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May 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

Documentary Fundamentals: Financing

With Jessica Kingdon, Lucila Moctezuma, Caroline Von Kuhn & Kira Simon-Kennedy

This session of DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS is about financing your next documentary. This session will address the eternal question: how to finance your doc? What are the pros and cons of different fundraising options, such as grants, equity investment, pre-sales, and crowdsourcing? Budgeting, how to find and successfully apply for grants, tips and tools for crowdfunding, and alternate routes to resources will be discussed in this can’t-miss session.

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$125.00Read more

DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS: A professional development series designed to give the emerging or intermediate documentary filmmaker an inside look at the filmmaking process from pre-production planning to post-production and distribution. Over the past few years, UnionDocs has developed this ongoing program for documentarians that desire a better foundation for navigating the modern landscape of independent filmmaking. This six-part program takes place over the course of one weekend at UnionDocs. Buy a SERIES PASS ($125) or choose to attend individual sessions ($25/each).



Jessica Kingdon is a Chinese-American director/producer named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and selected for the 2020 DOC NYC “40 Under 40” list. Her work has been supported by organizations including SFFILM, Chicken & Egg, Cinereach, Sundance, Field of Vision, and Firelight Media. Jessica has served in producorial roles on Tania Cypriano’s BORN TO BE (NYFF 2019), Nathan Truesdell’s THE WATER SLIDE (True/False 2018), and Johnny Ma’s OLD STONE (Berlinale 2016). Residencies include UnionDocs and a MacDowell Fellowship. She is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Jessica Kingdon’s first documentary feature ASCENSION 登楼叹 (2021), won a nomination at the 94th Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category as well as Best Documentary at the Tribeca Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. The film has received nominations from the the DGA Awards, Spirit Awards, the Gotham and the International Documentary Association along with five Cinema Eye nominations and six Critic’s Choice nominations.

Lucila Moctezuma is Program Director at Chicken & Egg Pictures (C&E) where she oversees the design and implementation of the organization’s programs in support of women and gender nonconfomring documentary filmmakers, which includes labs, mentorship and grants for filmmakers at different stages of their careers and film production. Prior to joining C&E she was Executive Producing Director at the internationally renowned UnionDocs, center for documentary art in Brooklyn; managed the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies, providing support to women filmmakers in the development of their projects; was Director of the Media Arts Fellowships for The Rockefeller Foundation, a highly prestigious program that supported media artists in the US and Latin America; and founded and was Coordinator of TFI Latin America Fund for Tribeca Film Institute. Lucila is in the documentary selection committee of the Morelia International Film Festival and sits on the Executive Board of Cine Qua Non Lab, a residency for international filmmakers in Michoacán, Mexico. She was Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of The Flaherty, and U.S. Delegate for the Huesca International Film Festival in Spain. Her work as Associate Producer includes the documentary series The New Americans for Kartemquin Films, and Shocking and Awful for Deep Dish TV, which was part of the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Lucila is originally from Mexico City and holds a degree in Philosophy at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico. Lucila is a frequent guest participant at film forums, panels and juries in the US and abroad. In 2021 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Documentary Branch.

Caroline von Kuhn is the Director of Industry and Catalyst at Sundance Institute. Prior to this, Caroline was Director of Artist Development at the SFFILM (San Francisco Film Society) where she launched SFFILM Invest. She was a Co-Founder of the Points North Institute with Ben Fowlie and Sean Flynn—which produces the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF)—after coming from the Tribeca Film Festival, running the industry department after four years in publicity. She has worked extensively in film publicity in New York at Tribeca, Apparition (distribution company), and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Caroline produced industry panels for Doha Tribeca Film Festival (Qatar) and programmed the launch of the crowd-sourced funding and distribution platform Seed&Spark with the team behind her first feature film, LIKE THE WATER.

Kira Simon-Kennedy is the co-founder & co-director of China Residencies, a multifaceted arts nonprofit that has supported hundreds of different international creative exchanges to China since its inception in 2013. She has been a fellow at NEW INC, the New Museum’s incubator for art, design & technology, as well as the IFP Made in NY Media Center, building Rivet to connect creative people with opportunities worldwide. She is also an Academy Award nominated independent film producer (登楼叹 Ascension, 2021) as well as ongoing series about the creative scenes in China’s smaller cities, and a previous year long project about China’s underground music scene for the record label Modern Sky.

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May 28, 2022
11:00 am – 2:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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