Frequently Asked Questions

– dok.incubator for participants with a project
– dok.incubator for observers



What kind of projects fit the programme?

We call for feature-length documentaries in the rough-cut stage with an ambition to be distributed internationally. We call for filmmakers who are ready to re-open the editing, distribution strategy, and marketing of the film, in order to find the strongest and most interesting way to tell their story.

I currently do not have a project in the post-production stage, but I’m interested in participating. Can I join otherwise?

Yes. As an observer.


DOK.INCUBATOR for participants with a project

How will the workshop influence my postproduction timing?

You will begin the workshop with your late rough-cut documentary and will spend the following six months working on editing, distribution, and marketing. This means you can plan a premiere for all the autumn festivals. You will have to book your editor between the first and the second workshop session (MAY-JUNE), and between the second and third session (JULY-AUGUST). You will need to edit very intensively to CLOSE THE CUT and be able to submit your film to the autumn or winter festivals (DOK.Leipzig, IDFA, Sundance, Berlinale).

You will attend three one-week residential sessions at different stages of project development:

April – later rough cut
June – close to fine cut
September – near picture lock

For more details about the content of the workshops, please follow this link.

I do not have a rough-cut, but I fit the workshop timing. Can I apply?

Yes. You can send us a compilation of edited scenes, but your chances of being selected are lower. Those who apply with edited scenes rather than a rough-cut will be asked for an update on the progress of the projects at the end of February. The later the rough-cut, the more likely your film is to be chosen by the selection committee. The minimum length of the audiovisual material submitted for the application is 40 minutes.

Does the full team (director, editor, producer) have to commit to the full three-terms of the programme?

Yes. This is one of the very basic conditions of your participation. The goal of the programme is to give each member the opportunity to develop professionally as they are developing and progressing within their organisations. Participants are expected to participate in all the three workshop sessions of the program.

We are not three, but just two of us: I don’t have an editor yet, may I participate without them? I am director/producer in one person, can I participate?

You only can participate if you complete your team and find motivated colleagues. According to our experience, filmmakers who work on the film alone, without an editor or producer, suffer at the workshop and do not gain as much from the programme. We often split the participants into groups for directors/producers/editors – and they work simultaneously on various tasks. It would be extremely difficult for you as the director + producer to develop your marketing and distribution strategy and at the same time as working in the editing room. The same goes for a director + editor.

What is the result of the workshop?

We aim to help you conclude the editing of your film. You will have edited various pilots, which will present the main character and the main plot, the way you want to tell the story, what is the film´s mood and narration. You will work on both: the pilots and the whole rough-cut.
Your distribution strategy for the film, including a clear festival strategy, will be opened to a network of key decision-makers – international sales agents, broadcasters and festival representatives – who will give you feedback on your film and your distribution strategy. Finally, you will design a tailor-made marketing strategy, (including PR outcomes: visuals, texts, trailer, posters, media strategy) to enlarge your audience, internationally.

Can you help me also with financing the project?

To receive financing in this stage of development is difficult and takes time. Optimally you should be able to cover your expenses at least until the fine cut is concluded. Obviously, we will support you in finding financing, using all our network of contacts. Our support gives you credibility and makes people open the door and listen – but it is up to you to convince them. We cannot guarantee you success.

How many projects and observers will you take?

Eight projects and six or seven observers.

Do you accept also non-European projects?

Yes. We will invite up to 25% of all participants from outside the Europe. The other participants are supposed to be citizens of the MEDIA countries, which includes the EU member states, and additionally: Norway, Iceland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Serbia (full participation in the Creative Europe Programme); and Turkey(full participation in the Culture Sub-programme and partial participation in the MEDIA Sub-programme, i.e. participation in training, festivals, audience development and market access activities). You can find the latest list of participating countries here.

What special documents will I need for application?

  1. English-subtitled rough-cut of your film or edited scenes in the length of minimum 40 minutes (max. 2GB, we prefer mp4/mov format); an additional edited pilot/trailer/teaser of the film is an advantage
  2. one edited scene (max. 5 minutes) by applicant editor, preferably from the submitted rough-cut but if not possible, then some example of his/her previous work
  3. film treatment (max. 1 page) based on the shot material
  4. short synopsis
  5. motivational letters from all the team members: director, editor and producer (max. half-page)
  6. rough distribution strategy, including the estimated premiere time and place
  7. financing plan of the film (specify non-/confirmed funding)
  8. stills from your film
  9. portrait photo of director, editor and producer, their CVs and contact details
  10. link to the reference film of the director

How do you choose the projects and when do you announce the result?

In the first round every project will be seen and judged by two of our selectors. They recommend the top 15 rough cuts with the most potential. In the second round of the selection, the projects will be seen by the dok.incubator board, consisting of our tutors, which will also consider the film’s background and crew. We will announce the final top 8 projects on the dok.incubator website after 27th March.

The top 15 projects selected for the second round might be asked for additional materials, or be invited to a Skype interview. Please note that the dok.incubator board also considers the scholarship applications, and may ask about the financing of the film.

To find out more about the selection process, please click here.

