DC Interactive Documentary Summit

March 13-14, 2014 @ GWU

Why interactive documentary?

Non-fiction filmmaking is experiencing a boom thanks to the web. HD video streaming to users with screens in their pockets has opened up new methods of storytelling that shape everything from advocacy to marketing. If there's one city where getting your message out is paramount, it's our nation's capitol. And YOU are in that market.


The DC Interactive Documemtary Summit looks at how traditional filmmaking is merging with tech to create new avenues of storytelling, distribution and funding. It will provide insights into how non-fiction filmmakers and producers can augment their current traditional projects' outreach as well as how to think in non-linear terms when creating their story - which usually means less footage on the cutting room floor and more in your project!


This is an opportunity to build bridges between those who create the stories, and the foundations, non-profits and other groups that can use cause or purpose driven content in support of mission. 


It's truly a brave new world! FOR THE SCHEDULE: CLICK HERE 

Who should attend?


•Documentary producers & directors 

•Writers, editors, camera people and content creators 

•Non-profit communications professionals 

•Corporate social responsibility professionals 


Threaded throughout the panel discussions, presentations and case studies will be a strong emphasis on the interactive documentary’s potential to serve as an advocacy and public education platform for bringing about change.

Venue: The George Washington University, School of Media and Public Affairs, Room B07, 805 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052


Peer Pitch at The DC Interactive Doc Summit March 12, 2014

Need some feedback on your work-in-progress? Having issues getting your development right? Then sign up for Doc In Progress' special Peer Pitch session at the DC IDS. 10 filmmakers will have the opportunity to get critique on their projects in a supportive environment the day before the Summit. The top three (chosen by the filmmakers), get their projects workshopped at the DC IDS by transmedia experts to see how they expand into that space. In addition, there are 30 seats for observers to watch the Peer Pitch process. All seats (filmmaker and observer are first come, first serve).


Go to Docs In Progress' Peer Pitch page for all details.


Promotional Partners

2014 Speakers (more to be added...)

Maryanne Culpepper: Indpendent Writer/Producer, Former President of National Geographic Television

Maryanne is an award-winning writer/filmmaker with extensive experience in developing and delivering high-profile specials and series for US and international broadcasters and digital platforms.  She served as head of development at National Geographic Television for many years, handling creation, financing and sales for some 100+ programming hours annually.  In 2011 she was named President of the division.  She began her career in public television, working at WMFE (Orlando, Florida) as Research Director before moving on to produce public affairs and documentary at WUFT (Gainesville, Florida) and the Alabama Public Television Network.  In 1988 she launched her own company, Graffiti Works, in Orlando, writing and producing film, video and web productions for Disney, Universal, Time-Life, Discovery and others.  Currently she is an independent writer/filmmaker and is producing a natural history film in Mozambique.  She lives in Virginia with a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats.

Wesley Lindamood: Senior Interaction Designer, NPR

Drawing upon his background in visual design, journalism and front-end development, he helps build editorially-focused interactives and product-focused experiences for NPR.org. Prior to joining NPR.org, Wesley was the lead designer on a grant-funded initiative called Project Argo, which was created to help a network of 12 NPR member stations build topic-focused blogs of local interest and national relevance. Wesley has worked online his entire career, holding lead design positions at USA Today, Congressional Quarterly and Chemical & Engineering News magazine. Wesley is also a documentary film and music obsessed dad at home.

Joel Westbrook: Executive Producer, Interface Media Group

Joel’s forty-year career in television encompasses virtually all production and top management positions on a wide variety of media companies and projects. Westbrook was founder and president of Alexandria Productions which has produced programming for NBC, PBS, National Geographic Channel, Discovery, The Learning Channel, TBS and other domestic and international broadcasters. 


As Senior VP and Executive Producer of Time- Life Television & Video, he oversaw all production, including the ten-hour The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll and was Executive Producer of Time Life’s Lost Civilizations (NBC) a ten-hour documentary series (Winner 1996-1996 Primetime Emmy Award). As Executive VP of Turner Productions, he was responsible for all non-fiction programming on TBS and TNT including National Geographic, Cousteau’s’ Rediscovery of the World and Audubon’s World of Adventure. Westbrook holds an ABJ Degree from the Henry W. Grady School of Mass Communication of the University of Georgia.

