The challenges of making observational documentaries in Australia can be so daunting that some filmmakers may be afraid of tackling that genre.

That’s the rationale for an upcoming session of Ozdox which is designed to help and encourage people to work in that format.

Ozdox is inviting pitches which will be workshopped in front of an expert panel on September 16 at AFTRS. The aim is to evaluate up to five projects.

The session will be introduced by Tom Zubrycki (The Diplomat, Molly & Mobarak, The Hungry Tide), who will give advice on such topics as choosing a viable subject, following an unfolding narrative, using many ‘characters' vs telling one person’s story, the use of narration and music, evolving a personal style and the crucial role of editors.

“Ob-docs are becoming a lost art, and the special challenges they present are not fully understood or appreciated,” filmmaker Martha Ansara says on behalf of the Ozdox committee.

“We’re doing a call out for projects and those selected will have the opportunity to pitch them to a panel of experienced practitioners/teachers who will interrogate their ideas and methods and answer questions.

"Through this interaction those not presenting will also be exposed to a concrete and lively discussion of the many thrills and spills inherent in creating this most challenging form of documentary.

“Observational documentaries are such a powerful and rewarding, albeit difficult form, which seems to be so daunting that perhaps filmmakers are afraid of tackling it.

“We encourage all filmmakers intending to make or already making an observational documentary to apply. "

The panel members will be confirmed in early August. To apply, send one page of information including contact details, a short one-paragraph synopsis, a one-paragraph biography including names of previous films (if any), and one sentence about what stage the project is up to.

Please provide links to any relevant website or promo. All stages of dreams/production/levels of experience will be considered.

Deadline is August 26. Send to:

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