DOC NYC PRO and Immersive Classes

July 01, 2020

In March 2020, DOC NYC PRO responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by launching a series of online educational opportunities that explore the craft and business of documentary filmmaking and provide a space for the documentary community to gather while the world stays at home. Please find our full slate of past and upcoming offerings below.

To purchase an all-access pass to DOC NYC PRO’s entire line-up, register here; passes are $150 and include live access to upcoming PRO programs and access to our entire archive of event recordings and transcripts of past offerings. Tickets are non-refundable.

If you have questions about registration, please email For questions about accommodations and accessibility, please email

If you’d like to get multiple PRO All Access Passes for members of your organization, or gift a pass to a friend or colleague, please complete your purchase here.

Upcoming Events

PRO Day: Documentary & The Law

Wednesday, October 14 from 11 am-3 pm ET

Join DOC NYC PRO for a daylong online workshop on legal issues in documentary, featuring attorneys and filmmakers considering myriad ethical and legal questions as they guide their projects toward distribution. Organized into three sessions, each curated by a leading entertainment law practice, the event brings together legal experts Marc H. SimonDaniel Benge and Daniel Spencer from Fox Rothschild LLPNicole Page and Michelle Lamarado from Reavis Page Jump LLP, and Nancy Wolff and Novika Ishar from Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP. Featured filmmakers include Geeta Gandbhir (¨C16C¨C17C (¨C18C¨C19C); ¨C20C (¨C21C,¨C22C), ¨C23C (¨C24C, ¨C25C); Jana Edelbaum (Us Kids); and Brian Knappenberger (The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez).

Immersive: Podcasting for Doc Makers

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

DOC NYC PRO presents a 90-minute session exploring the interplay between podcasting and documentary film, including 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. Guests include Imani Mixon and Paige Wood (Just Cities Narrative Shift Project), Reva Goldberg (Amended, Mothers of Invention); Julie Lowrie Henderson (Bikram, The Sterling Affairs), and Stitcher’s Natalie Mooallem.  

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 Remotely

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 Beirne from 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) and Gwendolyn 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 of JustFilms, 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 leads a conversation about advancing social equity and inclusion in the documentary field. Guests include 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 Chattoo of 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 go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

PRO Day: The First-Time Filmmaker

Recorded live on Wednesday, August 5 

DOC NYC presents 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 features first-time filmmakers who have successfully finished and released feature docs plus filmmaker collectives that provide professional and peer networks to emerging. Guests 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.

PRO Day: Documentary Cinematography

This Day is Co-presented by Sony

Recorded live Wednesday, August 12 from 11 am-3 pm ET

DOC NYC PRO presents a day of exploration in 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. Guests include director/DP Rachel Lears (Knock Down the House, The Hand that Feeds); cinematographer Iris Ng (A Better Man, Stories We Tell); cinematographer Jerry Henry (Netflix’s forthcoming High on the Hog, The Rachel Divide, Exit Through the Gift Shop); DP Shana Hagan (The Kingmaker; 63 Up; Generation Wealth); DP Bryan Chang (Brasslands, Island Soldier, Into the Streets), and director Mo Scarpelli (El Father Plays Himself, Anbessa). Moderated by DOC NYC Features Programmer Jessie Fairbanks.

Immersive: Spotlight on Documentary Series

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

DOC NYC PRO presents a 90-minute session on the burgeoning field of documentary series. Our guests include Jyoti Sarda, producer of POV’s first miniseries And She Could Be Next; Michele Josue (Matt Shepard Was a Friend of Mine), director of Netflix’s five-episode docuseries Happy Jail; Rudy Valdez (The Sentence), director of the a soon-to-be-released Netflix youth football series; Tyler Measom (I Want My MTV, An Honest Liar, Sons of Perdition) of a forthcoming Netflix true-crime series, and Nanette Burstein, director of Hulu’s Hillary miniseries.

