ABOUT DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS FINANCING:
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 at this can’t-miss session.
Elise McCave is BRITDOC’s Deputy Director, working out of the New York office. BRITDOC is a non-profit founded in 2005, committed to enabling great documentary films and connecting them to audiences globally. Since 2006, BRITDOC has made grants to more than 250 films including CITIZENFOUR, Virunga, Dirty Wars, 3.5 Minutes, Ten Bullets, Notes on Blindness, Hooligan Sparrow, The Look of Silence, The Yes Men are Revolting, Who is Dayani Cristal, and (T)ERROR. Though working across all BRITDOC’s major areas of activity, Elise’s work focuses on Good Pitch, the pitching forum that connects the best social justice documentary filmmakers with new allies and partners from across civil society. She also has oversight on the Doc Impact Award, is currently enjoying discussing all BRITDOC’s work in presentations, workshops and labs and plays a key role when it comes to marketing, communications and design – collaborating with BRITDOC’s web and design teams to produce beautiful, functional tools and content, online and in print. She’s never happier than when assembling a playlist for the documentary community to work, rest and play to.
Tamir Muhammad is the Director of Content & Artist Development at Time Warner, Inc., responsible for a new digital initiative that creates meaningful ways for today’s content creators to further engage Time Warner’s divisions (Warner Bros. , HBO and Turner Broadcasting) with the company’s longstanding focus on the development of the next generation of storytellers. Prior to joining Time Warner Inc., Tamir was the VP, Content Development for Tribeca Enterprise’s Digital Studios overseeing the development of content ideas for production and distribution. Tamir also served as the VP, Film, TV, and Online Programming for several years at the Tribeca Film Institute, where he oversaw funding and development of projects by established and emerging filmmakers. Over the years, Tamir has also gained significant production credits and he has served in an advisory capacity to several companies and organizations.
José Rodríguez is the Director of Documentary Programs at TFI where he oversees the growth and funding for all of the documentary funds, and has led the TFI Latin America Fund’s Filmmaker Workshop series. A native of Puerto Rico, he grew up with a passion for movies that led him to Syracuse University, where he wrote a feature script and directed two shorts. After interning as an assistant to producer Amy Hobby, he settled in New York City and became a script/book reader for Overture Films while also working on commercials, short films and features (including Tze Chun’s Children of Invention and the documentary Poor Consuelo Conquers the World).
ABOUT DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS:
A nuts-and-bolts professional development series designed for the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker, Documentary Fundamentals @ UnionDocs is a six-part program taking place over the course of one weekend. 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 (T)ERROR’s co-director David Felix Sutcliffe and producer Christopher St. John, 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 expert guest speakers sharing tips and secrets of the trade, with an emphasis on real-life case studies and best practices. For 2016, the series will use the feature documentary (T)ERROR as a case study. (T)ERROR was co-directed by Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral, and produced by Christopher St. John. It premiered in competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it received the Special Jury Award for Break Out First Feature. The film also screened at Full Frame (Grand Jury Prize), True/False, Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs, Human Rights Watch and CPH:DOX, among others. It received grants from the most prestigious granting institutions such as ITVS, Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg, Tribeca Film Institute, Firelight Media, NYSCA, Pare Lorentz/IDA and Bertha BritDoc, and participated in pitch forums and film labs such as IDFA Pitch Forum, Tribeca All Access (won Creative Promise Award), IFP, and the Sundance editing and producing labs.
Documentary Fundamentals is designed for filmmakers with projects at 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 have special opportunities to promote their projects within the UnionDocs network.
Full guest speaker list to be announced. Specific guests and topics are subject to change.
DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS FULL SCHEDULE:
FRI 6/24 – 7:30PM | Planning Your Documentary – with attorney Fernando Ramírez (Law Office of Fernando Ramírez), Yoruba Richen (The New Black) and Christopher St. John (T)ERROR)
SAT 6/25 – 11:00AM | Financing Your Documentary – with José Rodríguez (Director of Documentary Programs, Tribeca Film Institute), Elise McCave (Deputy Director of BRITDOC), Tamir Muhammad (Director of Content & Artist Development, Time Warner)
SAT 6/25 – 2:30PM | Directing and Shooting Your Documentary – Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Thank You for Playing, Call Me Kuchu) and David Felix Sutcliffe (T)ERROR)
SAT 6/25 – 5:00PM | Editing Your Documentary – with editor Mona Davis (The Farm: Angola USA) Nyneve Laura Minnear ((T)ERROR, Girl With Black Balloons), and colorist Eric Alvarado ((T)ERROR, Mala, Mala)
SUN 6/26 – 1:00PM |Post: Graphics, Music, Archive – with composer Robert Miller ((T)ERROR, Particle Fever) and Rosemary Rotondi (Citizenfour, Our Nixon), Penny Lane (NUTS!, Our Nixon)
SUN 6/26 – 4:00PM | Releasing Your Documentary – David Reilly (Programmer BAMcinématek) and Merrill Sterritt (Head of Audience Strategies Cinereach) and Dan Berger (President of Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Purchase a full series pass at: http://www.uniondocs.org/documentary-fundamentals-2016/
About the Hosts:
David Felix Sutcliffe is a Sundance award winning documentary filmmaker. In 2013, he was included in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” His first film, ADAMA (PBS, 2011), is an hour-long documentary that explores the story of a 16-year-old Muslim girl growing up in Harlem who was arrested by the FBI on suspicion of being a “potential suicide bomber.” (T)ERROR, co-directed with acclaimed photojournalist Lyric R. Cabral, is his feature-length documentary debut, and marks the first time that filmmakers have had access to an active FBI informant in a domestic counterterrorism investigation. (T)ERROR premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. Along with (T)ERROR co-director Cabral, Sutcliffe was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award. In 2014, he was selected as a fellow for the Sundance Institute’s Edit and Story Lab, as well as their Creative Producing Lab. His work as a filmmaker has been funded by the BBC, the NEA, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, and the Independent Television Service.
Lyric R. Cabral is a New York-based filmmaker and photojournalist who documents stories seldom seen in mainstream media. In support of her verité work, Cabral has received artist grants from BBC Storyville, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, the Independent Television Service, NYSCA, the International Documentary Association, and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Cabral recently completed (T)ERROR, her first feature length documentary, co-directed with David Felix Sutcliffe, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize for Break Out First Feature. Cabral, along with co-director Sutcliffe, was honored by the International Documentary Association with the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award. (T)ERROR was also a recipient of the 2013 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, awarded by the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. In 2013, Cabral was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” Her photography has been recently published through Aperture Foundation, National Geographic Channel UK, the Nation, and the Village Voice, and is currently on exhibition with “Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument.”
Christopher St. John (The House I Live In, Reagan, Freakonomics) is a producer and journalist with broad experience in print, broadcast and documentary film. He began his career in production at ABC News, working for Good Morning America before moving to the News Magazine division, where he contributed extensively to 20/20 and Primetime. Prior to producing (T)ERROR, he produced THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (BBC/ITVS, 2012), which won the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and received wide theatrical release in the fall of 2012. Christopher also co-produced FREAKONOMICS (Magnolia, 2010) and the Emmy Award winning REAGAN (HBO, 2011). Prior to entering production, he served as a regional correspondent in Southeast Asia for a number of US and international publications.
Registration & Cancellation To register for a workshop, participants must pay in full via PayPal. In the event a participant 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. Participants 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, participants 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.