Kopkind/CID Retreat

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.

Event Info
Sunday August 2nd-August 9th, 2009

Tree Frog Farm, Guilford Vermont

The Center for Independent Documentary (CID) and the Kopkind Center are sponsoring this week-long retreat limited to nine filmmakers along with special invited guests at Treefrog Farm in Guilford Vermont from August 2nd (Sunday is the travel day) to Sunday, August 9th. The theme for the morning seminars is:

Brainstorming to a new future in independent filmmaking
It’s the best of times- it’s the worst of times. It’s certainly a time of profound change. Join us to brainstorm about new ways to think and operate in this new landscape and recharge your creative battery with some of Kopkind/CID’s special brand of “radical relaxation”! It is the summer of the BIG THINK and we aim to explore together not just how to survive as an independent filmmaker, but how to thrive.

You can read more about the camp experience in a recent article that appeared in the last NAMAC newsletter ( HERE).

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 4thAnnual Grassroots Film Festival in the Organ Barn (Aug 6-8 open to the public); the filmmaker(s) will also lead the next morning seminar.



The costs for filmmakers participating for the week is $295 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 May 30th, which is around the time the deposits are due. We do this so that you can make your summer plans.

Registration and Non-refundable deposits ($50) are due by June 10th 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!

To view some photos from previous camps click HERE.

Prior participants of the seminars:
2008: Erin Sisk, Heather Kapplow, Betsy Kalin, Lynn Cadwallader, Terry Holzgreen, Daniella Broitman, Grace Shulner, Sarah Hesterman, Benedicte Naudin

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.



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