DocuClub, a community-based organization that assists doc-makers through the filmmaking process, is taking its popular In-the-Works sessions to festivals across the U.S. in 2004.
The sessions, explains Liz Ogilvie, DocuClub’s program manager, are intended for projects at the rough-cut stage, ‘when they will benefit from a public screening.’ After a film is shown, a guest attendee (most recently, feature-doc editor Mona Davis) facilitates audience feedback. ‘We ask what kind of feedback the producers are looking for,’ adds Ogilvie. ‘That’s crucial, because you know if the filmmaker is desperate – that they’ve been working with the footage for months or years, and suddenly they have to trim a few minutes, or they’re not sure about a scene. At that point, the filmmaker needs a group of people they don’t know, that are experienced filmmakers, and can give excellent feedback.’
In-the-Works already draws upwards of 70 professionals and doc fans at the Newport International Film Festival, where it has traveled for two years, and the Full Frame Film Festival in Durham, where it’s been an element of the festival for five years. Now, sessions are being organized for the Atlanta Film Festival, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and Silverdocs in Silver Spring, U.S. DocuClub is also looking at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
In New York, the projects are picked by the organization’s staff and 11-strong steering committee (all working filmmakers, including producers Doug Block and Rob Fruchtman) from submissions. To apply, a filmmaker must be a member of DocuClub. Those providing feedback include DocuClub members, as well as the public. For the festival editions, Ogilvie says DocuClub works with each event’s programmers who invite submissions from the local doc community, and the audience includes festival attendees and delegates.