INTERVIEW: Andrew Zinnes, Co-Founder of the D.C. Documentary Summit

Posted in Interviews by - March 07, 2012
INTERVIEW: Andrew Zinnes, Co-Founder of the D.C. Documentary Summit

I spoke with Andrew Zinnes, co-director and lead organizer for The Documentary Summit. The Doc Summit will be coming to D.C. this weekend, March 10-11 at the GWU Documentary Center. You can buy tickets at a discounted rate using the code ‘dcfilmgirl’. But hurry since spaces are limited!

The documentary summit is the perfect place to start your career as a filmmaker or as a producer of documentary films. I spoke with Andrew on his passion for documentaries, how the summit started and what attendees can expect from the summit.

A native of Allentown, PA, Andrew has always had a strong passion for TV and film and in the last few years started up the Documentary Summit, which he hopes will bring filmmakers and producers together around town. Andrew attended GWU for undergrad and attended American University’s film school. He’s worked at NBC 4, the CW, assisted in production work around the District. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Genevieve Joliffe, who is also the co-director of the Summit.

When I asked Andrew how the summit started, he said “The Summit grew out of a continuing effort to educate and inspire filmmakers around the world which started with our Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series, which includes The Documentary Filmmakers Handbook. Since our book format is Q&A, having panels of experts moderated by us [the authors] seemed like a natural extension of our brand. Our first one in London had over 90 delegates and now we are doing this one in DC, Chicago in April, London in July and it looks like Detroit and Boston over the late spring as well.”

Andrew said the most important thing attendees will be taking away from the summit is networking. “There will be close to 100 like-minded people there with whom they can exchange ideas or partner up with on projects. They can also interface with the experts on the panels themselves to ask further questions and maybe get meetings with them or hire them. In one of my Vancouver sessions, one of my delegates pitched me a project and I ended up producing it. It’s called Paper Promises and it aired on Canadian TV.”

The speakers at this weekend’s summit include Nina Seavey, Rob Millis, Josh Levin and David Vyorst. The full list of speakers and panelists can be found here.

I will be live tweeting and blogging from the summit this weekend. Please contact me with any questions regarding the summit at Lauren@dcfilmgirl.com. The hashtag for the summit is #docsummit Hope to see you there! 

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