News from Docs In Progress (September 2016)


Beginning this month, our full newsletter will be online rather than taking up too much space in your E-mail Inbox. Highlights this month include news of our 2016 Documentary Inspiration Awards, an Open Call for Board Members, Funding Deadlines, Alumni News and more...


2016 Documentary Inspiration Awards To Honor Ramona Diaz

Docs In Progress is pleased to honor Ramona Diaz, an award-wining documentary filmmaker with our 2016 Documentary Inspiration Award. Tickets are now available to attend a special evening with Diaz on Thursday, October 20. The evening will include a Master Class Conversation with Diaz about her career, her approach to documentary filmmaking, and her thoughts on what it means to be a woman and a person of color navigating today's documentary film industry. Following this conversation, we will screen and discuss Imelda, the film which put Diaz on the map.

Diaz has also directed Don't Stop Believin: Every Man's Journey, The Learning, and the forthcoming film Motherland. Her films have screened at Sundance, Tribeca, Silverdocs, IDFA, and many other top film festivals. She has received funding from ITVS, CAAM, Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg. She has also served on numerous film festival juries and funding panels. Recently she was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

The event takes place at Landmark's E Street Theatre in Washington DC. Tickets start as low as $35 (earlybird through September 16) with additional discounts for members of the Docs Insiders Program, Women in Film and Video-DC, and friends of the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. VIP tickets are also available if you would like to attend a private reception with Diaz prior to the awards.

Find out more and get tickets.

This event is organized by Docs In Progress and sponsored by Women in Film and Video and the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. We have several levels of support as well as ad space in the event program to send a congratulatory message to Diaz on her honor or to promote a festival (upcoming events, call for entries, or whatever makes sense for you). 
Click here for more information.

Bring Your Enthusiasm and Know-How to the Docs In Progress Board 


Docs In Progress would not be what we are today without dedicated board members who are champions of the organization and can help us continue to grow and serve the documentary community. We currently have an open call for our 2017-2018 Board of Directors who would begin service in January. While we welcome filmmakers and alumni of our programs, we encourage anyone to apply who would be excited to help lead the future of a community-based arts organization. We are especially looking for people with strengths in business or accounting, legal, fundraising, and who reflect the Docs In Progress community in all its diversity. 
Find Out More.  

 Know a Nonprofit Which Wants to Add Video Production 
to Its Marketing Toolbox? Check out our Hands-on Workshop.Nonprofit_Production_Workshop.jpg

Do you or someone you know work for a nonprofit in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia which wants to add video to your marketing toolbox or enhance your existing video skills? Once a year, Docs In Progress offers a special hands-on video production workshop just for nonprofits to learn how to bring the power of documentary storytelling techniques to videos about their mission and impact. This year's workshop will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays between October 13-November 3. The deadline to apply is Monday, September 19. 
Find out more and apply.

​Yi Chen Joins Our Teaching Team


Docs In Progress is happy to welcome  a new teaching artist to our roster of instructors. Yi Chen will be teaching our popular Intro to Documentary Production class which begins on Saturday, September 17.

While Chen is new to teaching for Docs In Progress, she is not new to teaching. She also teaches video production and editing in the Film & Video Studies program at George Mason University and Fairfax Public Access TV.

An award winning filmmaker, Chen has screened her work in film festivals around the world, including Beijing International Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, DC Independent Film Festival, DC Shorts Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol, Screen Actors Guild Foundation Shorts Showcase and many more. 

Her short documentary Chinatown (an alum of our Documentary Roundtable) chronicled the strength and struggles of the last remaining Chinese immigrant residents living in the historic Chinatown neighborhood of Washington DC. It aired on PBS affiliate WHUT and won 2014 Indie Capitol Awards Best Documentary Short.​

Start Planning Your Costume for Doc-u-Ween on October 31 


Who wants to dress up as something fictional when you can dress up as someone real? Come on over to the Devil's Doc House for a special Halloween Party where you come dressed as your favorite documentary personality or icon. Feel like channelling your inner Little Edie, Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog, Michael Moore, Anna Wintour, Winnebago Man, or Nanook of the North? Come dressed as a documentary film subject, filmmaker, or personality. Fun, food, drink, and prizes await! Find out more.


