Trailblazer Award

Al Jazeera Documentary Channel teams up with MIPDOC to support film making in the Arab World.

The Al Jazeera Documentary Channel
launched in January 2007

Since its inception in January 2007, the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel has been working to develop and support the documentary film industry in the Arab world.

Today, it provides an opportunity for documentary producers and filmmakers in the Middle East to gain exposure to a global market.

Now the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel, in association with MIPDOC, will nominate an influential figure in the documentary film industry from the region, for The Trailblazer Awards.

Producers and filmmakers will be able to present themselves and their productions for this prestigious award and nominations from some of the major film festivals will also be included.

The chosen candidate will be honoured among others selected from Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa in a special ceremony organized by MIPDOC in March 2009 in the city of Cannes, France.

MIPDOC is the largest documentary screening event in the world with over 30,000 screenings and about 800 delegates convening over a two day period which then leads into MIPTV, the world’s largest entertainment content market.

Why The Trailblazer Awards?

The award granted by MIPDOC aims to encourage the creativity and the innovation of new trends in the documentary film industry, in addition to providing new talents, and realizing the communication through an extensive network of relationships between the filmmaker, the producer and the production market.

Selection criteria:

The candidate will be selected for the award according to the following criteria:


  • The filmmaker’s recent work successfully explores or rediscovers bold new dimensions in documentary filmmaking;
  • Reinvents the documentary tradition in line with the world we live in today, all of which may open different pathways for other filmmakers in this genre;
  • The innovative use of CGI in documentaries;
  • Mixed media – using different formats to achieve results;
  • Using dramatic recreations successfully and ethically.


  • Films that provide an example, a model for socially. responsible documentary filmmaking;
  • That are different in content or with risk-taking content;
  • Forging alliances on documentary production to make changes in the world;
  • An innovative, new voice – fostering a plurality of vision through programming choices.


  • Great, meaningful documentaries;
  • Increased audiences for documentaries;
  • The focus of the world press or the public on a local issue.

Candidates do not have to meet all the criteria, but those who have the highest compliance stand a better chance.

The Trailblazer Awards

The candidate will be invited to attend the MIPDOC exhibition specializing in documentary films screening in Cannes, France during the March 28-29, 2009. 

They will be introduced to all MIPDOC participants during the event and will get to meet all the major players in the documentary arena at a special ceremony.

The Candidate will be also invited to attend the MIPCOM, which will be held at the same venue in October 2009. 

Al Jazeera Documentary Channel will promote and support the candidate and his works, in addition to the possibility of supporting future projects, and inviting will be extended to the successful candidate to attend the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival in April 2009.

Nominations for the Trailblazer Award?

Any director or producer in the field of documentary films.

Nomination can be made by submitting the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae (CV) of producer or director;
  2. A copy of the most recent productions, and
  3. In no more than 200 words explain the compliance of his works with the stated criteria.

The deadline for receipt of applications is December 15, 2008.

The applications should be sent to: [email protected]

Or the following address:
Al Jazeera documentary Channel, Production Department
P.O. Box: 23123, Doha, Qatar


Q: Can the producer or director be nominated even if he has only one production?
A: Yes, as long as it meets the required criteria.

Q: Can any institution interested in the documentary film nominate any producer or filmmaker for the Award?
A: Yes it could, by sending the curriculum vitae (CV) of the candidate and a copy of his last works, and it must explain the compliance of these works with the requested criteria in letter not exceeding 200 words.

External Sites

MIPDOC, MIPCOM, MIPTV, The Trailblazer Award

Al Jazeera is not responsible for the content featured on external sites.

Source: Al Jazeera

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