Published on February 12th, 2015 | by admin


NYWIFT: Documentary Storytelling and Advocacy



Documentary Storytelling and Advocacy
Event: Monday Feb. 23, 2015




This panel examines the rise of Impact Distribution as the trend for documentary filmmakers.  Over the past several years, the prominence of social issue-oriented films has raised several questions. Do documentarians today need to also become activists and advocates for social issues? Or does the option still exist for filmmakers to simply create compelling stories that benefit society and culture in more diffuse and subtle, but, perhaps, no less impactful ways? What effect does the current grant and broadcasting landscape have on the types of films that are supported? And where is the funding for non-issue oriented documentaries? Join us for what will be an energetic conversation on the present state of documentary storytelling.








Josh Alexander has produced Backseat (Audience Award, Austin Film Festival), Pretty Old (Grand Jury award at Santa Barbara International Film Festival; EP’d by Sarah Jessica Parker and Joe Berlinger), A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake (award winner: Woodstock Film Festival) and the upcoming Sins of the Father. He wrote and produced the HBO documentary Southern Rites (EP’d by John Legend) that will be broadcast in May, 2015. Alexander is presently working on the documentary Prescription Thugs, a follow-up to Sundance Film Festival hit Bigger, Stronger, Faster





Liz Garbus is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer/director who co-founded Moxie Firecracker Films with producer/director Rory Kennedy. Her film, Love Marilyn (HBO), screened as a Gala Premiere at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. In 2011, Garbus’Bobby Fischer Against the World (HBO) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Garbus was nominated for an Academy Award for her short film Killing in the Name and won an Oscar in 2004 for The Farm: Angola, USA (Academy Award nominated, Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival) made in collaboration with filmmaker Jonathan Stack. Other credits include The Execution of Wanda Jean, The Nazi Officer’s Wife (A&E), Coma, Shouting Fire: True Stories from the Edge of Free Speech(Sundance, HBO) and There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane (HBO). Garbus’ What Happened, Miss Simone? premiered as the opening night film at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.





Ruby Lerner is President and Founding Director of Creative Capital, an organization that supports innovative artists across the country. Previously, Lerner was Executive Director of the Association of Independent Film and Videomakers and Publisher of Independent Film and Video Monthly, among other leadership positions. Lerner is a frequent speaker on innovation in the arts and serves on the Headlands Center for the Arts Advisory Council and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Innovation Circle, among others.






Ian Stimler has been involved in nearly every aspect of specialty film distribution for over 15 years. He currently is Director of Sales for famed US art house distributor Zeitgeist Films. Stimler also heads KimStim, releasing acclaimed international docs and features and helped with the creation of Adam Yauch’s film distribution company Oscilloscope Labs.






Doug Block (Moderator) has a  long body of highly acclaimed work as both director and producer that includes 112 WeddingsThe Kids Grow Up51 Birch StreetHome Page and Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles,Jupiter’s Wife and Silverlake Life.  He is also the founder of The D-Word the web’s leading discussion forum for documentary professionals worldwide.

Produced by Kelly DeVine

Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywiftlive | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

  Event Information
 Documentary Storytelling and Advocacy
 Date/Time: Monday, Feb. 23, 2015
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
 Pricing: $15 to NYWIFT members
$25 to Nonmembers
RSVP by prepayment or online
 Location: Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
20 Cooper Square, 7th Fl.


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    News & Documentary is a Master's-level broadcast and documentary journalism track, at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Graduates work around the world for top media organizations and on award-winning films.

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