DOC NYC PRO: 2024 Winter Season

The 2024 Winter Season of DOC NYC PRO is geared towards filmmakers and anyone interested in learning about the documentary industry. The new season focuses on unique areas of the filmmaking process, featuring invaluable insight from independent filmmakers, experts from the independent doc community and professionals with aligned expertise. Covering topics like marketing budgets, mental health, the current doc market and animation/graphics in documentary films, the season will conclude with advice on facing creative blocks. These sessions will educate and empower documentary filmmakers to help turn their vision into a reality.

The new events focus on unique areas of the filmmaking process, featuring invaluable insight from independent filmmakers, experts from the independent doc community and skilled professionals with aligned expertise. Covering topics from marketing budgets to mental health, the current doc market to animation/graphics, and rounding out the season with advice on facing creative blocks, the program will educate and empower documentary filmmakers to help turn their vision into a reality.

New Offer: All Winter 2024 PRO attendees are invited to wrap up the season with an exclusive peer-to-peer networking session. Engage in small group consultations where filmmakers walk away with concrete insight into a current dilemma. It’s a unique opportunity for collaborative learning and meaningful exchanges. All registrants will receive a follow-up email invitation and further information.

The online events are every Wednesday starting February 28 to March 27 from 12-1:15pm ET. All registrants will receive access to the recorded event, a written transcript, and a copy of any slide presentations after the livestream. Attendees may purchase individual tickets or a Winter 2024 season pass good for all five sessions.

Winter Season Events: $19 ($14 for IFC members) available at links below.
Winter Season Pass: $70 ($50 for IFC Members)

Worried your film’s marketing budget can’t make much of an impact? Think again! Award-winning digital marketing director Daniel Kaplan (Fever Content, DOC NYC’s digital marketing agency through four consecutive festivals) shares his approach to building grassroots audiences for documentary features with an innovative marketing approach that has earned $1M+ box-office grosses and been written about in Forbes and IndieWire. Learn best practices for marketing your film on social media, tactically planning your digital ad strategy, and making the most of limited resources to amplify buzz around your film. You’ll come away with tangible next steps to design an effective marketing campaign for your documentary, and the confidence that your project can find the audience it deserves.

Join therapists Jennifer Zelaya, LICSW and Carolyn Gartner, LCSW and filmmaker Amanda Mustard (Great Photo, Lovely Life) for an essential discussion on prioritizing the mental health of documentary participants. As filmmakers, it’s crucial to recognize participants’ symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and trauma throughout the filmmaking process. This panel will provide practical insights and guidelines on conducting interviews ethically, fostering a safe environment, and recognizing signs that someone requires support. Learn how to approach filmmaking with empathy, ensuring the well-being of both participants and your filmmaking team.

Dive into the heart of today’s documentary market in a dynamic conversation that reveals the essentials every filmmaker should understand, and why it matters. Discover actionable insights from Filmmaker Accelerator’s founder and director Lina Lyte Plioplyte (Periodical) on leveraging this knowledge for impactful pitches, audience building, and innovative strategies to get your film seen. An overview of the current landscape will be provided, sharing creative approaches to enhance your market positioning. Get inspiration from case studies about filmmakers who achieved success through novel approaches to promoting their work and building an audience.

Discover the power of using graphics and animation in documentary filmmaking. Animators and graphics designers Yasmin Mistry (Idesygn creative, LLC), Daniel Shepard (Being Mary Tyler Moore), and Sean Donnelly (Stamped From The Beginning) guide us through the intricate process of integrating visual elements into your storytelling, delving into the distinctions between graphics and animation and helping you determine if animation will enhance your narrative. Fundamental topics such as stylistic, budgetary and scheduling concerns will be addressed. Gain valuable insights into how these techniques can enhance the storytelling impact of your documentary, empowering you to make informed choices that captivate your audience.

Join us for an engaging exploration led by D Word Co-Host and filmmaker Erica Ginsberg, drawing from her insightful book, Creative Resilience. We’ll discuss innovative ways to navigate creative blocks, addressing common challenges like impostor syndrome, creative stagnation, and dealing with setbacks. Gain practical strategies for overcoming these hurdles and fostering a resilient creative mindset that empowers you to thrive in your filmmaking journey.

DOC NYC PRO Winter Season 2024

Maximizing Your Marketing Budget
Wednesday, February 28 / 12-1:15 pm ET (online)

Mental Health 101: Care of Participants
Wednesday, March 6 / 12-1:15pm ET (online)

Negotiating the Documentary Market
Wednesday, March 13 / 12-1:15pm ET (online)

Using Graphics and Animation in Documentary
Wednesday, March 20 / 12-1:15pm ET (online)

Navigating Creative Blocks
Wednesday, March 27 / 12-1:15pm ET (online)


Live ASL interpretation available upon request. To inquire about accessibility for any DOC NYC events, please email

Past Events

Recordings of past seasons’ DOC NYC PRO classes are available as individual event recordings.