the worldwide community of documentary professionals
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Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

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.

Bret Robertson
Tue 3 Feb 2015Link

Hello! I'm excited to join this community. I'm a filmmaker with a couple films under my belt, a feature, "High Country", and two shorts. I'm in production on a feature about faith and comic book artists and in development on another, "Finding Paradise" that will look at the epidemic of drug addiction gripping the state, people, and culture of Hawaii.

I love telling good stories and I love talking about cameras and geeking out about the latest gear. I do a bit of everything, like most doc makers, producing, directing, writing, shooting, editing, and all the stuff in between.

I'm at home in the story telling, the actual making of the film. I'm not so comfortable in the fundraising and marketing. I want to get better at pitching, selling, and raising money as well as marketing to an audience.

I look forward to connecting with others and learning more about the amazing craft of telling stories through d-words.

Andy Schocken
Wed 4 Feb 2015Link

Welcome to the D-Word, Bret.  I'd recommend going through the past couple years of the marketing and distribution topic- you'll find some really valuable information.

Doug Block
Wed 4 Feb 2015Link

Great to have you here with us, Bret.  Welcome.

Bret Robertson
Wed 4 Feb 2015Link

Thanks Andy and Doug!

Katherine Foronjy
Sun 8 Feb 2015Link

Hi D-word - I haven't been active on this site in a long time. Congrats on the upgrade Doug. I'll be sure to help keep the lights on!

I'm a documentary filmmaker and casting director in NYC. I''ve built a company on casting real people for commercials and docs. Looking forwrd to getting reaqainted with this group. 

Shawn Convery
Sun 8 Feb 2015Link

Hello there - I am not so great with regular forum trolling but I do very much look forward to some of the more forward thinking discussions that can be found and contributed to here. I am a documentary filmmaker working on my 2nd (or 3rd...) film. I am based in Chicago but my previous films have been made in India and Bosnia Herzigovina. I am currently in the editing phase for my newest endeavour (which I have been working on for 5 years now) and am looking forward to future discussions about my and all of your films.



Larry Rattner
Mon 9 Feb 2015Link


I am an independent feature producer, and I have helped release documentaries.  I am now focusing more on documentaries.  My interest is producing progressive documentaries about social issues.  I am currently in preproduction on 2 projects.  I am excited to be part of this group, and I look forward to meeting you.


Doug Block
Mon 9 Feb 2015Link

Welcome back, Katherine, and thanks.  The upgrade is getting close at hand, we're keeping pretty tight-lipped but it's getting exciting.

Welcome to The D-Word, Shawn and Larry.  FYI, no need to sign your names at the end of your posts.  Your name appears automatically at the top.

Annie Roney
Tue 10 Feb 2015Link

Hi Doug,

Long overdue but I am finally here.  

We throw a party every year for the doc community at Sundance with the IDA.  This year we had over 500 RSVPs!  There's always a lot of love in the room and it energizes me and the rest of my colleagues here at ro*co to push on.  It is a very special community of people who stick with docs.  So, I am happy to be here at The D-Word too, and maybe can offer some help/advice/guidance.

My only concern is bandwidth - we are all in the same boat, but there are too many ways people can reach me, and so responding becomes overwhelming.

Thanks for creating this online community Doug.  It is super cool!


Doug Block
Wed 11 Feb 2015Link

Thanks, Annie.  So fantastic to have you joining us here, at last!  When I noticed you registered, it made my day.

FYI, if you do a search on your name in the Search Posts box (at the top of every page), you'll find an awful lot of people here have recommended you and ro*co over the years to those looking for an international sales agent.  Including me.  The tireless work you do getting important docs out into the world is greatly appreciated.

Edited Wed 11 Feb 2015 by Doug Block

Annie Roney
Thu 12 Feb 2015Link

I'll do that.  Thanks Doug!  My intention all these many years has been to just do the work and not spend time self-promoting.  I have always been deeply grateful that filmmakers came to us because of word-of-mouth.  Lately, though, it feels like there has been a shift in the power structures of our industry - as the value of docs increases so do the number of sharks circling.  I am looking for ways to better promote what we do among filmmakers, to help them understand what is at stake globally for their films, and to help them think strategically about their US educational market.  When I have some time, I will poke around the "Shameless Self-Promotion" page and see what I can do there.  Again, thanks for creating this community and for your kind words.

Doug Block
Thu 12 Feb 2015Link

That's definitely the place to do it, Annie.  But I'd also suggest you poke your nose around the Marketing and Distribution topic and chime in from time to time.  I know you'd have a lot to say and it would be great to have it be part of a larger, ongoing conversation. 

Rob Wilson
Thu 12 Feb 2015Link

Hi.  I'm a writer/producer/director -- have worked in all those capacities, and most of the various hyphenates.  I love directing in the field, have been director for many series with small crews as well as in studio (DGA) for Disney.  I really enjoy that process of orchestrating creativity, empowering creative people to do their best, motivating a team.  I also enjoy being on the team, supporting another's vision, and I understand the need for a "comfort zone" in high-pressure productions.  Partly due, perhaps, to a background in psychology, or just from being sensitive to feelings in general, I am good at protecting people from themselves, giving a balanced and objective perspective to the product when perspective is skewed by perfectionism, and I am at a stage in my career where I love mentoring and sharing what I have learned with younger staff.  

