120 Filmmakers From 61 Countries Answer WHY FREEDOM? Open Call

March 1, 2023

Rachel Sheary

After five award winning documentary campaigns, THE WHY is set to begin developing its sixth global documentary series in the coming year, focusing on one of the most contested words of the moment: Freedom.

WHY FREEDOM? will reflect the diverse understanding of what freedom means in 2023 to a global audience through six human focused documentaries unpacking different aspects of the freedom struggle - from freedom of information and the internet to war and corruption. 120 proposals from 61 countries answered the WHY FREEDOM? open call, which invited filmmakers in all stages of development to submit stories related to the topic. Ukraine, Iran, Russia, South Africa and Nigeria come out on top with the most submissions per country.

THE WHY’s documentary campaigns reach millions of people worldwide through partnerships with top international broadcasters, shedding light on pressing human rights issues.

CEO Mette Hoffmann Meyer (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, India’s Daughter, Taxi to the Dark Side) has always made it a priority to give filmmakers from emerging economies a platform and to tell stories not being told on mainstream media. As executive producer of the initiative, she is excited about beginning the evaluation process and finding films that reflect today’s world: 

We are looking for powerful and insightful stories that are topical and geographically spread.  We will read all submissions carefully and expect to commission 5-6 films.

For Co-Producer Jonatan Jerichow, an award winning producer with over 20 years of experience in television and film, WHY FREEDOM’s timing is opportune: 

Right now, freedom is very much at stake in so many places in the world. I’m grateful that we have received so many submissions from so many talented filmmakers, because there are many stories out there that need to be told - with WHY FREEDOM? we will do just that.

The team will now review all 120 proposals before pitching the successful contenders to Europe’s top broadcasters during CPH:DOX in March.

Open Call

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