DOC NYC PRO 2017 Lineup is Announced!

October 08, 2017

DOC NYC has announced the lineup for its eight-day DOC NYC PRO conference, running November 9-16 at Cinepolis Chelsea concurrent with the festival’s public film screenings. The PRO lineup includes over 100 speakers such as acclaimed filmmakers Errol Morris, Laura Poitras, Brett Morgen, Roger Ross Williams and Joe Berlinger; plus industry leaders such as Chris Horton (Sundance Institute), Dan Cogan (Impact Partners) and Julie Goldman (Motto Pictures). Passes, including PRO passes for individual Days, are available for purchase now

New this year is The State of Documentary Day (Nov. 9) that kicks off the conference by covering trends in storytelling, financing, post-production and distribution. Now in its second year, Short List Day (Nov. 10) brings together many of the filmmakers behind the prestigious DOC NYC Short List of awards contenders for a day of panels; and Pitch Perfect Day (Nov. 13) helps to connect works-in-progress with funders and mentors.

Each day of DOC NYC PRO kicks off with a Morning Manifesto featuring an esteemed guest distilling their wisdom in a half-hour conversation. This year’s Manifesto speakers include Oscar-nominated filmmakers Joe Berlinger, Amy Berg, IDA Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, Sundance Institute’s Tabitha Jackson, Sub-Genre’s Brian Newman, Black Public Media’s Leslie Fields-Cruz, Center for Media and Social Impact Director Caty Borum Chattoo and WME agent Liesl Copland.

“DOC NYC PRO is a vital convening of America’s documentary industry, like an annual gathering of wizards sharing their secrets of craft, technology and business,” said Artistic Director Thom Powers. “For independent filmmakers who often work in isolation, this information exchange is priceless and hard to find elsewhere.”

Only in New York roundtables, returning for the second year, allow DOC NYC filmmakers to connect with industry leaders during four days of meetings on November 13-16. Additionally, festival programmers select 20-30 work-in-progress documentaries to also participate. Those projects were chosen from a call for submissions. Only in New York is co-presented by Showtime Documentary Films.

The entire DOC NYC PRO conference is co-presented by Amazon Studios. The conference is programmed by Deborah Rudolph, returning for her fourth year.

Inside Cinepolis Chelsea, DOC NYC PRO also hosts a networking lounge for passholders. Each day begins with a Breakfast and concludes with a Happy Hour for passholders, panelists and filmmakers. Passes, including PRO passes for individual Days, are available for purchase now


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – IDA Executive Director Simon Kilmurry.
  • What’s Your POV? – Filmmakers Nanfu Wang (I Am Another You), Jennifer Brea (Unrest) and Drew Xanthopoulos (The Sensitives) on storytelling; moderated by Rose Vincelli Gustine. Co-presented by SVA MFA Social Documentary Film.
  • The State of Funding: Budgets, Grants & More – Chicken and Egg Pictures’ Jenni Wolfson, LEF Foundation’s Sara Archambault and Ford Foundation | JustFilms’ Andrew Catauro provide a road map for film financing.
  • Post-Production Secrets  Post-production experts Joe Beirne, Ben Murray and filmmaker Daniel DiMauro (Get Me Roger Stone) advise on strategies. Co-presented by Technicolor PostWorks NY.
  • Enter the Market – Josh Braun (Submarine), Matt Cowal (Magnolia Pictures), Natalie Mooallem (The Orchard) and Eric Sloss (Cinetic).
  • Happy Hour – Co-presented by The Orchard

Co-presented by MTV

More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – WME agent Liesl Copland.
  • The Art of Observation – Directors Greg Barker (The Final Year)Laura Poitras (Risk), editor Matthew Hamachek (City of Ghosts) and producer Julie Goldman (Abacus: Small Enough to Jail) discuss the craft of observational filmmaking.
  • Navigating Sensitive Relationships – Directors Amanda Lipitz (Step), Dan Sickles (Dina), Heidi Ewing (One of Us) and Peter Nicks (The Force) discuss documenting complex lives.
  • When the Filmmaker Is Part of the Story – Directors Bryan Fogel (Icarus), Yance Ford (Strong Island) and Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Coral) discuss appearing in their own films.
  • Finding the Style for the Story – Directors Brett Morgen (Jane), Ceyda Torun (Kedi) and Errol Morris (The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography) discuss their unique stylistic approaches.
  • Happy Hour – Co-presented by Vulcan Productions.


