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May 29, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Documentary Fundamentals: Releasing

With Jessica Kingdon, David Magdael & Greg Rhem

This session of DOCUMENTARY FUNDAMENTALS is about releasing your next 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!

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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.

With over two decades in PR/marketing for award winning documentary films, indie features and broadcast content and virtual cinema strategies, David Magdael and his company DAVID MAGDAEL & ASSOCIATES have become important leaders and gamechangers. From Oscar®/awards campaigns to theatrical releases, broadcast premieres and more, Magdael is one of the top media strategists in entertainment. He’s a longtime member of AMPAS and is the co-director of the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival since 1997. He has served as a mentor at the Sundance Institute Docu Producers Lab, Film Independent, AMPAS Gold, Film at Lincoln Center, IDA and other media organizations sharing his expertise and knowledge.

Greg Rhem, of Bronx Brain 64 Creative Consulting, is a writer, producer, director, and creative consultant, based in New Jersey. Greg has written several feature-length screenplays, including sci-fi thriller “The Dinosaur Four,” a ScreenCraft Finalist, and alternate-history drama, “The Wings of Icarus,” a Hollywood Black Film Festival/NASA PROJECT STARGAZER Semi-Finalist. He directed the short comedy “Advice From My Therapist,” an Austin Film Festival runner-up; and produced the short documentary, “My Best Kept Secret,” featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and the comedy-drama feature, “At The Jersey Shore.” [https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1808274/]
For twenty-four years (twenty-one of those in program management), Greg was part of the wonderful team at HBO Documentary Films, where he helped to discover distinctive films, showcased on HBO and Cinemax, including the Oscar®-winning “Freeheld,” “Born Into Brothels,” and “Thoth,” Oscar®-nominated “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall,” “Mondays at Racine,” and “Spellbound.” He has served as a mentor at the SXSW, Sundance, Tribeca, and Seattle International Film Festivals, the MEDIMED Euro-Mediterranean Documentary Market, as well as the New School, NYU, Montclair State University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the School of Visual Arts. He has also been a pitch panelist for DOC NYC, Camden International Film Festival, and Columbia School of Journalism; and a co-curator and judge for HBO Short Film Competition and the documentaries section for the American Black Film Festival. Greg holds an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School, and a B.A. in English and Film Studies from the University of Rochester.

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May 29, 2022
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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