6th Annual Artists Convening – Sept 6 – 8, 2019

Register here!


Friday, Sept 6th @ The Fruit   305 S Dillard St., Durham NC 27701

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Registration/check-in

4:00 – 5:30 pm: Who Tells The Story? 
in partnership with Working Films Storyshift initiative
Town hall-style discussion on accountability, collaboration and authenticity in storytelling.

6:00 – 7:30 pm: SDF Showcase
4 films in the pipeline, with 10-minute clips of each, plus Q&A with directors.

Saturday, Sept 7th @ The Fruit  

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Registration + Breakfast

10:00 – 11:30 am: Impact Workshop w/ Working Films:
In this session, Working Films will share their approach to making an impact with documentary film, with an emphasis on accountable practices in the design and implementation of audience engagement strategies that respect the power, agency, and direction of those most affected by the issues at hand. 

11:30 – 1:00 pm: Subject Matter: The Maker/Protagonist Relationship  This panel will explore the complex relationship between makers and the story’s protagonists.  Presented with Firelight Media

Moderator: Sonya Childress, Firelight Media, + 3 pairs of Maker/Protagonists, including Jackie Olive & Claudia Lacy, Always In Season; Cynthia Hill & Kit Gruelle, Private Violence.

1:00 – 2:30 PM: Lunch
Discussion table (optional):  Redefining Success with Devon Smith, SDF, and Chloe Walters-Wallace, Firelight Media.  What happens when we center why we are telling this story, and who and what we are making it for in redefining what success looks like for docs?

2:30 – 4:00 PM: Proposal Writing 
with Gabrielle Eitienne, SDF, and Dana Merwin, Int’l Documentary Assn.
How to write a fantastic funding proposal, presented in theatrical form.

4:00 – 4:30 PM: BREAK

4:30 – 6:00 PM: Master Class with Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. Sabrina is a documentary filmmaker and impact producer/strategist. She will discuss her career as an award-winning creative producer, editor and director, sharing her approach to storytelling, impact, collaboration and accountability. Sabrina will speak candidly about the challenges of making a living in the documentary field, and will share samples and lessons learned from her varied career. 
Durham-based Filmmaker Katina Parker will moderate the Master Class. 

Sunday, Sept 8th @ The Durham Armory   212 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

9:30 – 10:30: Check-in + Breakfast

10:30 – Noon: Speed Mentoring Sessions (sponsored by ITVS)
One-on-one mentoring in 20-minute sessions.
To participate, sign up for this session when you register for the Convening.

Noon – 1:30: Lunch
Discussion table: Lunch with a Lawyer. Laverne Berry, entertainment and media business affairs attorney, takes our questions.

Crossover Event: Black Media Story Summit & SDF Artists Convening!

1:30 – 3:00 PM: Expanding the Definition of Doc in partnership with Black Public Media
Our definition of documentary is expanding all the time. This panel will discuss existing and emerging media, such as VR, AR, podcasts, series, photography, op-docs, interactive, viral, in-person, data-driven, and more. We will interrogate where the funds come from, how these stories are distributed, and who is doing the storytelling.
Moderator: Leslie Fields-Cruz, Black Public Media
N’Jeri Eaton, Sr Manager of Programming Acquisitions, NPR
Aja Evans, Assistant Producer, POV Spark
Garland McLaurin, Documentary Maker
Rex Miller, Producer, Ashe ’68

The Summit serves as a catalyst for expanding the investment in Black stories and Black storytellers, and for opening the doors to others who are interested in participating in a collective effort toward change. The panel (listed above) is open to all Convening registrants. 

3:00 – 5:00 PM: Breakout Session: Forging New Bonds: Amplifying Activism
 Join roundtables where makers meet the stories. Activists, artists, frontline folks working on the issues of our time will share their stories with Black content creators.

Breakout Session participation requires a separate registration.
The link to register is here.

Additional Support is provided by:
The Ettinger Foundation