2015 Chicago Documentary Summit

October 3-4, 2015

Expert speakers
The Doc Summit attracts the biggest names in Documentary filmmaking
Get up to date and cutting edge info
With panel discussions we explore the most recent industry developments, new cool new tool.
Expert delegates
Meet and networking with doc filmmakers just like you, seeking collaboration and production partners.

The Documentary Summit is a two day professional filmmaker conference. With seminars from expert speakers and structured networking, it offers a unique opportunity to connect, share and collaborate. Join the movement now.

‘One of the most uplifting, productive and inspiring weekends I have ever had!
Hanna Wise, Filmmaker and Underwater camera OP


Are you making a documentary?

Filmmakers across the world are creating extraordinary documentaries, reaching audiences, making both money and a name for themselves, sometimes even catalysing profound change in the way people behave.

ANYONE can start telling their story and making their documentary right now. Compelling footage and great narrative does not need a big camera or large crew. The phone in your pocket is as good a tool as any, IF you have a great story AND a great angle.

If you already have the great idea and the basic tools, why are you failing to make significant headway with your project?

‘I turned up with an idea that I wanted to make into a documentary, and left with a plan so that I can actually make it’
Sarah Johnson, Filmmaker, www.wordpress.com/SarahinHD


The Problem We All Face

Documentaries are often pioneered by a single person, or a partnership. That’s great as doc teams need to be lean and dynamic. But making a documentary requires such a broad and diverse skill set that very few people can cover all the bases. There are always blind spots and weaknesses in your plan.

And that’s where we come in.

THE DOCUMENTARY SUMMIT looks at EVERY step of the process, discussing the more important aspects with our visiting industry experts - inlcuding the future of the industry.


You will…

  • Learn how to turn your good idea into a worldclass killer proposition.
  • Documentaries are not facts, they are truths, and therefore stories, so we will teach you about story structure.
  • Figure out the best technology for your documentary, camera, editing, sound.
  • Get insight into marketing and publicizing your project with modern tools.
  • Get your legal questions answered and leave with form contracts and releases, the paperwork you need.
  • Learn what attracts broadcasters to invest in your film, or buy it.
  • How to bypass traditional routes to funding and distribution (and why you should)
  • How to get your film into cinemas and on TV
  • What to do next, this is a career!


‘The doc summit showed me how to turn what was an educational idea into one that will also entertain and connect with audiences. Fantastic weekend that has shown me how to plan a project with the end in mind’
Romilla Ready, Author NLP For Dummies Workbook


Join hundreds of documentary film makers just like you

Central to the summit however are the delegates. After running large scale film making events over the last year (The Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass, London Screenwriters’ Festival, Comedy Writers’ Festival), we have found that the community and collaborative possibilities presented by the delegates at the event are just as essential as the speakers on stage. So come and join us for the Documentary Summit, a learning and networking experience like no other.


Reviews from Doc Summit attendees

‘This weekend easily saved me from several thousand dollars of mistakes by trial and error!
Morris "Mo" Maduro, Napierville, IL



"I turned up with an idea that I wanted to make into a documentary, and left with a plan so that I can actually make it."
Sarah Johnson, Filmmaker, London



"Extremely informative and inspiring. A great way to bring the doc community together in a supportive environment."

Jesse Wakeman, San Francisco, CA



‘The Doc Summit was a wonderful experience for me. It has given me the tools and knowledge to take my films to the next level.’
Liz Fruth, Chicago, IL

Each speaker provided valid points of view which was refreshing. I could have sat through another day or two of the summit easily. A jolt to the system to really make you want to create’
Alexander Tabrizi, Filmmaker / actor, London


"MOTIVATING! Makes you want to go out and apply all the things you learned immediately. Big recommendation."
Anna Huber, Cinematographer, London



"As an experienced filmmaker, I foundthe Summit extremely valuable - both the opportunity to see how others process story and the networking possibilities. Very well thought out in information on a number of levels."
Terry Hesser, Chicago, IL



"The panelists were top notch and the energy levels were high!"

Nyna Caputi, San Francisco, CA



"I walked away from the Doc Summit re-energized and ready to pull my film off the shelf. I now have the strategies to move forward with my story."

Larissa Nikolalisa, Chicago, IL




"One of the most affordable, well organized and relevent events in San Francisco."
Claudia Crask, SF Cutters, San Francisco


Terms and Conditions

If you need to cancel your ticket purchase you can get a full refund up until 30 days prior to the event. After that we cannot offer refunds. Refunds will be paid back promptly although there will be a 10% admin fee deducted. Alternatively, tickets are transferable to other people if you can find someone to replace you. We are happy to change the name on the ticket. Please allow 48 hours for this change to take place. We reserve the right to decline admission and offer a full refund at our discretion. All discounts are honored for walk-in admission. We reserve the right to change the venue. We reserve the right to cancel the event and offer a full refund.