November 03, 2015

Along with DOC NYC’s documentary selection comes DOC NYC PRO, an exciting line-up of panels and masterclasses aimed at professionals and filmmakers who want to deepen their craft. 

DOC NYC PRO panels take place at the IFC Center and Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas.

Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas will host the DOC NYC PRO lounge (11/13-11/20, 10am – 5pm) for filmmakers and industry to network. The lounge will have Bagel Breakfasts between 9:15 – 10am and Happy Hours between 5 – 6pm on 11/13 and 11/16-11/20. Access to these events is available to All Access and DOC NYC PRO passholders. Insiders Conference and Day Passholders can attend only on the day of their events.  

To purchase passes and individual tickets, go here.



Thursday, November 12 is DOC NYC PRO’s First Time Filmmaker Day. Taking place at the IFC Center, this day brings film industry experts to teach film newcomers how to get started with making their first film and how to avoid the pitfalls along the way.

Start your day with our Morning Manifesto, when Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (The Hunting GroundThe Invisible War) shares his experience and offers advice to first time filmmakers.

Continue your day with filmmakers Ursula Liang (9-Man), David Thorpe (Do I Sound Gay?) and Merete Mueller (Tiny) as they discuss the lessons they learn when telling a nonfiction story in the What’s Your Story? panel.

Learn Funding Fundamentals for financing your film with producers of Speed SistersJessica Devaney and Avi Goldstein, as they provide a road map to funding your documentary and answer questions about budgeting, grant writing and crowdfunding.

In our Post-Production Secrets panel, Technicolor-Postworks NY‘s post-production experts Ben Murray (VP, Creative Services) and Joe Beirne (CTO) joined by filmmakers Laura Israel and Melinda Shopsin (Don’t Blink – Robert Frank) discuss the best plan for your timeline and your budget. Co-presented by Technicolor-Postworks NY.

Finally, listen to Sundance cinematography award winners Ross Kauffman (E-Team), and Matt Heineman (Cartel Land) and Sony’s Juan Martinez for precious advice on how to get the right gear for your first documentary shoot in our  Get Your Gear panel. Co-presented by Sony.  

This day’s event is open to All AccessDOC NYC PRO and First Time Filmmaker Day passholders. 


Friday, November 13 is DOC NYC PRO’s Pitch DayCo-presented by A&E IndieFilms, this day is dedicated to the art of pitching.

Head to the PRO Lounge to start your day with bagels and coffee and listen to a special 90-minute conversation with most of the directors featured in the DOC NYC Short List (for a full list of Short List filmmakers expected to attend, go here) during our Morning Manifesto.In The Perfect Reel & Trailer panel, learn from trailer experts Jeremy Workman (Wheelhouse Creative) and Mark Berridge (Zealot Inc.) as they’re joined by filmmakers Rachel Boynton (Big MenOur Brand is Crisis), Katie Delamaggiore (Brooklyn Castle) and writer Fernanda Rossi (author of Trailer Mechanics) to discuss different approaches to creating the best trailer for your film.

In our Pitch Training panel, Sandi Dubowski (Good Pitch), Judith Helfand (Chicken & Egg Pictures) and Reva Goldberg (Cinereach) teach you how to create a powerful pitch that will make your idea irresistible to industry executives.

Filmmakers will have the opportunity to pitch their project live in The Pitch! panel, in front of Molly Thompson(A&E IndieFilms), John Hoffman (Discovery Channel), Julie Anderson (WNET), and Daniel Chalfen (Naked Edge Films) who will provide feedback.

End your day, relax and mingle at our Happy Hour co-presented by A&E IndieFilms. 

Taking place at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, this day’s events are open to All AccessDOC NYC PRO and Pitch Day passholders. Your pass also includes an onsite Bagel and Coffee Breakfast, Happy Hour and entrance to the PRO Lounge.


On Saturday, November 14, Image Nation Abu Dhabi‘s Danielle Perissi (He Named Me Malala), producer Julie Goldman (Best of Enemies), and HBO Documentary Films’ Nancy Abraham discuss the challenges faced by filmmakers as they try to balance the needs of different international funders in our International Co-Production masterclass. Co-presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the masterclass is followed by a reception from 4:00 to 6:00pm.

There are five additional masterclasses on the week-end of November 14-15.

In the Cinematography masterclass on Saturday, November 14, Axel Baumann (Mission Blue), Mira Chang (Jesus Camp), Tom Hurwitz (The Queen of Versailles) and Juan Martinez (Sony) share insights into achieving eye-catching imagery. Co-presented by SVA MFA Social Documentary Film and moderated by Department Chair Maro Chermayeff (Show of Force).

