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Panels & Workshops

Our year-round series of topical seminars led by experts in the documentary field.

Wed. April 12, 2023 @ 10:00 - 11:30am PT
A 90-minute workshop with Maya E. Rudolph, Vice President of Non-Fiction at Louverture Films.

Tue. March 7, 2023 @ 9:00am - Fri. March 10, 2023 @ 10:30am PT
A four-part virtual summit that collaboratively explores the disparate yet interconnected fields of visual journalism and documentary film — and best practices that lie at the intersection of both.

Thu. February 9, 2023 @ 9:30 - 11:00am PT
How do you make a film about the experience of incarceration? Given the complexities of consent and power, what are the ethics this work requires? What is an ethic of narrative reparation? With an introduction from filmmaker Anyé Young, filmmaker Adamu Chan thinks through these questions with award-winning filmmakers Brett Story, Jasmín Mara Lopez, and co-host and co-producer of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated podcast “Ear Hustle” Rahsaan Thomas.

Thu. January 26, 2023 @ 10:00am - 12:00pm PT
A very small number of film festivals seem to hold an enormous amount of sway over a film’s sales and distribution prospects, as well as the filmmakers’ chances at creating a sustainable living through filmmaking. This perception drives many filmmakers to pin their hopes on just a handful of market-driven festivals that are most important in their region, whether it’s North America (where Sundance looms large), Europe (Cannes, which accepts very few documentaries), Asia (A-list festivals like Busan or Singapore) or elsewhere. In reality, there is a vast ecosystem of film festivals that can all contribute to the healthy life of a documentary film project, and distribution that doesn’t rely on the catalyst of perceived film festival success.

Thu. December 15, 2022 @ 9:30am PT
How much does it really cost to make a documentary? What does sustainability look like? What changes do we need to make for the well-being of the field?

Wed. December 7, 2022 @ 2:00 - 3:30pm PT
In this workshop, IDA’s Director of Artist Programs Abby Sun will walk filmmakers through the process of developing a film festival strategy that takes the particular expectations, needs, and prospects of your individual film into account. Guest speaker Chase Whiteside (América, co-directed with Erick Stoll) will provide a case study drawing on his own experiences navigating the film festival circuit with and without a sales agent.

Mon. November 7, 2022 @ 9:30am PT
Karin Chien from Distribution Advocates will walk us through a scan of the distribution landscape and talk with independent filmmakers Stephen Maing (Untitled Amazon Union Documentary, Crime + Punishment) and Emma D. Miller (What We Leave Behind, Untitled Mistress Dispeller Project) to shed some light the seemingly shadowy and intimidating world of distribution.

Tue. August 30, 2022 @ 2:00pm CT
This panel takes a step by step approach to demystifying tax incentives and helping documentary filmmakers better understand how to utilize them.

Wed. October 6, 2021 @ 10:00am PT
This conversation brings together human rights experts, advocates, filmmakers, and mental health professionals to discuss what it means to ethically document survivors' stories, the potential for shared standards across fields, and the meaning of informed consent in a media context.

Wed. May 26, 2021 @ 10:00am PT
Hear from a member of the working group, a mentor/mentee editing team, and industry producers who are working towards change in the edit room.