IDA's Doc U


Presented by the International Documentary Association


IDA's Doc U - Cable's New Big Thing: Non-Fiction Series & the Doc Filmmaker

6/23/2014 - 7PM

Expanding the documentary pie has always been the dream for both documentary filmmakers and enthusiasts alike. With the recent explosion of non-fiction series, that dream may be coming true. Just about every week, the press announces the launch of a new docu-series — many affiliated with prominent documentary filmmakers, such as Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney and Joe Berlinger. CNN (Death Row Stories, Chicagoland, Crimes of the Century, Inside Man), Al Jazeera America (The System), OWN (Lindsay), Showtime (Seven Deadly Sins), and Pivot (TerraCycle, Welcome to Fairfax), as well as others, are all in the game, defining the genre as they go. What opportunities do these series represent for documentary filmmakers? How are audiences responding? Do these programs signal the latest evolution in the documentary form? Join Anne Thompson (Indiewire’s “Thompson on Hollywood”) for a fascinating peek inside the world of non-fiction series and a discussion of their new place in the documentary landscape. Panelists include: Shannon High-Bassalik (Senior VP, Documentaries and Programming, Al Jazeera America), Lizzie Kerner (Dir., Development & Acquisitions, CNN) and Mary Lisio (EVP, Non-fiction and Branded Entertainment, Scott Free Productions.)

IDA's Doc U: Distributing Your Doc, Part 2 - Cable/Internet Movers and Shakers

5/19/2014 - 7PM

In the ever-changing, fast-moving world of cable and internet distribution, the vast range of choices and models presents an intimidating challenge to doc filmmakers. Make the right choices — and you’ll expand your film’s reach, exploit markets, and maximize financial return. Make the wrong choices — and you may go further in debt, miss out on key audience segments and lose out on potential revenue. The stakes are high, so you owe it to yourself to hear from a wide spectrum of experts, industry representatives and other filmmakers. This Doc U is your opportunity to listen, learn, and ask questions about the final (and most potentially critical) stage in your film’s life cycle.

Join us for a critically pertinent discussion on cable and internet distribution, moderated by a leading authority on distribution: Peter Broderick (President, Paradigm Consulting.) Panelists include: Chris Horton (Director of Sundance Institute’s Artist Services: Creative Distribution) and Erick Opeka (Senior VP of Digital Distribution, Cinedigm Entertainment.)

IDA's Doc U: Distributing Your Doc - Theatrical and the Big Picture

4/21/2014 - 7PM

With the recent explosion of different viewing platforms, Doc U turns its attention to the
fundamental question: “What is the place of theatrical exhibition in a documentary’s overall distribution plan?” The first in a two-part series on “Distributing Your Doc”, the panel covers a wide range of theatrical distributors, from the new players in the field to the more traditional companies who continue to make their presence felt. This deep dive into theatrical distribution will explore which theatrical models are being used, what kinds of documentaries distributors are looking for, how are deals being structured, and the ways distributors and filmmakers are working together with exhibitors to draw in audiences. Panelists include: Peter Goldwyn (Senior VP, Samuel Goldwyn Films), James Shapiro (COO, Drafthouse Films) and Michael Kananack (Head of Int’l Acquisitions, Gathr Films.)

IDA's Doc U: An Evening With Morgan Neville (director of "Twenty Feet From Stardom"!)

3/26/2014 - 7PM

Join us for a special evening as we go in-depth and behind-the-scenes with L.A.’s own Morgan Neville, director and producer of the Oscar®-winning, box office-smashing Twenty Feet from Stardom. Morgan will be joined for this on-stage interview and clips program by another local hero, writer/punk-rock icon/ /radio DJ/actor Henry Rollins. Morgan and Henry will not only discuss Morgan’s incredible ride with Twenty Feet, but look back on his 20-year career making music and fine art documentaries and explore the vitality and versatility of the music doc form — past, present, and future. This performance is one night only. Don’t miss it.

