DOC NYC PRO Spring 2022

After an exciting Winter slate and successful in-person conference in 2021, DOC NYC PRO’s Spring season of events will cover a wide range of topics—from crafting a fundraising sizzle reel to DIY distribution— designed to educate and empower the doc community and available to participants around the world. See below for more details.

Spring Season Pass: $125 – Save 15% off individual tickets!
Two Part Funding and Grant Workshops: $59

Individual Classes: $19

All registrants may participate in the live sessions, and will also receive access to the recorded events, written transcripts, and copies of the slide presentations (where applicable) after the livestream. Tickets are non-refundable. 

Creating sizzle reels is an art that not only opens funding doors but also showcases your directorial and cinematic vision. But how do you craft a sizzle that gets your message across? Sizzle reel veteran and director of Wheelhouse Creative Rob Lyons demonstrates what makes a stand-out sizzle. Special guests include Sundance award winning directing/producing team Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt (Aftershock) who will describe their process using Aftershock as a case study.

You’ve tracked down amazing material for your project, but how do you pull everything together to make the best use of it? Learn tools and tips for organizing your archival footage into a coherent system from producer and archival producer Tammy Chu (And She Could Be Next) and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and Wesleyan professor Tracy Strain (Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart). They will walk you through their systems to create a less stressful and more organized research process.

Documentary distribution planning is often overlooked until the editing starts. However, when long-term strategy, grassroots organizing and audience building begin during production, they can have a profound impact on your distribution goals. Ingenuity at every stage contributes to your outreach momentum. Join distribution educator and author Rachel Gordon (The Documentary Distribution Toolkit), filmmaker Chanda Chevannes  (Living Downstream) who also wrote The Roadmap to Creative Distribution and educational distribution expert James-Michael Boyer from Collective Eye to hear inspirational and practical examples of exactly how to engineer your documentary’s journey to the world.

Note: This a day two workshop taking place Monday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 3. Grants! So many growth opportunities exist for doc filmmakers but researching and applying can be overwhelming. Academy Award nominated producer Kira Kennedy-Simon (Ascension), who has been awarded over $1 million in grant funding, hosts this two-part workshop along with funders and special guests. Day 1 includes funders and “gate openers” Keri Archer Brown of ITVS  and Jon-Sesrie Goff from the Ford Foundation who will address transparency in the applications and process as well as give concrete tips and notes for filmmakers to consider in approaching different funders. They will demystify the application processes to help you shift through the noise and hone in on which programs are best for you and your film. Day 2 is an interactive workshop with time to review actual successful grant applications and receive application feedback from peers or mentors while working in small groups.

You’ve spent years making your film. Publicizing your project is the next step in bringing it to the world, but hiring a publicist can be beyond the budget of many indie filmmakers. Come learn step by step advice on how to DIY your publicity campaign from noted publicists (and veterans of dozens of doc releases and awards campaigns) Julia Pacetti of Verdant Communications and Rachel Allen of Cinetic Media, along with Academy Award-winning producer Joanna Natasegara (White Helmets, Virunga, The Edge of Democracy).

Congratulations! Your short is complete but what are your next steps? Marketing, publicity and strategy gurus Ryan Ann Davis and Amie Simon of Smarthouse will illustrate how filmmakers can harness the life cycle of a short to meet career and filmmaking goals. Topics will include how to build an online presence to position yourself for success, how to make the most of the festival circuit, and options to distribute your film to build your audience for future projects.

If you have questions about registration, please email For questions about accommodations and accessibility, including requests for live ASL interpretation, please email

DOC NYC PRO Spring 2022 Lineup

Crafting Your Fundraising Sizzle: Aftershock Case Study
Recorded Wednesday, April 6 (online)

Organize That Archival!
Recorded Wednesday, April 13 (online)

Taking Control: Engineering Your Distribution
Recorded Wednesday, April 20 (online)

Real Talk: Funding and Grant Applications
Recorded Monday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 3 (note: two consecutive days, online)

How To Be Your Own Best Publicist
Recorded Wednesday, May 11 (online)

You’ve Made a Short; Now What?
Recorded Tuesday, May 17 (online)


Live ASL interpretation is available upon request. To inquire about accessibility for any DOC NYC events, please email Captions and live transcript are available at every session (no request necessary).

Gift Passes

If you are interested in purchasing a gift PRO Spring 2022 Season Pass for someone other than yourself, complete your purchase here.

Past Events

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

DOC NYC PRO is presented by