Fall 2020 Newsletter


From the Executive Director

Photo of Barbara Valentino, Interim Executive Director of Docs In ProgressDear Friends of Docs In Progress,

It is hard to believe that it was March when Docs had to close its physical doors due to the CoVid Pandemic. Over these past many months, our families, friends, neighbors and communities have faced unprecedented medical and financial challenges and heartache—from the more than 200,000 people who have died from the virus and the many who have died or have been injured in the fight for human rights and liberties. Through these difficult times, Docs continues to be amazed at the creativity and fortitude of documentary artists—new, emerging, and established—who are committed to telling their stories.    

In our last newsletter, we shared our decision was to hunker down, assess the situation and above all, make sure that Docs In Progress could weather this storm.

We are happy to report that not only is Docs financially stable but we have successfully made the 'pivot' to virtual/remote programming. The 2020 Fellows Program, which was Doc's first foray in the virtual arena, is wrapping up in October; and this summer it was the teens turn to share My Life Under Covid in our first-ever remote teen filmmaking workshop. We can't wait to share their work at the Community Stories Film Festival. And we were pleased to welcome Jan Krawitz as our 2020 Filmmaker in Residence   

So what is next for Docs In Progress' Fall Programming:

  • October 12: our 55+ Filmmaking Workshops will go virtual with teaching artist Olha Onyshko
  • October 22: Intro to Documentary Editing with Paul Moon, again remote
  • October date TBD: Silver Screen Series - screening of Perfect Strangers by Jan Krawitz
  • November 6-8: Community Stories Film Festival scheduled for November 6-8. 
  • And please stay tuned for our redesigned Intro to Documentary Filmmaking set to launch in November.   

And Docs In Progress today is launching its search for a new permanent Executive Director.

As noted, we closed our physical doors and anticipate that we will not reopen to in-person programming for the rest of 2020. The next several months will be challenging; please continue to wear a mask and social distance.  I personally can't wait until we can open our Silver Spring doors and greet you in person!  From all of us at Docs In Progress, be well.

Executive Director Search

Deadline: October 20   The Executive Director of Docs In Progress is action-oriented, innovative and translates broad goals into achievable steps; anticipates and solves problems; takes advantage of opportunities and is a self-starter and team player. Leadership is key. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, finances, strategic plan and the overall health and performance of the organization. This is a great opportunity for a proven leader with a track record of success in team building and fundraising who wants to make their mark taking Docs in Progress to the next level.  Click here for the complete job description and how to apply. 


 Our Fall Programming

Newly Announced Classes and Screenings

Image of 55+ Filmmaking Workshop participants and teaching artists.55+Filmmaking Workshop with Olha Onyshko: via zoom. 
October 12-October 23 from 10:00am-1:00pm, Monday-Friday.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 29.

Image of a hand at a laptop with editing software on the screenIntroduction to Documentary Editing with Paul Moon: via zoom. Starts Thursday, October 22 for 6 consecutive Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm-9pm.  [excluding Election Day]
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 29.

Film poster of Perfect Strangers Documentary by Docs In Progress' 2020 Filmmaker-in-Residence, Jan KrawitzSilver Screen Series: Perfect Strangers 
October date to be announced

As part of her residence, our 2020 Filmmaker-in-Residence, Jan Krawitz will present her film, Perfect Strangers. Q&A with Jan will follow the screening. 

Silhouette of a filmmaker and subjects against a rainbow colored backgroundCommunity Stories Film Festival: 
November 6-8

Our annual Community Stories Film Festival is a way to highlight the stories of people, places, and events from our local community. 

...and stay tuned for a revamped Introduction to Documentary Production slated for November.


Additional Events

Image of a Documentary Roundtable event with a panel and audience in discussion.Monday, October 19:
Documentary Roundtable:
Doc Production During Pandemic [WIFV]

Even when documentary filmmakers are largely stuck at home, they still find ways to tell important stories. This Doc Roundtable will discuss researching stories, remote production lessons and working on distribution.  

Image of filmmakers at a Docs In Progress Q&A following a Trailer Night ScreeingMonday, November 9:
Documentary Roundtable: Trailer Night.
Submit your trailer here

As an antidote to the documentary filmmaker working in isolation, the Documentary Roundtable events are a brainstorming, networking and support group all wrapped up in one.


Community Stories Film Festival: Call for Local Films

Logo of Community Stories Film Festival 2020Do you have a short or long-form documentary about people, places or things in the DMV region?  

The Community Stories Film Festival, produced by Docs In Progress, spotlights contemporary and historical documentaries about our people, places, and events of Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia.

What began in 2010 as a one night showcase of Docs In Progress student work has grown to a weekend of public screenings of films by everyone from professional filmmakers to first-time adult and youth filmmakers, sharing stories from our local community. Each year, more than 500 people engage with filmmakers and those who have been filmed. This year, Community Stories will be a virtual festival.

To learn more about the rules for submission, please click here.


Filmmaker in Residence: Jan Krawitz

Image of Jan Krawitz, Docs In Progress' 2020 Filmmaker-in-ResidenceDocs In Progress was pleased to announce Jan Krawitz, independent filmmaker and professor at Stanford University as this year’s Filmmaker-In-Residence. In a nod to Covid-19, this year we liken it to artist-in-situ

Jan teaches in the MFA Program in Documentary Film at Stanford and has been independently producing documentary films for many years. Her documentary, Perfect Strangers, won awards at several festivals and received a national broadcast on the PBS series, America Reframed. Her work has been exhibited at film festivals in the United States and abroad including Sundance and the New York Film Festival. As part of her residency, she will present Perfect Strangers at our Silver Screen Series. October date soon to be announced.

To learn more about Jan, please click here.


Upcoming Film Festivals

Docs In Progress is proud to serve as a community partner to these two stellar film festivals.  At Docs, our mission is all about community. In this year of the pandemic, where festivals have had to redesigned themselves for a virtual world, we think it is important to show our support and encourage all to support these great festivals, the people who organize them and the filmmakers who are their engine.

A grid of headshots of filmmakers featured at Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival 2020Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival 
October 14-18, 2020 

Double Exposure, the United States' first and only festival dedicated to investigative reporting on film goes virtual! 17 new documentaries and must-watch conversations with award-winning filmmakers delivered to your home. Fresh off the heels of its world premiere at Toronto, DX Opening Night is 76 DAYS by Hao Wu. Closing Night features the US premiere of ENEMIES OF THE STATE, directed by Sonia Kennebeck. Our Centerpiece is Sam Pollard’s MLK/FBI.

Film Pass and tickets are now on sale at doubleexposure.eventive.org/films. Get 10% off using code DIP20.
Logo of the Virtual Chesapeake Film Festival 2020The Virtual Chesapeake Film Festival
October 1-4, 2020

Four Days. 46 Films. FREE! Now in our 13th year, the Chesapeake Film Festival invites you once again to savor an explosion of cinematic flavors, including dramas, comedies, documentaries and animations. From 5-minute shorts to 90-minute features, the Festival offers something for every cinematic taste.

There is NO registration for this free event, just go to chesapeakefilmfestival.com and click on the button to enter the festival on October 1. The Virtual Festival is our gift to film lovers in our community, and beyond, in the difficult times precipitated by CoVid-19.   While participation is free, donations are appreciated.



We are grateful to our all of our funders!



National Endowment for the Arts, ArtWorks Program Logo


Cafritz Foundation Logo



Seal of Montgomery County, Maryland

Maryland State Arts Council Logo


Seal of the City of Takoma Park, Maryland



Funding has been provided to Docs In Progress from Maryland Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.




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