IDA's Doc U: Selling Your Doc - Sales Agents’ Tips and Tales

2/25/2014 - 7PM

Admit it. You want to sell your documentary. You worked on it for years, went into debt over it, agonized over every frame of it, and now it’s done. You’re proud of your work. You know that it has value. Not just the moral, feel-good kind, but tangible, monetary value. But who will buy it? How will you sell it? What will you charge for it? And how in the world do you handle a negotiation over something like that? Or find the right people to be on your side?

Well, the last part is taken care of, for the International Documentary Association has assembled a stellar panel of sales agents/producers — all experts in the field — with years of experience selling documentaries. For one night only, they are all on your side, demystifying the process and sharing what they know. Join Kevin Iwashina, (Managing Partner, Preferred Content), Josh Braun (Co-President, Submarine Entertainment) and special guests TBA, for a peel-back-the-curtain look at the world of buying and selling docs.

IDA's Doc U - Sharp Shooters: Cinematographers Share Their Secrets

1/27/2014 - 7:30PM

Your cinematographer will make or break your documentary. No other relationship is more central to the success of your project than this one — and yet, the skills, tools, and insights of cinematographers are somewhat mysterious to the rest of us. No more! Whether you’re a shooter yourself, or a documentary filmmaker who has never picked up a camera, your work will benefit immensely from this Doc U that spotlights the art and craft of cinematography from the point of view of some of the top shooters in documentary today.

Join us for an eye-opening and free-ranging discussion with these highly talented and articulate cinematographers moderated by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Greg Barker (Manhunt, Koran by Heart, Sergio). Panelists include: Nick Higgins (The Crash Reel, The Short Game, First Position), Arlene Nelson (Valentine Road, The Beaches of Agnès, A Mighty Wind), Andrew Droz Palermo (Rich Hill, A Teacher, Black Metal), and Emily Topper (Baltimore, After Tiller, Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm).

IDA's Doc U Point of View: Editors on the Art of Storytelling

12/17/2013 - 7:30PM

Great documentaries are made, not born, and the place where that happens is in the editing room. A good editor can save a documentary director’s neck; a great one can make a director look like a genius. So, who are these saviors and alchemists and what special storytelling skills do they have that directors can benefit from?

Come to this month’s International Documentary Association’s Doc U panel for a lively and illuminating discussion with a panel of high caliber editors moderated by Emmy-nominated editor Lillian Benson, A.C.E. (Eyes on the Prize II, Bridging the Divide – Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race). Confirmed panelists include Kim Roberts, A.C.E. (Inequality for All, Last Call at the Oasis), Johanna Demetrakas (Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Angels in the Dust), and Maya Hawke (Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, Cave of Forgotten Dreams.)

IDA's Doc U - Crowdfunding: Raising Money the New-Fashioned Way

11/18/2013 - 7:30PM

“Crowdfunding.” The mere mention of the word sends shivers down the spines of filmmakers. However, those shivers may mean different things to different people: shivers of anticipation for filmmakers on the cusp of their first crowdfunding campaign, or shivers of anxiety for filmmakers already experienced at the crowdfunding game — and who know how much hard work and uncertainty it represents. So, how does the documentary filmmaker find their way through the maze of different crowdfunding platforms, decide when and how to launch, what perks to make available, how to build a team, and what fundraising goal to set? Most importantly, how do you figure out how crowdfunding fits into your overall budget plan, and your busy day-to-day life?

Join us for a fact-filled, enlightening discussion moderated by IDA’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program Manager Amy Halpin. On the panel: Adam Chapnick (Principal/ Evangelist, Indiegogo & IDA Board Member) and Emily Best (founder/CEO of crowdfunding/distribution platform Seed&Spark), as well as filmmakers Lotti Pharriss Knowles (I Am Divine), Camilo Silva (After 68) and Tracy Droz Tragos (Rich Hill), all of whom have recently completed successful crowdfunding campaigns.