In the Animation and Graphics masterclass, animators Allison and Anthony Brownmoore (The Sunshine Makers), Molly Schwartz (Watchers of the Sky) and Qa’ed Mai (Tested) provide examples of how animation, graphics and visual effects help illustrate arguments and can be vital elements of the narrative.

On Sunday, November 15, documentary editors Karen K.H Sim (Watchers of the Sky, Back on Board: Greg Louganis) and Fiona Otway (Hell and Back Again, Iraq in Fragments) review favorite scenes from their own work and share secrets about how to best bring your story to life in the Editing masterclass. Co-presented by the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

The Sound Design & Composing panel with Todd Griffin (The Overnighters), Bernardo Ruiz (Kingdom of Shadows) along with Saunder Jurriaans & Danny Bensi (The Wolfpack) explain how to successfully utilize sound design in film. They will present case studies of innovative collaborations to show how music and sound have become essential elements for the documentary filmmaker.

The Art of the Podcast panel ends this week-end of masterclasses with experts from this growing platform of nonfiction storytelling. Emily Botein (WNYC), Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media), and Eric Nuzum (Audible) talk about the power and expanding reach of this medium. This panel is moderated by Anna Sale (Death, Sex, and Money).  Co-presented by Audible.

Held at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, DOC NYC PRO masterclasses are open to All Access and DOC NYC passholders. Individual masterclass tickets may be purchased here. 



Show Me the Money is the first part of our four-day Insiders Conference event (Nov. 16-19). Taking place at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas on November 16, Show Me the Money provides filmmakers with tips on how to adjust to the changing landscape of documentary funding.

Abigail Disney (executive producer of Hot Girl Wanted1971, Vessel and more), delivers the Morning Manifesto, sharing her experiences producing Pray the Devil Back to Hell and directing her first feature The Armor of Light.

Anatomy of Funding brings together producer Patricia Benabe (The Hand that Feeds) and filmmaker Dawn Porter (Gideon’s Army) as they share their journey on how their projects made it to the finish line. Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures.

In Legal-Ease, experts from Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, walk you through the rules of copyrights, licensing and content protection. Co-presented by Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard.

In the panel Lessons in Creative Funding, experts from Kickstarter offer insights about  crowdfunding and are joined by From This Day Forward‘s director Sharon Shattuck and The Legend of Swee’ Pea‘s Benjamin May.  Co-presented by Kickstarter.

Finally, ask Impact Partners’ Dan Cogan and Jenny Raskin about how to best produce your documentary in Supporting the Documentary Producer: Ask the ExpertCo-presented by Impact Partners in conjuction with the Impact Partners Emerging Documentary Fellowship. 

End your day, relax and mingle at our Happy Hour co-presented by Kickstarter. 

This day’s event is open to All Access, and DOC NYC PROInsiders Conference Pass, and Show Me the Money Day Pass passholders. Your pass also includes an onsite Bagel Breakfast 9:15-10, Happy Hour 5-6, and entry to the PRO lounge 9:15-6.



How do you preserve and continue to use archival material in the wake of the digital revolution? On November 17, the Archival & Survival series of panels (day 2 of the Insiders Conference), tries to answer this question. Co-presented by Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) and the International Documentary Association (IDA).

Start your day with bagels and coffee in the Pro Lounge and head over to the Morning Manifesto to hear filmmaker and Schomburg Center’s motion pictures curator, Shola Lynch (Free Angela and All Political PrisonersChisholm 72′: Unbought and Unbossed) discuss the importance of archival footage.

Ken Jacobson (IDA) moderates the next panel Negotiating Rights where filmmakers and archival specialists David Peck (Reelin in the Years Productions), Clara Fon-Sing (NBCUniversal Archives), Alison Smith (WGBH), Laurens Grant (The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution) and Marilyn Ness (1971E-Team) discuss how to negotiate the best contracts for your film.

DOC NYC artistic director Thom Powers moderates the next panel Monetize your Outtakes. Experienced archive licensors Jessica Bernman-Bogdan (Global ImageWorks), Domenick Propati (, Mick Reed (Clippn) and Jill Drew (Drew Associates) discuss how to put your outtakes and archives to commercial use.

In Preservation and Archives, filmmaker Catherine Murphy (Maestra), Matt White (Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors) and Nicole Martin (media archivist, NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program) discuss the role of preservation in the digital age in a conversation led by IDA executive director Simon Kilmurry.