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – Filmmaker Amy Berg (Janis: Little Girl Blue, Deliver Us From Evil).
  • Composing & Sound Design – Rachel Grady and T. Griffin (co-director and composer, One of Us), and Nathan Halpern (What Haunts Us, Rich Hill) present case studies.
  • Getting Creative with Archives – Filmmakers Sierra Pettengill (archivist, Risk; The Reagan Show), Alice Elliott (Miracle on 42nd Street), Dan Lindsey (LA92), and Bill Howard (Pond5) and others share insights about using archival material. Co-presented by National Geographic Documentary Films.
  • Writing for Nonfiction – Filmmakers Yance Ford (Strong Island), Cecilia Aldarondo (Memories of a Penitent Heart) and Sarah Burns (Central Park Five) discuss their writing process; moderated by Jenna Bond (Writers Guild of America, East). Co-presented by Writers Guild of America, East.
  • Tales from the Edit Room – Editors Maya Mumma (O.J.: Made in America), Fiona Otway (Hell and Back Again) and David Teague (Life, Animated) share storytelling secrets.
  • Power and Perspective in Storytelling – Renee Tajima-Pena (No Más Bebés) leads a conversation with Nadia Hallgren (Motherland), Stephen Maing (High Tech, Low Life), Geeta Gandbhir (Armed With Faith) and Edwin Martinez (To Be Heard) on telling stories as a community insider vs outsider. Co-presented by A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network) and Ford Foundation | JustFilms.
  • Reception – Co-presented by A-Doc (Asian American Documentary Network) and Ford Foundation | JustFilms.


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – Filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Cold Blooded: the Clutter Family MurdersParadise Lost trilogy)
  • Observational Camera – Jenni Morello and Alex Takats (cinematographers, One of Us), Erika Cohn and Amber Fares (director and cinematographer, The Judge) and Ross Kauffman (director/cinematographer, Born Into Brothels) discuss their craft.
  • What Makes a Great Interview? – Filmmakers Kristi Jacobson (Solitary), Sam Pollard (Maynard) and Martina Radwan (The Final Year) discuss the art of the interview.
  • Big Images, Small Budget – Filmmakers Mike Day (The Islands and the Whales) and Daniel McCabe (This is Congo) discuss making the most of their camerawork.
  • Technical Questions – Filmmaker Henry Roosevelt (Tough Guys) discusses his favorite cinematic tools.
  • Happy Hour – Co-presented by Pond5.


Co-presented by A&E IndieFilms

More information here

  • Breakfast – Co-presented by ScreeningRoom
  • Morning Manifesto – Sundance Institute’s Tabitha Jackson
  • Pitch Perfect, Part 1 – Three works-in-progress, Second Coming (Cara Jones), Shadow of His Wings (Lucas Habte)and Plucked (Joel Van Haren) pitch to a panel of industry leaders.
  • Pitch Perfect, Part 2 – Three works-in-progress, Good Ol Girl (Sarah Brennan Kolb), Finding Home (Abraham Troen) and Blue Code of Silence (Magnus Skatvold) pitch to a panel of industry leaders.
  • Reception –Co-presented by ImageNation Abu Dhabi.


