ABOUT DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS HOW TO RELEASE YOUR DOCUMENTARY:
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 Werner is a Senior Executive at Cinetic Media and Programmer-at-Large at BAMcinemtek. He previously held the title of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for IFC Entertainment for almost eight years. An industry veteran, Werner has also held positions at Wellspring Media, Palm Pictures, and Magnolia Pictures.
Since 2007, Ed Arentz, has been co-founder and managing director of Music Box Films, one of the US’s leading art house distributors. In a 25 year career in specialty distribution has acquired and released over 100 foreign language and documentary features. Prominent past releases include the original Swedish version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO; the Emmy award winning French TV series “Les Revenants” (The Returned); and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner IDA. Also programmed one of Manhattan’s oldest art cinemas, Cinema Village, from 1993 to 2014.
ABOUT DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS:
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 Chai Vasarhelyi of Little Monster Films, 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. For 2015, the series will use the feature documentary Meru as a case study. Meru was co-directed by Vasarhelyi and premiered this year in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. 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.
DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS FULL SCHEDULE:
FRI 6/26 – 7:00PM | Planning Your Documentary –
SAT 6/27 – 1:00PM | Financing Your Documentary –
SAT 6/27 – 4:00PM | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary –
SAT 6/27 – 7:00PM | Editing Your Documentary –
SUN 6/28 – 1:00PM | Graphics, Music, and Your Transmedia Campaign –
SUN 6/28 – 4:00PM | Releasing Your Documentary –
Chai Vasarhelyi is an award-winning director and producer. Her first film, A Normal Life, won Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2003. Her second film, Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, was released in theaters in the U.S. and internationally. The film premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Middle East International Film Festival in 2008 and a nomination for the Pare Lorentz Award at the 2009 International Documentary Association Awards. Touba, a visceral documentary experience that takes the viewer through each step of the annual Mouride pilgrimage, the Grand Magaal in Touba, Senegal, premiered at SXSW 2013 where it won the Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography. She returned to Senegal in 2012 to document the heated Presidential elections. Incorruptible (formerly An African Spring), the intense and unflinching story of Senegalese democracy is currently in post-production. She is also currently working on two American stories: The Home Front (formerly Little Troopers), a film about the impact of American soldiers’ deployments on their families left behind; and Father School, a glimpse into the Korean American movement towards becoming more in-touch fathers and husbands. Vasarhelyi has received grants from several foundations including the Sundance Documentary Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, BRITDOC, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the William and Mary Greve Foundation. She was selected as a 2013 Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2005 and received an Achievement Award from Creative Visions foundation in 2008. She has been featured in numerous publications including, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and New York Magazine. Chai has a B.A. from Princeton University in Comparative Literature.
Registration & Cancellation To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via PayPal. In the event a student must withdraw from a class, he or she may do so any time before the start of the workshop, and will receive a 75% refund of class costs. After this deadline, course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals or deadlines will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org.
In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.