Jordana Well: Creative, Producer, Interface Media Group

Jordana is a Creative Producer for Interface Media Group. Jordana has spent her career working in both television, interactive and immersive experiences. She has produced television producing documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, and A&E.  More recently, Jordana focuses on maintaining a more direct connection with the audience through interactive and instructional design, where she directs and produces multi-touch immersive experiences for clients such as the National Museum for the American Indian and Children’s National Medical Center. Jordana has won several awards in both industries, including an Emmy, as well as several Cine Golden Eagle and PEER awards. She obtained her Master’s degree from Harvard University in Educational Technology.

Dan Reed: Director, Planet Forward

Dan oversees the initiatives, partnerships, staff, content, website and outreach for Planet Forward. Prior to joining Planet Forward, Dan helped successfully launch GW’s Face The Facts USA initiative and website, and has spent the last five years at the School of Media and Public Affairs managing several projects. Dan also served as a White House intern, assisting the Photo Office in video production. He is an alumnus of The George Washington University, with a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs, and holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Bridgewater College.

Mike DeVito: Managing Editor, Planet Forward

Mike is a Graduate Teaching Assistant at GW's School of Media and Public Affairs. He runs planetforward.org, the editorial department and their internship and educational programs. He is one of the instructors for SMPA's Multimedia Reporting class and is currently researching how artificial intelligence and other technology affects mass and interpersonal communication. He holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from GW and is currently studying for a Master's in Media and Public Affairs.

Erica Ginsberg: Co-Founder and Executive Director, Docs In Progress

Erica is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Docs In Progress, a nonprofit incubator for emerging documentary filmmakers from across the Washington/Baltimore area. She has more than 15 years of experience in program administration in the nonprofit and government sectors, working in the areas of arts and culture, nonprofit management, and international professional exchanges.


In addition to her work with Docs In Progress, she is a host of The D-Word, an online documentary filmmaker community with more than 10,000 members from around the world.  Erica has extensive experience working with film festivals and speaking to audiences on everything from documentary fundraising to social media to international exchanges.  She has made presentations for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Women in Film and Video-DC, The Foundation Center, and universities and media organizations.  She has also been a juror for the International Documentary Association Awards, the Dokufest Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, the MediaRise Doc in a Day competition, and several youth film festivals.


Erica co-produced Crucible of War an educational documentary about post-war life in former Yugoslavia; the film was screened at human rights festivals, think tanks, universities, and conferences, including at Columbia University, Boston College, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and the George Washington University School of International Service.  She co-directed Talking Threads, a web documentary about international student reactions to 9/11, and has produced videos spotlighting the power of international exchange programs. She is currently at work on Creative Feds about the creative lives of federal civil servants.


Erica Lee Schlaikjer: Benevolent Media, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Erica Schlaikjer is a writer, editor and creative strategist, with a passion for storytelling, sustainable cities, technology, design and social change. She is the founder of Benevolent Media, a media and events company dedicated to celebrating storytelling and design for good.


She currently helps clients integrate social media into their business and marketing plans as a Community Manager for Huge, a full-service digital agency in Washington, D.C.


Formerly, she worked  as the Media Relations and Online Engagement Coordinator for EMBARQ, the sustainable transport program of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank. She was also Managing Editor of EMBARQ’s blog, TheCityFix.com.


She is a StartingBloc Fellow from the 2012 New York Institute for Social Innovation. She also serves as a board member for RaiseDC, an organization that orchestrates social change by connecting civically minded people to local nonprofits, artists, and businesses invested in making a difference in their community.


She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and international studies from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. As a reporter, she has written for National Geographic, Crain’s Chicago Business, The Chicago Reporter, WorldChanging.com and other print and online publications. She also created ResponsibleChina.com, a blog about environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.


