INSPIRATION workshop @MOLDOX Lab 2020


The 2020 INSPIRATION workshop is looking for Moldovan projects with a strong social relevance or those inspiring social change. This year, the workshop will take place in two parts:

Module I  (August 05-09, 2020) focused on developing the proposed project, editing the trailer and study cases.

Module  II (September 09 -13, 2020), where you will learn how to write and speak about your story to potential financers and organizations in the field, you will work on perfecting your pitching skills and techniques together with the experts in the industry.

The workshop will conclude with one-on-one meetings, public pitching and screening of your doc project at the MOLDOX festival, where your pitch will be judged by European industry experts who will select four projects to attend networking and  training programs in Europe. You will leave this workshop with a solid foundation that will help you approach your film’s development stage in a more efficient and clear manner, and apply with your project for grants, crowdfunding and/or pitching forums.

The workshop is aimed at training documentary filmmakers from Moldova, who are directing their own project that tackles a strong topic of social relevance or is inspiring change.

The projects have to be in the early development stage (synopsis, treatment, research etc.) or in production. Participants will be guided by international documentary film professionals on how to enrich their projects with practical exercises and constructive feedback, with masterclasses and case studies with the participation of Moldovan documentaries filmmakers.

This intensive workshop is an ideal next step for more experienced filmmakers, journalists, and visual storytellers who have already identified a subject for a documentary and, ideally, have started production. So far 24 projects have passed through our lab and 10 awards have been given to networking events and not only throughout Europe by our LAB partners (Balkan Documentary Center, Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network, DOCUDAYS UA, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, One World Romania and European Documentary Center and others).

Our new global reality has made us reevaluate how our LAB will happen this year and as the situation develops we will adjust the workshop accordingly to ensure everyone’s safety. We are preparing for all scenarios, adjusted to the participants’ technical needs and possibilities.

Therefore, the first module will take place in an online video format, and will be conducted by the renowned Swedish producer Hjalmar Palmgren (Executive Producer “Searching for Sugar Man”, producer “Big Boys Gone Bananas!*”) and the American documentary film director Melody Gilbert (director “Silicone Soul”, producer “Beneath the Ink” – both films screened at MOLDOX Festival 2018).

The second module will be organized in Cahul and will be tutored by Hjalmar Palmgren with the support of Melody Gilbert. Please bring a laptop with editing software and/or a video camera and your footage. 

Note: if you have not started shooting yet, please bring the archival or temporary footage to edit during the class or any material you have.


Hjalmar Palmgren is a renowned name in the documentary  film industry. He has worked on several famous documentaries such as  ”I Called Him Morgan” which premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival and the 2012 Oscar winning documentary „Searching for Sugar Man”. The films he worked on were screened at the most prestigious film festivals around the world including Sundance, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival,  New York Film Festival, and BFI London Film Festival and many more. Palmgren has a background as Film Commissioner for documentaries at the Swedish Film Institute, Commissioning editor for doc’s on art and culture at Swedish public service broadcaster SVT and director of film funding at the Swedish Film Institute. Nowadays he spends his days as a lecturer, consultant and tutor in his own company Palmgren Vision and as a documentary producer at the newly established production company Docster. 


Melody Gilbert is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has directed, produced, shot and edited eight feature-length documentaries that have screened at noteworthy film festivals and been broadcast internationally. She also serves as a producer for other documentary projects that inspire her, including “Love Them First: Lessons From Lucy Laney Elementary” (2020 Alfred I. duPont award) and “Beneath the Ink” (nominated for a 2019 Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary), “Women Outward Bound” (2016/PBS) and the James Beard award-winning “The Starfish Throwers” (2015). The films that Melody directs are noteworthy for featuring a rare intimacy with her subjects as she unearths previously hidden worlds. She works mostly solo and has the ability to get people to reveal their innermost thoughts, whether it’s the family of a child who can’t feel pain (A LIFE WITHOUT PAIN/SXSW), a former Vice President of the United States (“Fritz: The Walter Mondale Story”/PBS), or people who have full- fledged relationships with synthetic companions (“Silicone Soul”, currently on STARZ). Melody is also a passionate educator currently on the faculty at Northwestern State University in the Department of New Media, Journalism, and Communication Arts. The Documentary Channel calls Melody “one of the most fearless filmmakers in contemporary documentary cinema.”


  • Language of instruction: English
  • Workshops Module I (online): Development (August 05-09, 2020)
  • Workshop Module II (Cahul) : How to Pitch (September 09-13, 2020)
  • Application deadline: July 15, 2020
  • Participation: free of charge
  • Number of participants: 6-8
  • Level: Advanced 
  • Target group: film professionals from the Republic of Moldova who have experience in the field of  documentary filmmaking and/or their local or international producers. Team of two can take part in the workshop but only the director will pitch.

Selection criteria:

  • Participants apply with their original documentary projects in production or early development stage
  • Participants are citizens of the Republic of Moldova or have a project that is co-produced with the Republic of Moldova
  • Participants are proficient in English
  • Participants have at least 2 years of experience in filmmaking or TV documentary production
  • The topic of the films must have a strong social topic

Note: Preference will be given to participants that have not participated the past LAB editions

In order to submit your application, please:

  • Fill in this application form together with a summary of your CV
  • Send online preview of the project (sequence cut around 10 min or longer) with English subtitles and password to In case you don’t have subtitles, send English dialogue list.

Applications that do not include all required materials and/or do not respect the deadline will not be considered.

By applying to the workshop you confirm the availability to participate at both modules (at the daily video sessions and at the workshop in Cahul), in accordance with the agenda of activities communication by the organizers.

Participants will be notified of their acceptance no later than July 25, 2020. Due to time constraints only selected participants will be notified.

For questions please contact us at or

The submission to the workshop is free of charge. No submitted materials will be returned to the sender. Submission is considered as acceptance of the MOLDOX Lab regulations. Projects participating in the Inspiration Workshop @MOLDOX LAB should – once finalized – mention their participation at the MOLDOX Lab and the MOLDOX visual identity (logo) in their credits. THE PARTICIPATION IS FREE OF CHARGE. For the Module II activities, accommodation and meals (coffee breaks, main meals), as well as transportation to/from Cahul are covered by the organizers.

In the situation when the Module II cannot be organized with the physical presence of the participants and tutors, it will also take place online. We are committed to ensure the participants safety and well-being, by providing disinfectants, masks, etc. All the protection measures and additional details will be communicated to the participants in accordance with the current epidemiologic situation.  Selected participants will be kept up to date with the format of the module and given ample time to prepare themselves either for a physical or online module.