Marc Perkins

Investigations editor, BBC Africa

Marc Perkins is investigations editor at BBC Africa. He has previously produced and directed numerous series and documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera and National Geographic. Over the last ten years he has worked extensively across the Middle East, Africa and Asia and specialises in hostile environments and investigations.

Marc is speaking at

September 26, 2019
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Room 2.015, HafenCity Universität (HCU)



You have been digging deeper and are ready to make out of your story a great documentary. But unless you are an employee with a broadcaster, you will be lacking funds to complete the investigation and won’t have the money to jump into production.

There are many grants opportunities out there: how to pick the right one, and how to put together a successful application? And let’s say you made it, got some grants and the honors that come along. Film production is so costly, that no grant whatsoever can achieve a full TV budget. Therefore production companies, pre-buy and co-production deals are daily business in this field.

In this session, three experienced investigative documentary editors will share their knowledge on this complex industry, helping us unlock the jargon and giving a frank advice on how to break the code. 

Documentaries French Translation
September 27, 2019
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Lecture Hall 150, HafenCity Universität (HCU)



Selling your investigation is hard work. It gets even worse, if your aim is making a good film out of it. Commissioning editors must to be sure that your story is solid, of course, but will also ask you many inconvenient questions around narrative arc, characters that will push the story forward, and production.

Pitching a documentary idea is a complex act that shall convey the drive for getting it done, a stubborn attitude, and a bunch of soft skills including a flair for performance, without forgetting all possible hands-on issues around journalism, filming and editing. You normally have just minutes to convince an editor that your idea is worth a documentary. How do you get there without losing your mind?

Three experienced professionals in the field will tell in this session which mistakes to avoid, and which buttons you want to push when pitching.

French translation for this session is provided by CFI, the French media development organization.

September 28, 2019
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Holcim Auditorium, HafenCity Universität (HCU)


  • Nils Hanson (Mentor) Investigative editor, Swedish Television
  • Marc Perkins (Mentor) Investigations editor, BBC Africa
  • Jean-Philippe Ceppi (Mentor) Producer, journalist, Radio Television Suisse
  • Juliana Ruhfus (Mentor) Senior Presenter / Investigative Filmmaker, Al Jazeera English
  • Serena Tinari (Mentor) journalist, trainer,
  • Claudine Blais (Mentor) Editor in chief - Enquête -Investigations, Télévision Radio-Canada


Deadline to apply is over. 

For the first time, GIJN opens up a space for a one-on-one session with a TV editor to get advice on your investigative documentary project.

This is a coaching and mentoring session to help you figure out the best strategies to make a great film out of your investigation.

How does it work?

Conference attendees can apply for a 15 minutes slot.

Projects are matched with an experienced investigative documentaries editor.

GIJN will select the projects and get back to you with a meeting schedule.

Please note

We have limited capacities and cannot guarantee all projects will be matched.

We guarantee to keep material you send us strictly confidential and only to share it with the selection committee and the assigned mentor.

This is not a pitching, nor a commissioning session. Editors are there for you as pro bono mentors, to help you make your ideas become a good investigative documentary.

Add to my calendar


Create your personal schedule through the official app, Whova!

Get Started