IDA'S Doc U: Leveraging the Expanding Black Media Market

10/21/2013 - 7:30PM

Co-presented by BAD West (Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers West).

As the era of “one-size-fits-all” media passes away, today’s multi-platform media landscape requires producers to possess the skills and insight to create media that works on multiple levels (TV, cable, Internet, social media), and for diverse audiences. But how do you, the media producer, fit into this brave new world? Using the expanding black media market as a template, Doc U will examine different sides of the media divide, as well as explore successful strategies employed by media producers and the acquisitions executives who sit across the table from them.

Join us for a lively and practical panel discussion moderated by executive producer /showrunner Michele Barnwell (America’s Next Top Model, Brave New Voices) with Academy Award®-winning fillmmaker and television producer Roger Ross Williams (God Loves Uganda, Music by Prudence), documentary director/producer and longtime Ice-T manager Jorge Hinojosa (Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, The Art of Rap), television executive Angela Northington (Content Acquisitions, REVOLT TV, Sean Combs’ brand-new network), and producer Kimberley Browning of Hollywood Shorts.

I.D.A.'S DOC U: The Total Picture: Using Graphics To Tell Your Story

8/26/2013 - 7:30PM

Documentary filmmakers are constantly faced with the challenge of presenting large quantities of complex data in a visually interesting way. Graphics and animation can provide an engaging way to achieve this goal. Well-conceived graphics not only get your story points across, but they can also form the foundation of the branded elements for your film. Whether you’re planning a sequence to drive your storyline, creating an infographic to represent the scope of a social issue, or crafting an opening title sequence to draw viewers in and set the tone for your film, graphics can be an important component in telling your story. Laura Nix (The Light In Her Eyes, The Yes Men Fix The World) moderates a discussion covering important aspects of the graphics workflow, including design, budget, story considerations, and technical requirements. Panelists include filmmakers from the documentaries Inequality For All and Blackfish, along with industry experts.

IDA's Doc U: Taking Stock - Using Archival Footage to Tell Your Story

7/29/2013 - 7:30PM

Documentaries succeed best when viewers feel a connection to their subjects — and archival footage can provide the means to delve deep into the stories and history of a film’s characters by bringing the past to life, and contextualizing current events. Powerful moments, iconic scenes and historic figures lend their voice to the message in your film. Whether you’re making a historical documentary, referencing a current event, or doing an in-depth profile, archival footage can connect the dots and forge a connection with the viewer. Tonight, Doc U takes a look at the use of archival footage in American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, examining its importance in telling a full and compelling story. Panelists include American Revolutionary director Grace Lee, producer Austin Wilkin and editor Kim Roberts, along with Brendon Mulvihill (Director of Sales, T3Media.)

IDA's Doc U: A Conversation With Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock in person!
6/17/2013 - 7:30PM

Join KCRW’s Matt Holzman (Matt’s Movies, The Business) for an in-depth conversation with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.

The evening’s on-stage conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, and a reception on the Cinefamily’s backyard Spanish patio!

IDA's Doc U: Working With Publicists - How to Get the Most Out of Your Film’s Release

5/20/2013 - 7:30PM

How you release your doc — and how audiences see it — have changed dramatically in the past decade, offering filmmakers more ways to connect audiences with their films. What hasn’t changed, however, is the value an experienced publicist can bring to your team, as you try to get the attention of critics, bloggers, influence’s and viewers — and perhaps pick up an award or two along the way. Whether you’re doing festivals, DIY, day-and-date or multi-platform, a publicist can be the most valuable person at your side, helping to develop a release strategy, bringing in strategic partners, and getting the feature story that will deliver what every film needs to survive: eyeballs. Moderated by Josh Welsh, (Co-President, Film Independent), this Doc U features a panel of leading publicists for documentaries, including Amy Grey (President, Dish Communications), David Magdael, (President, David Magdael & Associates, Inc.) and Nancy Willen (Founder, Acme PR.)

