Rough Cut Lab Terms & Conditions – Edition 2017

Rough Cut Lab

As part of the Doc Outlook – International Market (DOCM), the Rough Cut Lab gives coaching, expert advice and access to decision makers to teams of a first or a second feature documentary at a finishing stage. The idea is to support filmmakers in the very difficult moment of editing. Four first rough cuts will be screened and discussed together with a tutor and moderator, the film team and some selected experts during three hours. 

Selection criteria

We are looking for creative, fresh and unique documentary projects of high quality that combine an artistic ambition with passion for the subject and commitment for the protagonists. We are interested in presenting varied projects within the great diversity of the cinema du réel.


The Rough Cut Lab will take place during the Festival Visions du Réel and the DOCM from 21 to 29 April 2017. It begins on Saturday 21 April afternoon with a preparation session. On Sunday 23 April and Monday 24 April there will be 3 ½ hours sessions for each project. An individual tutoring is scheduled for the last half hour of each Rough Cut Lab session between the film's team and their tutor. A general debriefing closes the Rough Cut Lab.

We expect at least one representative of the film crew to present the project at Nyon personally and to be present during the whole time of the Rough Cut Lab. According to our experience, the participation is most efficient if both director and editor or producer are present. The rough cut excerpt has to have English subtitles and be sent to Nyon three weeks before the Festival. The tutor will watch the rough cut before the Lab and get in contact with the film team in order to prepare the session.

During the Rough Cut Lab in Nyon, the session begins with a short introduction and presentation of the project and the team. The screening of the rough cut will then be followed by an intensive question and answer session. The sessions are private and only open to the teams and selected guests: filmmakers, producers and (international) distributors.

The selected projects will be published in a leaflet and sent to the invited professionals before the Festival. During the Festival, it will be available in printed form.

A list of the invited professionals being present at the Rough Cut Lab will be available one week before the Festival.

How to apply?

Please submit your project in English; longer texts as treatment etc. you may send in French, German, Spanish, Italian if you like. Please send us a protected link to view the visual material online (preferably) or send us a DVD. Please provide the whole rough cut or all scenes you edited until 15 December 2016.

The information given will be partly used for the leaflet. The teams of the four selected projects will have the opportunity to update the information on time.

There is no registration or participation fee. Travel, hotel and meals are to be covered by the selected teams. We are happy to assist you on the logistics.  

The selected projects will get two free DOCM 2017 accreditations and additional accreditations at a reduced fee (allowing the access to all the film screenings at the Festival and the Media Library online as well as to most DOCM networking and training activities, although some require a personal invitation).

Registration deadline

The registration form online must be completed and the visual material uploaded on the 15 December 2016.

The selected projects will be notified at the end of February 2017.

Visions du Réel / DOCM requires the VdR logo (sent on request) to appear in the credits of the film once finalized. The following sentence should be mentioned in the credit list : « (film title) has been presented at the Rough Cut Lab 2017 at Visions du Réel, Festival international de cinéma Nyon ». 

Contact & Information

Gudula Meinzolt, Head of Doc Outlook – International Market,, Tel.: +41 22 365 44 55

Participation in the the section Rough Cut Lab implies acceptance of these regulations.

Nyon, 13 October 2016