Apply for DocLab 2019

Impact Through Film - Human Rights In Focus

Dates of the workshop: November 11-14, 2019
Date of presenting the works: November 15, 2019

EXTENDED DEADLINE: October 1, 2019

Documentary films have power. They can inspire and be a call to action. They can be potent tools in the fight for dignity, and against censorship and oppression. In these challenging times, when human rights are under threat around the globe in unprecedented ways, documentaries that can tell these stories on film are of vital importance.

The Verzio DocLab workshop invites you to share stories from your community, your experience, your perspective, by creating a film that deepens understanding of the human rights challenges people face.  The workshop is a platform for both beginning and advanced filmmakers interested in documentary and human rights to make a teaser, a short film, a documentary essay or to edit a scene or episode from a feature-length documentary already in the making.

An international team of filmmakers, editors, and human rights experts will offer guidance and mentorship in structuring, editing, and post-producing your film.  Subject matter may focus on human rights issues in the broadest sense. The stories should be well researched, based on lived experience, foreground individual personalities, and aim for impact. The workshop participants are expected to arrive with footage shot prior to the workshop and will get tutoring in editing and cinematic structure. The goal of the workshop is to put human rights issues “in focus” by contributing to the creation of films that make an impact, raise awareness, and call for action, either on their own or as part of a broader ongoing campaign.

The workshop takes place at CEU’s Mirabaud Media Lab (Budapest) and is organized by Verzio IHRDFF and the CEU Visual Studies Platform. The participation is free of charge, and participants are responsible for organizing their own travel and living arrangements in Budapest. Basic editing experience is required, preferably on Adobe Premiere Pro, which is the platform provided in the Lab. Those attendees editing a project on another platform will need to provide their own laptop. All attendees will need an external hard drive for storage and editing of footage. Participants are required to attend and will get a certificate at the end of the workshop.

The resulting works (or excerpts from works in progress) will be screened during the festival and circulated on-line.

Supported by DOK Leipzig
The tutors will select the best project of the workshop which will be granted with two observers’ seats at the pitching forum at DOK Leipzig.

Application material – SEE Submission FORM 

Selected participants will be notified by September 30th, 2019.
If you have questions contact us by email: (subject title: DocLab)


Zsuzsanna Gellér-Varga, D.L.A. is a documentary filmmaker and video-storyteller. Her thesis film (UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism), Screw Your Courage won awards at US film festivals and was broadcast on public TV. She worked for the New York Times Television as a video-journalist and later directed documentaries (Once They Were Neighbours, 2005, Synagogue For Sale, 2007, Mr. Mom, 2009, and Angel Business, 2018), which were screened internationally and broadcast on public TV. She taught documentary ethics at the international masters program, DocNomads at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest.

Moniek Wester Keegstra is an independent documentary filmmaker and trainer in dramaturgie and interview. She directed documentaries for Dutch television. 'Gaza, Gabbers and Graffity' was nominated for the Prix d’Europe and had worldwide screenings at film festivals. She worked with NGOs Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam Novib and Amnesty International. Moniek was involved as filmmaker and creator of the TV-series and online platform ‘26000 Faces’. In showing film portraits about asylum seekers in the Netherlands it created impact on Dutch politics and was selected for IDFA. She is co-creator of the longitudinal online ‘Lifeboat Project’ about HIV and stigma. The essence of her work is to get to the core of human experience.

Levente Pap is a freelance film editor. He has been working for several award winning fiction films and documentaries since 2000. His latest short fiction “Cubeman” won more than 30 awards all around the world. He is also a promo producer for HBO Hungary, and an editing consultant and post supervisor for DocNomads Joint Masters in University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest.