Sunday, December 30, 2007

A New Year, a New Organization

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog may know that Docs Interactive is a program of Docs in Progress, an organization based in Greater Washington DC which focuses on empowering independent documentary filmmakers to create and cultivate their projects.

2007 was a whirlwind year for Docs in Progress. We organized and moderated nine work-in-progress screening workshops in Washington DC and Maryland, sponsored two all-day seminars with "Documentary Doctor" Fernanda Rossi, provided private consultations to numerous film projects, and maintained our quarterly e-newsletter and this blog. Alumni of our programs have gone on to have their films screened on television; at film festivals around the world; at museums, universities, and schools; and even at the White House (whatever you may think of the current inhabitants, that's a pretty cool achievement).

In 2008, we will continue to hold our public screening workshops in Washington DC and Baltimore. In fact, we've got one coming up in just a few weeks at the Jack Morton Auditorium in Washington DC, on Tuesday, January 8. Come join us to see BEAUTY: IN THE EYES OF THE BEHELD and LEARNING FROM JAMES.

We will also be partnering with on a special edition of Docs in Progress where we are soliciting documentary work-in-progress submissions from filmmakers based anywhere in the world (the filmmaker can participate in the discussion via Skype).

We recently set down roots in documentary capital Silver Spring, Maryland. Our new address is 8607 Second Avenue, Suite 402-E, Silver Spring, MD 20910. We are just a few blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station, the American Film Institute, and Discovery Communications. This office will be used for administrative functions and the growing demand for private consultations. Our public workshops will continue to take place at the Jack Morton Auditorium in Washington DC six times a year and other venues for special events.

We are also thrilled to welcome Sam Hampton to the Docs in Progress team. Sam is a documentary filmmaker who has nearly 20 years of professional and academic experience in research and documentation of social justice activities. He is also an experienced grantwriter and consultant for non-profit organizations who will be focusing on developing our strategic plan as an organization and also supplementing our consulting services to filmmakers needing advice on fundraising strategies.

And last, but far from least...Docs in Progress is now officially incorporated and will soon be a 501c3 non-profit organization. In the coming months, we will be developing our board and building a strategic plan for future programs to benefit the independent documentary community in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

Though we are growing as an organization, we will never lose our commitment to independent documentary. Whether you are a documentary filmmaker or a film fan, we look forward to having you grow with us in 2008.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned...

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doc Happenings

Yes, it's winter when things are supposed to slow down. But there's actually quite a few educational things happening for documentary filmmakers, including one this week. So take a break from shopping or editing or whatever it is you are doing and check these out...

First up, everything you've ever wanted to know about ITVS funding for both U.S. and international filmmakers can be found on a special online conference this week on the D-Word Community. ITVS executives Joy-Marie Scott, Cynthia Kane, Karim Ahmad and Kathryn Washington are participating in a virtual Q&A and being very candid with their information and answers. The conference continues through December 22 and will be archived for future reference.

Working Films, which has worked to advance social justice by linking independent non-fiction media to activism, is accepting applications for its five-day residency for documentary filmmakers at MASS MoCA in Western Massachusetts. The residency, which is called the Content + Intent Documentary Institute, will take place March 12-16, 2008 in North Adams, MA. The application deadline is January 25, 2008. For more information, visit the website of Working Films.

And it's not too early to register for Making Your Media Matter, the annual conference sponsored by the Center for Social Media at American University. This is the must-attend event to network and gain new insights into the latest tools and trends in creating and distributing social issue media. It will take place February 7-8, 2008 in Washington DC. More information on this website.