sheffieldAs the weather on the balmy North Carolina coast hits 85º here today (hello climate change!), I am packing for London and then on to five intense days at the Sheffield Doc Fest. Starting 4 November, this international festival “celebrates the art and business of documentary filmmaking” and includes industry sessions, a marketplace, pitching opportunities, discussion panels and in-depth filmmaker master classes, as well as a wealth of inspirational documentary films from across the globe.

On Thursday, 5 November join me and other panel members at The Chapel for “Working Your Film”, 12:45pm. Masterminded by my brilliant C4 BRITDOC colleague Jess Search, we’ll be joined by savvy filmmaker David Bond and web guru/creative director of Pixeco James Franklin.

While the focus of the panel is on effective impact, the successes we’ll share are really about creating new pathways to reach audiences and turning them into impassioned viewers – so when the lights come up they are ready to act.

For perhaps the first time, real independence from old models is possible. New models for filmmakers to reach wide audiences are emerging every day, many supported by partnerships with NGOs, activists, funders and brands. You bring them CONTENT, they bring you INTENT, and together there is IMPACT.

In 2010, the new London office of Working Films, in partnership with BRITDOC, will award one free summit to qualifying UK filmmakers. Strategic summits define NGO and brand partnerships and lay the groundwork for multi-year audience and community engagement campaigns. This past year, we hosted summits for Moving to Mars (the opening night film at Doc Fest), and Erasing David (premiering at the Fest), gaining extraordinary commitment from their NGO partners and laying the groundwork for robust multiyear campaigns. A summit is a ₤7,500 value; we’ll share details about how to qualify at the Doc Fest panel.

It’s a new world, join us. (The Chapel is located on Norfolk, up from Surrey Street. It’s a real chapel, built circa 1700; the building alone is well worth the short hike!)

Brit Doc 2008 Jess and Robert

And join us afterwards, for the run of the Fest, at the The BRITDOC Bar (Leadmill Street and Suffolk Road). You can sign up for a free consultation with Working Films at the BRITDOC bar here. Limited availability.

About Working Films UK: We have supported the development of strategic plans for a number of films breaking new ground, including: The Hunger Season (at the Fest), The Age of Stupid and End of the Line. And we are key collaborators for the Good Pitch, the new public face for audience engagement and partnership strategies.

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