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Docu Work-In-Progress Lab


Applications for Winter/Spring 2017 are now closed. Stay tuned for our next Lab in 2018.


DCTV’s Docu Work-In-Progress Lab is a triannual program that supports select filmmakers each with an independent documentary project in post-production that could highly benefit from dedicated feedback and crit-building germane to the editing process.

The lab is scheduled and designed with an iterative structure in mind. Docu WIP filmmakers share and workshop each others' initial rough cuts during four screening/discussion sessions, providing crucial insight for each other under the guidance of a professional filmmaker. Outside of these sessions, participants edit two new iterations of their rough cut based on the discussions. Finally, participants present their most refined cut on the final session which is a showcase for closing feedback with a special guest.

See our Docu WIP Lab alum from Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Winter/Spring 2016 and Fall 2015.

Eligibility + Application Details


  • The applicant must be 18 years of age or older.
  • The applicant must be a current DCTV Member (if not, an annual membership can be purchased for only $25 here).
  • The applicant must be a Director or Editor of the submitted work with full artistic and editorial control of the project.
  • The applicant must be able to attend every session if accepted.
  • The project must be a documentary, including and not limited to experimental and interactive media.
  • The project must be in post-production at a rough-cut stage, developed enough to clearly illustrate structure, style, and/or characters.
  • The project can be of any length, however only up to 20 minutes of a project will be workshopped (a rough-cut in its entirety, or as a sample sequence).
  • The project must be independent and not attached to any commercial or third party entity.
  • Completed films are ineligible.


  • Labs are free of charge to those selected to participate.
  • While we understand that filmmaking is a collaborative process, only one participant per project can participate in the lab.
  • All lab sessions take place at DCTV in New York City. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements.

Application includes:

    Our online application includes a project progress report and work sample (5-8 min). You can save the application and return to it as often as needed until you are ready to submit. Note that it pulls from The Documentary Core Application with "the aim of fostering greater access and a more equitable and sustainable documentary field."


    Participant selection is based on the quality of work and promise to benefit from the lab. We encourage emerging filmmakers of various backgrounds, abilities, and experience levels to apply, with clear and thoughtful goals that demonstrate potential for a transformed project via this lab.


    $15 application fee and DCTV Membership are required to apply. This lab is free of charge to those invited to participate.

Past Lab Details

Winter/Spring 2017 Docu Work-In-Progress Lab

Sierra Pettengill

Facilitator: Sierra Pettengill

Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and archivist. Town Hall, her feature-length documentary, broadcast nationally on PBS in 2014. She is the producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer, which also won the directing award at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and a 2015 News and Doc Emmy. Most recently, she was the archivist on Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger (Cannes '16), Mike Mills' 20th Century Women (New York Film Festival '16), and Robert Greene's Kate Plays Christine (Sundance '16) amongst many others. She is currently co-directing and producing the all-archival documentary The Reagan Show.

David Osit

Guest for Final Crit: David Osit

David is a documentary film director, editor and composer. David co-directed/produced/edited the feature documentary Thank You For Playing, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and broadcast on POV in the fall of 2016. He also edited and produced Off Frame, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, and edited Live From New York!, the Opening Night Film of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, which broadcast in the United States on NBC. David’s first feature documentary, Building Babel, which he directed, produced, shot, edited and composed, premiered at True/False in 2012 and broadcast as the series premiere of PBS’s America Reframed in 2013. David studied Refugee Law at the American University of Cairo, and received his MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is currently editing, producing and composing No Man's Land, a documentary about the Oregon militia standoff, executive produced by Morgan Spurlock.

Program Dates:

    Session 1 | Wed 3/29; 6:30-9:30pm: Introductions and Feedback Guidelines, Screen First Rough Cuts
    Session 2 | Thu 3/30; 6:30-9:30pm: Continue to Screen First Rough Cuts
    Session 3 | Wed 4/12; 6:30-9:30pm: Progress Updates, Screen Second Rough Cuts
    Session 4 | Thu 4/13; 6:30-9:30pm: Continue to Screen Second Rough Cuts
    Session 5 | Fri 4/28; 10am-3pm: Showcase: Screen Latest Cut with David Osit

Application Deadline: Sun 3/12, 11:59pm

Notifications: by Mon 3/20

Apply here: Applications are now closed.