IDA's Doc U: A Guide to Fair Use and the DMCA for Doc Filmmakers

4/22/2013 - 7:30PM

Last year, an IDA-led coalition of filmmakers achieved a historic exemption in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allows documentary filmmakers to “crack” digital encryption on certain types of media (including “ripping” DVDs). What does it mean to claim fair use and how do you do it? What does the DMCA prohibit you from doing, and what does it allow you to do? What are the parameters for knowing when your use of copyrighted content is allowable, and covered by this exemption? In this special edition of Doc U, we’ll explore how to employ fair use responsibly, and how to safely navigate the DMCA exemption for doc filmmakers. Led by Professor Jack Lerner (IDA Board Member, Director of the USC Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law), the seminar includes an overview of fair use by Dean Cheley (of law firm Donaldson + Callif) — and an in-depth “How To” guide to understanding and applying the DMCA exemption, presented by Law Clinic participants Garrett Lee and Katharine Trendacosta.

IDA's Doc U: Docs on TV - Evolution of the Broadcast Landscape

3/18/2013 - 7:30PM

The last few months have seen a number of shifts in the broadcast landscape for nonfiction programs. CNN launched CNN Films (upping the network’s commitment to long-format documentaries), Participant Media acquired both the Documentary Channel and Halogen TV (to be re-branded and launched this summer as a new channel featuring scripted and non-scripted programming), and KCET has merged with Link TV to form a new transmedia independent network that acquires, produces and distributes provocative global programming. With other evolving players on the scene as well, we’ll take a look at the outlook for docs on TV. What programming will these new channels be seeking? How do these new outlets increase the visibility and availability of docs and non-fiction content? How do these new initiatives, acquisitions and mergers signal the future for non-fiction works on TV? Join Tom White (editor, Documentary magazine) and a panel of industry insiders including Belisa Balaban (SVP, Unscripted Programming at Participant Media) and Lizzie Kerner (Director of Development & Acquisitions, CNN Films), as they discuss the changing landscape.

IDA's Doc U: Managing Your Doc's Debut & Building Your Festival Strategy

2/25/2013 - 7:30PM

You’ve run a fundraising campaign, used every favor, worked long hours, and now you’re ready to get your film out into the world. Film festivals are an important and productive outlet for getting your work seen, building buzz, and hopefully locking distribution — but with more festivals than ever crowding the calendar, how do you decide which one is best for your film? What are festival programmers looking for? What costs should you anticipate if your film gets accepted? In the crowded and often overwhelming schedule at most fests, how do you make the most of the experience, and get your film noticed? What are buyers looking for, and how will they get in touch with you? And how do you determine if the festival circuit is even the right venue to launch your film? Join moderator Kevin Iwashina (IDA Board Member and Managing Partner, Preferred Content) for a candid discussion with panelists John Cooper (Director, Sundance Film Festival), Ryan Werner (Senior VP of Marketing and Publicity, IFC Films), Susan Margolin (Co-President, Cinedigm Entertainment Group) and Stephanie Allain (Director, Los Angeles Film Festival.)

IDA's Doc U - The Doc Reporter: Navigating the Intersection of Documentary and Journalism

1/14/2013 - 7:30PM

With the contraction of traditional news reporting and journalism over the past decade, more traditional media outlets are turning to both long- and short-form documentaries in order to better understand our world. What does it mean for documentary filmmakers if, more and more, people equate “documentary” with “journalism?” When is a documentary filmmaker acting as a journalist? What are the inherent responsibilities? Is calling yourself a “journalist” enough when it comes to legal protections and long-established journalistic rights? What new opportunities and challenges are available, as documentary filmmakers move into the spotlight of journalism and reporting, and recording history as it is happening? Join moderator Karin Stellwagen (Brooks Institute) for a discussion with Sarah Burns (The Central Park Five) and others on the intricate balance between video journalism and documentary filmmaking.