In Crafting a Story with Archival, leading experts Nan Halperin (ITN Source), Rosemary Rotondi (Missing People, Citizenfour), Sam Cullman (Art & Craft), and Penny Lane (Our Nixon) share insights about using archival material effectively and legally. Moderator: Karen Shatzkin (Shatzkin & Mayer).

End your day, relax and mingle at our Happy Hour co-presented by ACSIL and IDA. 

Attend this day’s events with an All Access PassDOC NYC PRO pass, an Insiders Conference Pass, or Archival & Survival Day Pass. Your pass also includes an onsite Bagel Breakfast 9:15-10, Happy Hour 5-6, and entry to the PRO lounge 9:15-6.



On Wednesday, November 18 (day 3 of our Insiders Conference), the Reaching your Audience panels explore distribution, outreach and new technologies.

Start your day with a coffee and bagel breakfast, co-presented by SVA MFA Social Documentary FilmSVA Alumni will take part in a casual Q&A with attendees.

The Morning Manifesto features newly appointed POV executive producer Justine Nagan who discusses her new position with public television’s leading independent documentary series and reflects on her past role at Chicago-based Kartemquin overseeing award-winning projects The InterruptersLife ItselfOn Beauty and many others.

In A Case Study: Reaching your Audience, producer Daniel Chalfen, director Gabriel London (The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest) and Director/Producer Kelly Nyks (Requiem for the American Dream, Disruption & Split: A Deeper Divide) present case studies for the best ways filmmakers can maximize their audience.

Given the growing number of production and distribution outlets, what is the best option for your project? In Outlet Shopping, Jaron Gilinsky (Storyhunter), AJ Schnack (Field of Vision) and Sam Morrill (Vimeo) and James Czarnecki (VICE) discuss the pros and cons of the many different outlets, and advise on how to pick the best one for optimal distribution and income.

In Do I Need a Sales Agent?, filmmakers Karim Amer (The Square), Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Call Me Kuchu) and Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times) candidly weigh-in on whether one needs a sales agent for their film.

In Social Issue Distribution, experts including Christie Marchese (Picture Motion), Jennifer MacArthur (Borderline Media) and filmmaker Lacey Schwartz (Little White Lie) discuss the advantages and challenges of digital distribution for social issue documentaries.

End your day, relax and mingle at our Happy Hour co-presented by Docurama.

Attend this day’s events with an All Access PassDOC NYC PRO pass, an Insiders Conference Pass, or Reaching Your Audience Day Pass. Your pass also includes an onsite Bagel Breakfast 9:15-10, Happy Hour 5-6, and entry to the PRO lounge 9:15-6.



Thursday, November 19the last day of the Insiders Conference, features  Breaking In, New Road Maps. Experts from the documentary field try to answer the following question: where can diverse voices and emerging talent get access to funding, mentorship and career development? Co-presented by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and creative partner Chicken & Egg Pictures.

In our last Morning Manifesto, Michèle Stephenson (American Promise, Slaying Goliath) talks about the challenges and opportunities for helping new voices thrive in documentary film.

Luis Castro (Acting Commissioner, The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment) moderates How Did I Get Here? with filmmakers Farihah Zaman (Remote Area Medical), Hao Wu (The Road to Fame), Yoruba Richen (The New Black) and expert Taj Paxton (Logo/Viacom) as they share the paths they followed from breaking in to making a career.

Yvonne Welbon (Chicken & Egg Pictures) moderates New Frontiers: New Media & New Programs. In this panel, Adnaan Wasey (Executive Producer, POV Digital), Loira Limbal (Firelight Producer’s Lab) and others discuss the rapidly expanding world of new media and transmedia and how to work with these new formats.

Ela Troyano (Creative Capital) moderates Secrets from the Retreats. In this panel, directors and programmers including Alex Hannibal (Tribeca Film Institute), Thomas Allen Harris (Through a Lens Darkly), Maria Agui Carter (NALIP) and Stephanie Wang-Breal (Tough Love) discuss the power of labs, retreats and workshops to facilitate growth and development.

Elise MacCave (BRITDOC) moderates Impact your Community. Emmy-award winner Jason Da Silva (When I Walk), Carla Fleisher (Film Sprout) and Joe Brewster (American Promise) explore how to make meaningful change with documentary films and innovative ways to fund impact campaigns.

End your day, relax and mingle at our Happy Hour co-presented by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and creative partner Chicken & Egg Pictures. 

Attend this day’s events with an All Access PassDOC NYC PRO Pass, an Insiders Conference Pass, or Breaking In, New Road Maps Day Pass. Your pass also includes an onsite Bagel Breakfast 9:15-10, Happy Hour 5-6, and entry to the PRO lounge 9:15-6.