CFC, NFB relaunch Creative Doc Lab

Copied from Realscreen - Sarah Polley
The documentary program, which has supported films such as Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley (pictured), will begin its third installment in September.

The National Film Board (NFB) and Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have announced the launch of the third Creative Doc Lab in September 2015, with the new version of the Doc Lab placing greater emphasis on innovative storytelling and feature documentary concepts.

Notable documentaries to have been made on the heels of the two previous Creative Doc Lab programs are Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, Yung Chang’s The Fruit Hunters and Su Rynard’s The Messenger. Polley’s doc in particular achieved substantial acclaim, winning the doc screenplay prize from the Writers Guild of America in 2014.

The focus is on the collaborative creative process behind documentary storytelling, Erica Proudlock, CFC’s manager of film & actor programs, told Playback Daily.

“We’re focused on engaging with directors and filmmakers on expanding how they think about story, and how they approach the documentary form. And putting them into a creative lab incubator, if you will, where their ideas are able to circulate, in their infancy, and be pushed and challenged,” Proudlock added.

The program, says Proudlock, was brought back after a four-year hiatus because of the huge shift in the doc-making landscape that has taken place in that time.

The application process for the competition, which previously ran in 2009 and 2011, opened yesterday and closes on July 6, 2015. 

Once the application window closes, the four candidates who submitted the best documentary proposals will be revealed in mid-August and then invited to take part in three documentary storytelling modules – starting in September – spread over eight months.

In between modules, participants will receive remote project development support from mentors and consultants tasked with developing their projects.

With a large emphasis placed on the creative process prior to shooting, participants in the program will leave with a creative package, including a produced teaser that can be used in the doc marketplace as a showcase piece, says Proudlock.