Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

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Welcome to The D-Word! Stop in and sign the guest book - let us know a little (or a lot) about yourself.

Please note that this is one of our Public Topics, so best to enter email addresses with (at) to prevent them being harvested. Spam will be deleted.

Lisa Russell
I am a former relief worker who has, over the last 3 years, decided
to blend my development experiences and expertise with my keen
interest in sensitively portraying personal stories to address
international issues with a creatively urban appeal.

Currently, I'm producing and directing "Settling in Seattle" which is
a one-hour doc that highlights the stories of four refugee youth from
the Sudan, Kosovo, Vietnam and Iraq who have resettled in the Seattle
area. The film is part of a larger outreach campaign intended to
promote youth participation and the use of film/video, music and
multimedia as a means to educate the public about refugee issues in
the US for World Refugee Day. Politically, the project highlights
the work of the US resettlement program and how deeply it was
affected by the events of September 11th.

I'm hoping to use this forum to get feedback on the production and
promotional process of this film b/c I am already finding it a
challenge to integrate the "pressing needs" of the resettlement
community wihtout sacrificing the artistic merit of the film (meaning
not coming across too journalistic.) I'd appreciate and welcome your

For those of you who are interested, more info about the project can
be found at Also, if you are in New
York, we are having an event on Feb 2nd that you are welcome to
attend. More info about the event is at

Looking forward to challenging discussions with you all...
Doug Block
Welcome, Lisa. For the kind of discussions you want, you should join
The D-Word Community: No need to email us your
background, since you just posted it.
W Keith Mcmanus

I'm a documentary still photographer and filmmaker with over 35 years of experience.
I now live in Western New York [Rochester]
My work has been mostly here in the U.S. with topics ranging from national politics, spring break, rural & small town life to AIDS (PBS doc "Mending Hearts, living with AIDS].

Doug Block
Howdy, Keith. Make sure you use "autowrap" so you don't get one
looooong sentence.
W Keith Mcmanus
I did...for some reason the auto-wrap was not applied to my post.
Ben Kempas
With some browsers, like Opera, you need to manually tick the "Wrap"
Marina Pereira
I've been searching for this kind of forum for quite some time and
was introduced to D-word by David Griggs.
Don't really know what to say to you now besides what's on my
profile so I'll let you check it ^_^
Connie Bottinelli
Hi Doug, I just sent an e-mail for inclusion in D-Word Community.
The first thing I'll be looking for is assistance on my current
production "Map of the Missing". It's being shot in Bosnia
Herzegovina. I'm looking for a producer, shooter and news footage
source on the ground there to cover what's happening when I'm not
able to get there. Looks like I might find some leads here. Looking
forward to hearing what comes out of the EDN forum. I'm on a mission
to find it on this very active looking site! Best, Connie Bottinelli
Adrian McCarthy
Hi just got word of this today. Im based in Dublin, Ireland. I am
very interested in talking about some good US documentary distributors
who might be into the idea of taking on an Irish doc. Have made a few
award winning docs over here in recent years. Any pointers? thanks
and looking forward to hanging out h
Ben Kempas
Welcome, Adrian. You might want to repeat this question in our
US/Euro conference with EDN that is currently taking place in topic

If you are a professional yourself, don't forget to check out The D-
Word Community as well (see the note in the header of this page) ...
Deleted User
Hello! I'm Charis and I'm getting started in documentary
filmmaking. :-) i'm a student of the University of the Philippines
and I'm starting my thesis next school year. I'm hoping that joining
this forum could help in any way. I really would like to make a
documentary for my thesis, rather than the "safe" narrative like
everyone back here does. So that's pretty much it. Hope to hear from
you. :-)
Doug Block
Welcome, Charis. I'm curious to know how you found The D-Word.
Anyway, glad we can help and feel free to ask questions in The
Mentoring Room topic, as well.
Deleted User


June 18-22, 2003





February 5, 2003 (Silver Spring, MD)*SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel
Documentary Festival is now accepting entries for its inaugural edition in the
summer of 2003. Created and sponsored through a unique collaboration
between the American Film Institute and Discovery Communications, Inc.,
SILVERDOCS will establish benchmarks for excellence in the international
documentary field.