I love working on meaningful television and film, subjects of import where we have a chance of educating and supporting worthwhile causes.  I can be political, passionate and protective, when the integrity of our work is in jeopardy.  I can also shut up and do what I'm told.  

Paula Bernstein
Thu 19 Feb 2015Link

Hi all:

I'm new to the D-Word and am here as a fan and supporter of documentaries. As the Filmmaker Toolkit Editor at, I often write about documentaries and love to attend documentary film festivals. But I promise I will not use anything that is shared here in my work at Indiewire unless I ask for explicit permission.

Looking forward to being a part of the D-Word community.


paula at

Paula Bernstein
Thu 19 Feb 2015Link

Also, I recently moved from Brooklyn to Portland, Oregon and would love to connect with documentary folks in these NW parts...

Doug Block
Thu 19 Feb 2015Link

Welcome, Paula!  Good to have you finally make your way here to The D-Word.  It's such a great place to procrastinate when you're on a tight deadline, have I mentioned?  And the drinks in our Bar & Grill are incredibly cheap.

anam abbas
Fri 20 Feb 2015Link

Hi Guys!  Im a doc producer/director frm Pakistan and im currently fundrasing to edit my feature doccumentary about Pakistani Showgirls. Its called Zunn:Showgirls of Paksitan. It has been a year of blood sweat and tears to finsih production but now i need advice on how to find funds for the post. we are gettinga lot of press for teh trailer and hv 50k vimeo hots so far but only about 10% of our indoegog funded. Any suggestions? Heres the link:

David Weissman
Fri 20 Feb 2015Link

In reply to Paula Bernstein's post on Thu 19 Feb 2015: In reply to Paula Bernstein's post on Thu 19 Feb 2015: Hi Paula - Welcome!  Portland based doc-maker here.  Former longtime San Franciscan.  Also co-program the worlds only all-LGBT Documentary festival here in portland, QDoc.

Edited Fri 20 Feb 2015 by David Weissman

Niam Itani
Sat 21 Feb 2015Link

A very warm welcome to The D-Word, Paula, Annie, Rob & Anam!

Cristina Ibarra
5 days agoLink

Greetings from Brooklyn, NY...

It's great to finally join this group.  I make films inspired by the Texas borderland of my youth.  Mostly for public television.  My most recent film, Las Marthas, was on Independent Lens last February. I'm now developing my next documentary and I hope to be an active contributor here as I put this film together.

Doug Block
5 days agoLink

Great to have you here, Cristina.  Welcome.  That's one stunning poster - just awesome!  Look forward to hearing about the new project as it develops. 

Bill Jackson
5 days agoLink

Welcome, Cristina!

Qian Zhao
5 days agoLink

Hi I'm Qian Zhao. or Vicky. I'm here to look for a movie maker who may intersted in my story. I apologize if this wasn't the right place to post in advance.

I'm 30 years old Chinese woman. I was born and raised in mainland China till 28 years old. I moved to Unit States 2 years ago due to job transfer. I had a pretty easy life in china as single child. Unlike most of the new Chinese immigration, I came here all by myself with no money. I learned to fit in local community, order food, drive, load dishwasher, go to gym and make doctor appointment etc... I met my boyfriend Joe ,who is a boston-er.We are dealing with the difference everyday, like habit,,attitude on international event, food, living style, value, family. china and america etc. We are planning a trip to China to visit my parents in April. This will be Joe's first Asian trip. I think my experience and our daily life as long as the trip can be an interesting story for both Chinese and American young people. If you were intersted , please contact me here or by email 

looking forward to hear from you


Donny Rowles
2 days agoLink

Hi - I'm a former local news journalist and producer and have been producing mostly corporate content for the past several years. I live in Rochester, MN - and I'm working on a documentary about a basketball player who nearly died, but survived miraculously. I've got a big question related to how to approach working with a funder who may want a separate "version" of the documentary I'm working on - for their own promotional purposes. Here's the question in case someone has some thoughts from here - and if anyone has a recommendation for where I should post this if you could let me know, that would be great. I see there are lots of topics that have been "archived" and it looks like  maybe those are dead forums that we can't add to? Sorry for my clue-lessness.

Here's my question: 

Hello. I’m in post-production on a documentary and am trying to find a funder to pay $24K to fund the post-production of it. I’ve got about $8K invested in money into the doc – and a lot more than that in time/sweat equity.

This is the first doc I’ve sought funding for, and I think I may soon get funding to finish it, – likely from an organization that will require a finished piece (or pieces) culled from the doc material – that THEY could use - meaning – I think the organization will want their “own version” of the documentary in exchange for the $24K.

I’d like to produce it – and am open to creating multiple pieces if that’s what it takes – one for the organization to use as a promotional tool for themselves – and one that I produce in  an effort to sell.

Here’s my question – as a doc filmmaker – would you not want to create two pieces – one for the funder, and then one that I’m in full control of – because then you’ve got two versions of the story out there – and that makes your documentary inherently less valuable?

For other doc filmmakers out there – do you advise against doing this – and finding ONLY funders who will sponsor your production and don’t expect anything but their name on the documentary in return for their sponsorship?



Ron Calhoun
about 3 hours agoLink

Hello, I'm Ron Calhoun. I am currently in pre-production on a heroin awareness project.
One of my websites,

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