AJ+ (Al Jazeera Plus) is a new digital platform that aims to make news and current affairs more accessible to a younger international market. The channel is solely online via youtube and the AJ+ website. There are also plans to launch a new mobile app shortly.
The channel had a soft launch last month but a full launch is expected later this year.
AJ+ is currently looking to commission original, innovative and engaging short documentaries produced by journalists, filmmakers and production companies around the world. They are soliciting for pitches for stories driven by strong characters interacting with the world around them, compelling voices and narratives, and unique insights into events, issues or phenomena that may be local but resonate globally. (They are particularly interested in commissioning pieces from producers and filmmakers who are indigenous to or at least based in the place or region they are covering.)
Stories should be current but not necessarily tied to current events. In addition to current affairs docs, we’re looking for pieces that address technology, sports, science, culture, the human condition and the passions that drive us.
We’re open to a wide and innovative range of formats, from animation to docs shot on non-traditional cameras, as long as the narrative and voice are compelling and the format offers the viewer a sense of immediacy when watched on mobile.
We are not interested in pieces that have already been posted online or broadcast on television.
Initial pitches should be no more than a page in length and include:
– How you would describe this story in a Tweet. 140 characters max.
– A succinct synopsis that describes the heart of your story and why it matters to a youthful and global audience, as well as any unique access you have. This is the most important part of the pitch. No more than 150 words, please.
– A paragraph that traces the narrative arc of the piece.
– The key character(s) and the access you have to them, as well as any additional voices that will help tell the story
– The locations and actuality integral to the story and the access you have to them
– The format in which you plan to film or otherwise tell the story, and a note on visual style.
– Any technical issues you foresee
– An answer to the question: What audiences or communities might be particularly to share or engage with this doc on a mobile platform?
– Links to a rough cut (if it exists) or any other relevant visual material
– Names of key team members and their track records, and links to films they’ve produced or shot
– Complete contact information