This year we are re-imagining Mentors into a monthly seminar series called “Cinematic Conversations.” “Conversations” will include trending topics, technique topics, and topics to provide you with the foundation to make better films. Taught by film professionals and peers, these interactive sessions are designed to build upon one another, developing the skills needed to better compete in the crowded field of filmmakers. Check back in early April for a full line up of seminars, instructor information, and ticketing!

Sponsored by: Backstage, Barbizon, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Cinematcher, Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center, DCTV, Film Convert, Final Cut, Final Draft, Government Video Expo, iPitch, Kimberly Skyrme Casting, Kimberly Skyrme Productions, KvM Rental, Landmark Theater, The Lookout, LumaForge, MAGIX, MovieMaker Magazine, The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment, Quick Film Budget, Red Giant, SAG-AFTRA, Simple DCP, Student Filmmaker Magazine, Studio Binder, The Tracking Board, Variety411, Write Brothers, Zacuto


Cinematic Conversation: Film Documentation 101
October 14th / 12:00-4:00 PM / The Potter’s House: 1658 Columbia Rd, NW / $25
Metro: Green/Yellow Line (Columbia Heights)


Every film requires releases, permits, contracts…but which ones, what kinds, etc.  In this conversation we will look at the different releases, permits, contracts and more…so you know which ones are required, which ones should you have and more!

12:00 -12:30 PM / Creating a Document Check List
12:30 – 1:30 PM / Contracts
1:30 – 2:30 PM / Releases
2:30 – 3:30 PM / Permits
3:30 – 4:00 PM / Misc Documents

Cinematic Conversation: How to Market Your Film
November 11th / 11:00-5:00 PM
Location:The DC Center @ The Reeves Center / 2000 14th St, NW / Suite 105 / $50
** Price includes Coffee and Lunch
Metro: Green/Yellow Line (U Street)


You’ve made your film. You’ve spent countless hours perfecting it, and now it’s ready to be seen. What now? How do you find your audience? DC Shorts’ second Cinematic Conversations seminar – Film Marketing – teaches filmmakers the skills to attract their film’s audience, including how to make a trailer, how to make a movie poster, and how to use social media to bolster your film’s presence.

Joe Bilancio (Director of Programming, DC Film Alliance), Leslie Green (Press Consultant, Author), Jordana Meade (Film Marketing, Distribution & Sales Strategist, Thousandfold Consulting)

11:00-11:30 AM / Registration and Coffee
11:30-12:30 PM / Film Posters, Trailers, Log lines and more!
12:30-1:00 PM / Lunch and Learn: Distribution Trends
1:00-2:00 PM / Press Relations
2:00-3:00 PM / Marketing by way of the Festival Circuit
3:00-4:00 PM / Social Media
4:00-5:00 PM / Marketing and Distribution

Cinematic Conversation: How to Fundraise
December 9th / 9:00-5:00 PM
Location:The DC Center @ The Reeves Center / 2000 14th St, NW / Suite 105 / $50
** Price includes Coffee and Lunch
Metro: Green/Yellow Line (U Street)


It’s no secret that making a film is hard work. Of the challenges that plague filmmakers in making the journey from idea to film, one is almost always standing in the way of every filmmaker’s goal: money, or lack thereof. DC Shorts’ sixth Cinematic Conversations seminar, Film Fundraising and Finance, gives insight into the ways in which filmmakers can find money for their films, and how to use that money efficiently once they have it. Topics include government funding, foundation funding, and corporate support.

Paul Marengo (Managing Director, DC Film Alliance), Herbert Niles (Associate Director, Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment), Ron Newcomb (Director, Writer, Actor, and Producer of The Forge Studios)

8:30-9:00 AM / Registration and Coffee
9:00-10:00 AM / Film Budgeting: Cash, In-Kind, and More!
10:00-11:00 AM / Fundraising Checklists
11:00-11:30 AM / Government Funding: OCTFME
11:30-12:00 PM / Government Funding: DC Arts Commission
12:00-1:00 PM / Lunch and Learn: Trends in Fundraising
1:00-1:30 PM / Crowdfunding
1:30-2:00 PM / Events and Event Income
2:00-3:00 PM / Corporate Support
3:00-3:30 PM / Foundations: The Foundation Center
3:30-4:00 PM / Pitching to Foundations
4:00-5:00 PM / Film Finance

Cinematic Conversation: Film 101 (Taught in Spanish)
January 2018 / 12:00-4:00 PM
Location: TBD

Film is universal, and DC Shorts strives to support all areas of DC’s community through our education programs. Our fourth Cinematic Conversations seminar – How to Film – teaches filmmaking basics for Spanish speakers. Topics include the basics of film technique, basic film equipment, and on set: cast and crew members.

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