THE DOCUMENTARY LAB provides creative feedback and story notes to participating filmmakers, while helping them strategize for the development, completion, distribution, and marketing of their films. The program advances the careers of its Students by introducing them to film professionals who can advise on both the craft and business of documentary filmmaking.

Designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films.” – Marc Ford, Teacher

Over the course of two weeks, Students attend multiple workshops and sessions with guest speakers, established documentary directors, institutional funders, legal professionals, festival programmers and distributors. Students are paired with an experienced Creative Advisor who can provide one-on-one support and insight as they ready their projects for release. The Lab culminates in a final pitch event that offers further opportunity for individualized feedback and discussion with industry executives.

For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.


The Documentary Lab is looking for talented filmmakers with documentary projects that are compelling, original and demonstrate a unique vision. Both experienced and first-time directors are welcome to apply. Creative partners on the documentary (e.g. co-director, producer, editor) can apply with the filmmaker as a team – only one joint application needs to be submitted in such cases.


Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A cover letter explaining what inspired you to apply to the Documentary Lab and why this is the right time for you to participate in the program (500 words max)
  • A project description that includes a logline, story summary/synopsis, topic summary, artistic approach, project stage and timeline (500 words max)
  • A summary of distribution/marketing strategy and intended audience (500 words max)
  • Overall fundraising strategy and funding to date
  • Budget information


  • We are open to filmmakers at any level of experience.
  • International applicants are eligible; the script must be translated into English for consideration.
  • We will reconsider projects that have previously been submitted, provided the filmmaker can demonstrate progress on the project and/or professional development.
  • Filmmakers may apply to multiple Tipstor® Filmmakers Labs and there is no requirement to have participated in any one program before another.
  • Final selections will be based on the written application and supporting materials.
  • Due to the high volume of submissions, we unfortunately are unable to provide feedback about individual projects.
  • Email notifications are made on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified three to four weeks prior to the start of the program.


Online / Zoom
Real-time video-conference
Tuition: €400

Tuition: €100 / Hour
Explore One-On-One Options

Tuition: €450

Applicants must be the original author and owner of the Project they submit. Applications submitted as a Word doc/via email will not be considered.


Tipstor® Membership is not required when applying to the Documentary Lab.

Applicants who are accepted to participate in the program should plan to be in Lisbon or on Zoom for the duration of the Lab. Tipstor® is unable to subsidize any travel, lodging and/or visa expenses for any participants attending from outside of Lisbon. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.