Guest Blog: Pitching to Guardian Docs’ Charlie Phillips

Posted Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

In this guest blog, we hear from The Guardian’s resident doc-head Charlie Phillips about how to stand the best chance of getting a film made for the news organisation’s online documentary strand. Until just over a year ago, Charlie Phillips was Deputy Director of Sheffield’s Doc/Fest, having run the successful ‘MeetMarket’ marketplace there for 7 years. Since then, he’s been at The Guardian, acting as their ‘Head of Documentaries’, the first person at that organisation to hold that title, and as he quipped “hopefully

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Festival Focus: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016

Posted Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Some news from Sheffield’s Doc/Fest, set to run 15th and 16th June next year. Firstly, perhaps of interest to our younger and student members, applications are open for the festival’s enviable Youth Jury programme. Those selected get a full pass to the festival with access to some of the key individuals involved at a three day Directors UK event, as well as their own section to judge and prize to offer in the Youth Jury Award. Deadline is 15th Jan, so get

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What’s On: The Rulebreakers: Innovations in the Doc Genre

Posted Friday, September 25th, 2015

A  weekly series of 10 films at Bertha DocHouse that have influenced and developed the art of documentary and which continue to inspire us today. The Rule Breakers is a 10 week educational series that we’re incredibly excited about. The season is a journey through the ‘boundary pushing’ docs of the 20th and 21st century, from Robert Flaherty’s Man of Aran in the 30s, to Peter Watkins’ controversial Punishment Park in the 70s, right up to the radically experimental and

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What’s On: Brian Hill Retrospective

Posted Monday, August 17th, 2015

Doc-lovers! A little message from SP’s friends at Bertha Dochouse – check out their exciting programme for this week below… Marking the release Brian Hill’s latest film, The Confessions of Thomas Quick, Bertha DocHouse is celebrating one of the most radical and respected directors in the UK with a selective retrospective of his work. Over the last decades, Brian Hill has consistently pushed the bar for documentary by finding inventive ways to make films that challenge audiences and stimulate debate. Brian’s ability to explore

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Grierson Trust Awards 2015: Shortlist

Posted Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

A very well deserved congratulations to all 14 members who have been shortlisted for The Grierson Trust awards 2015. There are members in pretty much every category (obviously, no surprise there…) Up for the ‘Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme’ are Ruth Nicklin with Excluded: Kicked out of School Ep.1 and Brian Woods with Raining in my Heart. Brian is also looking at picking up the ‘Best Science or Natural History’ award for Curing Cancer. The success run for Laura Poitrais’ Citizenfour, distributed by SP and

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Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015: Day 3

Posted Monday, June 8th, 2015

Planetary (dir. Guy Reid) Meditation Session Yes, I meditated to a film – this was a nice little retreat from the hustle and bustle of the festival. Taking yourself away to a ‘mindfulness meditation’ session to the audio of Planetary; a poetic and cosmic journey into global perspective. It’s a visual reminder that every living thing is connected that will question your own environmental awareness. The soundscapes are mesmerising, so much so that I completely missed the bells ringing for the meditation to

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Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015: Day 2

Posted Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Mavis! (dir. Jessica Edwards) A force of nature would be a mildly accurate way to describe Mavis Staples, and does not do her justice. As a teenager, Mavis was fronting The Staples Singers, a family gospel group that provided the soundtrack for the early civil rights movement after being inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Now 75, Mavis is still unstoppable, constantly touring, recording albums and cheekily reminiscing about Bob Dylan. Cobain: Montage of Heck (dir. Brett Morgen) It’s intimate,

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Guest Blogger: The Guardian

Posted Friday, April 17th, 2015

Head of Documentaries at The Guardian, Charlie Phillips, has come on board to tell you about their new initiative to commission short documentaries for The Guardian online. Anyway, we’ll let Charlie tell you more… Documentaries have become very cool recently, have you noticed? A lot of people are writing a lot about this being the Golden Age of Documentaries, and whilst labelling moments like that feels unnecessary to me, it’s certainly true that more people are making brilliant documentaries at

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#FilmmakersTell: Orlando von Einsiedel

Posted Monday, April 13th, 2015

Investigative documentary filmmaking can impose real challenges and risks, especially if you’re taking on one of the biggest oil exploration companies in the world. Director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga and long-time Shooter, Orlando von Einsiedel, opens up about making a film that really takes a stand. Touching on Netflix distribution, teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio and his career in filmmaking. Orlando started off shooting snowboarding videos before delving into documentary filmmaking, tracking down incredibly varied stories across Africa, Asia, the Americas and the

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#FilmmakersTell: Charlie Lyne

Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015

Making your first feature film is no easy feat. Since there isn’t a direct route to take to come out on the other side unscathed and on top, taking on a feature can seem like quite a daunting prospect. Luckily for you, Shooting People members are willing to share their experiences to give you insights on the reality of filmmaking – from development to distribution. Charlie Lyne is a filmmaker and freelance journalist. He directed and edited his first feature, ‘Beyond Clueless’, which is

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