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Online Originals and Crowdfunding Trends

Many broadcasters, cable outlets and online platforms have expanded their commitments to original content. And that includes documentaries. The panel of executives will review their editorial acquisition strategies, reveal upcoming commission opportunities and discuss their revenue share policy (if appropriate). Meanwhile, crowdfunding campaigns offer the potential to raise money for projects online and also help build an audience. The panel will discuss new crowdfunding trends and review effective campaign strategies that work.


Cohan joined the Seed&Spark team after 10 years in advertising and marketing while moonlighting as an actor and writer in New York. As head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Seed&Spark, he works closely with partners on event and content sponsorships as well as festival and education activities. His first ever Crowdfunding campaign, before Seed&Spark was founded, was a total failure. He learned the hard way that crowdfunding is hard! After learning the ways of Seed&Spark, he now teaches filmmakers how to crowdfund responsibly and to set themselves up for a sustainable career making moving pictures, and how not to make the mistakes that he made. Greg resides in Brooklyn, NY, and continues to work as an actor while writing/producing original content.

Lindsay Crouse is the Coordinating Producer for the New York Times Op-Docs series. Since joining Op-Docs in 2011, she has worked on more than 200 short films, interactives, and virtual reality projects, winning two Emmy Awards, a Peabody, and an Oscar nomination for best short documentary.

Laura Turner Garrison
leads development for original programming at Vimeo, and spiritual development for anyone who will listen – which is currently no one, but she’s keeping her fingers crossed. Recent projects include Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate, Darby Forever starring Aidy Bryant, and two new series announced at SXSW – The Outs and Lonely and Horny. She also helped launch Vimeo’s 2016 Share the Screen Initiative, a program focused on promoting, supporting, and funding at least five projects from female creators. As part of this initiative, Vimeo has partnered with Big Vision Empty Wallet on their Kickstart Diversity program. Laura is excited to be here.

Veena Rao
(Moderator) is a director and producer based in Brooklyn. Her films have screened at festivals worldwide, have been featured on publications such as The Atlantic, and National Geographic, and have aired on the Documentary Channel and Current TV. She is an alumna of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a member of Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Film Fatales, and the New York Women in Film & Television Documentary Committee.

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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.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts