Master's Pitch

Through the Lockdown Looking Glass: Visions of new Documentary Horizons

Diese Veranstaltung wird auf englisch durchgeführt.

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Already Pre-Pandemic, with digital platforms and new financial opportunities on the rise, conventional financing strategies were being challenged – and thus distribution strategies as well. When the world came to a standstill, the necessity of radical readjustment and creative reinvention of how we work individually and as a global community could no longer be ignored. It was the nick of time to get out of our respective Rabbit Holes.

What have we learned, what kind of perspective have we gained, not just from readjusting and reinventing, but also from standing still and having a moment to take stock of what is important and what maybe not? Are we maybe now better equipped to navigate the entangled landscape of platforms, rights and audiences without leaving our values, visions and voices behind? 

No filmmaker is an island, no distributor, exhibitor or spectator either – especially amidst these seismic shifts, reasserting ourselves and our ways of working together is more important than ever to ensure the height, depth & breadth of the documentary art form in a Post-Pandemic world. 

In the unique, interactive setting of the Masters’ Pitch, nine new documentary projects heading into this transitioning market, will be presented to international commissioners and experts. Feedback is also sought from the audience, including producers, directors, distributors and representatives of major broadcasters. Our jury members will be in the spotlight as well to share their visions of the future potentials – and pitfalls – of this New Normal.

The event will be moderated by renowned documentary consultant Karolina Lidin (Nordisk Film & TV Fund).

The Master’s Pitch is a unique format for training and collaboration, initiated by Documentary Campus and DOK.fest München.


Programme and Projects

13.00–13.15 Welcome & introduction

13.20–13.30 Kick-off keynote by Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, IDA, US


13.30–14.15 Pitching block 1 (Pitch: 5 min. / Feedback: 10 min.)

13.30–13.45 Pitch 1 and Feedback: DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO, Germany/Lebanon
Pitching Team: Cyril Aris and Katharina Weser

13.45–14.00 Pitch 2 and Feedback: HAYFLICK LIMIT, Belgium
Pitching Team: Thomas Licata and Florence Saâdi

14.00–14.15 Pitch 3 and Feedback: BROTHERHOOD, Switzerland
Pitching Team: Hanka Maciag and Esther van Messel


14.20–14.30 Impulse talk with Q&A by Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville, UK

14.30–15.00 Coffee Break (Spatial Chat)

15.00-15.15 Impulse talk with Q&A by Thomas Beyer, Commissioning Editor, MDR, Germany


15.15–16.00 Pitching block 2 (Pitch: 5 min. / Feedback: 10 min.)

15.15–15.30 Pitch 4 and Feedback: SCHOOL FOR PEACE, Germany/Israel
Pitching Team: Guy Wasserman, Nir Dvortchin & Moritz Bundschuh

15.30–15.45 Pitch 5 and Feedback: A PICTURE TO REMEMBER, Ukraine
Pitching Team: Olga Chernykh & Regina Maryanovska Davidzon

15.45–16.00 Pitch 6 and Feedback: SILVER’S UPRISING, Israel
Pitching Team: Dan Shadur & Ido Mizrahy


16.00–16.15 Impulse talk with Q&A by Volker Neuenhoff, Head of German Amazon Original Unscripted TV, Amazon Studios, Germany

16.15–16.45 Coffee Break (Spatial Chat)


16.45–17.30 Pitching block 3 (Pitch: 5 min. / Feedback: 10 min.)

16.45–17.00 Pitch 7 and Feedback: BIG OIL VS. THE LAW, Germany
Pitching Team: Mette Reitzel & Nadja Smith

17.00–17.15 Pitch 8 and Feedback: THE ULTIMATE JOKER, Poland, Norway
Pitching Team: Krzysztof Dzieciolowski & Agata Jujeczka

17.15–17.30 Pitch 9 and Feedback: BAM, BAM: THE STORY OF SISTER NANCY, Canada
Pitching Team: Ngardy Conteh George & Alison Duke


17.30–17.45 Impulse talk with Q&A by Estelle de Araujo, The Party Film Sales, France

17.45–17.50 Closing Words Karolina Lidin & Thank yous

17.50–18.30 Virutal After-Pitch Cocktail (Spatial Chat)

The event will be moderated by renowned documentary consultant Karolina Lidin (Nordisk Film & TV Fund).

