DOC NYC Passes On Sale Now & DOC NYC PRO Program Announced!

September 30, 2015


Programs Include “Pitch Day,” “Insiders Conference” & “Masterclasses”

Speakers Include Sheila Nevins, Jon Alpert, Abigail Disney, Kirby Dick, Justine Nagan, Simon Kilmurry, Dan Cogan

DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival, announced a new brand for its programming aimed at professionals called DOC NYC PRO. An eight-day series of talks, panels, masterclasses, and professional development workshops, DOC NYC PRO aims to provide working filmmakers with the tools to hone their craft and with access to the insight of individuals at the forefront of today’s nonfiction renaissance. Events will take place alongside screenings of over 175 documentary films aimed at the general public during the sixth annual festival, running November 12-19.

DOC NYC PRO speakers include HBO Documentary head Sheila Nevins and DCTV co-founder Jon Alpert in a Keynote Conversation on November 17; new POV executive producer Justine Nagan; Impact Partners co-founder Dan Cogan; International Documentary Association executive director Simon Kilmurry; and filmmakers Abigail Disney and Kirby Dick.

DOC NYC Director of Development Deborah Rudolph is the panel producer for DOC NYC PRO, building upon her work on previous editions of the festival’s industry programming, formerly called Doc-A-Thon

“DOC NYC PRO supplies a vital hub for documentary makers to gain access to fresh insights for growing their livelihood and deepening their art,” said DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers. “As part of our growth, we’re focusing on craft discussions in weekend Masterclasses and devoting our new Insiders Conference to an in-depth exploration of fundraising and distribution. Documentary makers from everywhere should consider attending as an investment in their career. Some things happen only in New York.”

The DOC NYC PRO label covers several new initiatives:

  • Morning Manifesto kicks off each day of DOC NYC with a different theme and features a filmmaker or industry professional in conversation.
  • First-Time Filmmakers Day (Thursday, Nov. 12), an intensive series of panels for newcomers to the field, begins with a Morning Manifesto by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (The Hunting Ground).
  • Pitch Day (Friday, Nov. 13), a daylong event using documentary projects that are close to completion as case studies to explore the art of pitching, festival launches, audience outreach, and more. Today’s Morning Manifesto features an extended discussion with several filmmakers on the DOC NYC Short List to be announced in early October. Co-presented by A&E IndieFilms.
  • Masterclasses (Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 14-15), discussions focusing on Cinematography, Editing, Sound & Composing, Animation & Graphics, International Co-productions, and The Art of Podcasting.
  • Insiders Conference (Monday-Thursday, Nov. 16-19), a four-day event concentrating on producing, funding, distribution, and marketing that replaces the festival’s former “Doc-A-Thon” panels.

The main venue for DOC NYC PRO events will be the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Inside Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, DOC NYC PRO will host a new lounge for passholders, greatly expanding the festival’s networking and social space. The November 12 First-Time Filmmakers Day will take place at IFC Center.

The Pitch Day and Insiders Conference events will include morning coffee and bagels and an afternoon Happy Hour for passholders.

Passes are now on sale, with an early bird discount available through October 13. To purchase, go to:

ALL ACCESS PASS: $600 early bird ($750 normal) – gives audiences a chance to explore all festival films, panels and events, plus select weekday breakfasts and filmmaker happy hours. A dedicated concierge at each festival venue will speed All Access passholders into screenings and events so that their DOC NYC experience is wait-free. Only a limited number of All Access Passes will be available. The All Access Pass is valid for one person, but is transferable between individuals. The All Access Pass does not include the Visionaries Tribute Lunch.

DOC NYC PRO PASS: $300 early bird ($350 normal) – grants access to the eight-day lineup of DOC NYC PRO Thursday, Nov. 12 – Thursday, Nov. 19 at IFC Center and the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, including two days of masterclasses exploring the art and craft of documentary, four days of the Insider Conference focused on the business of nonfiction filmmaking, and additional sessions devoted to the art of pitching a project and to first-time filmmakers. Passes also include five days of Morning Coffees and Happy Hours with DOC NYC PRO presenters and attendees as well as free admission to the festival’s Short List section screenings showcasing the year’s most notable docs.

INSIDERS CONFERENCE PASS: $200 early bird ($250 normal) – gives passholders access to the four-day conference Monday, Nov. 16 – Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas with an in-depth look at the business of documentary—from fundraising to distribution to marketing and more.

The festival and DOC NYC PRO is made possible by Leadership Sponsor HBO Documentary Films; Major Sponsors A&E IndieFilms, Netflix; Supporting Sponsor SundanceNow Doc Club; Leading Media Sponsors New York magazine; WNET; Signature Sponsors Chicken & Egg Pictures, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Image Nation, Impact Partners, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, RADiUS-TWC, Technicolor-PostWorks New York.

Additional support comes from Event Sponsors Sony, SVA MFA Social Documentary Film, World Channel; Friends of the Festival Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL), Chicago Media Project, Docurama, Goose Island, International Documentary Association (IDA), ILLY, Kickstarter, Shiftboard, Wheelhouse Creative, World Channel, The Yard, ZICO.

Below are details on panels. A full list of panelists will be released in mid-October:

Thursday, Nov. 12 – First-Time Filmmakers Day

  • Morning Manifesto – Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (The Hunting Ground; The Invisible War) delivers a talk full of advice for first-time filmmakers.
  • What’s Your Story? – Accomplished filmmakers discuss their first films and lessons learned when telling a nonfiction story.
  • Funding Fundamentals – Hear from funding experts who provide a road map for getting your film financed.
  • Get Your Gear  Experts evaluate the many options filmmakers have for choosing the gear that best suits their project. Co-presented by Sony.
  • Post-Production Secrets – How much post-production can you afford and what is the best use of your time and budget? Co-presented by Technicolor-PostWorks New York.

