Cost of Docs survey prize winner announced

The Whicker’s World Foundation is pleased to announce Jessi Gutch as the winner of our “Cost of Docs” survey. Out of the 191 replies that we received, Jessi was randomly selected to receive a festival pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016. Congratulations, and we’ll see you at Doc/Fest later this year to announce the winner of our documentary awards!

We would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey and are looking forward to sharing the results in the next few days.

We caught up with Jessi, a 23-year old independent filmmaker and waitress at the Frontline Club, to ask about her connection to the documentary industry and what a festival pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest means to her. Jessi filmed a documentary in Cairo as part of her MA and has trained at a production company funded by Creative Skillset. She is well on her way to reaching her goal of becoming a documentary director.

“What attracted me to the industry was the combination of creativity and the potential social impact,” says Jessi, “I want to try and make a small difference in the world and am passionate about politics, social justice, etc, but have always loved film and thinking about interesting ways to tell stories.”

The documentary that she filmed in Cairo, Facing the Fixer, explored the relationship between local fixers, journalists and Western news organisations.

“I wanted to bring attention to the nature of fixers’ employment and question whether they should be given more of a platform to be considered as journalists themselves,” she says. “I learnt a lot from the experience. The two things that stick out are that you can never have too many cutaways in your raw footage (I didn’t shoot enough!), and be open to rather than fearful of the narrative changing throughout the production process.”

On her festival pass prize, Jessi says: “Winning a pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest means a huge amount to me as I volunteered there last year, which was great, but I can’t wait to be able to properly get a feel for the festival without working, and see as many films and talks as possible. It’s a dream for a young, aspiring documentary filmmaker such as myself who doesn’t quite have the contacts and expertise yet so has everything to gain from a festival like Doc/Fest!”

We hope you enjoy your trip to Doc/Fest, Jessi, and look forward to seeing your documentaries hit the big screen in the future!