Completed films must be submitted for consideration no later than March 1,

Between June 18 - 22, 2003, SILVERDOCS will celebrate, honor and
showcase approximately 60 films worldwide. The Festival will be held at the
newly restored, state-of-the-art AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in
downtown Silver Spring, MD.

Award-winning independent filmmaker Karen Cooper, Director of Film Forum
in New York, will serve as the chair of the SILVERDOCS Jury.

Renowned as a supporter of innovative world cinema, Cooper has been a
jury member for more than 15 international festivals, including the Sundance
Film Festival, the Napoli Film Festival and the Sarajevo International Film
Festival. She has also worked extensively with the Soros Documentary Fund,
HBO and the National Endowment for the Arts.

*SILVERDOCS is honored to have a person of Karen Cooper*s experience
and stature serve as Jury chair,* noted Nina Seavey, Festival Director. *Her
involvement is an indicator of the level of quality expected at this unique
Festival. Her participation immediately distinguishes SILVERDOCS as a
substantial and significant addition to the Festival calendar in its inaugural

At the awards ceremony on closing night, the SILVERDOCS jury will present
Sterling Awards to the most exceptional documentaries in competition. An
Audience Award will be given to the film that garners a strong popular vote
among Festival attendees.

SILVERDOCS is unusual as a film festival because of its exclusive focus on
documentaries, coupled with its proximity to Washington, DC. Because of its
location, in the center of news, policy and communication, the Festival is in a
unique position to engage filmmakers, international policymakers, journalists,
issue experts, elected officials and activists to explore and challenge issues
raised by selected documentary films.

Every year, SILVERDOCS will include several program strands covering a
range of concerns.
For 2003, programming strands include:

World View
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Inside Sports

For complete information regarding film eligibility, entry rules or an application
form, go to or contact SILVERDOCS at
301.495.6776,, or via mail at 8633 Colesville Road,
Silver Spring, MD 20910. Submissions must be received by March 1, 2003.

SILVERDOCS is presented by the American Film Institute with the support of
sponsoring partner, Discovery Channel.

AFI is the preeminent organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the
art of film, television and other forms of the moving image. AFI trains the next
generation of filmmakers, coordinates nationwide film preservation efforts and
explores new technologies in moviemaking. AFI also presents the best of film
through the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI FEST); the AFI
National Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; and the annual
AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor given for a career in film. More
information about AFI can be found by visiting its Web site, located at

Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media and
entertainment company. DCI has grown from its core property, the Discovery
Channel, first launched in the United States in 1985, to current global
operations in more than 155 countries and territories with over 830 million
cumulative subscribers. DCI's 33 networks of distinctive programming
represent 14 entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel
Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, Discovery Civilization,
The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure
and Discovery en Español. DCI's other properties consist of
and 167 Discovery Channel retail stores. DCI also distributes BBC America in
the United States. DCI's ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty
Media Corporation (NYSE: L), Cox Communications, Inc.(NYSE: COX),
Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company's
Founder, Chairman and CEO.

# # #

Press Contact:*Katie Stack
Doug Block
Katie, this is for introducing yourself, not for promoting an event.
We'll make an exception in your case and not delete the post because
SilverDocs director Nina Seavey is a longtime D-Word member.

That said, it promises to be a great festival for docmakers, so good
luck with it.
Deleted User
Hi from advaitji. I'm living now in the netherlands two years and
heavily 'in production' of a story of local heros. 'MY' subjects
seem to be 'The search for family' in all of it's variations and 'The
right to decide for oneself'. In england (where i come from) this
manifested as the documentary 'out of site' about travelers and
the rights of individuals to determine their own circumstances,
how they live, where and with who.

My current film is about a group of parents who get together to
share and organise their childcare, despite legal and other

My background is in commercials, digital effects and editing of
short videos, so i'm going to be looking for help and advice with
transfering these skills to longer formats - developing and
working with stories - proposal and script writing - also i'm
interested in how 'I' fit into the work i do - where am 'i' in the films
i make?

ok, enough intro for now - i want to read....

Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word, Advait. You are currently in our public forum
(orange background) which is mainly used for special events. It would
be great if you could introduce yourself in {LINK NOT IMPORTED} as
well, which is our ongoing private conference for documentary
professionals (blue background). Cheers!
Jill Freidberg
I am a documentary filmmaker in Seattle just wrapping up a really
successful grassroots distribution of our feature documentary, This
is What Democracy Looks Like. I am starting production on a
documentary about the Mexican teachers' movement this spring.
Interested in finding Mexican and bilingual (englsih-spanish)
Tomas Leach
Hi -
I'm a Doc Director in the UK.
I'm just in the final stages of a 25 minute Doc on the Last Mudhorse
Fishermen in the world.
Tried reading through as much backdated postings as i could; it's
all interesting stuff.
Deleted User
Hello Everyone,

I stumbled upon this site in my journey for a truly informative forum
for the documentary producer.

Glad to be here...and best wishes to all...

Ben Kempas
Welcome, Jamal! What's your own background then?
Mark Hamilton
Hello all, independent documentary-maker joining from Canada. Mark Hamilton
Ben Kempas
No, Doug, we certainly don't sound like broken records. Neither do
we put up big bold banner announcements telling people where to go,
nor do we explain the difference between The D-Word Forum and The
D-Word Community in our welcome emails to new members. :-)
Manuela Maiguashca
Hello, I'm a UK documentary filmmaker interested in personal docs
that evolve over time. Am shooting one at the moment - a story about
becoming a parent. I'm due in 3 months and filming the labour as well
as the months before and after. I already have a two year old and the
film is a humorous look at how my daughter and the rest of us cope
with the arrival of the new baby. Was very happy to read Ross
McElwees remarks in the Art of the Personal Doc. Also working on
other doco projects - one based in Russia and the secret city of
Look forward to connecting with filmmakers through D-Word!
Oliver Thomas

I'm a cameraman in the UK, who is fed up with shooting rubbish.
Have my own doc project I'd like to get off the ground and would be
interested in reading about experiences of others...cheers

Ben Kempas
Oliver, welcome to The D-Word Forum, our public area. Please make
sure to join The D-Word Community as well. Here's how to become a
member of our private community for professionals:
Louise Walker
Hello, everyone. Greetings from Vancouver. I was just wondering if
anyone's film has been accepted at Hot Docs yet. I have spoken with
a few members of the Cdn community who are considering boycotting
this year's festival due to its new policy of Toronto premieres
only. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Ben Kempas
Louise, you should ask this inside {LINK NOT IMPORTED}, our
private forum for professionals. I am arranging access for you as we
Jorge Prior
From Mexico. Just finished a documentary of a rock
star(Rockdrigo) that became a myth from the moment he died in
the worst earthquake we had (1985).
We have several projects in hand, one is the special culture
narco dealers have
established, and odd culture that everyday becomes more
Good to find this place and learn about international docs.
Adele Schmidt
Hi Jorge, yes come and join the d-word community and make this forum
more international. Where do you live? I lived 8 years in Mexico
City. Are you going to use archive materials of the earthquake from
1985? I would like to discuss your project in the d-word community
topic 'projects in development'.
Chanel Carlascio

i am a filmmaker in portland, oregon. i was referred to this forum by
a member. currently working on two projects, but am interested in
plugging in to the community. hope i get accepted to the private

Dan Ratiu

I am a filmmaker from Romania and I am glad to join the forum.

Ben Kempas
Dan, welcome to The D-Word, and make sure to introduce yourself in
Chanel Carlascio
couple of questions regarding treatments:

how long is a documentary treatment typically expected to be?

how detailed should i make it?

any recommendations for doc treatment examples?

Doug Block
1. a couple of pages 2. as visual and detailed as you can, given that
you haven't shot it yet and it will inevitably turn out considerably
different than you anticipated (usually for the better) 3. um, there
must be a book out there. if you're in the ny area, you should check
out the aivf library:
Lucie Bourgeau
Hi all,

I was referred by the Director of Detroit Docs, a new organization
here in Detroit I work for. We hold an annual doc film fest, a
monthly screening series & director Q&A (starting in April), and
eventually a resource center. Glad to be here!

