DOC NYC 2020 PRO All Access Pass

Join the 2020 edition of the DOC NYC PRO conference, taking place August 5-October 21. For the first time, the conference will move online, making its full slate of programs available to audiences around the globe. The 2020 PRO lineup will feature more than 70 participants representing a wide spectrum of voices and perspectives, from emerging directors to noted producers and established cinematographers, from artist collectives and filmmaker peer support organizations, to broadcasters, research institutions, news platforms, leading distributors and more. Tickets for individual events and a PRO All Access Pass, offering admission to all 10 classes and the archives of DOC NYC’s earlier 2020 online courses, are now on sale

Covering all aspects of documentary making, from planning to production to post- to distribution, this year’s edition of PRO is presented in six daylong PRO Day courses and four shorter 90-minute Immersive classes. In addition to professional development for filmmakers at all stages of their careers, the events also offer Q&As between attendees and participants, along with networking opportunities. See below for the current schedule and program details. Additional days centered around the films and filmmakers on DOC NYC’s Short List for the year’s most notable nonfiction projects will be announced for November. 

Each PRO Day features two 45-minute panel sessions with filmmakers, industry experts and executives, a 45-minute case study, and an hour-long interactive social hour at the end of the day, in which participants can meet each other and ask questions directly of panelists and DOC NYC staff in real time. Each Immersive event includes an hour-long panel discussion with filmmakers and industry experts, followed by 30 minutes of moderated audience questions.

After the live-streamed events, registrants and passholders will receive written resource materials, including a transcript of the live sessions and referenced links and materials. Participants may purchase classes a la carte at list prices, or receive access to the entire calendar of offerings for a flat pass fee of $150.

The pass includes access to the upcoming programs:

PRO Day: The First-Time Filmmaker

Wednesday, August 5 from 11 am-3 pm ET

A day of practical guidance for the first-time filmmaker, including panels on developing a story, building a team, and securing funds and distribution. The daylong course will feature four first-time filmmakers who have successfully finished and released feature docs; filmmaker collectives that provide professional and peer networks to emerging and established filmmakers, and an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Confirmed film teams include Meredith Chin and Sian-Pierre Regis (Duty Free); Jasmín Mara López (Silent Beauty): Lindsay Lindenbaum (Tomboy); and Yuqi Kang (A Little Wisdom). Additional speakers include Adam Piron, co-founder of the filmmaker collective, COUSIN and assistant curator for film at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, and Leah Meyerhoff, founder of Film Fatales. Moderated by Anya Rous (Always In Season, The Feeling of Being Watched), Courtney Sheehan of Context Moves, and Rose Vincelli Gustine from SVA’s MFA Social Documentary film program. Tickets: $40, available here.

PRO Day: Documentary 

Wednesday, August 12 from 11 am-3 pm ET

Explore documentary cinematography in the current moment, including sessions on filming in sensitive environments; the practicalities and responsibilities of shooting during a pandemic; and a case study on the relationship between cinematographer and subject. The daylong course will also feature an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Confirmed speakers: Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House, The Hand That Feeds), Iris Ng (A Better Man, Stories We Tell), Bryan Chang (Into the Streets, Brasslands, Island Soldier) Jerry Henry (Netflix’s forthcoming High on the Hog, The Rachel Divide, Exit Through the Gift Shop) and Mo Scarpelli (El Father Plays Himself, Anbessa, Frame by Frame). Moderated by DOC NYC Features Programmer Jessie Fairbanks.


Immersive: Spotlight on Documentary Series

Wednesday, August 19 from 2-3:30 pm ET

A 90-minute session exploring the evolution and future of documentary series. The panel discussion will feature both producers and distributors, and include a 30-minute moderated Q&A. Confirmed speaker: Rudy Valdez (Brooklyn Saints, The Sentence). Additional participants to be announced.


PRO Day: Documentary

Wednesday, September 2 from 11 am-3 pm ET

A deep-dive into documentary editing and post-production, including sessions on storytelling and narrative; cutting while a director and editor are working remotely; and integrating archival and animation. The daylong course will feature a case study with a director-editor team, as well as an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Confirmed speaker: Jaime Myers Schlenck (9to5: The Story of a Movement). Additional participants to be announced.


Immersive: Journalism and Documentary

Wednesday, September 16 from 2-3:30 pm ET

A showcase focusing on projects that live at the intersection of documentary film and journalism. The panel discussion includes both independent doc teams and representatives from news platforms as they discuss the merging and divergent roles of reporter, storyteller, and filmmaker. The session will include a 30-minute moderated Q&A. Confirmed speakers: Kathleen Lingo, Editorial Director for Film and Television at The New York Times; Leslye Davis and Catrin Einhorn (Father, Soldier Son); and Ursula Liang (Down a Dark Stairwell). Moderated by Nina Alvarez, CBS Assistant Professor of International Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.


PRO Day: New Realities in Distribution & Audience Engagement

Wednesday, September 23 from 11 am-3 pm ET

A day of education on current trends in documentary distribution and audience engagement, including sessions on theatrical, digital and educational distribution—for the pandemic context and after—and new tactics in engaging audiences, even while social distancing remains in effect. The daylong course will feature a case study with a filmmaker-distributor team, as well as an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Confirmed speakers: Dan O’Meara, NEON; Asad Muhammad, POV. Additional participants to be announced.


