Connecting short documentary filmmakers with digital media platforms

The Global Short Docs Forum brings together 16 filmmakers selected from a global call, to attend an intensive online training programme and one-to-one pitch meetings. Over four weeks of masterclasses, workshops and mentoring we take your short doc from conception to commission.

What are the benefits?

  • Invaluable pitching training and mentoring
  • Workshops + masterclasses from industry experts
  • One-to-one meetings with digital platforms
  • Connect with doc filmmakers from all over the world

In GSDF 2023, we will dedicate 50% of the Forum places to stories of people solving social problems

Who are we looking for?

  • Filmmakers of short documentaries with new and original narratives.
  • Open to applications from all over world, with documentary projects up to 30 mins.
  • Interested in stories that have a social, political or cultural narrative, including but not limited to climate, health, education, gender, science and technology.
  • Special focus on solutions oriented stories, about people who are responding to current problems.

How does it work?

  • The annual call for applications is open to all.
  • Selection is based on the filmmaker’s proven ability and the strength of the story, characters and footage provided.
  • Longlisted applicants invited to additional training on pitching and editing, before the final selection.
  • 16 selected applicants participate in a 4 week intensive online training programme and one-to-one pitch meetings.
  • Applications to GSDF are free.


To help filmmakers develop their short documentary projects, and to encourage a solutions approach, we will open our Call for Applications in November with worldwide workshops.

GSDF Labs is a 3-day series of free events on short documentary storytelling, pitching, and solutions journalism, as well as screenings and one-to-one consultations, online and around the world.

Short documentary is an art form in itself. Learn from experts in the international short docs industry and refine your skills.

Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of online content – including platforms for documentary shorts. These online media platforms are globally accessible to massive audiences, creating huge opportunities for talented filmmakers. But the short itself is an art form which requires particular skills and training separate from long form documentary.

Global Short Docs Forum offers training and workshops on both the form and the market.

Which platforms have attended?

Global Short Docs Forum provides filmmakers access to the growing market of online platforms seeking untold stories. Previously, this has included:

(Watch the highlights video from Global Short Docs Forum 2019)

Monica Garnsey

Monica Garnsey is an Executive Producer in TV Current Affairs, specialising in international and hostile environment projects, currently working on films for October Films, BBC Current Affairs and PBS Frontline. She has directed numerous observational documentaries and current affairs films for the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and elsewhere. She was awarded an Emmy for BBC’s Death in Tehran, an Amnesty International Media Award for Execution of a Teenage Girl (BBC) and a RTS Award for Help Me Love My Baby for C4.

Christo Hird

Christopher Hird is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He worked as an investment analyst in the City before becoming a journalist, working on the Economist, New Statesman and Sunday Times. He had a career in television as a reporter and producer before establishing Dartmouth Films, an independent documentary company. A leading figure in the UK documentary community, he was Chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the founding chair of the Channel Four BRITDOC Foundation. A former trustee of Index on Censorship, he is currently also a trustee of the Grierson Trust, the Wincott Foundation and the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Liliane Landor

As Senior Controller of BBC News International Services, Liliane Landor is the Director of the BBC World Service and oversees BBC Monitoring and the BBC’s international charity, BBC Media Action. And as a member of News Group Board, she is part of the executive team leading BBC News and Current Affairs. Liliane is responsible for the BBC’s global news strategy to accelerate its digital offering and increase impact with audiences around the globe.

Liliane started in this role in September 2021, joining the BBC from Channel 4 News where she was Head of Foreign News, responsible for award-winning high-quality and high-impact journalism. A major part of her journalistic career was built at the BBC where she began at the French Service. She went on to present and edit flagship BBC World Service programmes before managing language services across Africa and the Middle East. Later, Liliane became Controller of Languages where she was editorially responsible for all non-English language services on radio, TV and online. In this role, she was editorially and managerially responsible for all 28 language services on radio, TV and online and 1400 staff in England and internationally.

