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Ethical Responsibilities of Documentary


"As someone sharing the stories of a community to which I do not belong, I feel a heavy responsibility to portray them with accuracy and dignity." Hanna Stawicki (2015 Fellow) has been thinking a lot about the ethical responsibilities filmmakers have towards those they film, as she works on her documentary transmedia project about a Dalit community in Nepal.

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Roundtable Roundup: Insurance

What kinds of insurance does a documentary filmmaker need for a production company and/or a project? Meghan Shriver from MDP Inc. recently demystified the different kinds of insurance, including general liabiility equipment coverage, workers comp, and errors & omissions insurance.

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June is upon us and so too is the DMV's biggest week of documentary. AFI DOCS returns to the area June 17-21, 2015. This year the festival is showcasing more than 80 films over the course of five days at eight different venues in Silver Spring and Washington DC. These are some of the films and events we are most excited about.

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Finding Fun and Foresight at Festivals


2015 Fellow Emma Mankey-Hidem recently attended several film festivals as part of planning for the life of her own film BLUE RIDGE BARNUM. "The biggest benefit, especially for anyone who will eventually be submitting their own film to festivals, is just to get a sense of what different festivals are looking for."

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Perspectives on TUGG and GATHR

Minnesota-based filmmaker Jan Selby from Quiet Island Films recently visited Docs In Progress while she was in town for the Washington DC premiere of her latest film BEYOND THE DIVIDE. While she was in town, she talked to a group of filmmakers about her real-world experiences with crowdsourcing theatrical distribution through the platforms TUGG and GATHR.

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On Passion, History, and a “Feeling” Audience


How did a blog post evolve into a full-fledged documentary film? 2015 Fellow Day Al-Mohammed reflects on how a passion for history and for disability rights led her to the story of the Civil War's "Invalid Corps."

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Roundtable Round-up: Federal Funding from NEA & NEH

NEANEH.jpgThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are major federal sources of funding for documentary films. As a result, getting funded is quite competitive. Program officers from both agencies recently participated in the WIFV/Docs In Progress Documentary Roundtable to help demystify what kinds of documentary projects are appropriate for their funds and share more on the process of requesting funds.

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From time to time, we welcome Docs In Progress community members to share their thoughts on films out in the doc-o-sphere.  Beth Kelly recently checked out a Chinese environmental documentary which may less well known in the usual doc fest circuit, but has been making waves via social media around the world.

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Fellows Perspectives: Felicia Barr on Momentum

Throughout the year, we’ll be featuring each of our Fellows as guest bloggers where they will share their thoughts on their films, filmmaking, or anything they think would be of interest to the documentary community. This month we hear from Felicia Barr who reflects on how to maintain momentum on a long-term documentary project. 

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I Never Used to Call Myself an Artist

by Jason Osder

In January, I had the opportunity to attend my first Sundance Film Festival as a fellow of The Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program. Along with William Youmans, a colleague at The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs and co-director with me of a new documentary, we were invited to workshop and pitch our film in development. GW and Docs In Progress asked me to reflect on this experience. I’m glad that they asked, because I’ve been thinking a lot about the role that arts institutions and education institution play in the lives of artists.

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