To learn more about her, browse her portfolio: www.eschlaik.com. Or follow her on Twitter: @eschlaik and @benevolentmedia. To get in touch, contact erica@benevolentmedia.org.


Felicia Pride: Founder, Pride Collaborative

Felicia is a creator, convener, and strategist at the intersection of storytelling, media, and technology who has spent more than ten years working in the field. She’s the founder of pride collaborative, which recently co-developed the multimedia educational component for the PBS documentary Slavery by Another Name. Their latest project is StoriesLead, a catalyst for innovative storytelling that looks to nurture a community of innovators in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Additionally, she is the founder of the create daily, which matches talented content creators and media makers with career-advancing opportunities. Felicia is the author of seven books, including the essay collection The Message, which was published by NBC Universal, and has been used in educational institutions around the country. Her latest book, To Create is a collection of interviews with black storytellers and media makers.  Currently, a media fellow at the Center for Social Media at American University, Felicia has riffed on media and storytelling at schools, institutions, and events around the country. She holds an M.A. in writing and publishing from Emerson College.

Kelli Anderson: President, Soujournals

Kelli is an interactive media consultant and digital media artist living in the Washington, DC metro area. She is the Founder and President of Sojournals, an interactive media marketing company and online network created in 2005. Anderson works with professionals, schools, and community organizations to provide innovative methods of learning, collaboration, and engagement using media and web integrated solutions.


Kelli currently teaches new media at Duke Ellington School of the Arts within its Literary Media & Communications department. Under her instruction first year students learn about digital media and the world wide web through challenges that require them to test new applications and share their discoveries on the member blog developed by Anderson, titled World We Don’t Know.

Azis Isham: Founder, Arcade Sunshine

Aziz has been at the forefront of the digital media transition for the past decade. As a development executive, he oversaw the first socially-networked ebooks, helped develop integrated TV series and digital strategies for several production companies and non-profits, including National Geographic, History, Discovery, The Woodrow Wilson Center and Grove Atlantic and, more recently, was co-founder of reKiosk – a digital distribution platform for music and ebooks.


His writings on digital culture have appeared in The Huffington Post, The American Reader, Digital Book World and many others and is a current faculty member of CUNY's publishing institute.

Patrick White: Creative Director, Aracade Sunshine 

Before becoming an app designer and developer, Patrick White was a television producer and director with over ten years of storytelling experience. He's directed award-winning films about public health in East Africa and created multiple series for some of the largest networks in commercial television, including National Geographic, Discovery, History, and PBS. For the past five years, White has been experimenting with new forms of narrative and storytelling, bringing text to life through multi-media books, apps and mobile campaigns.


His apps are currently in-use in several Smithsonian museums and his enhanced book “Here on Earth” was called the "benchmark for interactive books of any genre" by Appadvice.com.

Angeline Vuong: Project Manager, Center for American Progress

Angeline is a Project Manager with the Immigration Policy and Progress 2050 teams at American Progress. She oversees the project initiative focused on exploring demographic and economic analyses of the role of communities of color in the future U.S. economy.


Prior to joining American Progress, Angeline was a public policy assistant at the American Civil Liberties Union where she worked on immigration and detention legislative bill issues. Additionally, she has consulted for and worked with a number of immigration and refugee advocacy organizations in Texas, California, and Washington, D.C.


A native of Texas, Angeline earned her master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley, and her B.A. in political science and international studies from Trinity University.

Jeffrey Osborn: Creative Director, Graphicacy

Jeffrey has worked for over twenty five years as an art director and graphic designer. Currently the Creative Director at Graphicacy (Washington, DC), a design and data visualization studio focused on telling complex stories in visual form, he has also served as the Deputy Director of Art at National Geographic Magazine (Washington, DC) and Design Director at Cole & Weber, an Ogilvy & Mather affiliate advertising agency (Seattle, WA.) His work experience includes visual journalism/editorial art direction, a full spectrum of print design, and a variety of multimedia projects. Jeffrey has worked with clients that include Center for American Progress, Stanford University, Achieving the Dream, Union of Concerned Scientists, National Geographic, Nikkei National Geographic (Japan), Scientific American, Society for Science & the Public, Intellectual Ventures, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and World Resources Institute. Teaching assignments have included design courses at the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts and a visual journalism class for students participating in a summer program at Johns Hopkins University. Specific areas of interest include the intersection of art and science, and intercultural communication.