Deleted User
Hi all,
I'm working in the UK and am moving into the world of documentaries
from the world of graphic design. am new to it all. am here to look
and learn. and then to make some good work.
- justy
Amita Talwar
Hi everyone. Am working in India as a publisher and want to move on
to my first love - Documentaries. Have done a couple and sold them
in India. Time to share my work with others and also see what the
rest of you folks are upto. How does one do that?
Doug Block
Welcome, Amita and Justy! Amita, I suggest you read the conference
we did with Jan Rofekamp last year here about Selling in the
International Marketplace: {LINK NOT IMPORTED} It will tell you much of what you
need to know.
Amita Talwar
Thanks Doug. I went through the Jan Rofekamp conference. Does it
help to send the synopsis to some buyers/channels directly through
emails? Is it worth taking a chance?
Doug Block
Yes, absolutely. I recommend you send them something very brief in
an email. Very succint. No more than two paragraphs. Make it as
dramatic and compelling as possible. Then ask if they would like you
to send a more complete proposal. Or, if you have a website with more
info, include a url link.
Deleted User
Hello. My 2 year old is napping so my keyboard is tapping! I'm a
complete newcomer to the world of documentary filmmaking. No
filmmaking experience but I'm very grateful to have an on-line
classroom. :-) Taking a week long doc course soon and can't wait to
get started. I'm anxious to learn. Previous life paths include,
theatre [acting], software development and desktop publishing. Have
a million doc ideas. Of course!
Doug Block
Just make 'em cheap, Jackie! ;-) Welcome to d-world (which is what
we sometimes call d-word - it's grown so much internationally). Good
luck with your course and hope you hold onto your initial enthusiasm
in the years ahead.
Deleted User
A little over zealous? ;-)I forgot to mention that I'm from Canada,
originally from Toronto but now living in Aylmer, Quebec. Really
enjoyed the on-line conference on personal documentary, btw.
Jamie Lee
Greetings from St. Paul, Minnesota. Not a big user of forums and such, but
thought I would give this one a try since my partner seems to peruse it once a
week for good advice et cetera. Just spoke in an Ethnographic Filmmaking
class at Macalester College. Very fun. Not used to anthropology students
picking our brains. Yippee!
Doug Block
what a bright partner you have, jamie! hold onto this person for
dear life ;-) hope we have some good advice left in us for you, too.
George Robinson
Just a quick note to introduce myself. I am the film critic (hope
that's not a dirty word here) for Jewish Week (NYC) and Inside
Magazine (Philadelphia) and I cover _a lot_ of documentary film for
both publications, partly because of their readership and largely by
choice. I am also -- after 32 years of writing criticism -- slowly
starting to work up the nerve to do a documentary film (as soon as I
finish the book I'm contracted to do -- any year now).
Ben Kempas
Munich sends a big welcome to James, Jackie, George & co!
Wade Childers
Hello, just joining D-Word. Working on first documentary project
which I'm writing, and exploring directorial options. Coming from
the world of film music recording & mixing in LA. But now I have
this documentary itch... and an opportunity to pursue it, so I'm
setting sail to the filmmaking world, but docking in D-Word for a
while first. Greetings to all!
Deleted User
Hi im an aussie who is trying to make a doc with a german on a river
in china.(sounds like there should be a punchline) I want to know
everything there is to know but I'll start with. How do I get
funding? How much money is 6x1hr (great) docos worth? How much help
can we hope for from the 5 goverments of the countries we pass
through? p.s. this is a great site steve
Doug Block
Thanks and welcome, mate! How do you get funding? Wouldn't we all
like to know ;-)

But you can get a good start on what the international marketplace
for docos is like by reading Jan Rofekamp's conference here: {LINK NOT IMPORTED}

Lotsa luck, Steve.
George Robinson
This seems the likeliest place for me to put in a
plug for my new, improved website, Cine-Journal, which can be found at
(a drumroll please!):

Later this week I'll be posting an interview with Jennifer Dworkin
about "Love and Diane," which is superb by the way, and I expect to
cover the doc scene as much as possible.

And for them that celebrates with us, a khag sameakh (joyous festival)
for Passover,
George Robinson
Deleted User
Thanks for the reply dbblock, I still havnt found what a doco sells
for on the international market or domestic. My backers are very
interested in numbers for some reason(go figure eh?) even though we
hope to keep the cost below $12,000. Ours will of course be second
only to "The nature of Australia" by the ABC but substantialy
cheaper:-) I realise I'm asking "how long is a piece of string" but
any indication would be great. We will make it anyway but a bit of
funding will make it easier. (as i'm sure many will agree) steve
Deleted User
Hi everyone. I am just starting out in the world of documentary
filming. Other then filming my 4yr at the beach on weekends I have
no experience but I love filming and learning more about it, I guess
thats why we are all here. Anyways I'm working on my first
documentary this summer about the SteelBand Orchestra I am apart
of. So wish me luck as I wish you all luck on your various projects.

