Seminars, Panels and Workshops

  • All seminars, panels, and masterclasses are held at the main DC Independent Film Festival Site, the US Navy Memorial Heritage Center (Metro: Archives).
  • Tickets as listed. Discount for student groups available upon request. Please inquire at

Saturday, February 22nd

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Locations and Permits

Locations and Permits

How to find the perfect setting for your film in the DC area? How to get all necessary permits to shoot at that location? Learn about this and more about location scouting and permits from Liz Lovern, DC-area location scout and independent producer, and Herbert Niles, the Deputy Director of the DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

1:45 PM – 3:15 PM


How to compose music for a film? The Mayor’s Arts Award Recipient for Outstanding Emerging Artist, Composer Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, will talk about how to score music for a film. Grundstrom will dissect a film cue by going through the various iterations and explaining the changes made along the way. He will also explore the composer/director relationship.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM


Hollywood actor/writer/producer Manny Pérez (appeared in the TV series Homeland, Cold Case, Law and Order, and others) leads an interactive discussion on acting for main-stream and independent film. Learn about the ins and outs of acting, writing and producing, what to expect on a set, what to do, and especially what not to do to succeed.

$25 HERE in advance or at the door (limited to 30 attendees)

5:15 PM – 6:45 PM


Interested to find out how to create a successful web-based series, how to build a large audience, how to write a story that is serialized? Rob Raffety, the creator of a DC-based web series Cap South, will lead a discussion on the challenges and obstacles of writing, making, and promoting a web-based series.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

Sunday, February 23rd

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

wala_blue_red_tagENTERTAINMENT LAW 101 – Intellectual Property for Creative Professionals

(in partnership with WALA – Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. WALA provides access to education,advocacy and legal services through workshops and seminars, legal clinics and pro-bono referral services for artists and cultural communities in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.)
Need to ensure legal use (not just “fair use”!) of audio/video content in your film? WALA attorneys John D. MasonPurvi Patel and Diane Leigh Davison will lead a discussion about the intellectual property issues that confront every filmmaker: copyright, trademark, fair use, licensing, options, and WGA registration.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM

wala_blue_red_tagENTERTAINMENT LAW 202 – Contracts, Litigation, and Best Practices

(in partnership with WALA  – Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts)
WALA attorneys Brian Frankel, Laura Possessky, and Joshua Carpenter will lead a discussion about the business of film production: contracts, leases, litigation, incorporation, insurance, employment, and best practices
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM


This masterclass with Ron Judkins, Academy Awards winner for Best Sound for Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan, will include discussions about the history of sound in movies, the idea of sound perspective, the advantages and disadvantages of specific techniques in production sound, and some particular thoughts about sound for low-budget productions.
$25 HERE in advance or at the door (limited to 30 attendees)

3:45 PM – 5:15 PM


How not to be overwhelmed by a mind-boggling array of equipment and format choices — what’s out there and what’s coming soon for indie filmmakers on a budget. Documentary filmmakers Richard Chisolm and Paul Moon will lead an honest, interactive discussion about gear for independent filmmakers. Alexander Porter, an experimental cinematographer and a co-creator of the open source hybrid filming & 3D scanning technique called RGBDToolkit, will demonstrate how RGBDToolkit works, and discuss open source tools for independent and experimental filmmakers.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM


This workshop will negotiate different approaches and methods for adapting written literature for animation in appropriate ways. In his research, multi-disciplinary filmmaker and animator Hannes Rall explores the creation of genuinely culture-specific animation styles.
Followed by a reception featuring Indonesian best coffee and finger food sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
$16 HERE in advance or at the door