Author: Courtney Sheehan

Courtney Sheehan is a film programmer, writer, and business strategist. Most recently, she served as executive director for Northwest Film Forum, the independent film nonprofit in Seattle. She is a frequent contributor to The Independent.

Articles Written by Courtney Sheehan:

Approaches to End of the World Docs

Two social justice docs at IDFA targeted and systematically attacked the same universal villain: progress. Four Horsemen and Surviving Progress are both “big picture” documentaries that tackle some of today’s most globally pressing issues. At their best moments, both films leave audiences wondering not only what they can do to help, but also about their… Read more »

IDFA 2011 – Int’l Perspectives on Digital Distribution and Doc Financing

Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam – A square crowded with coffee shops and clubs (and therefore crawling with tourists) is the proud center of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s largest doc fest and the beating—and oftentimes bleeding—heart of the documentary industry. Locals say that as far as nightlife options go, the Escape Club at Rembrandtplein… Read more »

Casting His Bell

Bosnian filmmaker Nedžad Begović has a knack for taking his own life as a point of departure for films that end up being about much more. And he’s not shy about his intent or the company he wants to keep. In his 2005 documentary Totally Personal, about about his childhood memories and personal philosophies, he… Read more »

State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe

For the past three years, film professionals from all over Southeast Europe have gathered at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) to discuss the state of the regional film industry during the Cinelink forum, the track of the festival established for that purpose. SFF began during the bloody siege of Sarajevo in 1995, when it would… Read more »

Friend Your College Film Programmer, Pronto!

Imagine if someone gave you over $50,000 to use for programming the film schedule at a movie theater for nine months. The theater doesn’t charge admission so your curatorial choices aren’t constrained by the pressure to sell tickets. You get to decide how many films to show, when to show them, and whether to show… Read more »

Exhibitor FAQ: Emerging Pictures

With about 70 theatrical venues, Emerging Pictures is the largest network of digital theaters in the country. Existing and burgeoning theaters pay a fee for its servers, which come with hard drives chock full of specialty films, re-issues, mini-festivals and series, and their biggest hits—cultural programming—including opera and ballet. The servers are updated and accessed… Read more »

Distributor FAQ: FilmBuff

FilmBuff is a digital distribution service provided by Cinetic Rights Management (CRM). Although FilmBuff is less than three years old, its sister company, Cinetic Media, has been a major player in film sales since 2001. Former South by Southwest Film Festival head Matt Dentler left the fest in 2008 to lead marketing and programming operations… Read more »

How an Innovative Web Doc Secured Traditional Distribution

Prison Valley, a multimedia prison reform project, tells the tale of Fremont County, Colorado: a tiny patch of the Southwest packed with 13 prisons and a local economy that revolves around the incarceration of 7,735 people—many of whom are the county’s own residents. Yet it began as an idea for an audio slideshow, in a… Read more »

A Meeting of Worlds: YouTube Biennial at the Guggenheim

The Guggenheim Museum: one of the art world’s most venerable institutions, home of masterpieces from the Impressionist movement to the modern era. YouTube: one of the world’s most expansive video repositories, home of sensations from children biting other children’s fingers to anime tributes galore. What could these two household names possibly have in common? According… Read more »

Exhibitor and Distributor FAQ: Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Film Forum also boasts a 364-day exhibition calendar of independent films, many of which are hard to come by at other theaters in the region…. Read more »