Newsletter #2: DFC to publish open letter – please sign!

Dear DFC Members, Allies and Supporters,

We’ve been extremely busy since our last newsletter in July and as such there are a lot of important updates here, so please read this newsletter in full.

However the most urgent and important thing is to ask you all to please read and sign the Open Letter that will be featured in Screen Daily and Broadcast next week. 

The letter is an initiative that was proposed by the interim board and is designed to do two things: 1) raise the DFC’s profile within the wider screen industries; and 2) give our fundraising drive another much-needed push. It will also help feed into our submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into British Film and High-End Television, about which more below…


The text of the letter has been approved and signed by all members of the interim board so we are now circulating to our membership (i.e. Supporters, Allies and Members) to request that as many people as possible put their names to the letter. As noted, the letter will be published in Screen Daily – accompanied by a feature article by Geoffrey McNab, who interviewed three of our board members for his piece – and hopefully also in Broadcast, the main trade journal for the TV industry.


Read & Sign the Open Letter


Parliamentary Inquiry

Thank you to all those who submitted a response to our DCMS survey. Those responses have been invaluable in helping us develop a genuine sense of what the priorities are for our sector and will be reflected in our submission to the Inquiry. This will hopefully go a long way in helping government and other policymakers understand how UK independent documentary works and what its needs are. As you may know, the deadline has been extended to October 18. We are aiming to have a draft ready to share with the DFC membership by midnight on October 15 at the latest. 

We are aware that this is cutting it very fine and that it may not be possible for us to integrate any feedback received, but we wanted to at least try to give the membership a window, however brief, to see the evidence before we submit it. It’s obviously vital that the DFC submit evidence to this Inquiry, despite the very challenging timescales involved and the fact that the organisation is less than 4 months’ old. On the plus side, we now have a process in place to develop community-led responses to these kinds of consultations so we can hit the ground running for the next one.


Fundraising Update

Unfortunately, we have fallen very far short of the £556k we think we need to run the DFC for its first three year term. As noted in the Open Letter, we have approached every major broadcaster and streaming service in the UK as well as a host of philanthropic and charitable organisations, but still only have our membership fees in the bank. However, it’s not all bad news and we have had some interest from some foundations, and still have some applications pending. 

This is obviously not ideal but it’s not the end of the world – we’re just going to have to build the DFC more slowly than we’d hoped. Although it’s not a route we hoped to have to go down, it looks likely that we will find separate project funding for different initiatives. So it’s more important than ever that Members send in proposals for committees. Proposals for committees are welcome on any topic, but the board are likely to prioritise those that respond to the priorities identified in the Open Assembly.

If you can help support our pioneering work with a funding contribution, please contact the DFC at


DFC Elections Postponed

Because of the challenges raising funding and the lack of capacity within the DFC at present and in the foreseeable future, the elections to the DFC’s board have been postponed until Spring 2024. With such a small team, it is simply not possible to us to organise and run elections while also trying to fundraise. 

In more positive news, we have qualified for some in-kind business support from Co-ops UK, part of which will include support with running the elections in the Spring. We now plan to have our first elected board in place ready for Sheffield DocFest 2024.


Meet our Interim Board


Open Assembly Findings

The findings of the first DFC Open Assembly at Sheffield DocFest are now available below. As you will see from the Executive Summary, there are seven headline areas that those at the Assembly felt the DFC should focus on. We appreciate that this reflects only the views of the 200 or so people that attended the Assembly, however, and so would very much welcome thoughts and feedback on this. The board will use the findings to develop the DFC’s first strategic agenda, which will be shared before the end of the year.


Read the Open Assembly Findings



Proposals for Committees

The form with which members can propose committees is available here. We have already received several ideas for committees and will seek to support as many of these as is possible. As noted, the more proposals we receive the more options we will have to approach funders. If you have any questions or would like to discuss potential ideas, please get in touch.


More About Committees



Phase 2 of the Directory

The DFC’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee have been working hard consulting on phase 2 of the Directory’s development, which will enable Directory members to self-identify according to a range of identity categories beyond location, job title and experience level. Please join the Directory if you haven’t already done so and we’ll be in touch with next steps…


Join the Directory




Project to support upcoming releases

One thing we can do with a membership-based organisation is start showing support for each other’s films when they’re released in cinemas. To this end, we would like to trial the use of the DFC’s membership to generate increased support for new releases of UK docs in cinemas, starting with two brilliant films that are both being released on the same weekend. Paul Sng’s Tish and Ella Glendining’s Is There Anybody Out There? are both being released on November 17. We plan to work with the distributors of these films to generate a discount code that the DFC membership can use when buying tickets to see either (or both!) films at their local cinemas. More details coming soon… If you would like to help us coordinate the DFC membership in your area, please get it touch.



Organisational membership tier

We will be soon introducing an organisational membership category to the DFC. This will be separate from the individual membership and will not come with voting rights, but will enable organisations that support the DFC to join as members for a fee that is proportionate to their income. We’re currently consulting on what the sliding scale should look like but hope to have this up and running before Christmas.


Member Discounts

We are busy working behind the scenes to get our paid members the best discounts for industry memberships, streaming platforms, festivals and much more. So far we have partnered with True StoryDAFilmsSheffield DocFestDAE and the IDA, and will soon be launching our discounts page on the website. If you have not already joined as a paid member (Ally or Voting Member), upgrade now for as little as £12 per year to access our upcoming offers.

If you would like to offer discounts to DFC members or are planning a special event to which you would like to invite members, please contact us via


Join Us or Upgrade




Members meetup in December

Finally, we will be organising an online get together for all the DFC’s membership in early December. Date to be announced soon. 

There’s a lot more to say about all the work going on here but we’ll leave it there for now. 

If you haven’t already done so, please help build the DFC: invite your friends and colleagues to join (and add their profiles to the Directory), share our website on your socials and, if you’re a Member or an Ally, add a line to your email signature and help promote the DFC every time you send an email! Something like: ‘Documentary Film Council Ally’ or ‘Documentary Film Council Member’.

And if you haven’t already, make sure you follow our socials below.

In co-operation, 
DFC Leadership Team



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