What are the dok.incubator participants’ obligations?

The conditions of the workshop participation are specified in the contract. In short, all the participants are obliged to participate actively throughout the entire workshop programme (all three sessions), and must allow the workshop to promote the participating film with our media partners (using your promo stills and texts). When the film is finished, we ask you to put our logo in the final credits and send us the link to the final version of the cut, a final trailer, and the marketing materials (e.g. poster, leaflet, postcards) to promote your film and the workshop.

Do you provide the editing rooms with all the equipment needed?

The editing rooms are fully equiped except for the computer – you need to bring your own laptop together with storage device containing all the footage.

Will dok.incubator screen my movie or will it show anywhere?

We will screen the different versions of your rough-cut for the closed group of workshop participants and tutors. Outside the group, we require just the right to screen the initial and final version of the cut to the workshop funders´ representatives, in order to prove the results of the workshop aim (we will create a closed website, protected by password, which will be given only to the main public funds, who finance the workshop). We have non-commercial rights to screen the film at promotional dok.incubator events (talks at film schools, for example) if pre-approved in an agreement with the producer.

The final version of the trailer will be published on the workshop website, and promoted to the film professional public. If requested by the participant, the trailer can be updated at any time with a new version.

How does the participation fee work? What is its actual amount? What does it cover?

From year 2018 on, the participation fee will be flexible in the range 5,700 – 16,000 Euros depending on the situation of the project. This fee will be decided during the selection process by the selection board by taking into account the situation of the film and the producer. We will consider the budget of the film and the level of confirmed financing, as well as local funding possibilities in the countries of production.For more information, please see fees and scholarship.

Do I have to pay for my transport?

Yes. You will travel independently, letting us know the time of your arrival and departure so we can book your accommodation.

What are the criteria for receiving a scholarship?

We accept projects in very different financial situations, with budgets from €50,000 to nearly one million euros. Therefore, every situation needs to be considered individually. Half of our accepted projects will receive a scholarship which will reduce the fee. Usually two projects will receive a full scholarship and will therefore not have to pay anything at all, and two projects will receive a partial scholarship and pay just for their accommodation and food. The scholarship depends on the situation of the project and are based on the decision of the dok.incubator Board. In the case of unapproachability of additional financing from the local film institute, we also often support non-European projects, which have additional travel costs. Click here for more information regarding fees and scholarships.

Can I submit the application in my native language, instead of English, to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings?

No. The whole workshop programme is held in English. Both lecturers and selectors are chosen internationally, so in order to be able to consider your application, all the materials you provide us with, have to be in English and all the audiovisual material has to be subtitled in English. We even recommend that the English-speaking parts be subtitled too, to avoid any misunderstandings due to sound quality or accents.

I still have a question, who can I contact?

Please email for any additional questions not covered on this page.

DOK.INCUBATOR for observers

What is the role of the observer at the workshop?

We try to involve our observers as much as possible in the practical development of the participating workshop projects, as this is where they will gain the most valuable knowledge. Observers will support the teams, and their exa role very much depends on their own relationship with the participants. Often they become one of the team members.

Each observer will select a favourite  film to follow throughout the 3 sessions and will accompany the project’s team in the editing rooms and during the individual meetings with the tutors.

During the plenary sessions and group work, the obersvers are an integral part of the wokshop and their opinions are as valuable as those of ay other participan. However, we ask our observers to be aware that during individual meetings and work in the editing rooms, where the situation is more “delicate”, their role changes. Here’s their task is primarily to follow and observe, rather than to actively influence the process. We request the observer keeps their notes, questions, and feedback for when the tutor asks for it.

As an observer, do I have individual meetings with the tutors?

Unfortunately not, the role of the observer is to follow one of the eight participating projects. You will observe the know-how of our tutors and learn first-hand from the development of the participating film projects. However, due to tough timetable of the workshop, it would not be possible to schedule tutors additional meetings for the observers to work on their own projects.

Do I have to commit to the full three-terms of the programmes?

No. The sessions which the observers are expected to attend are only the first two sessions. This programme counts on the active observers´ participation. The third session, focused on the pitching performance of the participants, will be a far less intense programme and he or she will be encouraged to follow the Nordisk Panorama programme.

What is covered by observers´ fee?

The observers’ fee is € 2,500. This fee covers all costs for the first and second session and three days during the third session in Malmö, the whole third session is not obligatory for the observers, we recommend them to come only to the last part of the session (the presentation at the Nordisk Panorama festival).
Independent producers, editors or students can get a scholarship and pay only for their accommodation and meals (around € 300 per session).


Do I have to pay for my transport?

Yes. You will travel independently, communicating with us the time of your arrival and departure so we can book your accommodation.

Can I, as an observer, receive a scholarship?

Partial scholarhsips can be offered to observers but only in extraordinary circumstances as we prefer to offer them first to the participants who are working on their projects.

If I cannot come for both the workshop sessions, will you return the fee paid back to me?

No. Unfortunately, the fees cover primarily the workshop lecturers and the venue, and the cancellation terms of the booked accommodation does not allow us to refund the fee for observers not present at a workshop session.