PRO Day: Documentary Editing

Recorded live Wednesday, September 2 from 11 am-3 pm ET

DOC NYC PRO presents a day dedicated to documentary editing and post-production, including sessions on storytelling and narrative; developing the director-editor relationship, especially while working remotely; and sound and music editing. Guests include Sabrina Schmidt Gordon (BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez), Jaime Meyers Schlenck (9to5: The Story of a Movement), Tyler Walk (Welcome to Chechnya), Miranda Yousef (The New Bauhaus), Glenfield Payne (Sweetbitter), Annette Kudrak (Boardwalk Empire) and Nicole London (Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool).

Immersive: Journalism and Documentary

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

DOC NYC PRO presents a 90-minute panel highlighting projects that live at the intersection of documentary film and journalism. Guests include director Ursula Liang, discussing her 2020 film Down a Dark Stairwell; New York Times journalists Catrin Einhorn and Leslye Davis, who share their decade-long reporting journey for their new Netflix feature Father, Soldier, Son; Editorial Director for Film & Television at The New York Times, Kathleen Lingo; Steve Byrne, Executive Director of Detroit Free Press’s Freep Film Festival in Detroit; Erin Brethauer, co-director of the San Francisco Chronicle’s feature doc Last Men Standing; and Charlie Phillips, Head of Video at The Guardian. Moderated by Columbia Graduate School of Journalism Professor Nina Alvarez.

PRO Day: New Realities in Distribution & Audience Engagement

This Day is co-presented by Participant

Wednesday, September 23 from 11 am-3 pm ET

DOC NYC PRO presents a day of education on current trends in documentary distribution and audience engagement, including sessions on theatrical and digital distribution for the pandemic context and beyond; new realities for audience engagement; and a case study on the hit Canadian doc Once Were Brothers. Guests include: Dori Begley, EVP of Magnolia Pictures; NEON’s EVP of Nonfiction Dan O’Meara; Chris Lane, the Director of Sales and Distribution at Participant; Variance Films’s founder and president Dylan Marchetti; Fork Films COO Jess Kwan; Columbia School of the Arts‘s Alece Oxendine; Orly Ravid, founder of The Film Collaborative; Nick Savva, Director of Content Distribution at Giant Interactive; Robin Smith, CEO of Canada’s Blue Ice Docs; Participant’s SVP of Social Impact Melinda Arons; Frontline’s Impact Producer Erika Howard; POV’s Director of Community Engagement Asad Muhammad; Shontina Vernon, Creative Director of the Visionary Justice StoryLab, director Daniel Roher; Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles; Neal Block, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Magnolia Pictures; Justin Wilkes, President of Imagine Documentaries; and Peter Raymont, president of White Pine Pictures.

PRO Day: Documentary Producing

Wednesday, September 30 from 11 am-3 pm ET

DOC NYC PRO presents a day dedicated to the art of documentary producing. Sessions will feature development, budgeting and fundraising tactics and strategies, along with case studies from veteran producers. Guests include: Razan Ghalayini (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee); Alice Henty (Welcome to Chechnya); Diane Quon (Minding the Gap); Jameka Autry (Through the NightErnie & Joe); David Felix Sutcliffe (Black Mothers(T)error), DPA members Susan Margolin and Beth Levison;attorney and investor Brenda Robinson,Impact Partners Executive Director, Jenny Raskin; Executive Vice President of Imagine Documentaries, Sara BernsteinSuhad Babaa, Executive Director of the nonprofit Just Vision; Jannat Gargi, VP, Head of Documentaries at VICE Studios; and Multitude Films producer Jessica Devaney (Pray AwayAlways in Season).

Immersive: The Art of Archival

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

This Day is Co-presented by Shutterstock Editorial

DOC NYC PRO presents a 90-minute panel exploring the use of archival footage in documentary filmmaking. The panel discussion will include Shola Lynch, independent filmmaker and curator of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Lia Jusino, director of archival research at VICE Media; Candice Murray, Vice President of Editorial at Shutterstock; filmmaker and artist Mariam Ghani (What We Left Unfinished), and editor Carla Gutierrez (RBG, Pray Away).