Introduction of the 21th GZDOC

Established in 2003, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, China (referred to as GZDOC) is hosted by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, and operated by Global Raytur International Public Communication Organization. Held in Guangzhou city every December, GZDOC is the only state-level professional platform with documentary financing and trading functions and has become the pioneer in China’s documentary industry, showcasing national industrial policies and international development trends. Dedicated to the documentary festival for 20 years, the festival has turned into a comprehensive cultural event integrating competition, pitching, training, forums, and market.

The 21th GZDOC will be held in December, 2024, in Guangzhou, China. The events will include: Golden Kapok Award Competition, Golden Kapok Screening, Marketing, ‘China Stories’ International Pitching Session, Forums, Opening Ceremony, Award Ceremony, and Theme Events.

Key Events

1) Golden Kapok Award Competition

GZDOC is calling for entries among global documentary production companies, broadcasters, distributors, independent producers, and people from all circles for documentary feature films, short documentaries, and documentary series about history, culture, art, social issue, environment, science, technology,  education, and folk customs, etc. GZDOC invites domestic and global experts, well-known directors and producers to form the international Jury Board, who will make pre-selection, semi-final selection, and final selection. GZDOC invites domestic and global experts, well-known from all submitted films. The goal of the Golden Kapok Award Competition is to pay respects to the top talents working on documentaries and to their works, to encourage the production institutions and individuals of Chinese documentaries, and to facilitate the exchanges and integration of the global documentary culture.

2) Golden Kapok Screening

GZDOC is dedicated to sharing international documentary culture with the Chinese audience. The Organizing Committee will select a series of premium documentaries for public screening during the festival, as well as choosing a number of outstanding documentaries for special screenings in other parts of the country. It is also planned to invite documentary directors and producers for discussions and interactions with the audience.

3) International Documentary Marketing Events

Complying with the specifications of the international documentary market, GZDOC International Documentary Marketing Events include the following industrial activities of practical application: the Training and Trading Programs of International Documentary Pitching, International Documentary Distributor Conference & Distributor Alliance, One-on-One Meeting with International Buyers, DOCSHOP, Documentary Copyright Trading, Documentary Financing Project, Master Classes, and International Co-Production and Release, etc.

4) ‘China Stories’ International Pitching Session

Ever since 2004, GZDOC has pioneered in launching the pitch training and trading mode of “documentary project with the best international sales potential” in China, and developed into the ‘China Stories’ International Pitching Session in 2016. In the past 17 years, we have cultivated and supported a group of cutting-edge documentary directors at home and abroad. Our Pitching Session contains two segments: the ‘China Stories’ Competition and the ‘China Stories’ International Pitching Competition. We welcome any outstanding documentary projects from the globe that best reflect China and the “community with a shared future”.

5) NEXT WAVE Awards Competition

NEXT WAVE Awards Competition is the sub-unit of GZDOC Competition Section and open only to students (college students, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students) works. NEXT WAVE Section is committed to discovering the new generation of elite talents who can enlighten the wave of the industry.

6) International Documentary Distributor Conference

The GZDOC International Documentary Distributor Conference & Distributor Alliance invites distributors from home and abroad to the platform which aims to provide the distributors, program buyers and factual content producers with opportunities to showcase themselves and communicate with others. Centered on topics including film procurement plans, distribution plans, and cooperation modes with China, the conference enables buyers and producers to seek potential partners. It also promotes copyright trading and agency distribution, connecting Chinese factual content with the global audience as well as attracting foreign factual content to develop in China.

7) One-on-One Meeting with Decision Makers

The GZDOC One-on-One Meeting with Decision Makers provides participants with the opportunities to discuss face to face with decision makers of broadcasting companies, production companies, sales agencies and other institutions. Producers from home and abroad can obtain financing and co-production opportunities through sit-down communications with decision makers.


As an essential part of international documentary market trading, the GZDOC DOCSHOP is specially established to open up the international documentary industry chain. With more excellent international films included and more deals created, the DOCSHOP strives to develop itself as an important link in the international documentary industry and GZDOC into a never-ending documentary festival.

9) International TV & Film Market

The GZDOC International TV & Film Market serves as a professional platform where production institutions, broadcasting organizations and equipment manufacturers can display their documentary films, programs, equipment and services. Exhibitors can showcase what they are best at to the most influential broadcasting and televisions, production companies and producers at home and abroad, where more communications and deals can be made.

10) Forums

The GZDOC Industrial Forums are intended to organize discussions of heated topics that Chinese and foreign documentary industries concern, produce information exchanges through the clash of ideas, and share the news that best reflects the industry trends for the year. Documentary practitioners can get a hold of the latest trends and the major issues of the global industry to make their plans in line with the direction for development. Also, documentary institutions can exchange views based on their future goals to promote project cooperation.

11) Industry Training

The GZDOC Industry Training aims to launch training workshop with world-class production and release institutions, including European Documentary Network, addressing the problems faced by Chinese documentaries such as how to go abroad to reach the international community, eventually developing the standard industrial system for Chinese documentary production.

12) Documentary Workshops

The GZDOC Documentary Workshops gather tutors from the expert database who will conduct training workshops, sharing practical experiences, and the masters are to cultivate more talents with international outlooks in the growing global documentary industry.

13) Campus Master Classes

GZDOC will invite famous documentary filmmakers at home and abroad to offer classes on campus where the latest possibilities in documentary teaching and creation will be approached with teachers and students from documentary-related majors and other disciplines.

14) Public Events

Apart from the industrial activities above, GZDOC will hold various cultural events, such as the Opening Ceremony and Award Ceremony, Premiere in Guangzhou, Themed Days of Cultural Exchanges, One Night in Guangzhou, and Cocktail Reception, etc.