PRO Day: Documentary Producing

Wednesday, September 30 from 11 am-3 pm ET

A day dedicated to the art of documentary producing. Sessions will feature guidance in negotiating credits and waterfall structures; career sustainability in pivotal times; and developing financing, co-production and executive producer relationships, including with case studies from veteran producers. The daylong course will also include an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Confirmed speakers: Jenny Raskin, Impact Partners; Sara Bernstein, Imagine Documentaries; Razan Ghalayini (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Entrapped, We Are the Giant); Jessica Devaney (The Feeling of Being Watched; Pray Away; Always in Season). Additional participants to be announced.


Immersive: The Art of Archival

Wednesday, October 7 from 2-3:30 pm ET

A 90-minute session exploring the use of archival footage in documentary filmmaking. The panel discussion will feature directors, editors and archivists, and will include a 30-minute moderated Q&A. Confirmed speakers: Carla Gutierrez (Pray Away, RGB); Penny Lane (Hail Satan, Nuts!, Our Nixon); Shola Lynch, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Additional participants to be announced.


PRO Day: Documentary & The Law

Wednesday, October 14 from 11 am-3 pm ET

A day of practical expertise on the legal questions that face doc makers. Sessions will focus on topics such as rights and clearances, errors and omissions, and legal concerns specific to sensitive production environments, including filming in the Covid-19 era. The daylong course will include a filmmaker case study and an interactive Q&A breakout session and social hour. Participants to be announced.


Immersive: Podcasting for Doc Makers

Wednesday, October 21 from 2-3:30 pm ET

Explore the interplay between podcasting and documentary film in this session with guests who have successfully pivoted between film producing and podcast producing. The panel discussion will feature both producers and podcast platform execs, and will include a 30-minute moderated Q&A. Confirmed speakers: Reva Goldberg (Mothers of Invention, Brooklyn, USA); Natalie Moallem, Stitcher; Paige Wood, Detroit Narrative Agency and Ford Foundation’s Just Cities Narrative Shift Project. Additional participants to be announced.


Plus you’ll get access to past archived/recorded sessions:

Immersive: Creating Highly Clickable Content

Recorded live on May 5 & 6

DOC NYC PRO’s first two-day immersive looks into the nuts and bolts of creating highly shareable online content, especially in this moment when nearly all our social and business interaction has to take place virtually. Guests include representatives from digital marketing firm Smarthouse Creative; ViceNews; and the cult doc hit Fantastic Fungi.


Immersive: Editing &
Finishing Your Film

Recorded live on May 19 & 20

DOC NYC PRO looks into an extremely timely topic: the process of editing and finishing a film when all work must be done remotely. Guests include editor Carla Gutierrez; director/producer Alysa Nahmias; Eric Johnson of Trailblazer Studios; and Joe Beirnefrom Technicolor – PostWorks.


Immersive: Social Impact When the World is Inside

Recorded live on June 3 & 4

DOC NYC PRO examines the social impact producing and audience engagement, especially relevant at a moment when communities are struggling to mobilize around life-and-death concerns, from police brutality to Covid-19. Guests include a slate of independent impact producers from around the world, including Mariana Ribeiro in Brazil (The Edge of Democracy, The Nightcrawlers); Ani Mercedes in Miami (Looky Looky Pictures) andGwendolyn Alston from MocaMedia, in Spain. Other guests include those forwarding social impact from inside organizations: Darcy Heusel at NEON; Tricia Finneran at Good Pitch Local; Denae Peters at Perspective Fund; and Max Steinman from Exposure Labs.

Immersive: Safe and
Secure Production

Recorded live on June 16 & 17

DOC NYC PRO dives into the ethics, risks and practicalities of production in sensitive production environments, including during the Covid-19 pandemic, during social protests, after natural disasters, and with vulnerable subjects. As the world of doc production and distribution shifts, how can film teams reexamine their responsibilities to their crews and subjects, now and in the future? How might our current assessment of production risks reshape industry standards for filmmaking in the public interest and in marginalized communities? And how can the documentary field carry the lessons learned in this moment forward into other contexts? Panelists include Brenda Coughlin from Sundance Institute, filmmakers Michael Premo, Stephanie Wang-Breal, and Cecilia Aldarondo, IDA’s Carrie Lozano, and Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macaulay.


PRO Day: Funding Your Documentary

Recorded live on Wednesday, July 8

DOC NYC PRO hosted a daylong online workshop on Funding Your Documentary, featuring institutional grantmakers, equity investors, and other sources of support for documentary filmmakers, their projects, and the documentary organizations that incubate and exhibit their work. Panelists include Merrill Sterritt of Cinereach, Chi-hui Yang ofJustFilms, Ford Foundation; Lucila Moctezuma of Chicken & Egg Pictures; Jenny Raskin of Impact Partners; Steve Cohen and Paula Froehle of Chicago Public Media; and filmmakers Erika Cohn and Angela Tucker of Belly of the Beast.


Immersive: Advancing Equity
and Inclusion in the
Documentary Field

Recorded live on Wednesday, July 21

DOC NYC Features Programmer Karen McMullen led a conversation about advancing social equity and inclusion in the documentary field. Guests included Nicole Tsien, board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia; Denise Greene of Black Public Media; Day Al-Mohamed, independent filmmaker and founding member of FWD-DOC, Karin Chien, independent producer and President of distributor dGenerate Films; Caty Borum Chattooof The Center for Media & Impact at American University; and Paulina Suarez, Executive Director of Ambulante, Mexico’s traveling documentary film festival. All proceeds from this event will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

If you have questions about accommodations and accessibility for this event, please email