Women Make Movies Women Make Movies View Cart
Women Make Movies


Creating The Right Festival Strategy for Your Film
"The workshop and Debra were absolutely stellar! It was like taking an invaluable master class.  I have so much respect for her as a professional and she has a great personality to top it off."

On Documentary Proposal Writing Basics with Tracie Holder

"WMM’s workshop reaffirmed what I was doing right and clarified what I was doing wrong. The clarification was invaluable."

On Master Class: Dawn Porter
"I’m so excited to have found a community of smart women filmmakers in NYC." 

"Hearing Dawn Porter describe her struggle and transition into the documentary filmmaking world was not only inspiring but exposed the blocks that are stopping me from just going out and doing it!"

2015 Workshops (Part One)

Fundraising: An Essential Overview of the Basics with Tracie Holder
Thursday, February 12 | 6:30 - 8:30PM
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00
Sign up
Fundraising for documentaries can be intimidating and even overwhelming but without it, even the best film ideas will never be realized. This workshop is designed to build your confidence and help you devise a fundraising strategy whether you’re new to fundraising or need a refresher. Topics include: proposal writing, grant-seeking from private and government foundations, fundraising from individuals, and targeted appeals through events and on-line solicitations. Come, take the plunge and learn fundraising basics that will help move your project from idea to reality. Presented by Tracie Holder, filmmaker, fundraiser and engagement specialist. Holder has raised nearly $2 million for her own projects from numerous funders including the MacArthur and Ford Foundations, ITVS, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council for the Arts and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, among others.

Creating Your Film Festival Strategy  
Tuesday, February 17 | 1:00 - 3:00PM
Regular Rate: $30.00 | (discount rate) $20.00

Film Festivals are an essential component in launching your film, building your audience and gaining the interest of distributors and sales agents. Join WMM Executive Director, Debra Zimmerman as she explains the ins and outs of the film festival circuit and helps you figure out the best festival strategy for your film. Find out how to optimize film festival screenings with tips on generating buzz, gaining word of mouth, packaging your film, and navigating the scene once there. Come away from this workshop with a better understanding of how to market your film and to launch your feature, documentary, or short film. With more than 30 years at the helm of WMM, Debbie is one of the industry’s leading lights when it comes to independent film distribution, marketing and financing as well as an authority on women's film.

Secrets of Successful Proposals with Michelle Materre
Thursday, February 26 | 6:30 - 8:30PM
/a>Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00

As film funding becomes increasingly scarce and the competition for every dollar skyrockets, how will you make your grant application grab a funder’s attention? Proposal writing is a skill, equal parts art and science. Join us to learn these essentials skills and build your confidence so you can put your best foot forward and make your proposal stand out in a crowd. In this workshop, we will cover the essentials of grant-writing, provide an overview of the major film funders, review what they fund, how best to approach them, and how to avoid common mistakes. Presented by Michelle Materre, Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Film at the New School. Michelle has more than 25 years experience as film producer, writer, arts administrator, distribution and marketing specialist and is a member of WMM’s Board of Directors.

Meet the Funder: NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts) with Arian Blanco
Wednesday, March 11th | 6:30-8:30pm  

Are you planning to apply to NYSCA, a leading source of funding for NY-based media makers? If so, here’s your opportunity to ask questions and find out how best to navigate the application process. Arian Blanco, NYSCA Program Officer, will lead this information session and answer your questions. NYSCA funding supports Documentary and Narrative works, Interactive/Digital Technology, Animation and Radio. Projects can be a combination of media, including but not limited to, work for tape, installation, single-channel work, or interactive disc formats. Artists at various career stages are welcome to apply. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000. Documentary projects must be in the post-production phase and all applicants must have proof of New York State residency.

Master Class: Katy Chevigny
Thursday, March 19 | 6:30 - 8:30PM
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00

Don't miss the chance to hear from Katy Chevigny, one of the most accomplished documentary filmmakers working today. Katy, an award-winning filmmaker, is a co-founder of Big Mouth Productions and Arts Engine. Her most recent success is the acclaimed documentary E-TEAM which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary. The film follows four intrepid war crime investigators who gather evidence of international human rights abuses in many of the world’s hottest spots and was released as a Netflix Original documentary. Prior to co-directing E-TEAM, she directed ELECTION DAY which premiered at SXSW and was broadcast on PBS in 2008. With Kirsten Johnson, she co-directed DEADLINE, an investigation into Illinois Governor George Ryan's commutation of death sentences. Chevigny’s films have been shown theatrically, on HBO, Cinemax, POV, Independent Lens, NBC, Arte/ZDF, Britain’s Channel 4, and others, and have played at film festivals around the world, including Sundance, Tribeca, Full Frame, SXSW, IDFA, Sheffield and Berlin.

