In recent years, successful documentaries have often been accompanied by dynamic community engagement plans. At this panel you'll meet some of the filmmakers and campaign designers that have helped develop this emergent form of outreach. Come to learn about finding affinity partners and crafting social media and strategic screening campaigns!
Photo Credit: Mariachi High/Rubylake LLC
Caitlin Boyle is a pioneer of grassroots distribution for independent films. She has served as the architect of national screening and audience outreach initiatives for dozens of award winning feature documentaries, including King Corn, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, The End of the Line, A Small Act, Bag It, Unfinished Spaces and The Invisible War. Her presentations on grassroots film distribution have rallied filmmakers at SXSW, Hot Docs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, RIDM and the Los Angeles Film Festival, as well as in filmmaker workshops at the New York Foundation for the Arts, IFP Doc Labs and the Southwest Alternate Media Project. Boyle previously worked at the NPR affiliates WFUI and WFUV and the PBS affiliate WNET. She currently serves on the board of the documentary arts center UnionDocs, based in Brooklyn.
Patricia Finneran is the founder of Story Matters, a strategic consulting firm working at the intersection of storytelling and social change. Story Matters advances the use of film and video as a powerful tool to reach, engage and influence audiences. Finneran works with filmmakers to help shape stories, provide production and distribution advice and create strategies for outreach and engagement. In addition, the firm partners with non-profit organizations, funders and social entrepreneurs on projects that use storytelling as an integral elements in advancing their mission. Recent projects include outreach and engagement campaigns for documentaries including: Bully, How To Survive A Plague and The Revolutionary Optimists. Consulting clients include BritDoc Foundation’s Good Pitch, a forum for filmmakers to forge cross-sectors campaign partners; Harmony Institute’s ImpactSpace, a dynamic data platform visualizing media impact; and HotDocs Festival in Toronto. Finneran has held senior positions at Sundance Institute, American Film Institute and IFP New York. She also led the growth of the SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival from 2003- 2008 to become the largest US documentary festival.
Rachel Libert is a New York-based Producer/Director. Her work includes the Oscar® shortlisted and Emmy® nominated film Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which tells the story of one of the largest water contamination incidents in US history. Her award-winning television series Boomtown chronicled the impact of an oil boom on a small North Dakota town. The critically-acclaimed documentary Beyond Conviction was broadcast as a primetime special on MSNBC and featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Today Show. Her broadcast directing credits also include Our America with Lisa Ling (OWN), Brave New Voices (HBO) and Chopped(Food Network). She is the recipient of the 2012 Ridenhour Documentary Prize and was a Sundance Institute Documentary Fellow.
Kelly Sheehan is the Vice President and Executive Producer for Rainlake Media, where she guides the development, production and distribution of independent documentaries. Her projects include Mariachi High, Four Seasons Lodge and Crossing Arizona, which was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize. Sheehan also worked on Follow My Voice, an indie music documentary that benefitted the first LGBT public school and featured an all star cast including John Cameron Mitchell, Yoko Ono and Rufus Wrainwright. She previously served as head of production for the Emmy Award winning company Globalvision and supervising producer for twelve ABC broadcast specials with Diane Sawyer, part of the network's Children First public service campaign.
Kelly DeVine (Moderator) has served as the Artistic Director of the Global Peace Film Festival since 2006. During her tenure, she sought to rethink the traditional festival model, taking it from a passive event to one that fully realizes the motivational power of film. DeVine pairs films with local, national and international groups, creating a community centered hub that educates and inspires, as well as provides the resources for individuals to become empowered change agents. She has also consulted for impact projects for award winning documentaries such as Bully, How to Survive a Plague and Revolutionary Optimists. She is a longtime film acquisitions and programming professional and was a key member of the IFCTV Acquisitions team for almost 8 years. She continues to consult with filmmakers on story development and distribution strategies, regularly serving as a reader for grant programs and on film festival juries.
Produced by Pangia Macri, Nanci Callahan, Pearl Park, Marcia Rock