80 – Hacking the Documentary Film Festival, Part One

It’s that time again to turn our attention to breaking down the barriers of that ever-elusive filmmaking animal that we’ve all come to respect and love, but few of us truly understand… the film festival.


Last year, we ran a two-part special on the subject of the film festival for the documentary festival. Lyndon Stone, festival director of Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, invited us into his world of curating and producing a documentary film festival and he helped us better understand what all goes on behind-the-scenes of such an endeavour, as well as how we, the doc filmmaker, can best apply to these festivals and use them to leverage our film’s success afterwards. We also spoke with two filmmakers who were playing MDFF, in order to gain their perspective on what the documentary film festival experience was like for them, and how we might best be able to learn from their experiences.


Due to the popularity of that two-part special, we’ve decided to do it again in anticipation of this year’s MDFF! Lyndon will again tee-up each episode for us and we will also have two doc filmmakers who have had their film’s selected as inclusion to this year’s festival. And for part one of the special, we’ll talk with Tony Zierra, whose film Filmworker has been getting rave reviews at a number of festivals, including Cannes and MDFF.


Topics Discussed

  • MDFF’s embracing of the short form doc
  • how & why MDFF decided to not just simply screen films, but to build relationships with the filmmakers and to assist them after the festival
  • practical tips for the doc filmmaker when applying to film festivals
  • Tony Zierra is a filmmaker who embodies the essence of living the doc life
  • Tony believes that film festivals are the doc filmmaker’s gateway to the world
  • how Tony kept rolling with the punches during his journey as a doc filmmaker and how you can too


Related Sources

° Watch the trailer for Tony Zierra’s Filmworker


Sponsors & Thank Yous

° Episode #80 is brought to you by BlackBox Global, creators of one of the easiest way to turn your filmmaking skills into passive income!

Go to BlackBox, Create a Free Account, and start selling your footage today!


° Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!



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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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