She started at the BBC as a producer/presenter in the French service. She was appointed Head of BBC World Service News and Current Affairs in 2006 responsible for all the daily and weekly journalism of the World Service in English. Under her leadership in 2008 her department won 10 Sony Awards – 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze – a singular achievement recognising the breadth and excellence of its journalism. She was born in Lebanon, educated in France and Switzerland. She speaks five languages.

Derren Lawford

Derren Lawford is the founder and CEO of DARE Pictures, a transnational content studio dedicated to premium programming with purpose. Prior to this he was Creative Director at Woodcut Media where he was responsible for editorial strategy and securing co-production, distribution and programme finance. Joining a month after it launched in 2014, he played a pivotal role in the creation of over 300 hours of IP with turnover leaping from £750,000 to £5 million  in 5 years.

He was previously at London Live, where as commissioner he oversaw a dozen documentaries working with the industry’s brightest new directing talent. He was also responsible for creating, commissioning and acquiring shows for Raw, an experimental late-night zone which gave TV debuts to a host of YouTube stars. Prior to that, as Head of Content at Livity he worked with Channel 4, Google and the Department of Health, and has also been an advisor to multi-millionaire YouTuber, Jamal Edwards. As Head of Programming & Scheduling at BBC Worldwide’s Global iPlayer, he helped launch in 16 territories, and in a distinguished decade at the BBC he worked as a digital executive producer on the award-winning documentary series Our War for BBC Three, was Panorama’s first multiplatform editor, and as a development producer helped to secure a raft of commissions for BBC Three Current Affairs.

Flora Gregory

With over 30 years’ experience in broadcasting and many awards under her belt, Flora is always on a mission to uncover and mentor new talent, and to bring stories made by local filmmakers around the world to an international audience. She conceived and ran Channel 4’s long running Unreported World, and was the founding commissioning editor of Witness, Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand which transmitted to 280 million homes worldwide. Since leaving, she has run workshops for BBC Media Action with Libyan filmmakers, and acted as a mentor for IDFA Academy, East Doc platform, EsoDoc, Docs in Thessaloniki (with the EDN) and Medimed in Sitges. She is the Director of Global Short Docs Forum, and an Executive Producer and a mentor for the One World Media Fellowship.

Bruno Bayley

Bruno has worked at VICE since 2007 and became the Editor of the UK edition of VICE Magazine in 2012. He is also the Managing Editor of VICE Magazine’s international editions. He has worked on numerous independent publishing projects and has judged several awards, including BJP’s Breakthrough Awards and Magnum/Photo London’s Graduate Awards.

Jezza Neumann

Born in Melbourne, Australia and schooled in the UK, Jezza Neumann then went to a college of higher education to study business studies.  After completing this course he travelled the world for 3 years and on his return started in the television industry working as a runner for Catalyst Television on the Chelsea flower Show for BBC 2.  After various jobs with various companies he progressed from runner to Production Manager and in January 1996 joined True Vision Productions. 

Having a passion for Stills photography he took a keen interest in camera work and editing and over the years he honed his skills in those areas.  His first broadcast filming opportunity came with Eyes of Child as the hours required “hanging” with the families meant that the budget couldn’t carry a fully fledged Cameraman.  Since cutting his teeth on that production he hasn’t looked back, working under the guidance of multi Emmy and BAFTA winning director, Brian Woods.

China’s Stolen Children was his first film as director, and won three British Academy Awards.  He has since followed up on this success with a number of award winning films including the feature length War Child and the multi-award winning Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children. More recently his film, Poor Kids, had an incredible impact, leading to questions being asked in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Question Time and inspiring over 950 viewer comments on the BBC Blog pages, over double the previous record number.

Dominique Young

Dominique is an Executive Producer in international documentary and factual programming. For many years she was Senior Commissioning Producer for the Witness, the observational documentary strand on Al Jazeera English, executive producing programming from Africa and the Middle East with an emphasis on developing young, regional documentary makers. She was also International Executive Producer at Zinc Network, a production and communications company specialising in social change campaigns, overseeing all international filmed output for online platforms.