Friday, Nov. 13 – Pitch Day 
Co-presented by A&E IndieFilms

  • Bagels & coffee
  • Morning Manifesto: DOC NYC Short List Filmmakers In Conversation – A special 90-minute conversation with many of the directors featured in the DOC NYC Short List section that highlights 15 of the year’s standout documentaries. The Short List will be announced in early October.
  • The Perfect Reel and Trailer – Experts discuss the different approaches to crafting the perfect documentary reel or trailer.
  • Pitch Training – Distributors and funders walk you through how to make your idea irresistible to industry executives in one powerful pitch.
  • The Pitch! – Watch filmmakers pitch to industry professionals to learn what clicks. Participants include John Hoffman (Discovery Channel) and Julie Anderson (WNET).
  • Happy Hour co-presented by A&E IndieFilms.

Saturday, Nov. 14 – Masterclasses

  • Cinematography – Documentary cinematographers share insights into achieving eye-catching imagery. Co-presented by SVA MFA Social Documentary Film.
  • Animation & Graphics – Filmmakers and graphic specialists share how animation can bring nonfiction stories to life in unexpected ways.
  • International Co-productions – Producers and executives including Nancy Abraham (HBO Documentary Films) discuss the ins and outs of international co-productions. Followed by a reception co-presented by Image Nation.

Sunday, Nov. 15 – Masterclasses

  • Editing – Acclaimed editors go through case studies to share their storytelling secrets.
  • Sound Design & Composing – Composers and sound designers take us through the magic that sound and music can bring to the nonfiction form.
  • The Art of the Podcast – Producers from this burgeoning field talk about the power of this non-visual storytelling form.

Monday, Nov. 16 – Insiders Conference: “Show Me the Money”

  • Bagels & coffee
  • Morning Manifesto – Abigail Disney shares her experiences as an executive producer backing acclaimed documentaries including Hot Girls Wanted, 1971 and Vessel, and as a producer on Pray the Devil Back to Hell. This year she made her directorial debut with The Armor of Light.
  • Anatomy of Funding – Filmmakers and experts walk us through the steps of getting projects financed. Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures.
  • Legal-ease – Leading filmmakers and attorneys from the law firm Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) guide you through the rules and regulations of copyrights, licensing and content protection when making your film. Co-presented by CDAS.
  • Lessons in Creative Funding – Kickstarter’s film team presents case studies with doc makers on how to leverage crowdfunding to finance your film and build an audience. Co-presented by Kickstarter.
  • Supporting the Documentary Producer – Ask an Expert – Dan Cogan and Jenny Raskin have backed a long list of celebrated documentaries through the equity funders at Impact Partners. This year they launched the Emerging Producers Fellowship to nurture the underappreciated role of documentary producing. This panel is an open forum to discuss anything about doc producing that you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. (Co-presented by Impact Partners in conjunction with the Impact Partners Emerging Producers Fellowship.)
  • Happy Hour

Tuesday, Nov. 17 – Insiders Conference: “Archival & Survival” 
Co-presented by Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) and the International Documentary Association (IDA)

  • Bagels & coffee
  • Morning Manifesto speaker to be announced.
  • Negotiating Rights – Filmmakers and archival specialists discuss how to negotiate the best contracts for licensing footage and music for your film.
  • Monetize Your Outtakes – Experienced archive licensors discuss the potential for putting your outtakes and archives to commercial use.
  • Preservation and Archives – International Documentary Association executive director Simon Kilmurry leads a conversation with members of the Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors and filmmakers on the role of preservation in the digital age.
  • Craft a Story with Archival – Leading filmmakers share insights about using archival material effectively and legally.
  • Happy Hour
  • Keynote conversation: Jon Alpert & Sheila Nevins present the world premiere of Alpert’s documentary short Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba’s LGBT Revolution, followed by a conversation and reception co-presented by HBO Documentary Films.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 – Insiders Conference: “Reaching Your Audience”

  • Bagels & coffee co-presented by SVA MFA Social Documentary Film.
  • Morning Manifesto – Newly appointed POV executive producer Justine Nagan shares insights as she steps into her new role at public television’s leading independent documentary series.
  • Case studies: Outreach Campaigns – Outreach specialists present case studies for how filmmakers connect to target audiences.
  • Outlet Shopping – Filmmakers discuss the new platforms and outlets for distributing long- and short-form content.
  • Do I Need a Sales Agent? – Filmmakers give frank insight into what to expect and what not to expect from a sales agent.
  • Social Issue and Outreach – Experts and filmmakers discuss making and measuring impact with social issue films.
  • Happy Hour co-presented by Docurama.

Thursday, Nov. 19 – Insiders Conference: “Breaking In, New Roadmaps” 
This day puts special emphasis on expanding the documentary space to more diverse voices. Co-presented by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and creative partner Chicken & Egg Pictures.

  • Bagels & coffee
  • Morning Manifesto speaker to be announced.
  • How Did I Get Here? – Filmmakers from varying backgrounds share the paths they followed from funding to distribution, from breaking in to making a career.
  • New Frontiers: New Media & New Programs – Filmmakers discuss working in emerging formats and new ways to jumpstart their careers.
  • Secrets from the Retreats – Directors and programmers discuss the power of labs, retreats and workshops to facilitate growth and development.
  • Impact Your Community – Filmmakers and impact leaders discuss ways to make meaningful change with documentary films and innovative ways to fund impact campaigns.
  • Happy Hour 

For media-specific inquiries, please contact: Susan Norget Film Promotion