September 15: The Essentials of Documentary Storytelling Workshop

September 15: Deadline to Submit Rough Cuts for November Work-in-Progress Screening

September 15: Deadline to Submit Trailers for October Documentary Roundtable

September 17-October 22: Intro to Documentary Production Class

September 19: Deadline to Apply for Nonprofit Video Production Class

September 22: The Big Picture of Documentary Structure Workshop

September 29: Documentary Structure Case Studies Workshop

October 5-26: Intro to Adobe Premiere Pro Video Editing on Creative Cloud

October 1: Deadline to Apply for Fiscal Sponsorship

October 13-November 3: Nonprofit Video Production Workshop (By Application)

October 20: 
Documentary Inspiration Awards Honor Ramona Diaz

October 29: 
Intermediate Adobe Premiere Bootcamp

October 31: Doc-u-Ween: Docs In Progress Halloween Costume Party

November 3-15: 
Edit Lab: Create Your Own Documentary with Final Cut Pro X

November 9-12: 
Community Stories Festival

November 18:
 Docs In Progress Rough Cut Screening

November 29: What is the Film Festival Programmer Thinking?

December 3: Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking

See our full calendar at 


Welcome Our Fall Intern to Docs In Progress
Dawit(web).jpgDawit Martin is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland where he studied Communications and Digital Media. He has received awards for his film projects as a student and already has experience creating community through film as the Vice President of the UMD Film Club. He shot, directed and produced both student films and as a freelance filmmaker. Dawit studied abroad as a recipient of the U.S. Department of State's Benjamin Gilman Scholarship where he completed a short film about Puerto Rican culture and economy. Currently he is a Gilman Alumni Ambassador and freelance filmmaker. While at Docs In Progress, Dawit is supporting our marketing and outreach efforts. We are happy to have him on board.

Indivisible to Close Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York
Directed by 2013 Fellow Hilary Linder, Indivisible continues to play film festivals and community screenings across the country. It will be the closing film of the Margaret Mead Film Festival in New York and the opening film of the Immigration Film Festival in Washington DC. The film is also fiscally sponsored by Docs In Progress.

The Trouble with TQ at Action On Film Festival
Work-in-Progress Screening Alum Calvin Thomas' feature length documentary film, The Trouble with TQ was recently featured at the 12th annual Action on Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Editing and Best Director. 

Crowdfunding Campaigns to Support:
Help make it happen for these Docs In Progress community members:

Kol Hanashim (by 2016 Fellow Yisrael Welcher): The film examines how Orthodox Jewish women balance traditional values while embracing American culture.

Caste Out (by 2015 Fellow Hanna Stawicki with VR collaboration by 2015 Fellow Emma Mankey-Hidem): Using experiential storytelling techniques, this transmedia project is an authentic portrait of a centuries-old caste system in modern day Nepal, told through the experience of one Dalit family.

The Humbler (by Workshop Alum Virginia Quesada): A film about Danny Gatton, a big, big guitar hero with a big, big blues story.


IDA Brings the Documentary World to LA for Getting Real 2016, September 27-29
The International Documentary Association's Getting Real conference will be a needed field-building incubator that tackles the most meaningful and challenging issues facing the documentary ecosystem around the themes of Art, Diversity and Sustainability. Our Executive Director Erica Ginsberg will be attending and, as Co-Host of The D-Word, will be co-facilitating an Icebreaker for attendees to help kick off the conference. Find out more on how to attend or, if you can't make it in person, follow along by joining The D-Word which will have special topics dedicated to the conference sessions and themes. 

Story Movements at American University September 15-16
This catalytic two-day convening by the Center for Media and Social Impact will examine platforms and genres of civic media storytelling through the lens of contemporary struggles for social justice. From documentary film to investigative journalism to virtual reality to participatory storytelling to persuasive gaming to photography, the convening examines and captures the current and future-looking moment in story-led demands for social change. Find out more.

Stone Soup Films Seeks Filmmakers for Doc-in-a-Day Challenge September 24-25
Are you a DC-area filmmaker? Would you like to make a meaningful contribution in the form of a video for a local nonprofit or community organization? Stone Soup Films is currently seeking volunteer filmmakers to join their Doc-in-a-Day film challenge. Five teams of filmmakers will spend the weekend producing five documentaries for Washington DC nonprofits. These films are invaluable to the organizations, enabling them to apply for grants and to tell their stories in a clear and concise way.  The winning filmmaking team gets a $1000 prize to split. Find out more.

