Seminars / Workshops

Click to download the full DCIFF 2012 Schedule

Saturday, March 3, 2012
12.30PM – 2:00pm

Masterclass with Documentary Filmmaker Extraordinaire, Les Blank
A close encounter with a legendary filmmaker to discuss documentary techniques, documenting culture, filmmaking musical events, cameras and stylistic changes in documentary film. Les has not only directed over 35 films, but has also filmed noted documentary filmmakers Richard Leacock and Werner Herzog.  A chance to receive some pearls of wisdom and  share a conversation!

Moderator: Deirdre Evans-Pritchard/DCIFF

1.00PM – 2.30 pm

3D animation and visual effects process: A presentation by experienced visual effect artists.
A discussion and Q&A with two visual special effects artists. Come see examples of their work and follow their path from the beginning of their careers and show where their work has lead them through the years. A very educational and entertaining panel. We will be showing several examples of effects work featured in films like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Panelists: Tareq Mirza, formerly of Industrial, Light and Magic/Lucasfilm and Jeff Sickles, Rebel Arts
: Keith Carter/DCIFF

2.00PM – 3:30pm

Film Financing: State Tax Incentives
Learn about the various types of state tax incentives available to producers in the U.S. and abroad, with an emphasis on financing films using such incentives.  Several tax incentive parameters, funding options and examples will be used to illustrate the effectiveness of tax incentive programs and their particular applicability to independent productions.  Audience participation and questions will be encouraged to make the discussion as meaningful as possible for the attendees.

Panelist: Noel Paytner/Tax Credit Funding, L.L.C
: Stana Benesova Kimball/DCIFF

3:00PM – 4:30PM

A discussion with local documentary filmmakers: Various sources of funding for and strategies for distribution of your film (in partnership with Docs in Progress)
Four local documentary filmmakers share their indie experiences. You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of documentary filmmaking from among the mostseasoned artists intown. The discussion will focus on securing funding for a film project, and strategies for successful commercial distribution. You will also hear tips on how to navigate the festival circuit.

Panelists: Tom Dziedzic (Redemption Stone: The Life and Times of Tom Lewis), Sam Hampton (Hidden Books – The Art of Kumi Korf), Jason Osder (Let the Fire Burn [in production – funded by a grant from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program]), and Ellie Walton (Chocolate City).
: Erica Ginsberg /Docs in Progress

5:00PM – 6:30PM

Distribution Strategies for Independent Filmmakers
Finishing a film you always wanted to make and being creatively fulfilled is one thing.  Making your work reach a wider audience (not just making a home movie) is another!  So how do you get your film distributed?  What are the strategies for independent filmmakers?  What grassroots marketing efforts work for building your audience?  Get these and other questions answered.

Panelists: Casey Callister (Garden Thieves Pictures) and Ross Koenig (SnagFilms)
: Stana Benesova Kimball /DCIFF

Sunday, March 4, 2012
12 noon – 1:30pm

Legal Seminar/The Filmmaker as Creative Entrepreneur in partnership with the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA)

WALA brings to DCIFF the highlights of its popular Legal Issues for Creative Entrepreneurs series.  The panel of presenters will discuss key legal considerations for starting, operating and managing a company in the film industry.  Topics for discussion will include identifying the right business structure for your company under DC’s new business organization laws; protecting your intellectual property; licensing content; key contracts to have in place; and use and leasing of commercial space.

Panelists: Brian Frankel, Esq., John D. Mason, Esq., and Nancy Prager, Esq.
: Laura Possessky, Esq./WALA

2:00PM – 3:30PM

The art of screenwriting has grown significantly since the early days of film, when a writer’s work was not seen as a craft or their role as important to a film as the actors or director. Today writers are trained at prestigious universities and receive high accolades and major awards. So, what makes a script good? How do scripts become films? What distinguishes good writers from great writers? DCIFF 2012 will sit down with noted Hollywood writer/producer Jorge Saralegui to answer these questions and more on the art and craft of screenwriting.

Panelist: Jorge Saraelgui (Showtime, Queen of the Damned , The Time Machine, Dread and more)
: Rahima Rice-Marsh (DCIFF)

4:00PM – 5:30PM 

Sources of Music for Your Film
A discussion about music for movies, both custom and licensed, including how to work with a composer and how to make the most of using library music to get a soundtrack that fits your film’s needs without breaking your budget.  The panelists include Paula Bellenoit and Blake Althen of Human Factor Productions — nominated multiple times by the Washington Area Music Awards for their creative and business work — and Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, a film music composer and recipient of TIVA’s Peer Award for his music score to the independent film “Sadie’s Waltz,” as well as 3 artistic fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Panelists: Blake Althen /Human Factor, Paula Bellenoit/Human Factor, and Brian Wilbur Grundstrom
: Stana Benesova Kimball (DCIFF)

* All seminars and workshops are held at the main DC Independent Film Festival Site, the US Navy Memorial Heritage Center (Metro: Archives).