UK audiences regularly watch documentaries on television, but are much less consistent consumers of the format on DVD or in the cinema.
A survey commissioned to tie in with the UK's third annual BRITDOC festival - which launched yesterday and continues until Friday -- found that 48% of UK adults regularly watch documentaries on TV. That compares with 10% who watch documentaries on DVD regularly and just 4% who say they go to the cinema to watch documentaries regularly. The research was conducted on a sample of 1,000 British adults by Ipsos MORI.
'The findings demonstrate a real opportunity for documentary,' said Britdoc CEO Jess Search. 'People love them more than ever on TV but there is a challenge here to translate that popularity over to other platforms.'
Taking place for the third time at Oxford's Keble College Britdoc has a special focus on music and comedy in 2008, and is holding a range of masterclasses exploring distribution, marketing, development, finance and interview technique.
Meanwhile, a range of pitching forums give film-makers the opportunity to get their projects in front of financiers. As well as sessions for feature and short documentaries 2008 sees the introduction of The Good Pitch, for social action documentaries.
Screenings in the British Feature Documentary Competition include James Marsh's Sundance winner Man On Wire and Richard Parry's Blood Trail. A new Best Of The Fests strand showcases a selection of hand-picked documentaries by programmers from major festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Berlin.
Special guests include Larry Charles - who will screen extracts of his forthcoming documentary Religulous -- Gael Garcia Bernal, Nick Broomfield, Michael Nyman and The Yes Men.
Organised by The Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation, Britdoc's sponsors including Channel 4, More4, the UK Film Council, Skillset, Suso, Screen South, JVC and Molinare.