Belarusian Content Lab

Competition for independent creators producing media projects related to the culture and identity of Belarusians.

What is the goal of this lab?

The aim is to support independent Belarusian creators in the development of media projects centered around socially significant themes. This includes presenting diverse perspectives related to the culture and identity of the Belarusian people in order to create thoughtful and empathetic discourse.

Belarusian Content Lab

What projects can receive support?

Projects from a wide range of media platforms, formats, and genres are eligible for the lab, including (scripted or unscripted) web series, documentaries/docu-series, feature films, and TV pilots, as well as interactive or immersive “XR” content.

Projects can cover a broad range of topics including Belarusian cultural identity and language, social and economic development, historical events, past, present, and future of the country. The overarching aim is to stimulate meaningful discussions.

A final “viable” product must be created following the six-month development mentoring period. A critical selection requirement is that the project can be completed within the limited time frame.

The target audience of the project should be Belarusians living in the country and abroad. Projects that aim to produce content in Belarusian or Russian can be supported.

Belarusian Content Lab

What kind of support will be provided?

The lab will consist of a comprehensive six-month mentor-guided program as well as direct financial support to produce all or a portion of the project’s budget. The funding will be contingent the project’s needs based on the following two categories:

Category 1: Low-budget Web series or XR projects (interactive or immersive content) will receive support for the development, production, and post. These projects will be expected to be completed and ready for distribution or launch by the end of 2024 (within a six to nine month timeframe).

Category 2: High-budget Film or TV series will receive support for the creation of initial stage materials, including:

They will also be required to be publicly presented (i.e., for pitch competition or co-production financing event) by the end of 2024.

Belarusian Content Lab

Who is eligible for the lab?

Teams may be comprised of citizens from any nation, who have demonstrated an interest and/or connection to subjects related to Belarus. All projects will be judged based on how closely they align with the lab’s theme.

There is no minimum experience requirement for participation.However, selections of completed projects, references or recommendations, and other examples of the team’s work experience will be advantageous.

Teams of individuals (over 18-years-old) as well as legal entities or production companies can participate.

Belarusian Content Lab

How and until what deadline can applications be submitted?

All applications must be submitted by February 19, 2024 and can be completed in Belarusian, Russian or English.

Each participant may submit only one project to be considered during the selection stage.

Belarusian Content Lab

What information is required for the application?

Belarusian Content Lab

How will the lab proceed?

After all the applications have been received, a jury made up of Belarusian and international media professionals will vote to select five projects that will participate in the lab and receive a funding.

In late February 2024, a kick-off event will take place in-person (at a European location TBD), where participants will meet with the organizers and experts (travel and accommodation will be covered by the organizers). During this in-person session, creative development discussions will commence and project milestones will be delineated.

In March 2024, experts will assess the needs of each team and come up with a development path based on the specific requirements of each project. Also, teams will finalize milestones and complete funding agreements.

From March to August 2024, lab participants will receive mentoring support online and, if possible, in-person sessions (travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the organizers).

In September 2024 during a final event lab participants will present their projects.

Belarusian Content Lab

Who conducts the selection process for participation in the lab and determines the level of support based on its outcomes?

Decisions regarding the selection of participants and allocation of support are made by the organizational committee, which includes:

Experts Team

Belarusian Content Lab

What criteria will the jury use when selecting applications?

Belarusian Content Lab

Who retains ownership of the projects participating in the lab?

All copyrights for the content created during the lab remain with the participating teams, who can further use it without any restrictions.

Belarusian Content Lab

How to ask questions to the organizers or seek clarification if something is unclear?

Please write to this email , and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the lab.

Belarusian Content Lab

Who is the organizer of this competition?

The competition is organized by the Democratic Media Institute, a Lithuanian NGO that supports the development of independent media.

Belarusian Content Lab