Why a solutions focused GSDF is a good idea

One World Media’s annual Global Short Docs Forum returns in 2023 – but you’ve never seen it like this before. 

The new edition of One World Media’s annual Global Short Docs Forum will help filmmakers develop a short documentary film pitch to get their production in front of media outlets, with confidence.

12 October 2022: We believe stories are powerful. They help shift perspectives and change narratives. We also believe solutions focused stories that explore creative responses to a problem are worth talking about widely. This year, One World Media’s annual event, Global Short Docs Forum, is growing. In 2023, One World Media will host a pioneering programme in documentary film with Global Short Docs Forum: Solutions Edition dedicating fifty percent of the Forum to stories of people solving social problems.

The Global Short Docs Forum is an online training programme and one-to-one pitch meetings that take a short film in production stage to commission. In the past, participating media outlets have included the BBC, CBC, AJE, The Guardian and VICE. 

Until now, solutions journalism has been popular primarily in print and multimedia but not as much in documentary film. With this new offering, One World Media is filling a gap worldwide. We recognise that stories from the global south can often be dominated by war, conflict, crime, corruption and poverty. Solutions journalism provides an alternative framework to explore social problems. By producing and amplifying films with a solutions approach, we want to shine a light on people who are responding to complex world problems with empathy and imagination.

This new edition will start with a presence in five global hubs through a series of online and in-person events called: GSDF Labs, which will mark the opening of our call for applications on Tuesday 8 November, is a three-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.

Longlisted applicants will be invited to an additional training session on pitching and editing. Sixteen final participants will be selected to join the Forum, which will take place online across four weeks in March 2023. At the end of the programme, the filmmakers will pitch their work to international media outlets. Alongside potential commissions and co-productions, three projects will be awarded grants up to £3,000 to contribute to their production or post-production.

The deadline to apply for the next edition of Global Short Docs Forum is Tuesday 13 December

The Global Short Docs Forum: Solutions Edition is an effort to share human experiences that show we can work towards tangible impact and change. 

For more details about this year’s Global Short Docs Forum, please visit:

GSDF 2023

Global Short Docs Forum launched in 2018 as a matchmaker between short documentary filmmakers and fast-changing media organisations. A number of films have been commissioned over the years, most recently including Harvesting Our Tea on BBC Our World by Sheida Kiran, ROT54: Armenia’s Forgotten Space Giant on AJE Witness by Marta Miskaryan, and The Essence of Memories on ARTE France and CBC Docs, by Mélanie Gouby.