dok.incubator INT

• 8 months | 8 documentaries in the rough cut stage

• editing, distribution and marketing strategy development

→ enter the international market

Every year we select 8 documentary projects represented by director, editor and producer to work with in the frame of three residential workshops (April – November). Experienced as well as first time filmmakers from all over the world are provided individual guidance through the post-production period by renowned tutors. We lead the participants to conclude strong dramaturgy of the final cut to reach a wide international audience by building a clever distribution strategy using new digital technologies and smart online marketing tools.

participants with project
participants without a project

next deadline: January 2025

applications closed
applications closed


Submission deadline
Announcement of selected projects
1ST workshop / rough cut
Individual consultations between the workshops
2ND workshop / fine cut, open program
Individual consultations and finalising the marketing materials
3RD workshop / picture lock
Preview / final presentation

1ST session / rough cut / April 22–27

During the first session the participants and their tutors are looking for the "DNA" of each film. In editing rooms they focus on storytelling and start asking basic marketing questions.

Everything starts with screenings of the rough cuts, followed by discussions and in-depth analysis of the narrative structure and dramaturgy. The participants are assigned a supervising tutor and a ‘fresh eye’ consultant to work with on the editing to enhance their project's potential for international audiences.


The producers start thinking about the best distribution and festival strategy, searching for opportunities for their films within different territories, platforms or institutions.


The first session takes place in Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia between April 22–27.

2ND session / fine cut / June 23–29

The second session is about finding the right direction of the film. Participants have a chance to test their current rough cuts on important decision makers and discuss their distribution possibilities with them.

The almost finished films are “test screened” for an international audience: festival programmers, distributors and sales agents who provide the participants with feedback on the content and structure of the film, the release strategy and distribution. Editing sessions and individual meetings follow.


Marketing specialists teach how the documentaries can be promoted effectively using different strategies. The end of the workshop is dedicated to legal issues of distribution, providing the participants with a detailed overview of the European sales landscape.


The second session takes place in Olomouc, the Czech Republic between June 23–29.

3RD session & preview / picture lock / September 30–October 5

During the third session the editing of the films is finalised and the rest of the session is dedicated to marketing and preparations of the official presentation of participating projects within the industry at the dok.incubator preview.

Individual editing meetings help finalise the trailers, speech structuring and five-minutes scene selection. Pitching tutors individually train participants‘ presentation skills and introduction of the project.


The preview is composed as an exclusive event organised either on stage for invited decision makers or online. The preview is followed by a networking gathering and one-on-one meetings with invited industry guests.


All workshop projects are widely promoted throughout the following year.


The third session will place between September 30–October 5 in the Czech Republic, the place TBC.


The "dok.incubator 2024 preview" presentation will be held during IDFA, Amsterdam on Sunday, November 17 (TBC).

How we work

More than 25 experienced tutors: producers, editors of award-winning films and creative PR and marketing experts will provide you with individual mentoring. Internationally recognised tutors aim to inspire the participants to find their own way of telling their stories – and how to get them to the audiences.

We believe in an individual approach and providing a tailor-made development plan for each project we work with. Our tutors work with the whole teams to help the participants with their projects. In our opinion each project is different and requires unique approach, knowledge and support.

The group of dedicated tutors and participants work very hard to step across the films’ and individual’s limits. It's an intensive period of hard work and creative energy.

How to apply

dok.incubator invites editors, directors and producers to a six–month workshop, focused on filmmakers’ professional development and giving you access to top internationally-experienced tutors. If you are thinking of applying, decide early enough so you can adjust the schedule of making your film to the schedule of the workshop. See the timeline section above for more details. Submit your project before the early bird deadline for zero application fee.

Please note, that to apply you will need:


Audiovisual materials:

  • An English-subtitled rough cut of your film or a selection of edited scenes with a length of 40 – 90 minutes (you can apply with a longer version, however we cannot guarantee the selectors will watch more than 90 minutes; max. 4GB, supported formats include MP4, AVI, MOV); an additional edited pilot/trailer/teaser of the film is an advantage
  • Link to director’s previous film
  • Link to editor’s previous film – preferably documentary feature (only the main editor’s work will be accepted)
  • Three high-resolution stills from your film

Information about the project:

  • Short synopsis (max. 1600 characters)
  • Film treatment based on the shot material
  • Motivation letters from all the team members: director, editor and producer
  • Rough distribution strategy, including the estimated premiere time and place
  • Financing plan of the film (with specified confirmed/non-confirmed funding)
  • Portrait photo of the director, editor and producer (high-resolution), their short CVs and contact details

Be aware that all three team members – director, editor and producer – must be available to participate in three one-week online/hybrid/residential sessions in April, June and September. You cannot apply without an editor. Please book your editor in advance: for an editing period between the 1st and 2nd workshop, and for another between the 2nd and 3rd workshops. Please note that all the participants must be able to work in English.


Use one of the many chances to meet us during the year! We usually attend industry events at DOK Leipzig, IDFA and other festivals where you can arrange a meeting with us and learn more about the program. Before the submission deadline (December and January) we also organise online meetings during which we answer all your questions about workshop applications.


Fees & scholarship

We aim to make our workshop accessible to great films regardless of the size of their budget.


