The 2008 Kopkind/CID Filmmakers Retreat Seminars- Applications Are Now Being Accepted!

Invitation to filmmakers:

We are pleased to announce a call to independent documentary filmmakers who would like to participate in a weeklong seminar and retreat in southern Vermont.

Sunday August 3rd-August 10th
Tree Frog Farm, Guilford Vermont

The Center for Independent Documentary (CID) and the Kopkind Center are sponsoring this week-long retreat limited to ten filmmakers along with special invited guests at Treefrog Farm in Guilford Vermont from August 3rd (Sunday is the travel day) to Sunday, August 10th. The theme for the morning seminars is:

Telling the Story: This is a unique opportunity to share a week of viewing and discussion with your peers on the style, content, and structure of your film. Humor, archival footage, point of view…all things story related are up for discussion. We are also interested in discussions around sensationalism, controversy, reenactments, stars! When do we go too far- or do we not go far enough in our documentary and non-fiction film work?

Kopkind/CID retreat seminars are organized by Susi Walsh, Executive Director of CID and John Scagliotti, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and the creator of the public television series, In the Life, now about to begin its 15th season of monthly hour-long programs on news and culture about the gay community. Also joining us will be Fred Simon. As an independent producer of documentaries for PBS, Simon’s films have won awards from the American Film Festival, the Athens Film Festival, and are currently in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. In addition, he is an Assistant Professor of film/video production at Clark University. Guest speakers will also join us during the week.

Closer to the end of the Seminar Week, Kopkind will present its 2nd Annual Grassroots Film Festival in the Organ Barn (Aug 7-9 open to the public); the filmmaker(s) will also lead the next morning seminar.

The cost, what it includes and how to apply:

Kopkind-clotheslineThe costs for filmmakers participating for the week is $300 per person.

The cost includes: a single Cabin room for 7 nights (shared bathroom facilities), clean linens and towels, continental breakfasts, buffet lunches, and sit-down family style dinners, afternoon excursions to swimming holes and country outings, pick-up from Bus or Train station in Brattleboro Vermont, and programmed Morning Seminars. There is wireless internet availability. Besides personal items (cool nights in Vermont) participants are asked to bring 20-minutes of their media on DVD or VHS for evening “film slams” in the Organ Barn with late night discussions (optional hot tub discussions) afterwards on the deck. Participants will be responsible for their travel to Treefrog Farm in Guilford or to a public transportation pick up spot in Brattleboro, Vermont. (once you are registered, more information will be emailed to you including directions) Note: while afternoon excursions are planned, you can use this time if you wish as ‘free time’ or as Kopkind calls it – radical relaxation. All registered participants are expected to participate in the organized seminars and evening “film slams” and film festival presentations.

Applying for the retreat week is very easy. Just write a letter to Susi Walsh and John Scagliotti explaining where you are from, what media work you have done and how you could contribute to the theme of our seminars. Also describe briefly the 20-minute visual media you would be bringing to the “film slams.” Send the letter to John Scagliotti ( . We expect to have more applicants than spaces so please respond as soon as possible. We’ll be putting the group together from your letters around June 15th,around the time the deposits are due.
Registration and Non-refundable deposits ($50) are due by June 20th and full payment is due by July 11th. Deposit and payment checks should be made out to The Center for Independent Documentary and mailed to John Scagliotti, Administrator, Kopkind, 158 Kopkind Rd, Guilford, VT. 05301.  Slots are limited, so we recommend an early registration and deposit.

Kopkind and CID are able to offer this camp for filmmakers at such a reduced rate due to the generosity of their supporters.  If you wdould like to help support filmmakers seminar, please contact us!

Prior participants of the seminars:

2007: Nancy Kelly, Savanna Washington, Jonathan Skurnick, Karen Everett, Jim Wolpaw, Nancy Kates, Bennett Singer, Natalie Lardner, Carlyn Saltman and Tim McCarthy.

2006 : Joel Katz , Nancy Kates, Robbie Leppzer, Alexandra de Gonzalez, Emily Kunstler, Deb Ellis, Eli Moore, Jenifer Kaplan, Rebecca Snedeker and Savanna Washington.

Please feel free to ask for more information.  Questions about the seminars and retreat as well as the Grassroots Film Festival can be attained by emailing John Scagliotti at  Also feel free to send this information to others who might want to participate.  Thank you.

Kopkind was launched nine years ago as a living memorial to the late journalist Andrew Kopkind, who wrote on politics and culture with a matchless style and depth for national and international publications until his death, in 1994. The project, which brings together journalists and grassroots activists puts on seminars in Guilford VT for its visiting participants in the summer and hosts a number of free public events. Kopkind is a non-profit educational foundation.  The Board’s president is renown journalist JoAnn Wypijewski;


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