Master's Pitch Jury

Thomas Beyer, Commissioning Editor, MDR, Germany
Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville, UK
Estelle De Araujo, Head of TV Sales, The Party Film Sales, France
Mark Edwards, Commissioning Editor, ARTE France, France
Timo Großpietsch, Commissioning Editor, NDR, Germany
Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director, IDA, USA
Grazyna Krupa, Executive in Charge of ARTS Programming | Unscripted Programming, CBC, Canada
Kelsey Koenig, Senior Director of Development, Impact Partners, USA
Jake Wiafe, Senior Content Editor, Little Dot Studios / Real Stories, UK

We reserve the right to make changes to the programme.


In cooperation with


  • Fri, 5/7/21
  • Fri, 5/7/21
Thomas Beyer
Commissioning Editor (MDR Department History and Documentaries)

Thomas Beyer studied journalism and geography and worked as a journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker in Leipzig and Hamburg. Since 2020 he is commissioning editor for documentaries at the MDR department "history and documentaries".

Mandy Chang
Creative Director (Undeniable, a Fremantle label)



Estelle de Aurajo
Mark Edwards
Commissioning Editor (ARTE France)

Mark Edwards is an independent producer with 20 years of experience in the documentary world. He began his career in New York on a 10-part PBS/BBC series about the history of American Cinema. Starting in 1998, he began specialising in international co-productions and has produced documentaries about history, film, politics and culture for most of the major broadcasters in Europe and North America. His productions have been featured in festivals such as Cannes, Lisbon, Turin, Jerusalem and Nyon. In July 2012, he joined ARTE as a commissioning editor for documentaries. His commissions include films for the History, Current Affairs, Investigation and Geopolitics strands. A US citizen, he graduated with highest honours from Yale University in 1992 with a degree in English literature and went on to attend film school at NYU. He currently lives in Paris with his family.

Simon Kilmurry
Executive Director (IDA)

Simon Kilmurry has served as executive director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) since 2015. Prior to IDA he was the executive producer of POV, the PBS showcase of independent documentaries where he received one Prime Time Emmy, three Prime Time Emmy nominations, 17 News & Documentary Emmy Awards, more than 60 News & Documentary Emmy nominations, and six Peabody Awards. He serves on the board of jurors of the George Foster Peabody Awards and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Kelsey Koenig
Senior Director of Development (Impact Partners)

Kelsey has worked in independent documentary for over a decade, and is currently the Senior Director of Development at Impact Partners, a New York-based fund dedicated to supporting powerful documentary films that address pressing social issues. At Impact Partners, Kelsey reviews potential projects to finance, provides creative and strategic support for films, and represents the fund at festivals and markets around the world. Since joining Impact Partners in 2012, she has been involved with the financing and development of over 60 projects and has spoken on panels about funding, distribution and impact at workshops and other industry events.

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.

Karolina Lidin
Senior Advisor Documentary (Nordisk Film & TV Fond)

Karolina Lidin is a documentary consultant with 25+ years of experience on the international documentary scene, currently engaged at Nordisk Film & TV Fond as Documentary Advisor and for 12 years Executive Producer at Sheffield Doc/Fest, developing the successful MeetMarket concept. In addition, Karolina Lidin is continuously involved in mentoring/training schemes, developing projects with international potential, lately with Docs by the Sea, DocEdge Kolkata, Dhaka DocLab, DocsPort Incheon/DMZ, and Below Zero. Karolina has previous experience as producer, film commissioner, distributor and as CEO of Nordisk Panorama and Nordisk Forum. Karolina’s activities also include moderating the IDFA FORUM and numerous other film festival and market events - in addition to festival jury duty, panel & selection committee participation, and tutoring worldwide.

Volker Neuenhoff
Head of Unscripted Department Germany (Amazon Studios)
Jake Wiafe
Programming Manager, Documentary & Film (Real Stories - Little Dot Studios)

In London geboren, begann Jake Wiafe im Juli 2017 bei den Little Dot Studios als Betriebsassistent zu arbeiten, um die Social-Media-Präsenz ihrer Network-Kanäle zu erhöhen, wobei er sich vor allem auf ihre dokumentarische Marke Real Stories fokussierte. In den letzten 4 Jahren ist Real Stories auf über 4 Millionen YouTube-Abonnenten und 4 Millionen Facebook-Follower angewachsen, hat unzählige Preise gewonnen, darunter einen BAFTA TV Award 2019 und einen Canadian Screen Award. In dieser Zeit ist Jake in die Rolle des Senior Content Editor aufgestiegen und arbeitet mit einem immens talentierten Team an Marken im gesamten LDS-Netzwerk. Seine Arbeit umfasst die Beauftragung und Lizenzierung von Dokumentarfilmen, die Entwicklung von unskriptfreien Inhalten und die Vermittlung von Filmemacher.innen aus unterrepräsentierten Verhältnissen.