DocWok 1.2

1 – 5 April 2013

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DocWok 1.2 was held from 1st to 5th April 2013 at Zorba the Buddha, New Delhi. An initiative of Magic Lantern Movies in partnership with DOK-Leipzig, the programme is a unique initiative in India. It brings together experienced editors, distributors and festival programmers from India, Europe and Asia who mentor selected documentaries that are works in progress. DocWok aims to connect the dots between knowledge, practice and funding and to create an environment that helps filmmakers edit, complete and showcase their films to a wider audience.

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DokWok 1.2 focused on the editing of rough cuts, distribution and sales, and international exhibition. The six projects that were developed further in this round of Dokwok are Behind the Tin Sheets (Dirs: Yashaswini Raghunandan, Ekta Mittal; Ed: Abhro Banerjee ), Metro-polis (Dir: Gautam Sonti, Usha Rao), Miranagri (Dir: Anjali Panjabi; Ed: Khushboo Agarwal), Textures of Loss (Dir/Ed: Pankaj Butalia), That Elephant, from the Bridge (Dir/Ed: Abhilash Vijayan) and The Clot (Dir: Shazia Khan; Ed: Saba Rehman).

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This round of DokWok opened with an introduction to the participants, followed by the welcome address by Ilo von Seckendorff of Dok-Leipzig and Gargi Sen of Magic Lantern Movies. The first day of the workshop focused primarily on festival screenings and distribution. The trailers, loglines and synopsis of the six films were presented to the entire group, and were given extensive feedback towards further editing.

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This process was then resumed on Day Three, when each team re-edited their trailers, and were given one-on-one feedback by Peter Symes (noted director-producer from UK). Days One and Three also included plenary sessions with Ilo von Seckendorff; Sirkka Moeller (of Berlinale Talent campus), and Irena Taskovsky (distributor, Taskovsky Films). These sessions focussed on understanding the various kinds of festivals, planning the film’s premiere and mapping out a strategy towards festival exhibition. Irena also elaborated on the distribution process, how to identify the right distributor for a film, and the various services available with distributors that could aid filmmakers in promoting their work.

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Days Two and Four involved intensive editing sessions, where the editing tutors and the filmmaking teams worked closely together. Sameera Jain mentored the teams of Miranagri and Metro-polis; Bina Paul guided That Elephant, From the Bridge and Behind the Tin Sheets; while Sanjiv Shah worked with the team of The Clot and Textures of Loss. These sessions were followed by “Fresh Look” meetings on Day Five, where filmmakers could request tutors who had not seen the latest version of their work to view and provide feedback.

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Dokwok 1.2 also saw three very informative presentations by representatives of film festivals and documentary organisations. The first of these was by Bina Paul Venugopal, the Artistic Director of both the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) and the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK). Bina spoke about the space for documentary screenings in these two festivals, and of the national level competition for documentaries in the IDSFFK which gives awards to winning entries. She also elaborated on the Triggerpitch at IFFK, an initiative that identifies powerful documentary films that have the potential for social impact, and helps extend their outreach.

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Another presentation was by V. S. Kundu, Director General of the Films Division, Govt. of India. Films Division is the organiser of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF). He spoke about the multiple initiatives launched by the Films Division (FD) in recent years, including the digitisation of their enormous archives, which will be open to researches very soon; the video-on-demand services and internet sales of FD productions; and the FD Zone, a film club and screening initiative that is becoming popular in Mumbai and will soon expand to other cities. Most importantly, he briefed the participants about the FD’s year-round commissioning process for documentaries, and the kinds of films they are seeking to fund.

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The third such session was by Hyo-sook Hong, who is a programmer for the Busan International Film Festival and is currently the Director of Asian Cinema Fund (ACF) for the festival. She gave extensive information on the festival, its various sections, and the possibilities it presents for documentary filmmakers. She also elaborated on diverse funding opportunities like the Asian Cinema Fund (for fiction), the A.N.D. Fund (for documentaries) and other partnerships that provide financial support to docs.

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The final day of DokWok 1.2 also included an evaluation of the workshop by participants and tutors, with extensive feedback towards future sessions. Dokwok 1.3 will take place at Dok-Leipzig where all the six films – complete or under production at that time – will be presented in its film market. DokWok also hopes to expand its outreach among filmmakers by collaborating with other film festivals in the near future.