Introduction

This survey is the first step in a broader policy consultation process which aims to create a bespoke policy framework to support UK feature-documentary filmmakers. At present, UK film policy is almost entirely geared towards supporting fiction, and so the various unique challenges faced by those working in documentary are overlooked.

This survey and the wider consultation of which it is a part is therefore designed to both canvass ideas from the sector and generate a uniquely valuable dataset that can be used to lobby policymakers for the urgent interventions required. To ensure the findings and proposals carry weight, we need as many people to complete the survey as possible, so please do spare the time to fill it out as thoroughly as you can and to share it far and wide. It should take around twenty minutes - about the time it takes to have a cup of tea...

This survey is targeted primarily at producers and directors. However, any coherent film policy must consider distribution, exhibition and audiences as much as finance and production, and subsequent stages of the consultation process will be dedicated to these aspects of the film value chain.

For the purposes of this survey, ‘feature docs’ are defined as films which are 69-minutes or more and which are designed for cinema release as well as broadcast. That said, most feature doc filmmakers produce a range of work in addition to their feature-length projects, often working across broadcast, corporate and online platforms; some of the questions, therefore, inevitably address areas beyond just the feature doc world but they provide an essential context.

This survey and the policy consultation process of which it is a part is being carried out by the UK Feature Docs research project (https://ukfd.org.uk/) in partnership with Doc Society and with the support of several organisations from across the sector, including Dartmouth Films, The Grierson Trust, the Scottish Documentary Institute, Sheffield Doc/Fest, The Whickers and the Center for Media & Social Impact in the US. We gratefully acknowledge the support and feedback provided to us in the development of this survey, please help us to make it worth it by completing it as best you can and sharing it across your own networks.

Finally, if you any questions about the survey or the research project of which it is a part, please email Dr Steve Presence at stephen2.presence@uwe.ac.uk.