IDA's Doc U: Producing For Docs

12/17/2012 - 7:30PM

From original concept, fundraising, and production to festivals, distribution, PR and outreach, one can’t argue that the documentary producer’s job description is varied. At every level from executive on down to assistant, a good producer knows how to anticipate the needs of a director and crew — all usually on a tight schedule, and an even tighter budget. Whether you’re bringing your own concept to life or jumping in mid-stream to save a doc in trouble, a good producer must bring a vast array of talent and expertise to the project. So how do you establish that trust within your team? How can you make sure everyone has the same goals in mind? How do you maintain an encouraging attitude in the face of complications? Moderated by IDA Board Member Stephen Nemeth of Rhino Films, our panel of veteran non-fiction producers will discuss what to expect when producing a doc, and how a successful producer gets the entire production team to deliver their best. Panelists include Lesley Chilcott (Waiting for ‘Superman’, It Might Get Loud, An Inconvenient Truth), James Moll (Foo Fighters, When I Rise, The Last Days), Elise Pearlstein (State 194, Last Call at the Oasis, Food, Inc.) and Jeffrey Tuchman (Railroaded in Texas, Mavericks, Miracles and Medicine and The Man From Hope.)

IDA's Doc U: A Conversation With Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato

World Of Wonder founders in person!
11/19/2012 - 7:30PM

Since 1990, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (the creative duo behind World Of Wonder) have been bringing their unique take on the world to screens both big and small. From award-winning, in-depth character studies (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Party Monster) to social issue docs (The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; The Last Beekeeper) and glitzy and splashy reality franchises (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Million Dollar Homes), their productions defy traditional labels and assert that compelling story and characters are what create good programs, across genres, niches, and expectations. In an industry where yesterday’s doc becomes tomorrow’s reality show, and Logo (American cable television’s “gay channel”) has to become less gay in order to survive, the duo has not only produced some of the most most-watched, cutting-edge programming of the past two decades, but have also created one of the media world’s most successful independent production companies and distinctive brands. Join producer Eddie Schmidt (Beauty is Embarrassing, Troubadours) for a discussion with Fenton and Randy on the challenges of running a transatlantic production company, crossing genre boundaries, and managing the famous and infamous, while also hosting a cutting edge culture blog with over 200,000 hits per month.

IDA's Doc U: Leveraging the Expanding Latino Market

10/15/2012 - 7:30PM

NBC/Universal and Telemundo, ABC and Univision, Fox and Colombia’s RCN — the major networks are recognizing the opportunities in providing content to the growing U.S. Latino and Hispanic population, including 2nd-generation viewers who want content in English and Spanish. The demand for this content is as diverse as the viewership, and includes the spectrum of non-fiction programming — from news to documentary, to lifestyle programming. How can you leverage the opportunities available with this new demand for content? What stories are programmers seeking, and how does your doc fit into the picture? How can you incorporate these new outlets into your distribution plan? Join Moises Velez (IDA Board Member, Peabody award-winning Director of Development & Current Programming for NBC Universal’s mun2) and a panel of content creators, programmers, and industry influencers for a discussion of the new programming outlets, and how you can participate in the opportunities to be found. Panelists include Luis Ortiz (Managing Director, Latino Public Broadcasting) and filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor (New Muslim Cool, Home Front).

Cinefamily members can get $5 off admission to this event with the following coupon code: CINEFDOCU

Doc U: Using Archival Footage In Your Film

7/16/2012 - 7:30PM

Incorporating archival footage into your doc can bring a level of authenticity unmatched by other means, furthering the film’s impact and reach. With literally thousands of hours of footage available from almost all of modern history’s major events, the biggest hurdle in using archival material may just be in knowing where (and how) to start looking. Footage firms, archives and libraries all exist to help you with this process. From initial research to negotiating the final licensing fee, we’ll discuss every aspect of using archival footage in your film. Join IDA Executive Director Michael Lumpkin for a discussion with industry experts including Clara Fon-Sing (Vice President & General Manager, NBC News Archives), Jackie Mountain (Vice President of Sales, T3Media) and the team of Peter Jones (Director, Johnny Carson: King of Late Night) and Brian Tessier (Supervising Producer, Johnny Carson: King of Late Night) for a discussion about the benefits and challenges in researching, procuring, and licensing archival footage for your film.

