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Moving Docs Outreach Workshop: Reaching & Engaging New Audiences


As part of the Moving Docs programme, EDN held a three-day outreach workshop in April involving a variety of European partners that contribute to the Moving Docs 2016 initiative.

What does it take to bring high quality documentaries to new audiences across Europe in new, innovative ways? This was one of the key questions of the recent Moving Docs Outreach Workshop. The event involved the European partners of the intitative and aimed to explore and share best practices in outreach and audience development focused on specific campaigns around central titles from the 2016 Moving Docs programme: A Good American (by Friedrich Moser), Becoming Zlatan (by Fredrik Gertten & Magnus Gertten), The Longest Run (by Marianna Economou) and At Home in the World (by Andreas Koefoed).

"When Europe actually makes an effort to come together, it's a powerful thing"

With so many partners on board it may seem difficult to devise strategies or agree on common goals. Outreach Expert Ben Kempas (Film & Campaign, UK) — one of the workshop tutors — explains the challenge: "It's one of these things where you first think it's never going to work: we're looking at a group of very different partner organisations from all over Europe who all have developed very distinct approaches how to release documentary films: some organise festivals, others release theatrically; some do themed events with food and music, others promote educational use; some release on VOD, others don't work online; some will show a film in autumn, others have launched it already. How can you possibly have an outreach strategy for a number of films that still works for everyone? But then something beautiful happens: as always when Europe actually makes an effort to come together, it's a powerful thing. When people come with open minds, ideas start flying. And we actually managed to come up with more or less coherent plans for the Moving Docs core films that can then be adapted for every territory."


Outreach Expert Ben Kempas
(Film & Campaign, UK)

The workshop topics ranged from basic campaign ideas and documentary case studies up to social media management and VOD distribution. Regarding the latter, Kempas says, "It was a special treat that we were able to bring marketing & distribution consultant Brian Newman across from the States. The man is a distribution think-tank just by himself! Talking to him about documentary releases that are completely paid for by a corporation (well, an ethically sound one) was a real eye-opener. Rather than adopting the typical European attitude of saying 'That would never work here!', this actually made us think about what we CAN possibly try here, while at the same time respecting the limitations of our funding framework."


"New and creative ways of collaborating"

Looking back at the outcome of the workshop, Rea Apostolides — co-founder of Greek-based screening partner CineDoc — says: "It was unique to meet and work together with diverse European film networks, and to try to find how to best release and promote documentaries across Europe. Through this process, we've created new relationships and are finding new and creative ways of collaborating. I'm especially excited about the Moving Docs campaign regarding the refugee crisis which is coming up this fall and will involve innovative pan-European audience engagement".

Besides Ben Kempas and Brian Newman, the Moving Docs Outreach Workshop also included an inspirational introduction to social media management by Nikko Patrelakis from DOC TV, Greece.

About Moving Docs
Moving Docs is an EDN led initiative supported by Creative Europe aiming to create innovative outreach strategies and provide opportunities for urban and rural European audiences to enjoy regular screenings of documentary films through a wide variety of media and platforms.

For more information about the programme, films and partners visit

Overview of Moving Docs partners: Central Partners | Screening Partners

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