Belfast Telegraph

Documentary makers hope to pitch their work during Belfast event

Organiser: Lucy Baxter
Organiser: Lucy Baxter
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Documentary filmmakers in Northern Ireland will get the opportunity to sell their work to a global market at a major industry event.

DocMarket takes place tomorrow as part of documentary film festival Docs Ireland in Belfast.

The event will introduce filmmakers to commissioners, sales agents and distributors who could potentially fund or buy their films.

Companies taking part include BBC Storyville, Channel 4, USA PBS, RTE, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Ireland.

Lucy Baxter, the organiser of DocMarket and a producer and lecturer at Queen's University, said documentary-making is growing in the province.

Despite the publicity given to big fiction productions such as Game Of Thrones, Ms Baxter said documentary work was providing more employment. "It's probably the genre that is healthiest in volume," she said.

She said a generation of skilled documentary makers had emerged from the Troubles but that a more internationalist outlook was now emerging.

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And she said streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon had changed the landscape for filmmakers.

"That's made it more challenging for them to get revenue from big international territories, as generally you can get larger budgets to make films upfront from networks.

"There's now a different distribution model. Previously, film makers had a revenue stream from selling product onto global territories. But with bigger platforms, it's more upfront and typically involves a global buy-out."

Docs Ireland runs from today until Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph