DOC NYC’S MAKE YOUR OWN DOCUMENTARY PRESENTED BY MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL
Masterclasses & Symposiums
Do you have an idea for a documentary but don’t know how to move forward? In this 6-hour workshop, Thom Powers brings his 20 years of experience – as a filmmaker, festival programmer and teacher – to guide attendees through all the steps for a successful project. You’ll learn how to assess an idea for commercial viability, where to go for funds, how to manage production and editing, and how to bring a project into distribution.
The workshop combines information with inspiration to help get your project off the ground. You’ll come away up-to-the-minute insights into marketplace trends that you won’t find in other classes or books.
Powers will cover a range of documentary formats including shorts, features and series. He’ll discuss what disruptive platforms such as Kickstarter, Netflix and Vimeo mean for filmmakers to have a sustainable career.
The final hour of the workshop will be a masterclass with filmmakers Mark Benjamin and Katie Carpenter, both with deep ties to South Florida. They’ll discuss how documentary projects like the Discovery series Ocean Warriors (Discovery) have impacted audiences; and discuss their new film Chasing the Thunder (playing at the festival) to finish on a note of inspiration for the power of nonfiction film.
The masterclass will be moderated by Thom Powers.
Thom Powers has been called “a kingmaker for documentaries” by The New York Times. He has long held positions as a documentary programmer at the Miami Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. He is the founding artistic director of America’s largest documentary festival DOC NYC. He hosts two podcasts: Pure Nonfiction, interviewing documentary filmmakers, and WNYC’s Documentary of the Week. He spent ten years as a director and producer on projects for HBO, PBS and other outlets. He teaches in the MFA Social Documentary program at the School of Visual Arts and previously at New York University.
Mark Benjamin: Miami native. He is a Coral Gables High School graduate who has spent innumerable hours spearfishing in Biscayne Bay and has a long career as a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker. He was director of photography on Slam (1998), directed by Marc Levin, and is co-creator of the hit SundanceTV series Brick City (2009) and Animal Planet’s Ocean Warriors (2016).
Katie Carpenter: A producer based in New York City. She specializes in environmental films for networks such as PBS, MSNBC, Sundance Channel, and Discovery. She has worked on Ocean Warriors (2016-2018) and the National Geographic film Battle for the Elephants (2013). Her film A Year On Earth (2006) garnered an EMMY nomination.