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members discounted admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U: The Future of Docs On PBS

5/10/2012 - 7:30PM

PBS has long been an important outlet for independent documentary programming. Through POV and Independent Lens, millions of households gain free access to doc programming that addresses the most important issues of our time. However, the landscape is shifting for these programs, as PBS just announced a change in schedule for both series, resulting in less favorable and inconsistent timeslots. With these shifting realities, as well as significant cuts in funding to PBS’ nonfiction programming from the National Endowment for the Arts — what does the future hold for both independent documentary films and public broadcasting? What can you do to impact the decisions and changes being made right now? IDA invites you to join Simon Kilmurry (Executive Producer of American Documentary | POV), Lyn Goldfarb (award-winning documentary director and producer) and Gordon Quinn (Artistic Director/founding member of Kartemquin Films) in a discussion on the changing outlook, and opportunities for growth in independent PBS doc programming. The evening’s on-stage conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, and a reception on the Cinefamily’s backyard Spanish patio!

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members discounted admission to this event.

Doc U: Yes, But Is It Art? Stylistic Strategies in Non-Fiction Storytelling

4/18/2012 - 7:30PM

With the growing popularity of documentary film, many have admirably seized on the power of non-fiction storytelling to effect change around social and political issues. But in all the discussion about content and impact, have we forgotten to explore documentary as cinema — as art? In a lively conversation about how they mobilize aesthetic choices to generate meaning, filmmakers will discuss stylistic strategies, creative inspirations, story structure, and the tension between form and content. Join Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, as she moderates a discussion with filmmakers Ondi Timoner (BYOD, We Live In Public) and Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Who is Bernard Tapie?) whose documentary work not only delivers a powerful message, but also storytelling impact through visual imagery.

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members free admission to this event.

IDA's DOC U: The Business Side of Doc Filmmaking

3/21/2012 - 7:30PM

Documentary filmmakers come in all stripes and from all walks of life, and often the only shared qualities are a passion for their subjects and a desire to get the story told. Underlying these disparate characteristics, however, are the fundamentals of how all doc business models must operate. What are the various options available to filmmakers in the business of making documentaries? What business model works best for you and your filmmaking? How can you decide? And what are the implications, come tax time? Join moderator Lisa Leeman (One Lucky Elephant, Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trunga) as we look at case studies from filmmakers working in the field, and hear from industry experts on the best practices of accounting and business management, with a focus on the impact and things to know when filing your taxes.

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members discounted admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U: And The Award Goes To...

Doc insiders answer your questions!
2/20/2012 - 7:30PM

What does it take to mount a successful awards campaign, and how much does it cost? And what does an award really mean for the future of your film and your career? Winning (or even being nominated for) any of the many prestigious awards given out each year for documentary excellence can raise the profile of your film, and may even boost your career — but the trophies don’t come easy. It takes a lot of planning, time, and effort to even get in the running. As well, their actual impact – both in terms of box office and career – is hard to judge. With new rules in place for 2012, how will awards campaigns be affected, and what should you be thinking about for your doc? IDA brings together a group of doc insiders with a variety of perspectives on the process to ask and answer these questions!