To include projects with a limited budget, we consider each project and its financial situation, production possibilities as well as possibility to get additional funding, individually. We offer discounts and scholarships leading to individual rates of the fee and to the majority of our participating projects not paying the full fee.

  • Three intensive residential workshops (6+7+6 full days) including accommodation in shared double rooms, breakfast, lunch, and some joint networking dinners for a team of 3 people, editing room, and technical equipment rental.
  • Individual in-depth editing mentoring with an appointed editing tutor as well as marketing, distribution and other types of consultations with more than 25 world-renowned experts within the period of 7 months.
  • The possibility to screen your rough cut to international festival selectors to get their feedback and fee waivers for top documentary festivals.
  • Marketing materials usable for further distribution – trailer, final synopsis, and other materials.
  • An extensive PR campaign organized by dok.incubator among film industry professionals.
  • Presentation of your nearly finished film at the well-established showcase called dok.incubator preview at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and online with approximately 100 decision-makers in the audience. Follow-up meetings with hand-picked international decision-makers.
  • A chance to win one of our post-production awards in the value of 6.500–10.000 EUR.

In every year of its existence dok.incubator supported films in difficult financial situations, therefore we encourage applicants to apply for a scholarship.


Scholarship types

  • Partial scholarship – the participants pay only the cost of their meals and accommodation for the team of three people at three workshops. The fee for the scholarship holders is 4.500 EUR (3 x 1.500 EUR/workshop per 3 participants). The partial scholarship holders have to cover their travel costs as well, which they have to organize separately.
  • Full scholarship – in very special cases only (such as non-European or zero-budget films) the participants do not pay any fee and only cover their travel costs.

Eligibility for scholarship

  • Most of your budget is unconfirmed.
  • You have a low-budget film. The budget size is assessed in the context of the territory of production and your production country is a country with low or very few possibilities of financial support.
  • Your production country is considered to be a low-production capacity country according to the Creative Europe MEDIA guidelines
  • Reduced fee 8.400 EUR

Projects with limited budget and/or expected higher travel costs might pay a reduced fee that covers accommodation, meals, technical equipment and editing room rental and only a small part of the tuition fee.



  • Special fee 10.400 EUR

The regular fee consists of cost of accommodation for 3 team members at all three residential sessions (in shared double rooms), subsistence, editing room rental at each session, technical equipment of the editing room as well as the tuition fee. 

  • Regular fee up to 15.400 EUR

(projects with additional funding possibilities)

Projects from some countries or regions might have better access to apply for additional funding to cover higher participation fees and help us finance other costs related to the workshop. Such options will be discussed individually with the project team members and dok.incubator will definitely support the team and assist with relevant applications.


  • The decision about the final fee rates and scholarships is made by the selection committee, all participants are informed about the exact amount of their fee before confirming their participation.



Please note that participants cover and organize their travel to the workshop locations individually. 





In case a selected project (that originally paid discounted fee) gains larger amounts of funding anytime during the calendar year in which the workshop is taking place, the project might be obliged to pay additional fee to dok.incubator retrospectively. Such agreement will be specified upon the final confirmation of participation at the workshop and it will be included in the contract.


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Our Films

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 exact 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 program?
No. The sessions which the observers are expected to attend are only the first two sessions. This program counts on the active observers participation. The third session, focused on the pitching performance of the participants, will be a far less intense program and he or she will be encouraged to follow the Nordisk Panorama program.
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, the whole third session is not obligatory for the observers, we recommend them to come only to the last part of the session (the Preview presentation).

Independent producers, editors or students can get a scholarship and pay only for their accommodation and meals (around € 450 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.
How do you select projects?
Out of approximately one hundred applications which we receive every year we select 8 projects to participate in the international workshop. The most important thing for our selection is the quality of the submitted material and its originality. We are simply looking for good projects, which could be developed into great films. Our selection is not limited by the genre.

We accept films of all genres and we like to mix different kinds of films with different kinds of film-making styles, we simply look for the uniqueness of the story and assess the approach of the filmmakers. Our condition is one – the story should be complex enough to allow feature length. In the first round of selection each of the applications is screened and considered by two selectors. 16 best rated projects proceed to the second round. The shortlisted projects are seen by another five selectors – future workshop‘s tutors.

They discuss not only the quality of the material, which is the basic criterion in the first round, but they also take into consideration the motivation of the team, we look closely on who the director and editor is and consider their
previous films.

We aim to support projects from different regions with a different background and we also combine participants with various levels of experience. The diversity of the participating group contributes highly to the final outcome. We guarantee to keep the rough-cut version you send us strictly confidential and only to share it with the selection committee for the selection purposes.
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
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 program?
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).
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 16 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 at the end of March.

The top 16 projects selected for the second round might be asked for additional materials, or be invited to an online interview. Please note that the dok.incubator board also considers the scholarship applications, and may ask about the financing of the film.
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?
We aim to make our workshop accessible to great films regardless of the size of their budget.

To include projects with a limited budget, we consider each project and its financial situation, production possibilities as well as possibility to get additional funding, individually. We offer discounts and scholarships leading to individual rates of the fee and to the majority of our participating projects not paying the full fee.
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 (except the travel costs), 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.
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.