The Marketplace Summit offers all Festival delegates who are interested in making documentaries the opportunity to find new collaborators, connect with industry representatives and clue-up on key issues facing filmmakers today. If you’re attending to Doc/Fest to gain market intel and expand your network, Cutlers' Hall is the place to be!

This is an overview of the Marketplace Summit programme for 2019. Next year's Marketplace Summit programme will be announced in due course.


Getting Past the Gatekeepers: Dos and Don'ts of Pitching
Sunday 9 June / 10:00 - 11:00
Cutlers’ Hall, Hadfield Hall

The marketplace for pitching documentaries is highly competitive. Thousands of ideas are vying for support from industry Decision Makers whose attention is often difficult to access. There are numerous hoops to jump through, boxes to tick and important elements to have in place that determine which proposals gain traction, and which struggle. In this session, forum organisers will share advice and insights about pitching and explain how to make your proposal stand out from the rest.


Alice Burgin (AIDC)
Amelia Hapsari (In-Docs)
Karolina Lidin (Sheffield Doc/Fest)
Manon Euler (Sheffield Doc/Fest)
Patrick Hurley (Sheffield Doc/Fest)
Tereza Šimíková (CPH:Forum)
Yorinde Segal (IDFA Forum)

MP Pitch Panel

Snap Chats: 10 Minute Meets
Sunday 9 June / 11:00 - 12:30
Cutlers’ Hall, Main Hall

The #1 reason delegates come to Doc/Fest is to meet. So let’s do this! Whether you’re looking to find new collaborators for your next film, contribute to someone else’s project, or simply expand your network of doc enthusiasts, get yourself to this mixer. The format is simple: take a seat, chat with the delegate opposite, every 10 mins we’ll ring the bell, move one seat to the left, meet someone new. All Festival delegates welcome.

Summit Meeting
Beyond Story: A Conversation for the Industry
Sunday 9 June / 13:00 - 14:30
Cutlers’ Hall, Hadfield Hall

‘What’s the story?’ It’s the question documentary filmmakers must answer when pitching new ideas to commissioners. A contained cast of central characters and coherent narrative has become the preferred form among most industry gatekeepers. Why is this? And what space is there for documentaries that aren’t structured around character-led linear stories? In reference to a recently published manifesto called 'Beyond Story’ (Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow) this session will interrogate the supremacy of story and think together with commissioners, filmmakers and academics about the creative possibilities of documentary beyond story.


Alisa Lebow, Reader in Film Studies, University of Sussex, Co-Author 'Beyond Story'
Barbara Truyen, Head of Documentaries/Commissioning Editor, VPRO.
Brett Story, Filmmaker (The Hottest August)
Chris Harris, Senior Programmer, Picturehouse Cinemas
Mandy Chang, Commissioning Editor, BBC Storyville

 Summit Panel

Meet the Sales Agents
Sunday 9 June / 15:00 - 16:00
Cutlers’ Hall, Hadfield Hall

International sales agents can help a film find distribution partners in markets worldwide, often inputting into marketing and festival strategy. In this session, executives from a range of international sales companies will introduce themselves, explain their approach to acquisitions – what they’re looking for – and share examples of films they have recently worked on. Following the presentations, there will be time for delegates to connect with sales agents and exchange business cards.

MP Summit Sales


*If it's sales agents & distributors that you're looking to connect with at Doc/Fest, check out our write-up of last year's session 'Sales & Distribution 101' and guide to Sales & Distribution Companies.  

Meet the Distributors
Sunday 9 June / 16:00 - 17:00
Cutlers’ Hall, Hadfield Hall

A chance to find out more about how distributors handle a film’s delivery to the audience by managing and marketing its journey through the various exhibition platforms. In this session, we invite executives from different distribution companies to introduce themselves, explain how they work with filmmakers and comment on the kinds of documentaries they are seeking with reference to recent examples. Following the presentations, there will be time for filmmakers to connect with distributors and exchange business cards.

Summit Networking
Marketplace Drinks
Sunday 9 June / 17:00 - 18:30
Cutlers’ Hall, Main Hall

Rounding off the Marketplace Summit and kicking off a new week of industry activity, Marketplace Drinks offers an opportunity to get to know Decision Makers and fellow filmmakers better. The event welcomes everyone involved in the Marketplace Summit, MeetMarket, Alternate Realities Talent Market, Doc/Player and all Marketplace initiatives. The Marketplace & Talent team will be present so do come by for a drink, say hello and tell us about your documentary projects – we’re here to help get them made! 

 Network drinks



If you have any queries about our Marketplace Summit & Sessions, please contact Sophie Duncan at

The Marketplace Summit & Sessions are supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Department for International Trade.