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members discounted admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U: Understanding Fair Use

Reception to follow!
1/30/2012 - 7:30PM

The Fair Use Doctrine allows for copyrighted materials to be used without permission or payment – under certain circumstances.  But what are these circumstances?  How is fair use determined?  What is the impact of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its recent exemptions on documentary filmmaking?  And how does using copyrighted material under Fair Use impact documentary filmmakers?The International Documentary Association has put together a panel of experts in the field to help unravel these legal intricacies. Join moderator Eddie Schmidt, Academy Award(R) nominated documentary producer, and IDA’s president; Michael Donaldson, Partner, Donaldson & Callif, and author, speaker and acknowledged expert on Fair Use; Russell Hickey, Senior Claims Counsel, AXIS PRO Insurance, where he has drafted fair use endorsements, and navigated copyright infringement claims, and Mitchell Block, multi-award winning documentary producer and distributor. Join us for a reception on Cinefamily’s backyard patio after the panel!

NOTE: we are unfortunately not able to offer Cinefamily members discounted admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U - Directing For Documentary: The Interview

12/19/2011 - 7:30PM

Documentary directors wear many hats, from research to writing to fundraising. None perhaps is more crucial, or nuanced, than the role of interviewer, where directors must develop and draw on their relationship with the subject, while simultaneously maintaining an objective perspective on how the story and the film is developing. Join director/producer/writer Lisa Leeman (One Lucky Elephant, Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trunga), in a conversation with directors Kirby Dick (Outrage, This Film is Not Yet Rated), Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live in Public), David Weissman (The Cockettes, We Were Here) and Marina Zenovich (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Who Is Bernard Tapie?) to discuss the art and craft of the successful documentary interview.

NOTE: we are unfortunately unable to offer Cinefamily members free admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U: A Conversation With Joe Berlinger + "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" (sneak preview!)

Joe Berlinger in person!
10/17/2011 - 7:30PM

Doc U presents a conversation with filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Crude, Brother’s Keeper, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) followed by a special preview screening of HBO Documentary Films’ Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the third documentary Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky have produced for HBO over the past two decades covering the trials, convictions and incarceration of the West Memphis 3. With the trio’s release in August, Berlinger and Paradise Lost 3 have received international attention for what Variety has described as a “masterwork of explanatory journalism, advocacy and perseverance” and “destined to rank as one of the major achievements in American documentary.” Eddie Schmidt, the International Documentary Association’s Board President and an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, will lead you through a behind-the-scenes discussion with Berlinger about the making of the Paradise Lost films, the power of documentary films to affect change, as well as an update on Berlinger’s own legal struggles with Chevron around his 2009 film Crude.

NOTE: we are unable to offer Cinefamily members free admission to this event.

IDA's Doc U: Writing for the Non-Fiction Screen

9/19/2011 - 7:30PM

A lot of people hear the phrase “documentary writer”, and think “narration” — but even though any professional doc writer has to be ready to write narration on demand, there’s a lot more to the job than churning out VO. The doc writer’s treatment guides the choice of characters, scenarios, locations and themes during preproduction and production, and the script maps the way to a coherent storyline through jungles of raw footage in post. Join moderator Sara Hutchison (writer/producer and IDA Board Executive Member) and a panel of experts, including writer/producer and IDA Board Member Steven Reich (Avalanche: The White Death, Bird Island: The Story of Isla Rasa), writer/producer Sharon Wood (Straight from the Heart, The Celluloid Closet), writer Freida Lee Mock (Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision) and writer/producer P.G. Morgan (Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Revenge of the Electric Car) as we look at the role of writing in nonfiction storytelling. The evening’s on-stage conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, and a reception on the Cinefamily’s backyard Spanish patio!

NOTE: we are unable to offer a discounted ticket rate for Cinefamily members to this event.

Doc U: Point Of View - Women Behind The Camera

8/15/2011 - 7:30PM

Join producer Lucy Webb as she moderates a discussion with Jennifer Arnold (A Small Act), Michele Ohayon (S.O.S/State of Security, Colors Straight Up) and Lauren Greenfield (Thin) of the rewards, challenges and opportunities women face in producing and directing documentary films! The evening’s on-stage conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, and a reception on the Cinefamily’s backyard Spanish patio. For more information on IDA’s Doc U:

NOTE: we are unable to offer a discounted ticket rate for Cinefamily members.

