Doc on the Box


To mark TV50 and beyond, RTÉ and Filmbase call on emerging, new video directors who have not had work broadcast on television to create an innovative short documentary for premiere on prime-time RTÉ TV.

To complement fifty years of Irish television, RTÉ's 'Doc on the Box' looks forward by challenging new video directors to pitch for the opportunity to produce and direct a contemporary, topical and story-led video documentary that will capture a peak-time Irish audience in their twenties as well as online/social media. This RTÉ and Filmbase initiative aims to encourage fresh creativity while giving voice to new documentary talent in Ireland.

A single, twenty-five minute documentary suitable for prime-time television broadcast will be commissioned and mentored by an experienced RTÉ producer/director. The TV documentary idea must be original, layered and reflect experience of life in Ireland today. Potential directors must be able to display vision and ability. The chosen director will be paid twelve weeks of a flat fee to produce and direct the documentary in-house for RTÉ, within RTÉ budgets and facilities and under the mentorship of an RTÉ Executive Producer. The copyright of the documentary will remain with RTÉ.


Week of January 16, 2012

Launch of initiative

Saturday February 4, 2012: 1000-1300

Information Session at Filmbase

March 2, 2012

Submission Deadline

Week of April 9, 2012 (Easter Week)

Shortlist announced

Week of April 23, 2012

Interviews for shortlisted applicants

Week of May 1, 2012

Announce successful candidate

Beginning June to end August 2012

Production of commissioned documentary

August 31, 2012

Delivery of commissioned documentary

Autumn/Winter 2012

Broadcast of documentary if suitable



  • Applications must be received by hard copy (including any DVD) by 5pm on March 2, 2012.
  • Applications should be submitted to:
  • Doc on the Box
    Curved Street
    Temple Bar
    Dublin 2

  • Applicants should not be currently employed or engaged by a television broadcaster and should not have had work (as a producer/director) previously broadcast on television.

Assessment Criteria and Priorities:

  • Story originality, topicality, and relevance both to Ireland today.
  • Story to engage a peak-time, twenty-something audience.
  • A sense of directorial vision, DV or other production, camera and editing experience as well as video project work.
  • Ability to deliver within budget and time frame.
  • Ability to work with an RTÉ executive producer and within RTÉ production requirements, budgets, timelines and editorial/production standards.


RTÉ production facilities to be used within the twelve-week production schedule including pre-production, DV or other shoot, edit (10 days), post production. The successful applicant will be engaged by RTÉ on a one-off, short-term, full-time, twelve-week contract, working in-house. A contracted fee of ¤6000 will be paid in 12 x ¤500 weekly instalments spread across the twelve weeks of production. The applicant will present appropriate documentation for tax compliance and be legally entitled and available to work in Ireland.

Application Process:

  • Applications must be received no later than 5 pm on March 2, 2012.
  • Only hard copy and supporting material will be accepted. Show reels or sample work must be made accessible via DVD (3 copies). File-sharing websites like Youtube, Vimeo etc. may be additionally cited.
  • Maximum submissions by one individual: three story ideas entered separately.
  • Applications will be assessed in one round by a panel consisting of representatives from RTÉ, Filmbase and an external assessor/s successful in documentary production.
  • Shortlisted applicants must be available for interview in April 2012.
  • The administration of the scheme will be carried out by Filmbase on behalf of themselves and RTÉ.
  • Applications forms to be downloaded here or from must include three copies of each:

  1. Completed application form with subject line 'RTÉ Doc on the Box 2012'
  2. One paragraph synopsis
  3. One page treatment
  4. CV of director
  5. Show reel if available
  6. Written confirmation of provisional agreement to participate from key documentary subjects.
  7. Written confirmation of availability of director to attend for interview in April 2012.

Contractual Requirements:

RTÉ funding of successful applicant is subject to signed contract and to RTÉ Television's standard terms and conditions. Ownership of copyright will be with RTÉ including unlimited broadcasts on all media. No previously broadcast, funded or other agency-sponsored projects will be considered. RTÉ shall have option to commission spin-offs/follow-ups and the option to engage the director for other programmes. RTÉ retains all editorial control, including final sign-off and the decision whether to broadcast. Successful projects and applicants must acknowledge support of the financiers/mentors (RTÉ/Filmbase) in screen credits and all promotion. All obligations will be set out in final contract.

Delivery to RTÉ:

  • 2 Digi Beta tapes delivered no later than August 31, 2012
  • All chain of title information and documentation, including music returns
  • Publicity stills
  • 3 viewing DVD's
  • Full credits

Delivery to Filmbase:

  • 2 Digi Beta's delivered August 31, 2012
  • All chain of title information and documentation, including music returns
  • 3 viewing DVD's
  • Full credits

Please note the delivery date of 5 pm, March 2, 2012 must be strictly adhered to.

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