Short courses


Documentary Pitching: An Introduction

  • 8 hours
  • 4 evenings (Mondays, 7pm to 9pm), over 4 weeks


This online evening course for documentary practitioners will help you translate your ideas and material into a market-ready pitch.

You'll learn about different pitching formats, how to prepare written and verbal pitches, and tactics for approaching funders and commissioning editors.

It will cover both short and long-form film pitch materials, with a focus on presenting creative independent documentary film formats.

You'll be encouraged to prepare a real or hypothetical film to develop and ‘pitch’ at the end of the course.

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Course content

Session 1

In this session you'll learn about independent documentary financing and markets.

Session 2

The second session will discuss the specific formats of written pitches. It will also cover how to approach financiers, including speculative emails and formal applications. This session will offer an in-depth guide to preparing your written pitch and associated online material.

Session 3

In week three we'll discuss the specific formats of pitching events, including forums, speed meetings, networking and live pitches. This session will offer an in-depth guide to preparing your verbal pitch and trailer, and the etiquette of live pitching.

Session 4

In the final session you'll practise giving a short verbal film pitch of your project and get feedback from the tutor and advice on next steps for your project. You'll also learn about specific funding opportunities for UK-based filmmakers based on the pitches.

Who it's for

The course is aimed at new and emerging producers and directors. 

Course structure and teaching

This course will be delivered via online distance learning. You'll need to have your own computer or other internet-connected device. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please get in contact at shortcourses@opencitylondon.com

Sessions will be held online on Monday evenings, from 7pm to 9pm, over 4 weeks.

You'll also be expected to complete tasks in between sessions.

Cost and concessions

The standard fee of this course is £150.

Two bursary places are available for this course for students from low-income backgrounds, those who are currently experiencing financial difficulties, or are otherwise unable to pay the fee. To be considered for one of the free places, please email shortcourses@opencitylondon.com

Course team

Luke W. Moody

Luke W. Moody

Luke is a creative producer and curator developing new work with LONO studio.

From 2017 to 2019 he was Director of Film Programming at Sheffield Doc/Fest, curating the 200 film programme across short and long-form documentary film and producing live events. Previously he was Head of Film at Doc Society, co-commissioning long-form documentary cinema across six international film funds from development to completion.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:01