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Streaming Stories: Short Docs for the Web

This panel will explore how the medium of documentary film is adapting to a marketplace where an increasing number of films are reaching audiences online and viewers’ attention spans are getting shorter. In recent years, both producing documentary content for the web and releasing documentary shorts online have emerged as successful ways to increase mainstream viewership and promote filmmakers' work.

How are filmmakers navigating this through this new world? What are the benefits and pitfalls of producing short form content for the web? And what strategies and venues exist to get your work out there? Join NYWIFT for a panel discussion with producers and representatives from The Atlantic, NYTimes Op-Docs, POV, RetroReport, Storyhunter, VICE, and Vimeo.


Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg
is the Executive Producer of The Atlantic Video. She joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco.

Lauren Cynamon
helped launch VICE Media’s new food channel, Munchies and currently serves as its Co-Executive Producer. In addition to working on environmental series TOXIC, she edited the Webby Award-winning show Epicly Later’d. In 2010, she edited her first VICE feature film The Ride, which premiered at SXSW. She and fellow producing partner Chris Grosso have produced hit VICE series such as Tattoo Age and On Acid. Cynamon started at VBS.tv before the launch of VICE’s online network and she directed, produced, and edited two short films: And They Drifted (2005) and the award-winning How I Became An Eco-Warrior (2006).

Kyra Darton
is the Executive Producer of Retro Report's documentaries, which are distributed by The New York Times. She came to Retro Report from 60 Minutes, where she produced stories covering everything from the Mexican drug war to counterfeit prescription drugs to the cover up in the death of U.S. Ranger Pat Tillman. Her investigative reporting and storytelling has won multiple awards, including, most recently, a 2012 Peabody Award for a piece exposing fraud in cancer clinical trials. Darton has worked in broadcast journalism for 20 years.

Emma Dessau
is a Web Producer at POV Digital, the Webby Award-winning department that drives storytelling innovation for the acclaimed PBS documentary series POV. At POV, she helps program, license and manage online video and outreach around POV's films and interactive productions, including short documentaries and web docs. Outside of POV, Dessau co-produced two non-fiction projects, Folk to Folk, and The Story Store, and previously worked at Emerson College’s Engagement Game Lab in Boston.

Kelsey Doyle
is documentary filmmaker from Santa Cruz, California. She is on the board of the Santa Cruz Film Festival where she oversees filmmaking relations, production, programming, and content development. Doyle's work focuses on environmental and social issues. She recently shot a documentary for PBS Newshour about Malian Imamas and the Kafala system in Morocco. She is currently producing a short doc on Micronesian island tribes for the Oceanic society. When Doyle is not traveling around the world in search of stories, she works as blog editor and developer for Storyhunter.

Mariana Keller
is the Head of Community Development at Storyhunter, and a multimedia journalist with a passion for telling stories about people. She shoots and produces news features and documentaries, and looks for ways to help those stories create real impact. She was previously Editor-in-Chief at Newzulu, an agency that works with over 10K media outlets worldwide to license validated citizen journalism photos and videos. Besides The New York Times and TIME, she has shot and produced videos for The Wall Street Journal, GlobalPost, Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, Monocle, and UNESCO.

Kathleen Lingo
is the coordinating producer of The New York Times' Op-Doc series. Before joining the Times in 2013, she worked as a freelance producer, camera person and editor on both English and Spanish language productions. Last year, she won an Emmy as part of the team for A Short History of the Highrise produced by The New York Times and the National Film Board of Canada.

Jason Sondhi
is Vimeo’s Senior Manager of Curation in charge of Staff Picks. He is also a filmmaker, writer, and short film expert. Sondhi believes that short filmmaking is uniquely positioned to expand the definition of storytelling in our digital era, and endeavors to grow the audiences that can sustain these new innovative voices.

Veena Rao
(Moderator) is a director and producer whose short documentaries have aired on Current TV, the Documentary Channel, screened at festivals including Hot Docs and Big Sky, and have been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, Yahoo!, and Jezebel. She was a co-producer on Art, Architecture and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum, which premiered at the Guggenheim and aired on PBS, and an associate producer on Judith Helfand’s Cooked and Yoruba Richen’s The New Black. She is a member of NYWIFT, Film Fatales, and the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.


Produced by Emily Harrold and Veena Rao

Special Thanks to Marcia Rock and the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute


Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

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