On February 10, 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts and the International Documentary Association hosted a one-day Documentary Sustainability Summit featuring 80 filmmakers, producers, distributors, film festival representatives, funders, and other stakeholders in the documentary community, as well as leaders from the federal, state, and local governments (including representatives from nine federal agencies). Through panel presentations and small group activities, conference participants shared their perspectives on the issues facing the community with a goal of articulating tangible, actionable strategies and initiatives to positively impact the field.
The purpose of this report is to reflect current conversations in the field and provide an overview of key findings and actions that will strengthen the documentary ecosystem. Case studies are featured throughout this report to serve as examples that contribute to building sustainable infrastructure for the documentary community. Additional details regarding the Documentary Sustainability Summit, such as the summit agenda and detailed reflections that emerged from group work, are located in this report as Appendices.