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Sneak Peek inside the Fall 2014 Issue of 'Documentary' Magazine

By Tom White

What's the time? It's time to GET REAL—with the special Documentary Film Conference edition of Documentary magazine!

It's a brand new season—for football fans, television addicts, awards fanatics, election enthusiasts and fashion mavens—and just as they're readying the runways in Milan and Paris, we at IDA are rolling out our brand new look this fall. And that makeover includes Documentary magazine-are you for a brand new beat?

In that spirit of new, we celebrate one of the strongest signals of change coming out of IDA: GETTING REAL: Documentary Film Conference 2014, which runs September 30-October 2. Long in the planning, GETTING REAL will bring filmmakers together for conversations on art, career and impact in the documentary industry. In the issue, we sit down with Michael Lumpkin, IDA's executive director, and Ken Jacobson, IDA's director of educational programs and strategic partnerships, for a discussion of the genesis and goals for GETTING REAL and their process for developing the components.

Given that GETTING REAL is billed as "a filmmaker-to-filmmaker event," the IDA team brought filmmaker Allison Berg into the fold to produce the conference. Suzanne Curtis Campbell talks to Berg about her perspective on the documentary landscape and what she hopes the conference will accomplish.

GETTING REAL will be anchored by keynote addresses from major figures in the documentary community. One of these, filmmaker Dawn Porter, made the bold move of leaving a more lucrative career as an attorney to plunge into the venturesome and volatile world of documentary. Valentina Valentini speaks to Porter about her take on her profession of choice, and where the challenges and opportunities lie.

Given that The Documentary Career is one of the central pillars of exploration at GETTING REAL, Suzanne Curtis Campbell talks to five established filmmakers about what it takes to follow a career in documentary, the lessons they've learned, the sidelines and day jobs they've taken on to survive, how they've juggled essentials like lifestyle and family in a capricious and not-so-remunerative field, the importance of finding a community—and why they chose this career in the first place.

So, don those autumnal colors. Join IDA and get Documentary magazine year-round: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer!