Newsletter #6: DFC Elections And More

Dear DFC Members, Allies and Supporters,

We’ve hit the ground running in 2024. This spring we’ll elect our first member-led board so we’ve been preparing for that (more info below). We’ve also made contact with the shadow culture secretary (you can read our written briefing below and on our website) and we’re urging parliament’s committee on film and high-end TV to let us give verbal evidence (documentary hasn’t been mentioned yet so we’re keen to change that). 

We’re also developing plans for organisational membership of the DFC as well as lots of exciting ideas about how we can use the collective strength of our membership – all of us involved in the DFC – to build a stronger, more inclusive UK documentary culture. Read on to find out more and, as ever, drop us a line if you have any ideas or questions. 


Thank you to our Interim Board who have held the space since May 2023

Election to the DFC Board

We’re super excited to share the news about the DFC’s election process, which kicks off on March 11th when we’ll share the ‘Stand for Election’ form. This is the first opportunity in UK documentary film history to elect a board of national representatives for our sector and there’s never been a more important time to stand up for documentary. So, please consider standing for election and encourage your friends and colleagues to do likewise. We also really want both new and established people to stand so if you’ve never served on a board before please don’t let this put you off – full training will be provided from Co-ops UK as soon as the board is in place.

Unfortunately, because we haven’t managed to raise the funds required, for the time being the DFC is operating as an entirely voluntary organisation. This means we can’t afford to pay any board members for their time, but that remains our intention and we will pay the freelance members of our board as soon as we have the funds to do so. For now though, the DFC is exclusively run by volunteers (so bear with us!).

The election schedule is as follows:
Monday 11th March: Circulate ‘Stand for Election’ form
Sunday 14th April: Deadline for candidates to nominate themselves
Monday 1st May: Announce election candidates 
Monday 13th
 May: Voting opens 
Friday 31st May: Voting closes
Monday 3rd June: Results announced in time to welcome the new board at our first AGM and Open Assembly at Sheffield DocFest in June (Date TBC). 

More information about the election process will be shared soon, so watch this space. In the meantime, you can read more about the DFC’s structure and governance on our website or download our governance and election resources below.


Governance & Election Resources


Briefing for Shadow Culture Secretary

In January, we made contact with the Shadow Culture Secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, whose team requested a written briefing. We worked with Christo Hird (Dartmouth Films / Documentary Producers UK) on the text, which is intentionally brief (just 2 pages). If you have any feedback on the briefing or ideas about how it can be improved let us know – communicating the needs of this sector to those outside of it is a key part of the DFC’s work, so it’s vital we get this right.


Read the Shadow Culture  Secretary Briefing


Photo courtesy of the Documentary Association of Europe (DAE)

Launching #Docsafe Initiative

Also in January, the DFC joined documentary associations from across the world to kick-off the #DocSafe Initiative, a new mission to safeguard the documentary workplace for all. The initiative was launched amid growing evidence of abuse of power and evidence of the effects of poor accountability in the industry which were reported in an article in Documentary magazine late last year.

Attendees at the inaugural meeting facilitated by the DAE discussed key issues and safeguarding best practice, and have formed four working groups on creating guidelines for training/labs and festivals/events; managing accusations and developing specific counselling and support. The wider documentary community will continue to be asked to join in and widen the debate about the industry’s future in-person at panels in Berlinale, Thessaloniki and other festivals this summer. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to reach out via

If you are in Berlin and would like to join the #DocSafe Initiative Roundtable on Feb 18th you can register below.

work, so it’s vital we get this right.


#DocSafe Initiative Roundtable Registration


Peer Support Group for Indie Doc Filmmakers

DFC member, Usayd Younis, is running a peer support group for independent documentary filmmakers. Most members of the group have made a least one film and are working on new projects with feature-length films as a focus. They come together once a month to share their experiences and struggles in the industry and would like to hear from other feature-doc filmmakers working on their first or subsequent projects. They’re currently meeting in person in London but are open to online/hybrid meetings for those based elsewhere. The group is part of a programme by Film in Mind to encourage peer support. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, go ahead and sign up below. 


Peer Support Group Signup


ScreenSkills’ Surviving the TV Recession

On February 6th, ScreenSkills organised a 90-minute session focused on helping workers in the Unscripted TV sector understand and navigate the brutal and ongoing recession in the TV industry that has resulted in as many as 80% of freelancers being out of work. Our friends in Filmmakers for Future: Wildlife (FF:W), a grassroots group of wildlife filmmakers, have shared their immensely useful notes from the session and have given us permission to share them here. It’s grim reading but a valuable insight into conditions in the industry at the moment. Find more industry resources from ScreenSkills below.


More Resources


The New Black Film Collective XPO 2024

The New Black Film Collective XPO 2024 returns for its third edition at London’s Rich Mix from March 25-28th. The event celebrates Black excellence across the screen industries and includes networking, keynotes, screening and more. The DFC will be there along with colleagues from Doc Society, BFI, the Film & TV Charity, NFTS, Directors UK, the Film Distributors Association Warner Bros Discovery and others. Full programme to be confirmed, but save the dates and book your free tickets below.


Free XPO Tickets Available Here


Want to get involved with the DFC?

Standing for election is one of the best ways to get involved with the DFC, but there are plenty of other ways you can help. We’ve got tonnes of ideas about how to build our membership but really need a Memberships Officer to help with this, and we’re really keen to work with BFI FAN to help build audiences for docs in cinemas across the nations and regions. If you would like to volunteer your time or expertise or have any other ideas about what the DFC could be doing to support you, we want to hear from you!

Got any news?

If you have any news or information you’d like us to include in the next newsletter, drop us a line at

In co-operation, 
DFC Leadership Team



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