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – Brian Newman of Sub-Genre
  • The Distribution Landscape: Where Are We Heading? – Dan Cogan (Impact Partners) leads a panel of experts assessing the future of documentary distribution. Co-presented by Impact Partners.
  • Case Study: Life, Animated – Producers Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn and Christopher Clements (Motto Pictures) join director/producer Roger Ross Williams for a study of their Oscar-nominated film.
  • Reaching the Audience: Press, Outreach & Marketing – Christie Marchese (Picture Motion), Sara Kiener (Cinereach), Michael Premo (Water Warriors), and Adam Segal (The 2050 Group) discuss how to maximize an audience.
  • Evaluating Impact – John Hoffman (Discovery), Meredith Blake (ProSocial) and Miriam Horn (Environmental Defense Fund) discuss spreading a film’s message. Co-presented by Discovery.
  • Happy Hour – Co-presented by Discovery.


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – Leslie Fields-Cruz (Black Public Media)
  • Leveraging Partnerships – Danielle Perissi (ImageNation Abu Dhabi), Ky Dickens (Zero Weeks), Koumiko France (Working Films), and DOC NYC 2016 Pitch Perfect winner Julia Bacha (Naila and the Uprising) and others share advice on partnerships. Co-presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
  • Going DIY with Distribution – Producers Lindsey Dryden, Alysa Nahmias (Unrest) and Chris Horton (Sundance Institute) discuss variations of self-distribution.
  • Grants & Labs – Maxyne Franklin (Doc Society) and Lucila Moctezuma (Chicken & Egg Pictures) share tips on making the most of grants and filmmaking labs.
  • The Future of Crowdfunding – Filmmakers offer case studies on how crowdfunding can raise money and create excitement around your work; moderated by Elise McCave (Kickstarter). Co-presented by Kickstarter.
  • Happy Hour – Co-presented by Participant Media.


More information here

  • Morning Manifesto – Caty Borum Chattoo (Director, Center for Media & Social Impact).
  • Ethics, Objectivity & Controversial Subjects – Marc H. Simon (Fox Rothschild LLP) leads a discussion with filmmakers on dealing with controversial topics. Co-presented by Fox Rothschild LLP.
  • Financing & Distribution: Facts & Figures – Experts from Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, along with filmmakers, financiers and distribution executives, discuss documentary business and legal issues. Co-presented by Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.
  • Filmmaking in the Trump Era – Filmmakers David Byars (No Man’s Land), Deia Schlosberg (The Reluctant Radical), Katy Scoggin (Risk) and attorney Victoria Cook (Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz), discuss contemporary challenges for documentary. Co-presented by Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
  • Filming Outside Your Turf – Filmmakers Evgeny Afineevsky (Cries from Syria), Rebecca Cammisa (Atomic Homefront), Lana Wilson (The Departure) and DOC NYC 2017 Pitch Perfect filmmaker Nathan Fitch (Island Soldier) discuss filming in foreign territory.

DOC NYC and DOC NYC PRO passes, including PRO passes for individual Days, are available for purchase now.


The festival is made possible by Major Sponsors A&E IndieFilms, Amazon Studios, HBO Documentary Films, History Films, Netflix; Supporting Sponsors Discovery, ImageNation Abu Dhabi, National Geographic Documentary Films, Showtime Documentary Films; Leading Media Sponsors New York magazine, WNET; Signature Sponsors Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Participant Media, Technicolor PostWorks NY, The Yard.

Additional support comes from Event Sponsors Chicago Media Project, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Ford Foundation | JustFilms, Fox, Rothschild LLP, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Impact Partners, MTV, NEON, The Orchard, POND5, Sundance Now, SVA MFA Social Documentary Film, Vulcan Productions.

Friends of the Festival include Agile Ticketing, Blue Point Brewing, Bluecoat Gin, Brooklyn Roasting Company, Essentia, Few Spirits, Fox Searchlight, Kickstarter, Kino Lorber, Posteritati, ScreeningRoom, Variant, Writers Guild of America East, Wheelhouse Creative and Zico.