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Cross Media Challenge at Sheffield

Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival (Doc/Fest) is to host The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Cross Media Challenge at its festival in November. The Challenge will award one producer a £5,000 co-production development deal with the award-winning NFB.

The Cross Media Challenge is a co-production competition for innovative, interactive, socially engaged content with applications for mobile and broadband. The 2008 challenge is based around an environmental theme.

Producers are invited to submit documentary film ideas via the NFB website ( before 10 October. Three semi-finalists will then be invited to present their projects at a panel session during Doc/Fest 2008 and the winner will be announced during the festival’s DigiDocs 360 program.
The winner of the 2007 Cross Media Challenge was producer of My Dangerous Loverboy Grant Keir, who produced an interactive web and mobile site that raises awareness of global sex trafficking and creates a virtual community for at-risk young girls.
Keir says: “Winning the NFB pitching session opened up real industry interest in My Dangerous Loverboy. We were able to secure matching finance from the screen agency Northern Film and Media and our Canadian producing partner also won some extra development cash for the project. Annette Clark, a producer at NFB, is providing invaluable help to us in its development. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic platform afforded to us by Sheffield Doc/Fest.”

The NFB Pitch competition is one of a number of competitions at this year’s Doc/Fest, which are aimed at harnessing the talent of aspiring filmmakers.

Doc/Fest is also offering attendants of the festival’s Crossover Labs the opportunity to enter a CrossOver Pitch competition to win a development prize of £10,000. The Crossover Lab, which will be held between 5 and 10 October, brings together 24 people from different disciplines to help foster new collaborations and ways of generating and developing innovative cross platform projects.

The deadline for Crossover Lab entries is 8 September 2008. Applications can be made online at

Festival Director Heather Croall says: “Doc/Fest isn’t just an autumn festival, it’s a year long mission that brings people together to spark new projects and nuture aspiring filmmakers. The NFB Crossover Challenge and the CrossOver Pitch are ways of encouraging filmmakers to pursue multi-platform projects for the changing media landscape.”

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