Alicia Sully

I am an undergraduate film student at the moment soon to be "taking a year
off" to develop my skill in the field. My filmmaking interests lie in
anthropological/ experimental/ productive social documentaries. I am fairly
unfamiliar with anything going on right now in these realms. I am idealistic,
confident, and without responsibilities. I am going to go wherever the art takes
me and my sensibilities allow. I wish all with luck in shaping a life that makes
the most sense to you.
Stuart Leigh

I've been making radio for years - much of it educationally oriented,
for kids and for African teachers. That has led to some teacher
training video programs and international project documentation...
and I've done some short videos of musicians in China, Brazil,
Haiti... My musical interests are perrenial... no, make that
constant. Just returned from producing a song for HIV/AIDS awareness
in Benin - a sort of "We Are the World" concept with Beninois pop
musicians and now am trying to get support for a music video of that
piece. Also have a number of unfinished things in the can, e.g. our
daughter as a young viewer's guide to Ethiopia, also a piece fully
shot on project-based interdisciplinary learning in high schools. But
so much remains unfinished when financing is elusive. Happy to see
what's going on here and learn from ya'll.
Doug Block
Welcome, Alicia and Stuart. We're equally happy to have you with us.
Deleted User
Hi all -- just a documentary fan here with no connection to the
industry, save for the fact that I'm approaching 150 docs on DVD. I
fancy myself a self-directed, self-taught documentary lover -- but I
limit myself to documentaries on DVD. Unfortunately, some of the
best documentaries aren’t yet on DVD -- almost everything by Errol
Morris, Hearts of Darkness, etc., etc. I think documentaries on DVD
have some unique advantages. Namely, the extra material can be
particularly insightful and illuminating -- more so than the
commentary track on a blockbuster movie. Anyway, I'm very happy to
have found this forum.
Doug Block
Nice to have an enthusiast here, Ross. Welcome.
Riley Morton
wow Ross! nice work .150 Doc DVDs. I'm jealous!

I've been chided for not introducing myself, so here goes.

My name is Riley, and I've been making docs about outdoor and
adventure sports for the last 4 years. I love all kinds of
documentaries (and even a few fictional films) - but have chosen
a niche that i am particularly passionate about in order to
(hopefully) develop something of a reputation in the industry. It
has been a long road, but i'm finally making a living doing film
and video work (much of it commercial) - so i'm thrilled about
that. I was born in Seattle, and live and work here now, but hope
to move to a smaller town at some point in the future.

I've been on Mount Everest for each of the last 2 springs, so it
feels a little weird to not be in the himalaya this spring. In 2002, I
was working on the South Side for documenting
an expedition about American Women trying to climb the peak,
and in 2001, I was on the North Side with a group trying to solve
mountaineering greatest mystery: Did Mallory and Irvine summit
the peak first in 1924 and die on the way down? Or, was Hillary
the first to summit in '53 (he was certainly the first to come down
alive). Long story short, I ended up making a feature about the
2001 trip called 'found on everest.'

Before that, I worked as something of a video journalist for (when they still had funding) - and before
that, I made 2 films about ski town culture - which is essentially
how i started learning about documentary filmmaking. A process
that continues, and won't stop for some time to come.

I've started my tapes in the 'tape bin' rounds. Sarah George has
them now, so contact her if you have any interest in seeing the

I'm in between projects right now, developing some ideas, and
doing freelance work. I'm always interested in helping out with
other projects, as a shooter, editor, or just about anything else -
so keep me in mind for that.

I've been grateful to read many of the helpful posts here on
D-word, and will continue to check in. thanks gang!

feature films:
freelance work:
Doug Block
Riley, we were chiding you to intro yourself on The D-Word Community,
not necessarily at The D-Word Forum ;-)
Riley Morton
this whole community/forum thing has been a bit confusing for
me (as you can see) but i'll go do it there.
thanks doug.
i'll get it together soon enough.