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Open Call: Documentary Film Production

WWF Adria is calling all interested parties to send their proposals for a river documentary film production

Balkan rivers and streams are one the last remaining free-flowing rivers in Europe, supporting immense biodiversity and unique ecosystems. At this moment, the most devastating threat to Balkan rivers is the uncontrolled development of small hydropower plants (sHPP). Across the Western Balkan countries, more than 2,500 small hydropower plants are planned, despite their negative environmental, social, and economic impacts.
The explosion of sHPPs is concurrent with the advent of governmental support for renewable energy production through a system of subsidies, creating opportunities for significant personal gain. Coupled with the prevailing paradigm that, by virtue of being renewable, hydropower is automatically a green source of energy, mechanisms were set in place for the destruction of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe. Under the guise of sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, governments in the region are ruining their most important natural assets.
With this documentary, we want to portray the links between people and their rivers, showing the importance of rivers in their everyday lives, identities, histories, and well-being. Through stories told by local communities across the region, painting a picture of rivers and their place in our lives.
To raise attention, advocate, and trigger national and international awareness and discussion about rivers, river protection, and shortfalls of hydropower development through the lens of people and communities in the Western Balkans. WWF Adria wants to produce a documentary movie on rivers, showcasing a deep, intimate connection and understanding between people and water. We are looking for a production studio or film director/producer to produce the film.
The film is intended for global and regional audiences for distribution in film festivals, arranged screenings, and online. The total budget of the film should not exceed 40.000 EUR (25% VAT included).
WWF Adria welcomes creative ideas and suggestions for an impactful and innovative film.
The documentary is to be empathy-driven, moving, and motivational, told mainly from the perspective of people connected to rivers.
The film should be produced in English with subtitles. Subjects of the documentary are free to express themselves in their own language. The total length of the film should be 20 minutes.
The entire film production, i.e. writing, filming, editing, narration, etc. should be done by the contractor, delivering a final ready-to-air product in broadcast standards and in HD technology format 16:9. The entire development and production process will be done in close collaboration with WWF Adria staff, including providing a continuous review, comments, and thematic inputs when needed.
WWF Adria is the Executive Producer of the film and has the “final cut” of the film as well as the creative, editorial, and technical direction of the film.
  1. The contractor will commence work as soon as possible, immediately upon signing the contract.
  2. A detailed timeline, work plan, and draft outline should be submitted within the first 30 days.
  3. A detailed budget and shooting schedule should be provided prior to commencing filming.
  4. The rough cut of every phase of the documentary should be provided to the Executive Producer, i.e. WWF Adria, for review, comments, and approval. Only WWF Adria has the final cut.
  5. The final product, i.e. the movie as well as all the raw material and project files, should be delivered to WWF Adria on an external HDD no later than December 31st, 2021.
Payments of the allotted budget will be processed upon delivery of the following product along with the invoice:
  1. A timeline, work plan, and draft outline (40%)
  2. A detailed budget, script, shooting schedule, and filming plan (40%)
  3. The final cut of the movie (20%)
  1. Minimum of three (3) years of documented work experience in the area of documentary filmmaking, writing, producing, directing, and editing;
  2. Access to highest quality filming, light, sound, and editing equipment;
  3. Ability to operate under strict deadlines and apply high production and technical standards for the purpose of maintaining a high level of professionalism;
  4. Ability to communicate and conduct work in English and either Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, or Serbian language;
  5. Track record of successful documentaries filmed.

APPLICATION (deadline March 11th, 2021):
Please send your offers via email to Danijel Loncar at dloncar@wwfadria.org. To offeror is expected to provide the following:
  1. Three links to work samples demonstrating most relevant previous productions
  2. Brief presentation of the team, with CVs and functional responsibilities of the key people to be engaged in the production of the documentary
Creative Direction:
  1. A brief letter, describing previous experience on similar projects as well as proposed creative direction for the film. Creative ideas and suggestions are encouraged.
  1. Filming plan and timeline for all phases of the pre-production, production, and post-production.
Budget (not to exceed 40.000 EUR, VAT included):
  1. Detailed break-down of all estimated costs, including estimated days of shooting, production team, days of editing, travel costs, music, etc.
  2. A clear total cost for the final product. Please note that all costs, including transport and Croatian VAT (25%), need to be included in the total sum.
WWF Adria reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/output is incomplete, not delivered, or for failure to meet deadlines. In the event of the producer ending the contract prior to delivering all agreed-upon deliverables, a portion of the payments shall be returned to WWF Adria.
The Contractor undertakes to maintain confidentiality on all information that is not the public domain and shall not be involved with any assignment that represents a conflict of interest to the prevailing assignment. The Contractor shall undertake to refrain from promoting any political or religious beliefs in the documentary film which is the subject of this contract.

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