Christine Garabedian

Christine Garabedian is a Beirut-born Dutch-Armenian-Lebanese freelance film-maker based in London. She has made Documentaries, Current Affairs, Investigative and Factual Programmes for a range of broadcasters and specialises in films about the Middle East and Arab World. Since 2012 she has developed, filmed, written, edit-produced, directed and Executive-Produced films for BBC Arabic’s Close-Up series. Her latest film, ‘Goodbye Aleppo’, tells the story of the final days of the battle for East Aleppo in December 2016. The film won the 2017 Grierson Award for Best Current Affairs Documentary, and the 2017 Rory Peck Sony Impact Award. In June 2017 Christine won a New Ground Award from the International Press Council and the Next Century Foundation for her work on Syria, Yemen, and the Arab Uprising.

Jamie Welham

Jamie Welham is a producer/director and former newspaper journalist. Most recently he has worked on the Channel 4 documentary strand Unreported World. His latest documentary Africa’s Perfect Storm, following the aftermath of last year’s devastating mudslide in Sierra Leone, has been nominated for an RTS award. Previously he spent several years working with Ross Kemp filming in challenging locations for his Extreme World strand for Skyas well as one off specials including Libya’s Migrant Hell, following the migrant journey through Libya and The Fight Against ISIS and documenting the Kurdish struggle for autonomy in northern Syria.

Ingrid Falck

Ingrid Falck is an independent media consultant and freelance executive producer of global documentaries. Until recently she was Head of Documentaries at Al Jazeera English for several years, overseeing award-winning strands (Witness, Correspondent, Al Jazeera World etc), series and single documentaries from around the globe. She has nearly 30 years’ broadcast experience, including as a BAFTA winning director and a multi-award winning exec and commissioner. Her special interest is in understanding narrative and exploring meaning, messaging and semiotics in documentary storytelling, especially films about the majority world. She has worked with dozens of filmmakers to help shift the power-base of storytelling away from an ‘us and them’ approach and towards those who are agents and authorities in their own stories. She is currently writing a book on this subject. 

Rageh Omaar

Rageh Omaar is ITV’s International Affairs Editor, where he is responsible for covering and providing analysis of major news stories across the world. He is also the presenter of On Assignment, ITV’s current affairs programme and he also anchors News at Ten. Rageh was previously a correspondent for the BBC, where he covered the second Gulf war from Baghdad and he won a Bafta and Royal Television Society Award for the BBC’s coverage of the invasion of Afghanistan, where he was the only western correspondent in Kabul with the Taliban when the city fell. He then left to report and present for Al Jazeera. He has also reported for Channel 4’s Dispatches.

Karen Wightman

Karen Wightman is an investigative journalist and executive producer, who is currently the Editor of the BBC’s flagship current affairs series Panorama. Credits include the RTS winning Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets, which exposed chaos, incompetence and abuse in a centre which is a staging post for detainees who face deportation from the UK and the BAFTA winning Teenage Prison Abuse Exposed, an investigation into the treatment of children and young people at the Medway Secure Training Centre.

Indy Vidyalankara

Indy Vidyalankara is the founder of boutique music PR company Indypendent PR and currently Head Of Strategic Communications at music charities Help Musicians UK and Urban Development. She is a seasoned and accomplished former Sony Music Director Of Communications, Saatchi & Saatchi ad exec and PR specialist. With a career spanning two decades in comms in some of the most high profile companies including eleven years in publicity across BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 1Xtra with some of the biggest names in TV and radio, across some of the most loved television shows on the BBC, such as Strictly Come Dancing, The Voice UK, Children In Need, Eurovision, Comic Relief and The One Show.

Mohit Bakaya

Mohit Bakaya is Controller of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra as well as Director of Speech Audio. 

He oversees all speech audio for the BBC, responsible for all speech audio commissions, documentaries, programmes and podcasts for Radio 4, BBC Sounds and Radio 5 Live.  