Katy will share her experience and expertise, show clips from her work, discuss the ethics of filmmaking, her creative choices and the importance of craft, drawing upon her 20 year career as a documentarian. She will also talk about the challenges of filming in foreign countries and cultures and about her relationship to her subjects.  Join us for what promises to be a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking evening!

WEBINAR: Interactive Storytelling with Ingrid Kopp
Thursday, March 26th | 1:00-3:00pm 
Regular Rate: $30.00 | (discount rate) $20.00
Sign up 
Whether interactive storytelling is a foreign concept or the space where you’re currently working, this workshop is for you. Join us for this webinar where we will explore the growing field of interactive storytelling, a space that brings together mediamakers, technologists and designers to create media projects that go beyond traditional screens. Come hear about the most exciting work happening in this sphere and find out about cutting-edge projects that integrate film with content across media platforms, from video gaming, apps, social networks and the Web. We are fortunate to have Ingrid Kopp, one of the most innovative leaders in the field, lead this workshop. For those who don’t know her, Ingrid is the Director of the Tribeca Film Institute's Digital Initiatives, including TFI New Media Fund, TFI Interactive and Tribeca Hacks, all of which she will discuss during this info-packed webinar.

Meet the Funder: MacArthur Foundation
Monday, April 20th | 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00macarthur

The MacArthur Foundation applications for Documentary Film Grants are now open so join us for this rare opportunity to meet with Program Officer Lauren Pabst to get the inside scoop about how to submit your best proposal.  Lauren manages the Foundation’s highly competitive independent documentary production fund.  MacArthur funds the production of documentary films and participatory web-based documentaries that combine exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. They look for projects that challenge preconceptions and examine underreported social issues. Grant amounts range from $50,000 - $200,000 and in the past year projects from the Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program that were funded include Ask the Sexpert and Strong Island.  For more information about the Documentary Film Grants you can visit http://www.macfound.org/docfilm.  Come and learn whether or not your current or future project is a good fit and what you need to know if you do apply.

Building Your Social Media Presence While Making Your Film with Theresa Riley
Wednesday, April 29 | 6:30-8:30pm  
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00

Designing an effective social media strategy takes more than merely creating a Facebook page for your film. For many filmmakers, harnessing these powerful tools is a mystery, is daunting or both! This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of the social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, that  you should be utilizing to successfully build community and audience, generate buzz for your film and focus attention the issues your film addresses. This workshop will not address fundraising or how to build a Kickstarter campaign but rather will cover social media strategies that will help you promote your film while you fundraise, or are in production or distribution.  Leading this workshop is Theresa Riley, former Director of POV Interactive, WMM Board member and Director of Digital Content & Strategy at BillMoyers.com. She is an award-winning web producer, digital strategist par excellence and editor whose work has been featured on PBS Online and TIME.com.​

Meet the Funder: NYWIFT’s Fund for Women Filmmakers and Chicken & Egg with Terry Lawler & Jenni Wolfson
Tuesday, May 5th| 6:30-8:30pm  
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00
Both NYWIFT (New York Women in Film & Television) and Chicken and Egg provide funds for women filmmakers. NYWIFT’s “Fund for Women Filmmakers,” offers several small grants including an In-Kind Post-Production Grants, a Directing Award and Marketing and Promotion grant for a dramatic feature film while Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women non-fiction filmmakers dedicated to well-crafted storytelling to catalyze social change. Since 2005, Chicken & Pictures has awarded $3.3 million. Joining us will be Terry Lawler, NYWIFT’s Executive Director and Jenni Wolfson, Chicken and Egg Pictures’ Executive Director to share information about their grant programs, the application process and to answer your questions.

Crafting Your Outreach, Engagement and Impact Strategy with Jennifer MacArthur
Wednesday, May 20th| 6:30-8:30pm  
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00
Impact, Outreach, Engagement, what do they mean, how do they differ and how do you go about creating a campaign tailored to the issues raised by your film? Increasingly, funders are looking to filmmakers to develop full-blown social change campaigns for their documentaries, often as a prerequisite for funding production of your film. Only by understanding how your film fits within the larger social and political landscape can you begin to design your strategy and to understand the potential impact your campaign can have. Join us for a nuts and bolts conversation about the growing importance of these campaigns and how to go about crafting a game plan best suited to your project. Leading this workshop is Jennifer MacArthur, Founder of Borderline Media which brings together stakeholders and mediamakers to catalyze civic participation, social action and impact using social issue films. For nearly 20 years, Jennifer has worked in radio, film and television, digital media and publishing and has developed an expertise as a multi-platform communications, distribution and engagement strategist with a focus on social issue documentary.  

