Networks for Future! – Joining Forces for the Documentary Film Industry

Travelling Docs @ DOK.fest Munich

Industry experts* from all over Europe will gather online examining the power of networks to address the challenges the documentary industry is facing. We want to find out what solidarity means for today’s film professionals and how we can collaborate to help our films reach their audiences. This is a unique opportunity for the European documentary community to enter into a discussion and learn from each other. 




Presentation of Participating Networks

Accessible here and via Facebook Livestream. Tune in to find out more about some of the dedicated initiatives Europe has to offer! Scroll down to have a peek on the initiatives participating.

The presentation is moderated by Klara Grunning


Interactive, Virtual Fishbowl Discussions

For those active in the documentary sector who wanted to pitch in and presented their own ideas, we offered two separate virtual discussion rooms which were designed for interaction: in the round of experts, there was always one free seat to be taken by any member of the audience. Thank you for your contribution  also just for joining the meeting as a listener. We hope you have been inspired!



Solidarity within the Documentary Community

Fishbowl-Discussion I 

In this discussion we want to  focus on structures which support cross-border solidarity within the filmmakers‘ community. Our industry is characterised by shrinking budgets and poor employment conditions, self exploitation and also the exploitation of others. What can we do to overcome these conditions and prepare the ground for fair working conditions in our industry, in Europe and beyond?

Moderated by Ove Rishøj Jensen (Paradiddle Pictures)
Experts: Isabel Arrate-Fernandez (IDFA Bertha Fund), Sonia Hausséguy (Crew United), Marion Schmidt (Documentary Association of Europe)


Outreach and Promotion of Documentary Film 

Fishbowl-Discussion II

Documentaries are contending with different expectations: to some they serve to highlight politically and socially relevant issues, while others above all value their high artistic merit. How can we strengthen or even merge these different aspirations and make sure that films reach their audiences? How does the current situation influence our strategies?

Moderated by Ulla Simonen (AVEK)
Experts: Zdenek Blaha (Institute of Documentary Film), Sanna Kultanen (The Finnish Documentary Guild), Nicole van Schaik (Good Pitch


Initiatives participating


Documentary Association of Europe – DAE

DAE is a new, Pan-European association for European documentary professionals to strengthen the industry, unite the community and create sustainable support for the genre with contemporary approaches and an international vision. 
Founded in February 2020, the association is currently in a beta phase. Our first priority is creating a network of engaged, skilled and passionate professionals in order to lend their voices, ideas and enthusiasm to DAE's establishment: for unity across national, generational, ethnic, linguistic and gender borders. How to be involved in our activities? Please visit our website for more information:

DAE will be represented by Marion Schmid who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Solidarity within the Documentary Community.


Crew United 

Crew United is a network from filmmakers for filmmakers. Founded in 1996, Crew United today is the leading digital platform for the Film- and TV-sector in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Over 37.000 freelancers and companies present themselves with their filmography and further professional data. Crew United covers the entire spectrum of audiovisual creation and follows the mission to connect people internationally in order to make great films together – under fair and sustainable conditions. With several initiatives like the Fair Film Award, Crew United has a strong commitment for fairness, sustainability, solidarity and diversity in the film sector. 

Crew United will be represented by Sonia Hausséguy who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Solidarity within the Documentary Community.


The Institute of Documentary Film 

The Institute of Documentary Film has several programmes focused on the promotion and distribution of documentaries: namely the East Silver film market for completed documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe and its festival distribution programme East Silver Caravan. The second programme is KineDok, an international community-based alternative distribution network, which brings films for non-theatrical screenings to seven European countries (CZ, SK, HU, BG, HR, RO, PL).

The IDF will be represented by Zdenek Blaha who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Outreach and Distribution.


The Finnish Documentary Guild

The Finnish Documentary Guild (Dokumenttikilta) is a national organization for directors, producers and other professionals working in the field of documentary film in Finland. The Guild promotes interests of the documentary film industry and aims to nourish the vitality of documentary film as an art form. It actively lobbies for the industry and organizes screenings, seminars and discussions as well as festival visits abroad. Established in 1996, the association has approximately 250 members. 

The Finnish Documentary Guild will be represented by Sanna Kultanen who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Outreach and Distribution.


IDFA Bertha Fund

In 22 years the IDFA Bertha Fund became an internationally renowned institution with a broad network supporting over 600 documentary projects and film organisations in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. The fund has facilitated notable success in recent years, with supported films that include Academy Award Nominees for Best Documentary OF FATHERS AND SONS (Talal Derki, 2017) and LAST MEN IN ALEPPO (Firas Fayyad, 2016), KABUL, CITY IN THE WIND (Aboozar Amini, 2018) Opening Film IDFA 2018, TALKING ABOUT TREES (Suhaib Gasmalbari, 2019) winner Best Documentary Glashuette Award 2019 at Berlinale.
The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA has a leading role within the documentary film industry through its markets IDFA Forum and Docs for Sale, training program IDFAcademy, new media program IDFA DocLab and the IDFA Bertha Fund.
IDFA Bertha Fund will be represented by Isabel Arrate Fernandez who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Solidarity within the Documentary Community.


