How can you find and build audiences for your film? How do you know if your film is best suited for theatrical, broadcast, or both? How do digital platforms affect “traditional” models of distribution and release? How can you best utilize your film festival campaign? What does a sales agent do and how do I get one? Another can’t-miss session!
Ryan Kampe is the founder and president of Visit Films. Prior to founding Visit, Ryan spent a number of years in International Distribution at Focus Features. With Visit Films, he has been responsible for the worldwide sales and development of a number of important American independent and international films that have premiered in festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, and Toronto from filmmakers as diverse as Harmonie Korine, Werner Herzog, the Duplass Brothers, Valérie Donzelli, Joe Swanberg and David Robert Mitchell. Ryan speaks on numerous panels each year and has served on a number of film festival juries while logging over 200,000 air miles flown annually. He is as an avid soccer enthusiast and graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
Dan Nuxoll is the Program Director of Rooftop Films and has been working with the organization since 1998. He has curated events all across North America and Europe and has managed partnerships with the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, BAM Cinematek, MoMA, and dozens of acclaimed cultural institutions. He is currently co-directing a documentary about a mysterious woman who has been running scandal-plagued film festivals for decades.
Graham Swindoll is a film distributor and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. He works in the theatrical department at The Cinema Guild, where he has handled the national theatrical releases of such films as Steve James’ The Interrupters, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s Leviathan, and Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours. His work as a trailer editor has been seen in theaters across the country and featured in the New York Times. He is currently in development on his first feature film as producer.
SIERRA PETTENGILL is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. Town Hall, her directorial debut, will broadcast on PBS’ America ReFramed on April 1, 2014. She is the producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer, and the archival producer of Matt Wolf’s Teenage (Tribeca ‘13) and Ross Kauffman & Katy Chevigny’s E-Team (Sundance ’14). For PBS, she was the associate producer of the Emmy-nominated Walt Whitman, as well as the Peabody Award-winning Triangle Fire. She was also the associate producer of HBO’s Wartorn: 1861 – 2010, produced by James Gandolfini, and Nick Bentgen’s Northern Light.
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
A reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit, this candid New York documentary explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife Noriko. As a rowdy, confrontational young artist in Tokyo, Ushio seemed destined for fame, but he is met with little commercial success after he moves to New York City in 1969, seeking international recognition. When 19-year-old Noriko moved to New York to study art, she fell in love with Ushio—abandoning her education to become the unruly artist’s wife and assistant. Over the course of their marriage, their roles shifted. Now 80, Ushio still struggles to establish his artistic legacy, while Noriko is at last being recognized for her own art—a series of drawings entitled “Cutie,” depicting her challenging past with Ushio. Spanning four decades, the film is a moving portrait of a couple wrestling with the eternal themes of sacrifice, disappointment and aging, against a background of lives dedicated to art.
A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the beginning or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals @ UnionDocs is six-week course culminating in a certificate of completion. Registrants can also attend individual sessions. This curriculum developed out of our experience hearing what fundamentals documentarians need to understand to plan, produce, and release an independent documentary today.
Hosted by the Cutie and the Boxer (2013) team, Documentary Fundamentals is essential learning for the documentary filmmaker, covering business basics, fundraising and financing, production and post-production strategies, transmedia campaigns, sales and distribution models. Each session features guest speakers sharing tips and secrets of the trade, with an emphasis on real-life case studies and best practices. Full guest speaker list to be announced.
Documentary Fundamentals is designed for beginning or intermediate filmmakers with projects in any stage of development or production (even the daydreaming stage!). Sessions combine formal presentations with extensive time for in-depth discussions with participants.
Registrants completing all six sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion, and will have special opportunities to promote their projects within the UnionDocs network. Specific guests and topics are subject to change. Doors will closed at 7:15 and we will being each session promptly at 7:30pm.
4/27 | Planning Your Documentary – featuring producer Tom Davis (SeeThink) and attorney Karen Shatzkin, hosted by Producer Sierra Pettengill.
5/4 | Financing Your Documentary – featuring José Rodriguez (Tribeca Film Institute), John T. Trigonis (Indiegogo) and CPA Fred Siegel, hosted by Producer Sierra Pettengill.
5/16 | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary – featuring Oscar-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman, hosted by Director Zachary Heinzerling.
NOTE: This session will be hosted by AbelCine in Manhattan (609 Greenwhich Street)
5/18 | Editing Your Documentary – featuring editor David Teague (The Brooklyn Vitagraph Company), hosted by Director Zachary Heinzerling.
6/1 | Graphics, Music, and Your Transmedia Campaign – featuring graphic designer Teddy Blanks (CHIPS) and musician T. Griffin, hosted by Director Zachary Heinzerling
NOTE: At 5pm before this session Macktez will present a special free planning bootcamp workshop as a supplement to the series, featuring Noah Landow and Reed Payne.
6/8 | Releasing Your Documentary – featuring programmer Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop Films), hosted by Producer Sierra Pettengill.