Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Apr 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Financing Your Documentary

With Jenny Raskin, Stephanie Bleyer and Judith Helfand

This session will address the eternal question: how to finance your doc? What are the pros and cons of different fundraising models (grants, equity investment, pre-sales, crowdsourcing)? Budgeting, how to find and successfully apply for grants, tips and tools for crowdfunding and other approaches to getting funded will be discussed in this can’t-miss session.

Featured Presenters:

jennyraskinJenny Raskin is Head of Development at Impact Partners, a social issue documentary film fund.  Recent Impact Partners films include: The Crash Reel, American Promise, How to Survive a Plague, Detropia, Queen of Versailles and Hell and Back Again.  Jenny is also a filmmaker, whose documentaries have played theatrically and been broadcast on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery and The Sundance Channel.  She has a BA from Barnard College and an MA in Culture and Media from New York University.

bleyer pic 3Stephanie Bleyer, founder of Six Foot Chipmunk, helps artists create strategic plans, raise funds, reach and mobilize new audiences. Her career in activism has taken many forms and started early. As a teenage journalist Stephanie received the National Ernest Hemingway Writing Award for uncovering her city’s bogus recycling program. Since then, she has studied organic farming in Italy, bicycled across Cuba on a grant to study sustainable energy, and created a documentary for Oxygen about her social action bicycle trip from Seattle to Washington D.C. She has produced a 30-city bus tour for the Eat Well Guide and the closeding of Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger. She has managed displacement camps in Sri Lanka and worked with street boys in Nairobi. Since 2007, Stephanie has developed engagement campaigns for 20+ documentaries; current clients include American Promise, God Loves Uganda and Escape Fire.  Stephanie consults for the Creative Capital Foundation and earned an MPA from NYU Wagner.


Judith HelfandJudith Helfand co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005 with Julie Parker Benello and Wendy Ettinger. Chicken & Egg is a non-profit film fund dedicated to supporting women non-fiction filmmakers. Chicken & Egg has provided support for over 140 films including the highly acclaimed: Kings Point, Invisible War, Saving Face, Call Me Kuchu, Freeheld, Lioness, The Oath and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and After Tiller. Judith is also a filmmaker whose films have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, with national broadcasts on PBS (POV), HBO and Sundance Channel. In addition to The Uprising of ’34 (co-directed with George Stoney), her films include the Sundance Award winning Blue Vinyl (co-directed with Daniel B. Gold) and its Peabody Award-winning prequel A Healthy Baby Girl, as well as Everything’s Cool, also co-directed with Gold. In 2007 she was awarded a Rockefeller Media Fellowship and a United States Artist Fellowship. Most recently she received a MacArthur production grant for COOKED, her current film-in-progress about the politics of disaster.

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 filmmaker and educator Penny Lane (Our Nixon), 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.  Guests include Oscar-winning filmmakers and producers (Yael Melamede, My ArchitectInocente); Emmy-winning editors and sound designers (Andy Grieve, Standard Operating Procedure, The Carter; Tom Paul, Under African Skies,The Fog of War); and representatives from top funders, film sales companies, distributors and more.

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.


4/21 | Planning Your Documentary

4/28 | Financing Your Documentary

5/5 | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary

5/12 | Editing Your Documentary

5/19 | Your Transmedia Campaign

6/2 | Releasing Your Documentary


Apr 28, 2013
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Support UnionDocs’ next phase and new building by becoming a member

Peek in the window of our bustling building in NYC and tune into the ideas and energy bubbling up from the UNDO Center.

Tune into cutting-edge, powerful and poetic documentary programs and connect to conversations with the artists and thinkers passing through.

Now available at the Apple Store.



Unlimited access to all of our monthly offerings for the price of two espressos.



Keep it simple and save. Unlimited access to our sweet offerings for a reduced, annual fee and receive some added benefits.



In the neighborhood, a working artist, student or senior? This membership is for you. Fill out a quick form for a discount code to an annual membership.



Get all of the benefits of the Annual UNDO Membership plus an annual subscription to UnionDocs Editions, a set of publications, merchandise or special objects.

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

UnionDocs is hiring. 

Join the UnionDocs team.

Pod Pod 2023 Group 02

Pod Pod is now accepting applications.
Apply today!

Calling all AUDIO MAKERS looking for a bit of motivation, peer support, collective production and a dose of inspiration for your personal project —  join us for 3 months this Fall!