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Doc U: Managing Your Doc's Debut - Building A Film Festival Strategy

International Documentary Association

Monday, February 25, 2013 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

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IDA Individual & Student Members: Please click the sign-in link below to access discounted admission prices of $15 and $5.
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International Documentary Association


Doc U

Managing Your Doc's Debut
Building A Film Festival Strategy

Monday, February 25, 2013 
 Discussion & Audience Q&A: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Reception to Follow

The Cinefamily
611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

IDA Member: $15  •  IDA Student Member: $5  •  Non-Member: $20

** IDA Individual & Student Members: Please sign-in for discount rate. **

(IDA Associate Members and Non-Members: Please purchase admissions above.)

Join IDA now! For discounted admission prices and more!


You've run a fundraising campaign, used every favor, worked long hours, and now you're ready to get your film out into the world. Film festivals are an important and productive outlet for getting your film seen, building buzz, and hopefully locking distribution. But with ever more festivals crowding the calendar, how do you decide which festival is best for your film? What are festival programmers looking for? What costs should you anticipate if your film gets accepted? In the crowded and often overwhelming schedule at most festivals, how do you make the most of the experience, and get your film noticed? What are buyers looking for, and how will they get in touch with you? And how do you determine if the festival circuit is even the right venue to launch your film?

Join moderator Kevin Iwashina, IDA Board Member and Managing Partner, Preferred Content for a candid discussion on making the most of your film's festival run with panelists John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival, Ben Fowlie, Director and Founder, Camden International Film Festival, Susan Margolin, Co-President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, and Stephanie Allain, Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Kevin Iwashina, Moderator

Kevin Iwashina is the Managing Partner of Preferred Content, a film, television and digital production, finance advisory and sales company. Prior to Preferred Content, Iwashina spent 10 years at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he was a talent agent, specializing in film packaging, financing and distribution. Iwashina holds a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in French Language and Culture from U.C.L.A. He is a native of Los Angeles where he currently resides.

Stephanie Allain, Director, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival

Stephanie Allain is an accomplished film producer who has been an advocate for visionary filmmakers for more than two decades.

She worked as a Story Analyst for 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and finally Columbia Pictures where she was promoted to Creative Executive in 1989. There she shepherded John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, which garnered Singleton two Academy Award® nominations and set the bar for contemporary urban dramas. As Senior Vice President of Production - the highest creative production position for an African American for over a decade – she launched the careers of several first time filmmakers including Robert Rodriguez.

After a stint as President of Jim Henson Pictures where she produced a handful of brand films, Allain formed Homegrown Pictures and produced Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow, which won the Audience Award at Sundance in 2005, an Academy Award® for Best Original Song and earned a Best Actor nomination for Terrence Howard. In 2005, she produced Sanaa Hamri’s directorial debut, Something New for Focus Features (nominated for two NAACP Awards) as well as Brewer’s Black Snake Moan, starring Sam Jackson and Christina Ricci. Her latest film, Tina Gordon Chism’s directorial debut, We The Peeples, starring Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson, opens May 2013.

Ms. Allain is Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, a member of AMPAS and PGA and she sits on the board of WIF. She has taught at the Entertainment Studies Division of UCLA and at USC’s Peter Stark Program.

John Cooper, Director, Sundance Film Festival
John Cooper has been a member of the Sundance Film Festival programming staff since 1989 and assumed the role of Festival Director in April of 2009 after serving as the Sundance Film Festival's Director of Programming since 2003. During his tenure, Cooper created the short film program at the festival and has worked extensively with the Sundance Institute’s Online, Sundance Institute at BAM, as well as the Sundance Film Festival in Tokyo. He now overseas new projects including Shorts Labs and the newly launched Sundance London a film and music festival held in the spring. From 1995-1998 Cooper served as Programming Director of Outfest, and until 2002 served on the Outfest Board of Directors

Ben Fowlie, Director and Founder, Camden International Film Festival
Ben Fowlie is an independent film programmer with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a documentary festival recognized as one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world, and one of the 12 best "small town" film festivals in the US. He is the founder of the Points North Documentary Forum, a conference component of CIFF which has hosted key industry decision makers from the BBC, HBO, A&E, The New York Times, Vimeo, PBS, POV, ITVS, ZDF Arte, the Tribeca Institute, the Sundance Institute and Cinereach, among others. Ben is a co-founder and programmer for the award winning DocYard screening series in Cambridge, MA, and currently sits on the Industry Advisory Board and Nominating Committee for the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. He is frequent panelist and juror at film festivals including the Silverdocs Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and SXSW.

Susan Margolin, Co-President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group
In April 2012, Cinedigm acquired Susan Margolin and Steve Savage’s New Video Group to form the first full-service end-to-end digital releasing studio specializing in acquiring and distributing independent films and specialty content both theatrically and through digital, mobile and home media platforms. Susan is now Co-President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a state of the art digital distributor of award-winning independent films and alternative content.

Since launching Docurama Films® in 1999, Margolin has championed more than 300 celebrated, award-winning non-fiction films, from D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back on DVD/Blu-ray to the Oscar®-nominated theatrical releases of Hell and Back Again (2011) and The Invisible War (2012). Flatiron Film Company was launched in 2011 as a brand for narrative independent films and original web series, including the theatrical/VOD/digital/DVD release of Elite Squad: The Enemy Within. She has spearheaded numerous independent and festival titles and brought them to a wider ancillary and digital market, including the Oscar®-nominated films Waste Land, GasLand and Paradise Lost 3. In 2011, New Video signed on as Sundance Institute’s exclusive digital content aggregation partner for Sundance Film Festival and Lab titles, providing a unique gateway to digital distribution that emphasizes filmmaker ownership.

A graduate of Brown University, Margolin is a board member of BAFTA NY and is a member of IFP and New York Women in Film and Television, where she serves on the advisory board.


The evening's on-stage conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A, and a reception on the Cinefamily's backyard Spanish patio!

The use of cameras, audio recording devices and video recording devices is prohibited at Doc U events.

For more information on IDA's Doc U: documentary.org/doc-u


Doc U: Managing Your Doc's Debut
Building A Film Festival Strategy


Monday, February 25, 2013
Doors Open: 7:00pm
Discussion & Audience Q&A: 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Wine Reception to Follow


The Cinefamily
611 N. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036



Meters on Fairfax: 2hr parking until 8pm, free thereafter. Parking in the lot across Fairfax is $3.00. Non-permitted parking available in neighborhoods behind The Cinefamily.


Doc U is the International Documentary Association's series of educational seminars and workshops for aspiring and experienced documentary filmmakers. Taught by artists and industry experts, participants receive vital training and insight on various topics including: fundraising, distribution, licensing, marketing, and business tactics.

Special support provided by:

Los Angeles County Arts CommissionHFPAT3Media
IMAX FirstCom Music
Brooks InstituteDepartment of Cultural Affairs - City of Los Angeles


Members and Supporters of IDA
Have questions about Doc U: Managing Your Doc's Debut - Building A Film Festival Strategy ? Contact International Documentary Association

When & Where

The Cinefamily
611 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, 90036

Monday, February 25, 2013 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

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International Documentary Association

Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes nonfiction filmmakers, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness for the documentary genre. Our major program areas are: Advocacy, Filmmaker Services, Education, and Public Programs and Events.

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Doc U: Managing Your Doc's Debut - Building A Film Festival Strategy
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