Women in Film & Video's Annual Open House September 22
Whether you are a WIFV member who wants to reconnect with others after the summer break or want to check out this valuable DC-area membership organization, you will want to attend their Open House. There will also be door prizes and other special announcements. This free event will be at the Discovery Communications Building in Silver Spring from 6:30-8:30pm. RSVP here.

Future of Film Conference from Creative Edge Collaborative October 8
With the theme Local. Global, the Future of Film Conference is an annual platform exchange ideas, re-think community and promote innovation in the film and digital media industry in Prince George’s County and the Washington DC/Baltimore region. This year's conference will explore ways local filmmakers are embracing digital media innovation to create archival productions, tackle global subjects, and gain audiences around the corner and around the world. Find out more.

Double Exposure Film Festival October 6-8
The nation's only investigative film festival takes place from October 6-8 in Washington DC. Docs In Progress community members can get 15% off tickets and passes by using promo code DOCS15. The festival includes both screenings at the National Portrait Gallery and a sidebar symposium at the National Press Club. Even if you are not working on an investigative documentary, you may find this professional conference connecting journalists and filmmakers of interest. It's two days of hands-on workshops, panels, lightning talks and access to the people -- editors, producers and funders -- who can help turn great stories into great films. Some of the highlights of the Symposium and screenings include a fact-checking workshop with Penny Lane (the director of NUTS! who earlier this year brought to attention the controversial programming of the film Vaxxed at the Tribeca Film Festival); a meet-the-funders workshop with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Reva & David Logan Foundation; and BRITDOC; provocative panels on the role of the camera's eye on race and police conduct, prison realities, secret jurisdictions, and seeking truth in investigative work; a conversation with Ezra Edelman, the director of one of the year's most lauded documentaries O.J: Made in America; and the DC premiere of Steve James' new film Abacus: Small Enough to Jail about a small Chinese-American bank in New York which was the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges after the financial crisis of 2008. The film is fresh off its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Find out more

TIVA Peer Awards Earlybird Ticketing Through September 18
TIVA-DC's Peer Awards is the most comprehensive film, video and Internet competition for professionals and media students in the mid-Atlantic region. The 2016 Awards will take place at the Embassy of France on Saturday November 12, 2016.  Earlybird tickets are available through September 18. Find out more.

Check Out Our Revived DC/Baltimore Documentary Film Calendar
Want to know what festivals are happening and where docs are being screened around the Washington DC and Baltimore areas at movie theaters, museums, cultural centers, embassies, and think tanks? Bookmark our Screening Calendar. 


Center for Investigative Reporting Launches Two New Opportunities for Women Filmmakers. Apply by September 23. 
The Center for Investigative Reporting has launched two new initiatives for women filmmakers to help promote gender parity in film and investigative journalism. Experienced filmmakers can create films around the theme of women taking power, taking control, and taking chances through a new documentary series. Emerging filmmakers can apply for a fulltime residency where they will produce vidoes for a web and mobile audience in collaboration with CIR's reporting team. Apply by September 23.

The Roy W. Dean Film Grant Seeks a Unique Film Project That Contributes to Society. Submit by September 30
The winner of this year's Roy W. Dean Film Grant receives $3,500 cash and $30,000 in donated film products and services to help complete their film. Films can be documentaries, short films, features, TV or web series. In addition to the cash prize, the winner receives a 1TB Drive, $1,000 worth of marketing consultation and materials, $700 DSLR camera rental for one week, and much more. Each applicant for the grant receives a consultation on their project from Carole Dean or a representative of From The Heart Productions which sponsors the grant. Deadline for submission is September 30, 2016. Find out more.

California Documentary Project Grants for Development and Production. Submit by November 1
If you have a film, audio or interactive media project in development which is ties into the culture, peoples, and histories of California, you can apply for development or production funds from California Humanities. Projects should use the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective, be suitable for California and national audiences, and seek to reach, inform and engage broad audiences through multiple means. The deadline to apply is November 1.
Find out more.

Want to see the full list of funding deadlines and more information on funders?
We now have a permanent place on our website which you can bookmark to see a full list of funding and pitch deadlines and get links to more information on major film funders. You can access the page for free as long as you sign in to our website
Here's the link to bookmark:


Have you been too busy to keep up with what's been going on in the world of documentary? We've compiled links to some articles and blogs we think you may find of interest.

Want to see more? We now have a permanent place on our website which you can bookmark to keep up with the latest articles and blogs of interest. You can access the page for free as long as you sign in to our website.  Bookmark this page:


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