Good Pitch

Good Pitch, an initiative by Doc Society, brings together documentary Filmmakers with foundations, NGOs, campaigners, philanthropists, policymakers, brands and media around leading social and environmental issues — to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all these partners, good for the Films and good for society. Good Pitch is a unique model for cross-sector collaboration and inspiring change on public, governmental, legal and corporate levels all over the world. For over 10 years, Good Pitch has supported over 260 documentary films globally.
Good Pitch will be represented by Nicole van Schaik who will be participating in the fishbowl discussion on Outreach and Distribution.






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  • Thu, 05/07/20
Isabel Arrate Fernandez
(IDFA Bertha Fund)

Isabel Arrate Fernandez finished her MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam in 1996, and worked in festival production, programming and film financing before joining IDFA. Since 2002 she is head of the IDFA Bertha Fund and responsible for the general policy of the fund and the development and implementation of the different support programs. She is a member of the selection committee, actively involved in the mentoring of documentary projects, and regularly participates as consultant in workshops and pitching forums. She is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Zdenek Blaha
Programme Director (IDF) (Institute of Documentary Film (IDF))

Zdeněk is specializing in festival strategies and distribution. He has been working for the Institute of Documentary Film since 2009 on different positions within the East Silver, a film market and distribution programme focused on documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe. He is also managing the East Doc Platform, a key networking event focused on upcoming documentary films from the CEE region. Since January 2020 Zdeněk has been the Programme Director of Institute of Documentary Film (IDF).

Klara Grunning

Klara is an Emmy Award winning producer, cinematographer and director, and have produced film, documentaries, commercials, music videos and art installations. She has gained unique experience as a decisionmaker for content, co-production and artistic excellence; for nine years at ITVS in San Francisco and as VP of Distribution at Norwegian Kudos Family. After twenty years abroad, she returned to take an assignment as Film Commissioner at the Danish Film Institute for five years. Presently she works as Film Commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute, as a decision maker for documentary features, international co-productions, shorts and digital storytelling.

Sonia Hausséguy
© Jeanne Degraa 2020 (Crew United)

Sonia Hausséguy, French-German, works for Crew United since March 2019 and is co-responsible for the department “Crew United France”. She has been an actress for over ten years and has gained a lot of experience in the profession. In the course of her professional development she graduated with a Master in Cultural and Media Management with the topic of her thesis being "Diversity Management".

At Crew United she is mainly responsible for the acquisition and registration of French-speaking actors. As part of Crew United's European approach, she is also involved in other projects, such as the "Talent Circles" during the Berlinale Talents 2020.

Sanna Kultanen
(Finnish Documentary Guild)

Sanna Kultanen is currently working as the part-time Executive Director of the Finnish Documentary Guild. She also works as a Producer for four media artists through the Moving the Image project. In addition she works as the Coordinator of the Magnesia Festival.

She has previously worked for example as a film producer at Tuffi Films, with film festivals and markets at the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy / Finnish Film Affair and with film commission activities to create the Finland Film Commission.


Ove Rishøj Jensen
(Paradiddle Pictures)

Working in the international documentary sector since 2003, Ove Rishøj Jensen has an extensive network within the industry. He gives lectures and run workshops about script writing, project development, international financing, co-production, impact, outreach and distribution.
In 2019 he launched his own company for documentary training and consultancy, entitled Paradiddle Pictures. Here he collaborates with partners like IDFA, Fresh Pitch China, Dix in Vitro, Mediterranean Film Institute, Nordisk Panorama and many others.
Since 2011 Ove has worked for the Swedish production company Auto Images as Producer and Outreach Manager, which he continues to do. From 2003 to 2019 Ove worked for EDN - European Documentary Network.

Ulla Simonen
(The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture in Finland - AVEK)

Ulla Simonen has worn different hats in the field of filmmaking since the mid-nineties; now the director of AVEK - Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture in Finland. Before the current position she was producer and partner in the Helsinki based company MADE, originally educated as film editor, she has produced over 50 titles, shorts, features, both fiction and documentary. Ulla has tutored for Berlinale talents since 2008 as well as many other talent development and training programs, such as Dok.Incubator, Docs by the Sea and Generation Africa as the last ones.

She has worked also as a commissioner for short films and documentaries and as the artistic director of DocPoint Festival in Helsinki.

In her work, be it producing or tutoring she is dedicated to find the film-makers vision and to find ways how to enhance and support that vision.

When not working on film she is a gardener, beekeeper, knitter and passionate on various sports.

Nicole van Schaik
Director of Development (Doc Society)

Nicole is Director of Development at Doc Society. For over 9 years, she’s been strategising with filmmakers and impact producers on how they can use their films as a tool for social and environmental change. She also brokers innovative partnerships with civil society organisations globally, including: foundations, philanthropists, NGOs, brands, policymakers, technology innovators, and media for the global Good Pitch programme, and Doc Society as a whole. She is currently being based in The Netherlands leading Doc Society’s European office.