and founder of distribution company First Hand Films Esther Van Messel, will share her unique perspective on what resonates with audiences today, gleaned from two decades in the business. Tomas Lindh Executive Producer of Online Development at SVT presents future shocks and why there is such an urgency to change how we approach and relate to our audience. While Alex Hryniewicz, from LITTLE DOT STUDIOS, will reveal astounding audience data collected from some of the 24 channels he manages out of London. Ava Striker from MUBI will disclose engagement data, the trends and patterns, that drive this platform designed and curated for Cinephiles. We’ll also present DIY solutions – find out how to generate your own audience data.

Look Who’s Watching: The Documentary Audience, a day that promises to be entertaining, illuminating and informative – sounds like a recipe for a good documentary!

This day is curated and moderated by award-winning documentary maker Ruth Berry. A longtime supporter of Documentary Campus and familiar face at international markets.


The jury:

Kathrin Brinkmann, ZDF/Arte
Peter Hamilton, Documentary Business
Margje de Koning, EO, JDocs & IKONdocs
Grazyna Krupa, CBC
Tomas Lindh, SVT
Esther van Messel, First Hand Films
Ava Striker, MUBI





Regie: Claire Sanford
Produktion: Adam Pajot Gendron
Produktionsfirma: Tortuga Film Inc
Koproduktion: Sami Jahnukainen, Dagmar Jacobsen
Land: Kanada



Regie: Elwira Niewiera & Piotr Rosolowski
Produktion: Matthias Miegel
Produktionsfirma: Kundschafter Filmproduktion GmbH
Filmverleih: Real Fiction Verleih
Land: Deutschland, Polen 



Regie: Lana Daher
Produktion: Jasper Mielke
Produktionsfirma: Wood Water Films
Land: Deutschland, Libanon  



Regie: Iris Pakulla
Produktion: Ira & Alex Tondowski
Filmproduktion: Tondowski Films
Koproduktion: Polar Star Films
Land: Deutschland



Regie: Andreas Hartmann, Arate Mori
Produktion: Andreas Hartmann
Komposition: Jana Irmert
Land: Deutschland



Regie: Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim
Produktion: Phillip Kaminiak
Produktionsfirma: Tumult Film 
Land: Deutschland, Mexico



Regie: Florian von Stetten
Prouktion: Marcelo Busse
Produktionsfirma: BUSSE
Land: Deutschland



Regie: Constantin Gross
Produktion: Lukas Steinbrecher
Produktionsfirma: VeyVey Films GbR
Komposition: Jan Benz & Steffen Lohrey
Land: Germany



Regie: Frederik Subei
Produktion: Kerstin Krieg
Produktionsfirma: TAG/TRAUM Filmproduktion GmbH & Co KG
Komposition: Rossano Snel
Land: Deutschland, Brasil


In partnership with


Supported by




  • Freitag
  • 09:30
  • HFF - Audimax
Anne-Kathrin Brinkmann
Redakteurin (ZDF/ARTE)

Kathrin Brinkmann studierte Angewandte Theaterwissenschaften in Giessen. Nach einem Redaktionsvolontariat beim ZDF war sie sechs Jahre lang Redakteurin des kleinen Fernsehspiels, entwickelte und betreute Themenabende für den Europäischen Kulturkanal ARTE. Seit Mai 2000 ist sie als Redakteurin in der Redaktion "ARTE-Thema", seit 2006 in der Redaktion „ARTE Kultur“ im ZDF tätig, wo sie Dokumentarfilme für verschiedene Sendeplätze von ARTE betreut.

