NYT ‘Op-Docs’ launches U.S. pitch competition

The New York Times' 'Op-Docs' series is inviting U.S. doc short filmmakers to take part in a pitch competition at Camden International Film Festival, in addition to launching two events in California. (Pictured: 'Op-Docs' series producer Jason Spingarn-Koff)
July 9, 2013

The New York Times’ ‘Op-Docs’ series is inviting U.S. documentary short filmmakers to take part in a pitch competition at Camden International Film Festival, in addition to launching two events in California.

With the pitch competition, part of Camden International Film Festival’s Points North Documentary Forum, the winning pitch will receive the opportunity to produce an ‘Op-Doc’ for the Times, with a budget of US$2,000, to premiere on

The new initiative marks the first time an ‘Op-Docs’ pitching competition will occur in North America, after having recently partnered with Sheffield Doc/Fest.

The Points North Documentary Forum runs from September 26-29. The deadline for entries is August 9, at 11:59 p.m. EST. For more information and to apply online, click here.

In addition, special screenings in San Francisco and Los Angeles have been announced, which will feature ‘Op-Docs’ Oscar-winners and emerging filmmakers taking part in on-stage conversations.

“‘Op-Docs’ in San Francisco” is in partnership with The Center for Investigative Reporting, and includes a one-hour screening of films from ‘Op-Docs’ and ‘The I Files,’ a YouTube channel curated by The Center for Investigative Reporting. ‘Op-Docs’ filmmakers Peter Nicks and Katie Galloway, and Jason Spingarn-Koff, the series producer and curator, will speak at the July 20 event.

“‘Op-Docs’ in Los Angeles” takes place on July 22, and is in collaboration with Film Independent at LACMA. It will feature 10 acclaimed ‘Op-Docs,’ including films from Errol Morris, Laura Poitras and Topaz Adizes, and an on-stage discussion will be moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing, Jessica Yu, Roger Ross Williams and Casey Neistat, along with Spingarn-Koff, will take part in the discussion.

“Since we launched the Op-Docs series in November 2011, we’ve published more than 70 short documentaries and established a distinctive, highly popular forum for independent filmmaking,” said Spingarn-Koff in a statement. “We’re excited to continue building awareness with these events in California and New England, showcasing our work on the big screen and encouraging more filmmakers to become involved.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.