Nina Gilden Seavey: Director, The Documentary Center

Nina is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and nearly 30-year veteran of the documentary world. Her work can be seen in cinemas, on television, on multiple platforms in ancillary media, and in museum installations across the globe.


 Seavey is the director of The Documentary Center in the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, in Washington, DC, which she founded in 1991. She concurrently serves as Co-Director of the Center for Innovative Media at GWU.  She is also the Founding Director and Executive Producer of AFI Docs (formerly SILVERDOCS). In 2012 Seavey was named one of the top fifty journalism professors in the US by journalismdegree.org.  She holds the academic rank of Full Research Professor of History and Media and Public Affairs.  

Lance Kramer: Executive Director, Meridian Hill Pictures

Lance is a documentary filmmaker, educator, journalist and a co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. At MHP, Lance produces the studio’s documentary films and media education projects, spearheads development, social media, outreach and engagement strategy, and curates the PictureHouse pop-up public film screening series. Lance has participated in a variety of successful projects with emerging digital technologies, including the Mozilla/ITVS/BAVC LivingDocs ‘Hackathon’ project at Silverdocs 2012. In 2009, Lance helped lead a digital and grassroots outreach effort to screen the environmental documentary Hope in a Changing Climate in over 20 countries. As a journalist, Lance has written on news, music, film, arts and culture, for a variety of publications. Lance holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Dartmouth College. He is the author of Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself, a children’s book selected to the American Bookseller’s Association Fall 2008 Indie Next List. Lance serves as Board Chair of Docs In Progress, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building community through the power of documentary film. Lance has also served as a Humanities Council of Washington DC humanities scholar. - See more at: http://www.meridianhillpictures.com/about/our_team/#sthash.APppAxUX.dpuf

Adam Stackhouse: Founder, AVAdventure

Adam is a two-time Emmy-award winning multimedia producer, writer, and editor. His work in media production has ranged from PBS children's programming to nonprofit development work in Bosnia/Herzegovina, China, Mexico, and Honduras.  


Prior to forming the AVAdventure team, Adam was the Owner/Producer of 1693 Productions, a videography company specializing in educational, instructional, and short-form documentary media based in Williamsburg, Virginia.  His portfolio includes work for and showcased on Sony, Nintendo of America, CNN, PBS, Colonial Williamsburg, and the personal iPod of Queen Elizabeth II.


Liz Sykes: Founder, AVAdventure

Liz Sykes is a founding partner of AVAdventure Productions. She serves as a writer, producer, and editor. In addition to the AVAdventure, she has worked on numerous other media projects including the writing and production of short films and live event videography.


Previously Liz worked in international development and nonprofit management. While a Peace Corps volunteer in southwest China, Liz taught English to university students and founded a women’s leadership program. As Director of Operations for a nonprofit health center, Liz managed an organization with an annual budget of $4.3 million, 40 employees, and over 19,000 families served annually.

Andrew Zinnes: Creative Director/Host, The Documentary Summit

Andrew received his Masters in Film at American University. After spending several years working in news (including as a stand in for President Clinton!), Andrew moved to Los Angeles and worked in narrative film and TV development for more than a decade. Andrew then moved to the creative side some the business producing music videos (Cake), online content (WooHoo Cards, The Getty Museum), documentaries (Paper Promises, Father Tony) and writing the screenplays, ABSOLUTE ANGELS for Warner Brothers and MERMAID for Mosaic Media. 


In addition, Andrew is the one of the co-authors of The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series - the best selling book series on independent film in the world. His authorship of The Documentary Filmmakers Handbook (1st & 2nd ed.), was the inspiration for creating The Documentary Summit and The Interactive Documentary Summit.