The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust has announced a new fund to supportdocumentaries that highlight contemporary social or political issues in the UK. The fund was launched at the inaugural Britdoc festival (July 26-28).

Up to $65,364 (£35,000) isbeing offered by the Reform Trust for films focusing on British issues ofsocial justice, human rights and democracy. Channel 4 British Documentary FilmFoundation will match that amount, bringing the total funding available to $130,647(£70,000).

'We see documentariesas a potent medium for communicating complex human situations to the widestpossible audience," said Mandy Cormack, a director ofthe Trust. "We are looking forward to seeing proposals from filmmakers on arange of diverse issues, and hope that this new fund will enable a whole newgeneration of powerful British documentaries.'

The fund is open to allfilmmakers from the UK and Ireland, no matter where they are based, and also to foreignfilm-makers residing in the UK or Ireland for six months or more.

The Reform Trust presented anetworking session at Britdoc for film-makers to meetwith social and political campaigning groups including Liberty, Campaign Against the Arms,Corporate Watch, Abortion Rights and Tescopoly.