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Doc U: The Doc Reporter - Navigating the Intersection of Documentary and Journalism

International Documentary Association

Monday, January 14, 2013 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General Admission
IDA Individual & Student Members: Please click the sign-in link below to access discounted admission prices of $15 and $5.
Ended $20.00 $1.99

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Event Details

International Documentary Association


Doc U

The Doc Reporter
Navigating the Intersection of
Documentary and Journalism

 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!


With the contraction of traditional news reporting and journalism over the past decade, more people, as well as traditional media outlets, are turning to long and short form documentaries and those who make them to learn about and understand our world. What does it mean for documentary filmmakers if more and more, people equate "documentary" with "journalism"? When is a documentary filmmaker acting as journalist? What are the inherent responsibilities? Is calling yourself a "journalist" enough when it comes to legal protections and long established journalistic rights? What new opportunities, and challenges, are available as documentary filmmakers move into the spotlight of journalism and reporting, and recording history as it is happening?

Join moderator Karin Stellwagen (The Brooks Institute) for a discussion with Sarah Burns (The Central Park Five), Michael Donaldson (Partner, Donaldson & Callif), and David France (How To Survive A Plague) on the intricate balance between video journalism and documentary filmmaking.

Karin Stellwagen, Moderator

Karin Stellwagen’s production experience includes national television series and cutting-edge video installations for major museums around the world. She graduated from USC with a Masters in Visual Anthropology and teaches documentary film production at Brooks Institute in Ventura, California. Credits include New Heroes for PBS, Hannibal for History Channel, Wright Brothers for PBS Nova, Rocket Challenge for Discovery, and Bataan Rescue for PBS American Experience. Karin served as production manager for world-renowned video artist Bill Viola, working on featured installations at major international museums including the National Gallery of England, Guggenheim, LA County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Getty Museum.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is the author of The Central Park Five: A Chronicle of a City Wilding (Knopf, 2011) and, along with David McMahon and Ken Burns, the producer, writer, and director of the documentary The Central Park Five, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 and earned the NYFCC award for best documentary. She is currently working on a film about the life and times of Jackie Robinson. Sarah was born and raised in Walpole, New Hampshire. She graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a degree in American Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, David McMahon, and their daughter.

Michael Donaldson

Michael C. Donaldson is an entertainment attorney who has been fighting for independent filmmakers for over thirty years. As President of the International Documentary Association, he negotiated with the cable networks to prevent the wholesale migration of credits from the screen to the internet by organizing and leading the Documentary Credit Coalition. He served on the Advisory Committee for the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Stanford Fair Use Project. He also serves as General Counsel to Film Independent (home of the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival) and the Writers Guild Foundation. He negotiated with Media Professional Insurance Company to offer fair use riders on the E&O insurance policies which allowed many films to be made under the fair use doctrine. He helped draft Orphan Works legislation, as well as, the Rome Resolution to harmonize Fair Use across the European Union. He also helped the IDA file, argue, and win an exemption to the DMCA; allowing Documentary Filmmakers access to public domain material for the purpose of their documentary pursuant to fair use. In addition, he also wrote Clearance & Copyright, used in 50 film schools and winner of three national book awards. He is also the co-author of The American Bar Associations’ Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking.

Michael is an avid skier, world hiker, and award-winning photographer. He won a gold medal at the 1998 Senior Olympics for Parallel Bars and a silver medal on the rings.

David France
Director/Producer David France is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. A former Newsweek senior editor known for his pieces bridging science and culture, his work has appeared in the New York Times and New York magazine, where he is a contributing editor, and has been recognized with a National Headliner Award and a GLAAD Media Award, among others. His three nonfiction books include Our Fathers, the critically acclaimed epic examination of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis. Several films have been inspired by his work, including the Emmy-nominated Showtime film Our Fathers, for which he received a WGA nomination. He is at work on a major new history of AIDS, due from Alfred A. Knopf in 2014. Based on decades of reporting, How to Survive a Plague—his directorial debut—has won the IDA's Jaqueline Donnet Emerging Filmmaker Award, and the Gotham Award and New York Film Circle Critics award for first time filmmaker and best documentary, among others.

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

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


Doc U: The Doc Reporter
Navigating the Intersection of Documentary and Journalism


Monday, January 14, 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
IMAXBrooks InstituteDepartment of Cultural Affairs - City of Los Angeles
AXIS PROIndie Printing


Members and Supporters of IDA
Have questions about Doc U: The Doc Reporter - Navigating the Intersection of Documentary and Journalism? Contact International Documentary Association

When & Where

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

Monday, January 14, 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.

  Contact the Organizer
Doc U: The Doc Reporter - Navigating the Intersection of Documentary and Journalism
Los Angeles Events Screening Film & Media
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