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What we want

Send us your idea for a nine minute documentary about contemporary Northern Ireland for publication on BBC platforms.

The True North brand is about being fresh, contemporary, quality, thought provoking, engaging, inspiring, emotional, and risk taking

We want to hear from emerging film-makers with unique and surprising stories to tell.

We want films that illuminate and challenge perceptions about contemporary life in Northern Ireland.

We want to highlight compelling real lives, interests and concerns and reveal the extraordinary variety and richness of life on our front doorstep.

True North Shorts will always be uniquely personal. They will feature universal themes which our audience can relate to.

The quality of visual treatment, soundscape and storytelling are all important in the mix.

The audience

True North Shorts is particularly focused on reaching 18-35 year olds.

This is younger than the core BBC Northern Ireland audience (45+).


True North Shorts can reach this audience if, tonally, the stories have a contemporary tone, a risk-taking attitude and pose thought-provoking and challenging questions.

How to enter

  • Send an email with your idea (500 words max) OR a link to a 30 second taster clip accompanied by a short explainer of up to 100 words, PLUS a CV or portfolio that details your previous film work. Please put the subject line as ‘TRUE NORTH SHORTS PROPOSAL’.
  • The closing date for receipt of entries is 11:59PM GMT on Wednesday 3rd April 2019. Late entries cannot be accepted past this date.
  • We’ll be inviting up to 15 shortlisted film makers to a workshop in BBC Northern Ireland on an evening between the 23rd – 26th April.
  • Shortlisted candidates will then have the chance to prepare for pitching sessions which take place on Friday the 3rd of May 2019.
  • Eight successful filmmakers will be paired with a mentor, as well as being supplied with production support from BBC Northern Ireland. The final delivery date for films is Monday 30th September 2019.
  • It is essential that you are available for the mentoring, pitching and editing days so please only submit a proposal if you are free for the dates above.