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Doc Impact Lab

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Photographs from the first Doc Impact Lab, EthnoKino Film Festival " Belonging" delivered by Dr.Eda Elif Tibet & Dr.Mike Poltorak ,30 Sept 2022,Kino in der Reitschule, Bern.

EthnoKino launches a new documentary impact lab for short and feature films that are visionary in the widest sense of the word and are concerned with identifying and addressing contemporary global issues.  The workshop is offered by EthnoKino and the mentorship programme is designed in collaboration with Animating the Commons, an applied research Initiative situated at the University of Bern’s Critical Sustainability Unit at the Institute of Geography. The aim of the mentorship is to assist emerging filmmakers from around the world to ideate, develop and complete a draft of their original film screenplay with accompanying impact campaigns and distribution plans. The programme is  guided by experienced mentors, namely visual anthropologists and independent documentary filmmakers. 


The programme is open to storytellers from all over the world and provides a transformative experience for emerging filmmakers and visual anthropologists to explore their creativity and individual voice in an inspiring, intensive program that balances one-on-one mentorship sessions and independent work with moderated group discussions and presentations. 


The workshop which will include the viewing of the films selected for showcase during the festival is to be continued by a fellowship,  are open to anyone interested who self-defines as a storyteller. Activists, community workers and members of governmental entities and non-profit organizations can use the mentorship as workforce training or for professional development. 


If you have a transformative  story to tell and your efforts are around advocating for a more just and regenerative planet earth, come attend the DOC Impact Lab programme that is convened and coordinated by Visual Anthropologists and filmmakers; Dr.Mike Poltorak and Dr.Eda Elif Tibet.

Join a group of people from around the world in a unique social project in the Swiss Alps. The Reitschule which is where our film screenings take place is a grassroots community center that welcomes people from all walks of life and gives shelter to those in need, independent of their origin, ethnicity/nationality or religion. Participants will be offered a space to enhance their experience throughout a 5 days residency in person, beside a tailored online mentorship program that will help them to improve their skills in dramatic writing ;premise, theme, structure, character and story as well as in distribution and accessing the media industry.

Out of the box experiential learning: During the retreat, we will use a broad range of experiential methods and pedagogical means to transcend traditional didactics.


Tailor made to Individuals: Our teaching and learning activities center around your personal and professional development interests, previous experience and project ideas.


The places to be: The Reitschule provides an energizing environment for developing life-long relationships and new ideas.


Community & partnership engagement: We will frequently interact with people in place – e.g. particularly of migrant backgrounds.


Our aim is radical inclusion and wide impact: Costs are generally kept as low as possible. We work on a sliding scale and manage a small fund for participants from the Global South.


The workshop is structured in:

Online Sessions – twice a month (3 months program)

5 Days in-residency program - Venue TBA

Pitching session or Film Screening to audience and industrial professionals during the forthcoming 3rd EthnoKino film festival (in English)

Requirements for the mentorship programme:

  • Candidates must have written and directed at least one short film (University based productions are acceptable)

  • Narrative, documentary, animation and experimental short films are eligible

  • Projects can be in any language but shall aim to have English subtitles  

  • Availability needed between March 2023 to July 2023 (cf. Schedule)

  • Workshop in-residency: Ascona March 2023 

  • Presentation session with as the selected EK Community Films: EthnoKino 3rdfestival 2023

  • No Submission Deadline for Doc Impact Workshop on the 30th of September 2022, Public Event.

  • Submission Deadline for Doc Impact Mentorship Programme is 28 Feb 2023, 3 months Online Event with 5 days in person retreat in 2023.

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