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The International Documentary Challenge

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  • The International Documentary Challenge

    The International Documentary Challenge Is On!

    Looking for an exciting learning opportunity for media and film students that connects you locally while promoting your work globally? The International Documentary Challenge is proving to be just that with past participants calling it "invigorating", "rewarding", "a high", and even "a life altering experience." Many of the past participants (and winners!) of the Doc Challenge have been groups of students (alone or led by a teacher) at all levels from high school students to community media and art institute classes to film, documentary and journalism majors at universities.

    This year's challenge takes place March 3-7, 2011. Finalists premiere at the North America’s largest Documentary Film Festival, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in early May.

    If you're new to the idea, it's very simple: Filmmakers from around the world are given a genre (Character Study, Music, 1st Person, etc.) and a theme (such as "Change".) Participants then have 5 days to develop, produce and edit a 4 to 7 minute non-fiction film. The result is an exhilarating five days for the filmmakers, and, as the films reveal, a thrill for the audiences at Hot Docs and beyond.

    This year, Doc Challenge's newest Presenting Partner, The Documentary Channel, will present the Best Film award and select many of the finalists for National US Broadcast!

    According to past student participants, Doc Challenge is an intense experience that helps them focus in a new and effective way. Initially it seems like a ridiculous notion to think of completing a film in such a short time, but that, in essence, is the point of this competition - to encourage filmmakers to work straight from their gut, make quick decisions and finish a creative project under pressure. When making a film in a few days, one learns a lot about what is and isn't important in filmmaking - lessons that will never be forgotten.

    One of the main lessons students gain by doing the Doc Challenge is that of TEAMWORK. With such a tight deadline, the students learn valuable lessons on how to work together in an efficient and productive manner.

    But don't just take it from us - listen to testimonials from students and teachers that participated and became finalists! Watch the video here:

    Final Registration Deadline: March 2, 2011
    Doc Challenge: March 3-7, 2011
    Hot Docs Dates: April 28 - May 8, 2011

    Space is limited - only the first 300 teams to register will be accepted.

    Complete details and entry forms can be found at

    The Doc Challenge is produced by Doug Whyte and Kat Touschner of KDHX Community Media.

    Follow @TheDocChallenge for twitter updates.

    The 2011 Presenting Partners include Hot Docs, The Documentary Channel, American Documentary/P.O.V., Documentary Educational Resources and Typecast Releasing. Supporting partners include the International Documentary Association, the Documentary Organization of Canada, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Dokufest, Film Action Oregon and the 48 Hour Film Project.

    The International Documentary Challenge.
    Real Life. Filmed Real Fast.