Filmmaking exercises at TPD.  ©


FAMLAB x Stories – Workshop on Creative Documentary Filmmaking 

Call for Participants

Time: 15–26 October 2019
Place: TPD – 51 Tran Hung Dao, Hanoi  

This workshop programme is organised by the British Council in Vietnam, in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute and TPD Centre for Development of Movie Talents. More information is provided below. We are looking for 15 filmmakers and three to five composers to participate in the upcoming creative documentary workshop programme FAMLAB x Stories – a celebration of female and non-binary figures within traditional music practice in Vietnam. 

Deadline for submission of application is 15 September 2019.

1. Overview

Part of the on-going initiative Heritage of Future Past implemented by the British Council in Vietnam, this workshop programme aims to provide an opportunity for Vietnamese filmmakers to engage more closely with the under-represented music traditions of the country, and to play a role in the safeguarding of Vietnamese music heritage. Adapting the Stories model developed by the Scottish Documentary Institute, the 10-day programme works with 15 emerging Vietnamese filmmakers and invited guests, who are composers and traditional music practitioners, to produce five short films about female and non-binary traditional music practitioners beyond simple portraits. 

The workshop programme will conclude with a screening of five short films (duration 5–10 minutes each), to be produced over the course of the workshop. We hope that the films – and the conversations they initiate – will also enjoy an extensive life thereafter in various international contexts and sites.

2. Workshop information

  • Location: Workshop location at TPD Centre for the Development of Movie Talents – 51 Tran Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Shooting locations will be decided by the participants
  • Dates: 15–25 October (with a day off on 20 October) for the workshop. The showcase screening will take place on 26 October at the Film Association Cinema (located in the same building as TPD)
  • Hours: 9.00–12.00 and 13.30–18.00. Participants can carry out additional work outside of these core hours should they see fit
  • Objectives: participants can expect to have after this workshop:
    + creative story-telling skillsets and insights – especially in terms of working with characters and stories within the context of traditional music
    + connections with composers and traditional music practitioners
    + your short creative documentary film (that you will make as part of a team)
    + screening of your film to an audience right after the workshop, and potentially abroad
  • Workshop schedule: we are developing a day-to-day schedule to best suit the context of Vietnam and Vietnamese filmmakers. On Day 2 of the workshop, each of the 15 filmmakers will pitch for their story idea, with five to be selected and developed in five groups of three. A tentative programme can be found at the end of this page
  • Other useful information: The workshop organisers will arrange for and cover lunch for all participants on all workshop days, as well as a group dinner following the showcase screening on 26 October. 

3. Selection Criteria

  • Vietnamese filmmakers and composers (or student composers), 18–35 years of age
  • Basic technical capability and experience in film/sound making 
  • Demonstrable interest in the workshop’s theme (women and non-binary figures in traditional Vietnamese music)
  • Demonstrable interest in documentary filmmaking 
  • Commitment to attending all workshop activities and contributing to the finished films 

We believe diversity should be celebrated and talent exists in all levels of society regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or social class, therefore encourage film practitioners from across all sections of the society to apply.

We encourage filmmakers living outside of Hanoi to apply, given that you have access to local stories for the purpose of the workshop. You will be responsible for your own expenses (i.e. travels, accommodation in Hanoi) to participate in the full length of the workshop if selected. 

4.  Application and selection process

If you are interested, please submit an application package including:

For filmmakers:

  • A written text (maximum 500 words) detailing a story (taking place in Hanoi and relevant to the workshop theme) that the applicant would like to develop through the workshop
  • CV (maximum one A4 side) detailing filmmaking practices and experiences
  • Online viewing URLs (no more than three) of any past film work the applicant has contributed to, plus detailed information on their contribution

For composers, student composers are welcome:

  • CV (maximum one A4 side) detailing practices and experiences
  • Online URLs (no more than three) of any past sound work

- Please send your application package to by 15 September 2019. If required, interviews with shortlisted applicants will take place week commencing 23 September 2019. Application results will be announced on 30 September 2019. 

5. What happens after the workshop?

Films produced through Scottish Documentary Institute’s previous Stories workshops have screened at festivals including Locarno Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, to name a few. 

The FAMLAB x Stories films will be jointly distributed and exhibited on relevant occasions by the British Council, Scottish Documentary Institute and TPD. The SDI will create a distribution strategy targeting local and international festivals, with underlying rights to the films held by the organisers, although the filmmakers will have the right to screen their films subject to the communicated distribution plan. 


Stories is an intensive residential filmmaking laboratory, developed with and delivered by Scottish Documentary Institute, in partnership with the British Council. Filmmakers are empowered with the creative and practical tools to examine their sense of identity and nationality through film. The films produced offer surprising and nuanced insights into these cities through strong, character-led stories.

There have been nine Stories workshops since 2010, across Middle East/North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia, producing over 40 short films. Most recently, in 2017, Syria Stories worked with displaced filmmakers in Lebanon, Jordan and two locations in Turkey. 

Stories films having been selected for prestigious international film festivals, including: Sheffield DocFest; BFI London Film Festival; IDFA (International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam); Locarno Film Festival; SXSW; OpenCityDocs, London; Africa in Motion, London; Zagrebdox, Croatia; Yogyakarta Documentary Film Festival, Indonesia; Encounters Short Film Festival, UK; Beirut International Film Festival; Hot Docs, Canada.

Stories films can be viewed here


The British Council and Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

A British Council programme taking place in Colombia, Kenya and Vietnam, Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth is a two-year pilot initiative exploring the use of cultural heritage for growth that benefits all levels of society. Cultural heritage in this context means many things, from the built environment through to cultural traditions such as music and language. Inclusive growth means working with and for all levels of society in order to reconcile the divide between economic growth, and rising poverty and inequality.

In Vietnam, the in-country Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project – known as Heritage of Future Past – works with music and film heritage, in particular valuable aspects that are under-represented or at high risk of disappearing. The project consists of two interconnected strands: community-level activities and FAMLAB (Film, Archive and Music Lab). Launched in April 2018, the project seeks to create opportunities for communities across the country to contribute to – and benefit from – the safeguarding and reinvigoration of their cultural heritage. For more information please visit 

Scottish Documentary Institute

Scottish Documentary Institute has been working with new and established talent since 2003, making creative documentaries through our renowned annual short film initiative Bridging the Gap, This is Scotland, Right Here and moving into features. We run a diverse slate of international activities Stories, Edinburgh Pitch in order to stimulate and inspire the documentary scene in Scotland and beyond. Straddling art and industry, we support and produce authored films driven by content and emotional experience, most recently: Freedom Fields, Becoming Animal, Donkeyote, Time Trial, Nae Pasaran, Syrian Stories etc. We have developed audience innovation strategies and are committed to the promotion of documentary and filmmakers worldwide.

For more information please visit

TPD Centre for Development of Movie Talents

Established in 2002, we are a not-for-profit and professional centre working to support the growth of the young cinematic community. We wish to make a contribution to the social development of Vietnam through a programme providing assistance for short film making projects and offering a nurturing environment for creative young filmmakers, and especially through a visual-audio educational programme for young people. Our operation is guided by these key principles: 1. Passion is worth more than money, 2. Techniques are second to emotions, and 3. Practice produces practical knowledge.

For more information please visit