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Founded in 2001, the INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of East European documentary films and their wider promotion. Our activities support filmmakers through all stages of completion – development, funding, production, post-production, and distribution. We aim at individual filmmakers (tailored consultations), groups of carefully selected professionals with projects or films (Ex Oriente Film, East European Forum, East Silver, Doc Launch, etc.), broader professional community (East Doc Platform), as well as the general public (portal www.DOKweb.net). We closely work with key int. festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, or training initiatives and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM.

WHY POVERTY? Open to Short Films

Why Poverty? - a documentary series initiated by STEPS International is looking to fund thirty short films that tackle the issue of poverty, to be distributed via broadcasters, the internet and mobile platforms. Submission deadline: June 1, 2011.

STEPS International
Why Poverty?
Submissions from 28 March - 1 June 2011
Production from July 2011 - April 2012

STEPS International is commissioning thirty short films as part of the global documentary series Why Poverty.

We are looking for films from all over the world that give us insight into what people are doing to get out of poverty, and films that engage a wide range of audiences encouraging debate.

The films need to be high concept, innovative and provocative. The stories should give a fresh perspective on poverty, not be predictable or simply depict the woes of the world.

Submissions should be made via Berlinale Talent Campus.

There are three lengths for the short films:

  • 1 to 2 minutes - 10 films - Inventive, viral films for use on the internet and mobile platforms
  • 7 to 10 minutes - 10 films - Films that challenge perceptions of poverty and its representation
  • 15 to 20 minutes - 10 films - Films that tackle solutions to poverty and create understanding

Budgets will be assessed film by film, up a maximum of:

  • €6,000 for the viral shorts
  • €20,000 for the 10 minute shorts
  • €40,000 for the 20 minute shorts


Proposals should be in English and include a ten line synopsis, a full treatment, filmmaker and production company biography, budget, and schedule. A link to viewing material should be included in the proposal. For more information, please contact shortfilms@whypoverty.net.