DOC FORWARD is a project-driven co-production workshop for emerging Nordic documentary producers and directors, with a focus on nationally established and new talent directors with ambitions to go international in partnership with both new and more established producers.

The 2-part workshop will provide a network and the knowledge to work professionally within the Nordic documentary sector. The intention is to have great documentaries being developed at the workshop and secure their first Nordic/international launch. Production companies in the Nordic region, can effectively use the programme to develop new projects and introduce directors and/or producers to the Nordic documentary market and to the Nordic financiers.

The first part of the workshop will be held 28-30 June 2021 in Helsinki. If it due to the pandemic isn’t possible to gather physically, the workshop will either be postponed to the fall or an online alternative will be made. The second part will take place 6-7 December 2021, concluding with the projects pitching to Nordic film commissioners and commissioning editors from film Institutes and broadcasters, followed by individual meetings.

DOC FORWARD 2021 will include:
  • 12 Nordic projects of very high quality with international potential
  • 12 director/producer teams
  • 10-12 Nordic commissioning editors present for the 2nd workshop pitching
  • All Nordic countries represented among the participants
  • Experienced Nordic tutors with both directing and producing skills
  • Project development for the regional and international market
  • Insights and knowledge about the Nordic and international documentary market
  • Unique networking possibilities with Nordic colleagues
  • Introductions to Nordic film commissioners and commissioning editors

The 2-part structure will allow participants to develop and fine-tune their projects between the workshop sessions. In the time between the first and the second workshop the project teams will stay in contact with the main workshop tutor, who will provide ongoing consultation on any aspect of their project development. Additionally, there will be a midway meet-up during Nordisk Panorama Film Festival in September, where the project teams will touch base with each other and with tutors and get feedback on their development as well as guidance for the next steps.

The main tutor of the workshop is Mikael Opstrup.

Participation fee:

We strongly encourage producer & director teams to participate together. The fee for participating in DOC FORWARD is 1.125 € per person. This includes hotel, 3 daily meals, tutoring and all materials for both the first and second part of the workshop. Transportation is not included in the fee.

For any questions please contact Lea Maria Strandbæk Sørensen,


The Deadline for applying for DOC FORWARD is March 30 2021. Applicants will be notified of acceptance/rejection in April.

How to apply:

The workshop is open to Nordic filmmakers and producers. The deadline for applying with a project is 30 March, 2021 at 12:00 noon. You apply by filling in the online application form with information about the project and the team.

Before you begin, please have the following material ready for upload:

  • A 2 page pdf containing:
    – working title
    – a description of the project
    – length, production status, expected release
    – a description of and filmography for the director, producer and production company
  • A still photo representing the project.
  • A link to visual material (eg. trailer, clip etc.)

Funded by: