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Filed under: film contest — thalida @ 12:18 am


Cross-Media Challenge Sheffield

$10,000CAD/£5,000 co-production competition
for innovative content creators

National Film Board of Canada
and Sheffield Doc/Fest Announce

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Sheffield International Documentary Festival are issuing a call for proposals for the second CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE.

The CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE is a co-production competition for innovative, interactive, socially engaged content with applications for mobile and broadband. It will award one producer a $10,000CAD/£5,000 co-production development deal with the NFB.

Deadline for entries is October 10, 2008. Three semi-finalists will be invited to present their projects at a panel session during the Sheffield Doc/Fest. The winner will be announced at the DigiDocs 360 program at the Sheffield Doc/Fest.  Semi-finalists must finance their own travel to the festival.

The Sheffield International Documentary Festival takes place November 5 – 9, 2008, in Sheffield, England.


A global leader in developing content for new platforms, the NFB wants to ensure the digital future has room for artistic innovation and social relevance. The CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE is one way of reaching out to potential new production partners.

The CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE offers media makers an opportunity to develop projects that:

  • inspire an exchange of storytelling practices among diverse communities;
  • use media creatively to foster an international dialogue on issues with local roots;
  • unleash the creative talents of new and alternative voices.

The NFB is interested in projects that use the versatility, mobility and borderless nature of new platforms to enable communities to talk to each other. Projects must be documentary based. The theme for the 2008 challenge is “environment.”

Eligible projects must be cross-platform and multi-platform involving the best features of each medium to ensure maximum audience participation. Projects should take full advantage of the range of new platforms, with particular emphasis on interactive, mobile and online. Projects must demonstrate direct contact and interaction with communities as part of the development plan.

The winner of the 2007 CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE was My Dangerous Loverboy,  an interactive Web and mobile site that will raise awareness of global sex trafficking and create a virtual community for at-risk young girls. My Dangerous Loverboy is a co-production of Vita Nova Films, Quba New Media, Screen Siren Productions and the NFB.


Employees of the National Film Board of Canada and the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and members of their immediate family and persons residing with them are not eligible for the CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE.


Submitted proposals should be a maximum of 2 pages and provide a succinct overview of your project, a development plan and development budget summary along with any supporting audiovisual material. Proposals must be received by October 10, 2008.

Proposals (including your full name and address) should be e-mailed to:

Programming and Reporting Coordinator

Supporting audiovisual material may be mailed, with cover letter specifying the name of the project, to:

Programming and Reporting Coordinator
National Film Board of Canada
3155 Côte de Liesse Road
Montreal, Quebec H4N 2N4

The winning project will be announced at the DigiDocs 360 program at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

For more information on DigiDocs 360, visit


For a better idea of how creativity and social issues come together in innovative cross-platform programming at the NFB, you may want to check out these NFB projects:

Web platform for alternative media and social change

A program for emerging Quebec Aboriginal filmmakers
Conceived by Manon Barbeau/Les productions des beaux jours, in collaboration with the NFB

A pioneering multimedia community engagement project, nominated in 2007 for the Grierson Innovation Award.

The manifesto for this project outlines a general approach that can be adapted to other kinds of socially engaged media projects:

  1. The original project idea and goals come from the community partner.
  2. The filmmaker’s role is to experiment and adapt documentary forms to the original idea. Break stereotypes. Push the boundaries of what documentary means.
  3. Use documentary and media to “participate” rather than just to observe and to record. Filmmaker-in-Residence is not an A/V or a PR department.
  4. Work closely with the community partner, but respect each other’s expertise and independence.
  5. 5. Use whatever medium suits – video, photography, World Wide Web, cellphones, iPods or just pen and paper. It can all be documentary.
  6. Work through the ethics, privacy and consent process with your partners before you begin, and adapt your project accordingly. Sometimes it means changing your whole approach – or even dropping it. That’s the cost of being ethical.
  7. The social goals – and the process itself – are paramount. Ask yourself every day: why are you doing this project?
  8. Always tell a good story.
  9. Track the process and results and spend time sharing what you’ve learned with multiple communities: professionals, academics, filmmakers, media, general public, advocates, critics and students.
  10. Support the community partner in distribution and outreach. Spend 10% of the time making the project and 90% of the time getting it out into the world.
  11. Just “showing it” is not necessarily a goal in itself. Work with the partners to harness the project’s momentum to effect real participation and real positive change.


Any submitted proposal will not be returned to a participant.

All information submitted to the CROSS-MEDIA CHALLENGE from a participant will be used only for the purposes of conducting this Challenge unless otherwise indicated by participant.

Semi-finalists must be available to participate in a panel session at the Sheffield Doc/Fest (November 5 – 9, 2008) and pay their expenses to attend the festival. The festival will provide semi-finalists with a free day pass, if necessary.

The NFB will not be responsible for the participant’s inability to get through on the Internet during the Challenge period.

Proposals are subject to verification and will be declared invalid if they are illegible.

The winner will receive a $10,000CAD/£5,000 co-production development offer from the NFB. The winner must accept the terms and conditions of the standard co-production development agreement for the offer to be valid. The award must be accepted as is and cannot be transferred, substituted, or exchanged in whole or in part for money.

By participating in this Challenge, the winner relieves the NFB of all liability for damages the winner may suffer following acceptance of the award.

The winner shall consent, if required, to the use, without compensation, of his or her name and/or image, in particular, photo and /or voice, for publicity purposes related to this Challenge.

The NFB is not liable for computer system, software or phone line malfunctions; the loss or absence of network server connections; or any defective, incomplete, jumbled or scrambled computer transmissions or transmission failure by any computer or network that might restrict or prevent participation in the Challenge. The NFB is not liable for any damage or loss caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the downloading of any software or form or by the transmission of any information in regard to the Challenge participation.

The NFB reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, cancel or suspend the Challenge.

By submitting a proposal, participants agree to these rules.

Subject to all applicable laws and regulations, these rules govern all aspects of the Challenge and bind all participants.