Meet the Broadcaster: Independent Lens; An Evening with Lois Vossen
Monday, June 1st| 6:30-8:30pm  
Regular Rate: $35.00 | (discount rate) $25.00
Independent Lens is one of the preeminent showcases of independent documentary film on PBS. In its first 12 seasons, Independent Lens received 11 Emmy Awards, 14 Peabody Awards, 5 duPont Awards, and has been nominated for 7 Academy Awards. WMM is delighted to welcome Lois Vossen, Independent Lens’ Deputy Executive Producer and Curator, for a candid and wide-ranging conversation about the series, what they are looking for and how best to get on their radar screen. Come and hear first-hand how Independent Lens goes about choosing their slate of films and bring your questions.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Fair Use But Were Afraid to Ask with Nicole PageNicole Page
Thursday, June 11th, 1 – 2:30pm
Regular Rate: $30.00 | (discount rate) $20.00

Filmmaking is hard enough without having to figure out when you can and cannot use other people’s intellectual property without their permission.  That’s why it is crucial to understand fair use and its relationship to copyright law.  In this webinar, Nicole Page, Esq., Head of Entertainment and Media Law at Reavis Parent Lehrer LLP, will delve in to the legal nuances of fair use and give real world of examples of when and how filmmakers can rely on fair use and when permission from the copyright owner is required.


Hybrid Funding, Lessons Learned: Three Case Studies on Mixing Investment with Grants and other Charitable Contributions
Wednesday, June 24, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Increasingly, filmmakers are having to think outside the box to get their films funded. At the same time, a growing number of investors/philanthropists are embracing documentary film as worthy of support. This workshop will focus on the experience of two filmmakers who have successfully navigated the tricky waters of “hybrid funding” which combines more traditional funding sources such as grants and donations with private investments and the expectation that funding will be repaid with a profit.  Leading our conversation will be entertainment lawyer Innes Smolansky and our filmmakers, Michèle Stephenson, Producer/Director of American Promise, Diana Whitten, Producer/Director of Vessel and Robin Hessman, Director/ Producer/Cinematographer of My Perestroika. Join us for this illuminating discussion that will explore the benefits and possible pitfalls of this new funding model  and include time to answer your questions. 

 Setting up Your Company: A Business and Legal Primer 
Thursday, July 16th| 6:30pm
Whether or not you have a Fiscal Sponsor, there are certain basics all filmmakers need to know about the business of making a film. For example, does it make sense to set up your own company? How do you set up your books and organize your financial records? What is an LLC? What is an S-Corp? Which is better? Which is right for you? What are the tax implications of the 1099 which you will receive from WMM at the end-of-the year for money donated to your project? What do you need to know to file 1099s on behalf of crew members and other independent contractors who work on your project? This workshop addresses the business in's and out's from both the attorney's and filmmaker's perspective. Kaiser Wahab, a lawyer with expertise in intellectual property and issues facing small businesses, Laverne Berry, an entertainment lawyer and former President of NY Women in Film & Television and Tracie Holder, filmmaker and consultant to WMM's Production Assistance Program, will cover an array of business and legal issues you need to know to ensure all of your bases are covered and your assets protected. 

Pricing and Discounts

WMM Partner Rates are available to WMM Fiscally Sponsored Filmmakers, members of WMM Partner Groups and Friends of WMM. Click here for more information.

Partner Groups include:

Asian Cinevision
Cinema Tropical
Chicken and Egg
Film Fatales
Black Documentary Collective
Women in the Arts and Media Coalition

Location and Directions

All workshops take place at:
Women Make Movies, Conference Room
115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.925.0606

Refund Policy

No refunds will be given for any registrations.  If you are unable to make the workshop but notify us up to 24 hours prior to the actual workshop date, you may receive a credit for another workshop within one year. Workshops may be cancelled by WMM due to insufficient enrollment. All instructors are subject to change.

right arrow
back to top

This Series is funded, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.        



go to year view by subject view by title view by maker

amazon amazon


Get the latest information about our fiscally sponsored projects, plus upcoming grants, New York screenings, networking events and more.
Sign up.

See some of the projects that are currently in our fiscal sponsorship program, and make a donation to any project online.

© Women Make Movies
site map

Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us