He joined the BBC as a production trainee and worked on the Radio 4’s arts programme, Front Row, before becoming editor of Night Waves on Radio 3. He has also produced many documentaries for Radio 4 and Radio 3.


Angus Macqueen

Angus set up Ronachan Films to help foster a tradition of documentary filmmaking of passion and commitment. His work has been shown and broadcast across the world – winning BAFTA, EMMY, RTS, IDA, PEABODY, COLOMBIA JOURNALISM and PRIX EUROPA Awards among many others.

See a selection of Angus Macqueen’s work.

Bec Evans

Bec Evans is Head of Video Development at Dazed; she works across Dazed Media’s publications to direct, produce, programme and commission in conjunction with editorial and commercial teams. Bec’s productions champion diversity and queer identity. She is dedicated to supporting new talent through platforms such as the ICA’s STOP PLAY RECORD, festivals, industry awards and community projects. Previously Bec has worked on documentary productions for Netflix, Channel 4, the BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera as well as developing films in collaboration with El Colegio Del Cuerpo, Colombia and The Annenberg Foundation, LA. Exploring socio-political issues through the lens of art and creativity has always been Bec’s focus in order to keep enjoyment and education synonymous, and push social responsibility as easy and necessary.

Alex Hoffman

Alex Hoffman is Head of Video at VICE UK, managing the documentary films and series across the network. Prior to this Alex was Head of Music, managing VICE’s music channel Noisey from launch and before that spent nine years at MTV, a tenure that included winning an NME Award for ‘Gonzo with Zane Lowe’ and running the rock and indie channel MTV2

VICE and Noisey UK have won a series of awards for its groundbreaking content, including most recently at the Digiday Media Awards where they won Video Team of the Year.

As a director, Alex has made a number of documentaries including ‘Hip Hop in the Holy Land’ which was hosted by Mike Skinner, the controversial feature ‘The Redemption of the Devil’ and films about the likes of Liam Gallagher, Skepta and seminal clubnight Bugged Out.

Sally Arthy

Sally Arthy has worked for Sky News since 2000 covering foreign news. She has worked in various roles for the company as is now the Deputy Head of International News. She spent 5 years running the Washington DC bureau and has travelled extensively on some of the world’s biggest news stories often in conflict zones and hostile environments.

Sally started her career in local radio and TV in the UK before joining the Associated Press. Born in London, Sally enjoys running and keep-fit.

Stephanie DeGroote

Stephanie DeGroote is a Senior Producer at Sky News dealing with innovation, specials and long form content. She has been involved in Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign, producing documentaries to highlight the problem of plastics in the ocean, activism to save our seas, and exploring solutions. Stephanie has worked at Sky News since 2004 and previously worked for ABC News in London and in Moscow covering conflict and regime change. She has won three Emmy awards, a Peabody, an Overseas Press Award, and spent a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship for journalism.

Chloe Gbai

Chloe Gbai serves as the POV Shorts & Streaming Producer where she works to increase POV’s streaming viewership and, in 2018, launched POV Shorts, which earned POV it’s third documentary short Oscar nomination. Prior to her work in public media, Chloe was an inaugural member of Teen Vogue’s video team where she worked as a writer/producer, launching two online news shows for the brand, which were viewed over 28 million times in the first six months it was released. She received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and as a filmmaker, her work has appeared on Teen Vogue, HBO, VH1, Logo TV and been chosen as a Vimeo staff pick. She is a New York native and proud to say that she grew up on channel 13, WNET. 

Laurence Topham

Laurence has worked at the Guardian for over 10 years. He was initially
an in-house video producer, working across a wide-range of international news stories, documentaries, interactives and investigations. He has won multiple awards for his work – including Firestorm, Fast Ice and Building the Bomb – and has filmed in places such as Antarctica, the Arctic, West and East Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and all across the United States. Laurence is currently a Special Projects Editor and oversees many of the Guardian’s in-house documentaries and multimedia projects – such as The Trap, The Tower Next Door and Beyond the Blade.