IDA's Doc U: Hands-On Instruction - Submitting Your Academy Award® Paperwork

A free workshop for documentary filmmakers!
7/18/2011 - 7PM

Join Academy Award® Coordinator Torene Svitil as she demystifies the eligibility and submission process for entering your documentary feature or short into the Academy Awards®. This is a first-time-ever opportunity to have all your questions answered in a workshop setting. Blank copies of the documentary feature and short submission forms will be provided. Rules and the submission forms are available on the AMPAS website.

No admission will be charged for this event, although RSVP is required.

Doc U: Fine Cut - Exploring The Director/Editor Collaboration

A live panel feat. the cutters of famous & amazing docs!
6/13/2011 - 7:30PM

Presented by the International Documentary Association

A good documentary editor is worth their weight in gold. More than editors working in other genres, the documentary editor is responsible for finding and shaping story, often without any kind of script.  For directors, working with the right editor is crucial. They make you better. They challenge you to see around your limitations. When you’re stymied, they help you find your way. Together, you collaborate to overcome some of the biggest challenges and obstacles in your film. It’s a true partnership, and in many ways, editors are the unheralded superstars of your favorite documentaries. Join producer/director Robert Kenner (Two Days in October, Food, Inc.), as he engages with Kate Amend, ACE (Into the Arms of Strangers, The Long Way Home), Kim Roberts (Food, Inc., Waiting for Superman) and Victor Livingston (Shakespeare Behind Bars, Crumb) in an exploration of the rewards, and challenges, inherent in the director/editor collaboration, and other pearls of wisdom from the editing room.

(NOTE: We are unable to offer a discount to Cinefamily members to this event.)

IDA's Doc U: The Art of the Personal Documentary - A Conversation With Doug Block

5/16/2011 - 7:30PM

Many of us have incredible stories to tell from our personal and family lives. But few of us have the guts to lay ourselves and our loved ones bare in front of the camera’s lens. Doug Block, acclaimed director of 51 Birch Street and The Kids Grow Up, has made a career out of doing just that. A self-shooter, who also appears in his own films, Doug does not shy away from exploring his family’s stories, even when it becomes uncomfortable. His lyrical, beautiful cinematic films invite us all into his family’s inner dialogue, and allow us to reflect to how closely they mirror our own.

How did his filmmaker journey lead him to making personal documentaries? What are the hardest moments he’s had to face while making work about his family? How has he developed the ability to still make strong directorial choice when the subject of his films is, quite literally, so close to home? How does he navigate production as a self-shooter who is in the film? Join us on May 16th for an intimate conversation with Doug Block, and learn more about the risks and rich rewards of making a personal documentary film, and the wisdom he’s gained from a lifelong career as a documentary filmmaker.

Straight Shooting (w/ live cinematographers' panel feat. Haskell Wexler!)

4/25/2011 - 7:30PM

The documentary filmmaker/cinematographer faces many complex challenges, from keeping abreast of the latest camera technologies and post-production workflows to following the subtle clues of a developing story as it is happening, clues often hidden in a look or a gesture and invisible to everyone else but the person looking through the camera lens. What are some of the ethical (and technical) problems unique to this kind of documentary storytelling? As filmmakers, how do we nurture the confidence of our subjects in such a way that they will feel comfortable opening up to our cameras without ultimately betraying their trust when we leave? What are some of the techniques that documentary DP’s use in the field to handle second-by-second decisions and never-to-be-repeated moments? How has the very process of filmmaking changed for the doc “shooter” with the arrival of lightweight digital video cameras? How does each one of these filmmakers work to push the boundaries of their craft every time they start a new film or go out on a new shoot?

Join Joan Churchill, James Longley, Haskell Wexler and moderator Richard Pearce in a rich conversation about the unique POV of the documentary shooter.