In April 2017, Moving Docs held a special three-day outreach workshop in Athens, involving a variety of European partners and industry specialists with the aim of taking the pan-European distribution of documentaries to the next level.
The workshop brought together Moving Docs partners and key industry players to explore latest market trends, cutting-edge technologies, research results and other topics that will contribute to the Moving Docs 2017 programme.
The line-up of workshop tutors and speakers included outreach expert Ben Kempas, Film & Campaign (UK), Kay Meseberg, Head of VR/360 at ARTE (France), Caty Borum Chattoo, Director Center for Media & Social Impact (USA), and Ziad Ramley, Social Media Lead at Al Jazeera English (Qatar).
The workshop was aimed at exploring questions such as: How is it possible to achieve and prove impact; What does it take to go viral; How can VR be made accessible? The workshop sessions also included an in-depth case study offering insights into the marketing campaign around the documentary film and series Bugs (produced by Danish Documentary). On the basis of this knowledge the main aim of the event was to develop innovative outreach campaigns around three central titles that will be featured in the 2017 Moving Docs film selection.
Staying ahead of the latest developments is key when it comes to reaching new audiences and employing new platforms. In this regard, the workshop offered a wealth of inspiring ideas and insights on how to benefit from new opportunities and transcend the boundaries of traditional approaches. With a view on the unique character of the Moving Docs initiative, lead tutor Ben Kempas said: "Let us not forget: together, we are pioneers. We are unique. Moving Docs is the only initiative to jointly distribute and engage audiences with creative, independent documentaries across Europe. Even in this day and age when officials like to go on about the Digital Single Market – there is no-one else like us."
"We all know what does not work for each of us in our home territories, and it’s all too easy to sit here and say: 'No, that’ll never work for us'. And while it’s important to recognise these differences and the limitations each of us face, the Moving Docs Workshop is all about looking beyond that", explained Kempas. "During the workshop we’re jointly getting inspired by some of the most cutting-edge players in audience engagement, marketing of tech innovation, and research on impact."
Ziad Ramley, social media specialist at Al Jazeera English, illustrated the role of social networks in outreach campaigns but also emphasized the multi-cultural perspective of the initative: "It was a pleasure to speak at the 2017 Moving Docs workshop. With partners from all across Europe, I found myself constantly learning from their unique perspectives and experiences. The workshop provided an opportunity to come together, learn from each other, and solve common problems. It was also a powerful reminder that despite differences in languages, environments, and cultures, we are all united by one thing: our love of films."
Caty Borum Chattoo, the Director Center for Media & Social Impact had only good things to say about the EDN-led initiative: "The European Documentary Network has established an impressive group of documentary film professionals who will work together to amplify the reach and impact of documentary storytelling throughout Europe. The workshop offered a crucial opportunity for leaders to come together and exchange ideas, which will tremendously benefit the program's success now and in the future."
The team that worked for months behind the scenes to make the magic happen:
From left to right: Ben Kempas of Film & Campaign, Rea Apostolides and Kyveli Short of CineDoc and Cecilie Bolvinkel of EDN.