2012 DOC NYC in Focus: Doc-A-Thon Day 5 – Reach Your Audience

Doc-A-Thon, DOC NYC‘s panel series, wraps up at the IFC Center this Thursday, November 15. On Day 5, distributors – theatrical, alternative, and digital – help documentary filmmakers “Reach Your Audience,” while filmmakers discuss how their work has helped create public policy change.

Reach Your Audience Panel Descriptions:

Meet the Distributors:
While the avenues for getting your film out in the world have increased, the theatrical release remains the brass ring for many filmmakers. With fierce competition for theatre screens and audience attention, what do theatrical distributors look for in documentaries? Ryan Werner (IFC Films/Sundance Selects), Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Nancy Gerstman (Zeitgeist Films), Richard Lorber (Kino Lorber), Paul Marchant (First Run Features), and Ryan Krivoshey (The Cinema Guild) weigh in, in this conversation moderated by the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez.

DIY Theatrical:
Increasingly, recognizing the challenges of traditional theatrical distribution, documentary filmmakers are deciding to tackle it on their own. The rise of D.I.Y. or hybrid distribution has opened a space for films to find audiences that may otherwise not have had a chance to play in theatres. But filmmakers don’t need to do it completely alone. Experts Richard Abramowitz (Abramorama), Jim Browne (Argot Pictures), Wendy Lidell (International Film Circuit), and Caitlin Boyle (Film Sprout) explore the challenges and benefits of alternative distribution in a conversation moderated by Crowdstarter’s Paola Freccero.

Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Story Leads To Action:
Co-presented by Chicken & Egg Pictures. What can documentary filmmakers do to become part of a national conversation or a public policy debate that catalyzes concrete social change?  What kind of tools are social-issue filmmakers using to reach their core constituencies, niche audiences and — beyond? What are their strategies for spreading a message, building community, creating authentic, strategic partnerships that will  spark concrete action?  How can filmmakers effectively and build on each other’s strategy, momentum and impact? Can strategic collaboration bring about a tipping point?
This session will ask all of those questions via the case-studies of two award-winning and precedent setting documentaries and their respective engagement campaigns. LIONESS inspired the passage of a women veterans health care policy signed into law in the Oval Office in 2010. THE LINE and its campaign inspired the creation of CIRCLE OF 6, an anti-violence Android/iPhone app supported by the White House and launched in September 2012. It’s creator has also launched a non-profit focused on addressing violence against women and does freelance engagement for non-fiction films focused on those issues including THE INVISIBLE WAR and GIRL MODEL.
Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers (Directors/Producers, LIONESS) and Nancy Schwartzman (Director/Producer, THE LINE & CIRCLE OF 6 app) will discuss their work in a conversation moderated by author, activist and feminist Amy Richards (Manifesta, Opting In).

Selling on Digital Platforms:
We spend more and more of our time online, so it makes sense that the audience for digital content is also increasing. But it’s not as simple as just posting your film online—unless large numbers of people know it’s there, you’re not going to see much as a result. That’s where digital distributors and aggregators come in. Learn about what opportunities exist for documentary filmmakers from Erick Opeka (New Video), Andrew Mer (SnagFilms), Susanne Mei (SundanceNow), Steve Beckman (FilmBuff), and Danielle DiGiacomo (The Orchard) in a conversation moderated by Marc Schiller.

Why You Should Attend:
If you film it, will they come? Completing your documentary is only half of the process – how do you get people to see it? If you’re focused on a social issue, how do you get those viewers to do something about it? Today’s panelists are among the major players in distribution options for documentary filmmakers, as well as filmmakers who’ve been able to not just document problems, but participate in real world solutions.

More Info:
To purchase tickets, follow the links from the panel pages by clicking on the individual titles above, or consider purchasing a DOC NYC Insider Pass, which grants access to all weekday films, panels, and events beginning before 5pm.

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