Cost of Docs 2021 Launched

We have just launched, in partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest, our fifth annual Cost of Docs Survey to find the true cost of documentary making across today’s fast changing world.

Right now, the Film & TV industry is facing an ongoing threat. In his keynote speech at Nordisk Panorama last month, Simon Kilmurry stated that “3/4 of indie doc makers are living below the breadline”.

In addition to our work in funding and supporting emerging talent, here at The Whickers we seek to be a champion for documentary makers globally and to amplify their voices in the industry as a whole. The initial aim of our first annual Cost of Docs survey, back in 2016, was to ensure that our main funding award of £80,000 was still the game-changing amount that we wanted it to be. Last year, however, we added new questions on the impact of Brexit, COVID-19 and the future of virtual pitches, with the aim of evaluating the current challenges faced by filmmakers in these uncertain times. This year, we hope to further evaluate and confront how, as an industry, we have adapted or declined in the last twelve months since our last report.

Download the 2020 Cost of Docs Report

We are inviting documentary filmmakers from anywhere in the world to spare 20-25 mins to fill out our survey – and to say thank you, we will be surprising one lucky respondent with a free pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2022!

The results will be published anonymously later in the year and made available to researchers in the Film Studies team at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). They will also be available at our discretion to academics or policy makers upon request and feed into the planning of the Whicker Film and TV Funding Award. If you have any questions about this survey please email


Take the 2021 Cost of Docs Survey Here