Documentary Support Group – Facilitator Training

Call for Entries

Deadline extended to 8th August 2022


We are looking for six people working in the documentary industry to join us for a pilot training programme that will provide you with the basic skills needed to create, facilitate and run a peer-led support group for documentary makers over the course of 6 months.  

    • Are you UK-based, working in documentary and interested in starting a support group with your peers but don’t know how to go about it?
    • Are you interested in deepening your documentary practice with others working similarly to you?
    • Are you searching for a group with a particular intersectional lens and struggling to find one?
    • Do you feel that there is nowhere for you to be open and honest about what it’s like to work in this industry, to address ethical issues and conflicts in a safe space and to acknowledge your achievements and challenges with people who understand what you do?

These are all needs that we have heard filmmakers voice over the last two years. An initial period of research, through our work at DocuMentality has shown us that documentary makers are yearning for more peer connection, in a way that is focused, meaningful and supportive.

Course Description:

The initial training will include:

  • The contractual method: how to create your group
  • Ethical considerations of working with support groups
  • Competencies: what is involved in being a group facilitator; holding space, safeguarding, listening skills, reflective practice
  • Trauma: Filmmakers will inevitably bring trauma into this space. We do not expect you to be trauma trained but we will introduce an initial understanding of trauma so you can work in a trauma-informed way
  • Power: Developing an awareness of power dynamics and how it manifests itself in groups. What is the role of difference and diversity in that?

Who is this for?

We are looking for six people based in the UK-based, currently actively working in documentary in any job role and at any stage in their career, who have the capacity to commit to both the training and the running of a monthly support group for their peers. 

The training will last for 6months but we encourage you to commit to facilitating your groups for the duration of a year. 

We welcome those who are looking to form a new group, or those have an established group but would like support in creating more structure and purpose for the group. 

To make sure that we are inclusive and accessible for all, we encourage all participants to let us know if they require any adjustments or assistance for meetings and communications.

When & Where?

Initial training will take place in the form of 2 x 4hr workshops during Open City Documentary Festival on the 8th & 9th of September.

A travel stipend to London is available on request and a festival pass will be provided by Open City Documentary Festival. 

Five further 2hr online support sessions will take place once a month from October through to February. Dates tbc.

You will also be expected to meet with your group once a month for up to 6 months on a date chosen by you. 

Meet the trainers:

Rebecca Day

Rebecca is a qualified psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and freelance documentary producer. She founded Film In Mind, a therapy service for filmmakers, in 2018 to address mental health in the film industry. She combines her therapeutic skills with over a decade of documentary production experience to offer consultancies, workshops and therapeutic support to filmmakers working in difficult situations and with vulnerable people. She is also a co-founder of DocuMentality, an international initiative designed to elevate the conversation around mental health in the documentary community. She has been a guest speaker and mentor on panels and at workshops with organisations such as IDFA, Berlinale, International Documentary Association, Video Consortium, WIFTV and Sheffield DocFest.

Helen Lawrie

Helen is co-director of Land & Sky Media, a production company in Cumbria, UK. Working currently as Head of Production and Business Development Manager her previous 15 years of project management and client facing experience within the third sector have given her a wealth of experience. She has worked with many vulnerable groups, young women at risk of sexual exploitation, victims of trafficking and those struggling with substance misuse, giving her an insight into many of the issues faced by those most at risk in our society. She is a trained mindfulness teacher and a committed advocate for improving mental health across all sectors including within the film industry. She is currently studying for an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy and has recently started collaborating as a facilitator on Film In Mind’s training and research initiatives.

Maria Takaendisa

Maria is a family therapist, trauma informed trainer, Ubuntu Coach & organisational consultant. She started her career as a psychiatric nurse working in both adult and children`s services respectively. It was in her role in adult substance misuse that Maria learnt to appreciate and understand the impact of trauma on ones life. In her career as a family therapist, Maria has continued to learn and develop her understanding of what it means to experience trauma, both directly and indirectly. Maria developed an interest in racial trauma when she worked in youth offending teams and serious youth violence. 

In the recent years, Maria has taken her experience of working in mental health and working with trauma onto film sets. In this context, Maria facilitates mental health and trauma informed workshops to directors and producers on not only what it means to use a trauma-informed lens in their work but also how to embed trauma-informed practice on set.  She also offers specific project related consultations on how a therapist can be used on or off set for both the cast and the crew.  

How to apply:

    Deadline extended to 8th of August 2022

    If you have any questions in the meantime please email hello@filminmind.co.uk 

    This initiative has been made possible with the support of The Film & TV Charity & Open City Documentary Festival.  



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