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Nov 12, 2017 at 10:00 am – 6:00 pm


A unique one-day intensive covering legal tips for short and feature documentary works with lead instructor David Morrison and guests Sarah Hack, Chris White, Lyric Cabral & Iva Radivojevic

Are you starting a new documentary project and looking to secure your legal footing? Are you in the middle of a project and needing tips for shooting or distribution from a legal professional? Are you unsure of where to go for these resources? Look no further! UnionDocs is offering a unique one-day intensive to introduce the legal foundations of documentary filmmaking. Guest attorneys with experience in entertainment law will guide you through the basic legal process of planning, shooting, and distributing your short or feature film. Guests will discuss the best practices for supporting documentary work and will direct you to legal resources to support your project goals. The day will also include a special guest filmmaker panel to share key legal tips that have worked for established documentary makers.

Participants can expect to leave the workshop with a basic understanding of the legal timeline of a typical documentary and common issues that arise during the course of production and distribution. Guests will expose participants to many of the contracts, licenses, and releases producers use in documentary work.


Open to everyone, though the workshop setting is best suited for filmmakers, film producers, journalists, curators and media artists.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience and a film project (it would be great if you have a project in progress that you would present to the group during the work-in-progress critique sessions), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).

$125 early bird registration by November 1st at 5PM.

$150 regular registration.

 Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until November 1st. After November 1st, the fee is non-refundable.

There are no technical requirements for this workshop, but participants should come prepared to engage in thoughtful legal discussions about short and feature-length documentary work.

To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash. Course fees are not refundable or transferable, and any withdrawals 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.

Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Sunday, November 12, 2017 ~ 10am - 6pm

A one-day intensive on legal basics for short and feature-length documentary film with lead instructor David Morrison and guests Sarah Hack, Chris White, Lyric Cabral, and Iva Radivojevic.


GETTING STARTED with David Morrison, entertainment attorney (Thompson Bukher LLP) and co-founder of The Indie Film Clinic.

This presentation will focus on the pre-production phase and will offer participants legal tips and strategies for the earliest stages of their documentary film.


PRODUCTION BASICS with David Morrison

This presentation will discuss key legal considerations during filming.


Lunch Break


FILM DISTRIBUTION with Sarah Hack, director of business and legal affairs at Magnolia Pictures and Chris White, Director of Business Affairs and Delivery for Magnolia Pictures

This presentation will explore the legal in’s and out’s of distributing short and feature-length documentaries on various platforms.


LEGAL TIPS PANEL with Lyric Cabral and Iva Radivojevic, moderated by David Morrison 

Join documentary filmmakers as they share some of the legal decisions they’ve made on their past film projects — discussing what works and what doesn’t and offering participants valuable insight into different legal approaches to documentary making.


LEGAL Q&A ROUNDTABLE with David Morrison 

Participants will have a brief opportunity to informally workshop questions with guests. Roundtable guests will not offer legal consultations but will answer basic legal questions and direct participants to additional legal resources.


David Morrison is an experienced entertainment attorney, focusing his practice on transactions in media, film, and television production. Prior to joining the firm, David was a faculty member at the Cardozo School of Law where he co-founded and directed The Indie Film Clinic, the first non-profit clinical program in New York dedicated to providing production and clearance representation to scripted and documentary film productions. David has represented numerous clients as production counsel on rights acquisitions, financing, production contracts, and clearance issues (including fair use and First Amendment matters) as well as co-production, sales, and distribution agreements.

David’s recent representative film clients include:
2017 Sundance documentary Whose Streets?
Film Independent Spirit Award nominee Anja Marquardt (2015 nominee for Best First Screenplay and Best First Feature for She’s Lost Control).
Ingrid Jungermann (2017 nominee for the Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award for Women Who Kill).
SXSW Audience Award nominee, La Camioneta.

David has also represented production work on the following films: After Spring, Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death By Audio, GORED, Mad Tiger, Memories of a Penitent Heart,Evaporating Borders, and Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, among others. David’s practice focuses on representation of writers, directors, producers, and actors in motion picture and television development and talent agreements.

Sarah Hack is the Head of Business Affairs & Legal at Magnolia Pictures where she is responsible for negotiating and drafting agreements and providing legal and strategic support for all departments and aspects of the business acquisitions, licensing, marketing, sales, production and everything else that comes up and needs a lawyer.

A graduate of Williams College, where she studied art and comparative literature, Sarah began her career in production and international sales at Magnolia. After she attended law school at Cornell, she was hired directly back in-house at Magnolia. Outside of her legal career, she is proud of her work as a teacher and volunteer with the Ghetto Film School and as a mentor and trusted advisor to her “friends ‘n family” navigating creative careers. She is a hardcore sports fan and daily meditator & yogi.

Iva Radivojevic is a Brooklyn based filmmaker who spent her early years in Yugoslavia and Cyprus. Her films have screened at NYFF, SXSW, Rotterdam IFF, HotDocs, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), PBS, New York Times Op-Docs. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, 2011, 2012, 2017 Princess Grace Special Project Award and Film Fellowship and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine. She’s currently working on her film Aleph, inspired by a short story from Jorge Luis Borges.

Chris White is VP of Operations and Business Affairs at Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing. His work involves interfacing with producers, sales agents and filmmakers in order to successfully release all of Magnolia’s films. This includes coordination with Magnolia’s partners, marketing material review and licensing, material negation and delivery, and rights management for all 600+ titles in Magnolia’s library. He has handled efforts on such award-winning films as I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, BLACKFISH and MAN ON WIRE. Prior to working at Magnolia, Chris worked at HDNet Films handling post-production related affairs.

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Nov 12, 2017
10:00 am – 6:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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