Docs In Progress is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, May 20 with Decade of Docs, a special evening for the Washington DC area's filmmaking community. This event will honor the past 10 years of Docs In Progress and the filmmakers we have helped to nurture while also looking forward to the future. Ten years and more than 1000 filmmakers later, Docs In Progress is honoring the achievements of its community with a series of awards for alumni of its film programs, as well as a special award for Sky Sitney for her contributions to the Washington DC documentary film community during her eight years with the Silverdocs/AFI Docs Film Festival. Sitney will also join filmmaker Doug Block (51 Birch Street, 112 Weddings, The D-Word), Documentary Center Director Nina Seavey, and StoryCodeDC's Felicia Pride for a special panel discussion on the future of documentary film and filmmaking.
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. Jennifer Goldsmith recently took a break from here Indiegogo campaign for her doc-in-progress Mother's Milk, Mother's Wisdom to share a few thoughts.
This week, we began the second year of the Docs In Progress Fellowship Program. We were pleased to welcome ten new Fellows who come with a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and film projects. 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. We start this month with Heather Taylor.
2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Docs In Progress' very first work-in-progress screening program. As we count down the weeks to our big commemorative event on May 20, our board members are already starting to celebrate by hosting a series of houseparties with some very special guests.
These "Decade of Docs FUNdraisers" are built around different themes and will give guests the opportunity to mix and mingle, enjoy some good drinks and nosh, and meet special guests who reflect just a slice of what makes the DC documentary film community incredible.
by Erica Ginsberg, Executive Director, Docs In Progress
Welcome to 2014 Docs In Progress friends.
It's a new year. One in which we'll be celebrating 10 years since we began our first work-in-progress screening. We are starting 2014 out with a fresh coat of paint at the Doc House, a new Program Coordinator, a new film project for our Executive Director, and a host of popular returning and new programs.
One of these new programs will be a series called "10 Things You Need to Know About..." This will be a monthly program -- and occasional blog entries -- on various topics of interest to emerging documentary filmmakers. While our first face-to-face program at the end of the month will be on budgeting, we thought we would kick things off this year by following our New Year's resolution to blog more.
So here we are living up to our resolution, by challenging you with recommended resolutions tailored for documentary filmmakers. We won't overwhelm you with 10. But how about 5?
by Erica Ginsberg, Executive Director of Docs In Progress
Docs In Progress was founded upon the principle of helping documentary filmmakers through the power of constructive criticism. Since our very first work-in-progress screening in 2004, we have welcomed the general public to be a part of this process by facilitating a feedback session following the screening of documentary rough cuts.
By Guest Contributor Josh Glick, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University in Film Studies and American Studies
[caption id="attachment_3290" align="alignleft" width="110"] Op-Docs logo, New York Times Website[/caption]
The New York Times’ continual push into the realm of nonfiction video is strategic and highly innovative. For a paper that for 160+ years has made its name and reputation on the printed word, it's a new form of capturing events, expressing critical opinions, showcasing familiar journalistic personalities, and revisiting old stories. And while videos are currently placed outside the paywall so that users can access them even if they don’t have a subscription, they are a striking way to attract people to the website and generate revenue through integrated advertisements.
Taking part in the AFI DOCS Festival was one of the best surprises of the summer thus far! I started the week sitting in on the Docs In Progress Peer Pitch, which is a day that filmmakers can screen their documentaries and receive feedback from fellow filmmakers and observers. The next few days I participated in AFI DOCS events and screenings in Washington DC and Silver Spring. It was first time at any film festival and I learned so much about filmmaking and developed a greater appreciation for documentaries. On the third day of the festival I spent the whole day at the AFI theatre in Silver Spring watching films.
After getting quite a bit of feedback on our post Reserving Judgment on AFI DOCS (including it being linked to in a Washington Post article on Festival Director Sky Sitney), the Docs In Progress crew was out in force at this year's festival to check out the films and what had changed with the festival. We were especially excited that two of our summer interns, Samantha Ammons and Hannah Myers had a chance to attend, and we asked them to write a little about their experiences which we'll be sharing in the coming days. First up: Hannah.