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? What is the point of film festivals? What does a publicist do and how do you know if you need one? How can you work effectively with a sales agent? And how to run a successful theatrical campaign for documentaries, including how to structure release windows to maximize revenue. Another can’t-miss session!
Adam Kersh, formerly a publicist for Lionsgate and 42 West Public Relations, has devised campaigns for award-winning films such as Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop, Lynn Shelton’s Humpday and Sarah Polley’s Away From Her. Kersh also previously worked for Warner Bros. and the Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles. This veteran publicist heads up the traditional publicity division of Brigade Marketing, which includes films, filmmakers, festivals and talent representation.
Linzee Troubh is the Head of Sales at Cinetic Media, the preeminent independent film sales company in North America. Prior to joining Cinetic in 2010, Linzee worked in operations at the Tribeca Film Center. At Cinetic, Linzee is responsible for securing distribution for approximately 50 films every year, including favorites from Sundance, TIFF, SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival. Some recent projects include After Tiller, Compliance, A Band Called Death, Venus and Serena, Downloaded and Short Term 12. In addition to working in the theatrical space, Linzee specializes in broadcast and digital sales for Cinetic films. Linzee also works for Cinetic’s distribution arm, Producer’s Distribution Agency (PDA) and has helped with the release of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Senna, The Way, and most recently, Brooklyn Castle. Linzee grew up in New York City and graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in History.
Wendy Lidell is Founder and President of International Film Circuit, a boutique theatrical distributor of specialty films to art houses and commercial multiplexes nationwide since 1987. During its first decade, InFC earned a reputation for excellence, winning acclaim for its introduction into the US of previously unknown filmmakers such as Raul Ruiz, Alexander Sokurov, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Nanni Moretti. In 1998 she was invited to set up a theatrical division for then television and video distributor, Fox Lorber, which became Wellspring Media. Under her leadership, Wellspring’s theatrical division grew to release eight titles per year, including Russian Ark (which broke box office house records across the country), Under the Sand starring Charlotte Rampling, and On the Ropes (nominated for a documentary Academy Award). After leaving Wellspring in 2004 and returning to International Film Circuit, Lidell has released dozens of films, including Don’t Move,starring Penelope Cruz, Darwin’s Nightmare, which earned her a second documentary Academy Award nomination, and Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg which grossed over $1 million. Other notable recent successes include The Waiting Room, In A Dream, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, and Emmy Award winners My Perestroika, Where Soldiers Come From, and Enemies of the People.
Penny Lane has been making award-winning documentaries and essay films since 2002. Our Nixon is her first feature-length documentary, which world premiered at Rotterdam, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. She is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Her films have screened at Rotterdam, AFI FEST, Hot Docs, Full Frame, Rooftop Films, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and many other venues. She has been awarded grants from Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. She has taught video and new media arts at Hampshire, Williams and Bard Colleges.
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 Architect, Inocente); 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