Peter Hamilton
Senior Consultant and Executive Producer (

I am a senior consultant who specializes in the business of the documentary and unscripted video niche. My clients include leading producers, networks like Discovery & BBC, foundations, investors and governments. I recently executive produced a Smithsonian / BBC biodoc on Jonas Salk and the race to develop the polio vaccine. My film is hosted by Bill Gates. Also, read my free, newsletter,

Tomas Lindh
Executive Producer Online & Development (Swedish Television (SVT))

Arbeitet seit über 20 Jahren im öffentlichen Dienst mit besonderem Fokus auf Online- und Cross-Media-Entwicklung für Swedish Yle (Finnland) und die nordischen Rundfunkanstalten. Zuvor bei Swedish Yle als Entwicklungsleiter und Programmchef, Gründungsmitglied der Nordvision Crossmedia Group. Arbeitet als ausführender Produzent (online & Entwicklung) beim schwedischen Fernsehen (SVT).

Ruth Berry
Director, Producer and Consultant (Director, Producer and Consultant)

Award winning producer, director and writer of blue chip factual programming; premium content developer; natural history illustrator; moderator and trainer. Loves dinosaurs, Neanderthals and B movie monsters. Her films have appeared on most broadcast networks including National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, ABC, PBS, ARTE, NDR and CBC. She is a consultant and freelance producer for Terra Mater Factual studios in Vienna.

Margje de Koning
Chief Commissioning Editor of Documentaries (EO/IKONdocs)

Nach Abschluss ihres Studiums machte Margje de Koning 12 Jahre lang Dokumentationen für verschiedene Rundfunkanstalten. Im Jahr 2004 wurde sie Teilzeitlehrerin für Kultur- und Medienwissenschaften (Abteilung Film & Fernsehen an der Universität von Amsterdam). Im August 2004 wurde sie Redakteurin für einen Dokumentarfilmslot von 52 'Dokumentarfilmen. Dies umfasste die Produktion und Koproduktion kreativer 52'-Dokumentationen zu aktuellen sozialen, soziokulturellen und moralischen Themen mit einem starken menschlichen Interesse. Seit Januar 2005 ist Margje de Koning für die Fernsehabteilung der IKON verantwortlich und wurde im Januar 2012 Leiterin der Abteilung TV, Radio und Neue Medien bei IKON. Seit Januar 2016 ist IKON Teil von EO mit Margje de Koning als Redakteurin Documentarfilm für EO, JDocs und IKONdocs in EO.

Alex Hryniewicz
Head of Owned Channels (LITTLE DOT STUDIOS)

Alex is Head of Owned Channels at Little Dot Studios, a next generation broadcaster and producer where he oversees a team of 15 staff working across more than 20 channel brands. Alex oversees the strategic development of the channels as they expand onto new platforms, syndicate content to 3rd party VoD services and expand their commissioning, production and brand partnership opportunities.

Grazyna Krupa
Programming and Commissioning, Unscripted Division (CBC)

CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. Grazyna Krupa is a creative media executive with over 20 years experience in the development, production and commissioning of factual programming, digital series and documentaries. She oversees CBC`s Arts programming strategy, live cultural awards and is a key member of the programming and development team for all Unscripted projects at the CBC.

Richard Ladkani
Director and Producer (Malaika Pictures GmbH)

Richard Ladkani wurde bereits mehrfach mit internationalen Preisen für seine Regie und Kameraarbeit ausgezeichnet. Zwei seiner Filme schafften es auf die „Shortlist“ der Academy Awards. Sein neuester National Geographic Film SEA OF SHADOW“ von Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio, gewann beim renommierten Sundance Film Festival 2019 den Publikumspreis. Zu seinen früheren Werken zählen das Netflix Original THE IVORY GAME und THE DEVIL’S MINER.

Ava Striker
Acquisitions and Productions (MUBI)

Ava works in MUBI's content team with a focus on platform acquisitions, and has recently joined the company's newly formed production department where she is involved in script development.

Esther van Messel
CEO (First Hand Films)

Esther van Messel, born 1965 in Vienna, lives in Switzerland and holds a Bachelor's degree in film & television production and in history from the University of Tel Aviv. In 1990, she joined Warner Bros. Israel and became Head of Distribution. From 1992 she produced international feature films and documentaries as Head of Co-Production and Sales for an independent production company in Zurich. Since 1998, Esther van Messel runs her own company FIRST HAND FILMS in Zurich and Berlin