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New Perspectives Pitch Lab

The New Perspectives Pitch Lab, presented by AFTRS, Doc Society and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), in partnership with Screen NSW, aims to empower emerging non-fiction storytellers to pursue and build support for the stories they seek to tell. This initiative is for emerging non-fiction talent with a social impact project in development or production.

We are looking for stories that offer a rare insight into the often under-represented and overlooked from those who see more than what’s being shown in the common zeitgeist. We’re looking for stories that break barriers and explore nuance over polarity.

The creators behind global initiatives such as Good Pitch, Climate Story Lab and the Impact Field Guide, Doc Society are dedicated to the impact of art and the art of impact.

We welcome projects from emerging storytellers or storytellers that are changing genre or platform on any theme or subject. We strongly encourage applications that explore issues such as democracy, environment, economic and racial justice.

The Pitch Lab is open to projects from across the non-fiction landscape – from observational, character-driven stories, to hybrid and essay films, to podcasts and series for television or online.

Our passion for non-fiction embraces the many faces of the form from personal, funny, investigative, comedic – all can play an important role as films of record to tools of personal and policy change.

Applications are now closed.


  • The Pitch Lab consists of five online coaching sessions and an online pitch event with mentors including Malinda Wink, Global Director of Good Pitch, Doc Society.
  • Participants develop their project pitch in group and individual sessions and pitch to an industry panel for feedback.
  • The focus on the pitch training is to support participants to develop strategies and pathways for non-traditional access to audience and finance for projects that have potential for an impact campaign. Individuals or teams of two can participate in the pitch lab.
  • One team will be selected for pitching opportunities at the 2021 AIDC, including two complimentary all-access passes.
  • There is no cost for the Pitch Lab, but all selected participants are required to attend all coaching sessions and commit to the pitch event.


The Pitch Lab is for individuals or teams who have an impact documentary project in development or production, who could benefit from assistance in developing a project pitch to traditional and non-traditional sources of funding and pathways to audience.

The Pitch Lab is reaching out to new and emerging storytellers from around the country, and also welcomes applications from journalists and fiction story-tellers that are changing genre or platform.

Applications are particularly encouraged from applicants and/or teams who identify as First Nations Australian, culturally and linguistically diverse, living with disability and/or LGBTQI+.

  • The impact documentary project can be short or long-form, a one-off film or series (online or broadcast), or a podcast.
  • The documentary project can be on any theme or subject – and we strongly encourage applications that explore issues such as democracy, environment, economic and racial justice.
  • Applicant teams must consist of at least one key team member with a screen credit in their respective role on a project that has been broadcast and/or screened at a recognised film festival or distributed on a significant curated online platform. A list of recognised festivals is available here.
  • Only Australian project teams can apply.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or over.
  • The project must be classified as no greater than MA.

You must be available to attend all the pitch lab dates below. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 13 November and must accept the offer by Monday 16 November.


Applications are now closed.

Please email pitchlab@aftrs.edu.au with any questions.


All sessions occur online via Zoom in afternoon slots (AEDT). The dates are:

  • Wed 18 November: Introduction to Impact and Pitching to Non-Traditional Partners (1.00 pm – 4.30 pm)
  • Mon 23 November: Group session – Introduction to Pitching & Building Your Trailer (1.00 pm – 4.30 pm)
  • Wed 25 November: Group session – Practice Pitch 1 (1.00 pm – 4.30 pm)
  • Mon 30 November: Group session – Practice Pitch 2 (1.00 pm – 4.30 pm)
  • Wed 2 December: Individual session – One on ones with teams and mentors (30 minutes each team)
  • Mon 7 December: Industry pitch to “friendly dragons”. Each pitch is 7 minutes plus time for feedback (1.00 pm – 4.30 pm).


Projects will be chosen using the following criteria:

  • Strength of the project and potential for social impact
  • Background and experience of the applicant(s)
  • Clear identification of audience
  • Capacity of the team to manage the project and their ability to deliver
  • Other factors including diversity of slate and the gender and cultural diversity of the team may also influence final selection

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