image It’s a big day at STF. Besides kicking off the spring season with a sold out Opening Night, we’re delighted to announce a new festival of documentary storytelling called DOC NYC coming in November 2010. This couldn’t have happened without the support of the STF community. We look forward to sharing more details in the months to come. Meanwhile, here is the official press release:

New York, NY – April 6, 2010 – DOC NYC (, New York City’s first and only festival celebrating documentary storytelling across the fields of film, photography, prose, radio and other innovative forms, will hold its inaugural festival Wednesday, November 3 – Sunday, November 7, 2010. DOC NYC was announced today by Managing Director John Vanco, Artistic Director Thom Powers, and Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen; the team behind IFC Center’s successful film series Stranger Than Fiction. Vanco is Vice President and General Manager of The IFC Center, where DOC NYC will be based. Powers is documentary programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) has signed on to be the festival’s Presenting Partner, in association with Tisch School of the Arts. Opening and Closing Night events will be held at the Skirball Center for Performing Arts Auditorium at NYU’s Washington Square campus. 

For its first year, the festival will take place over five days showcasing diverse events, retrospectives and presentations on photography, prose, and the spoken word. The centerpiece of DOC NYC is a competition of eight documentary films emphasizing World or U.S. Premieres that will take place at the Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, November 3rd.  Additional sidebar sections will focus on specific themes and retrospectives.

“DOC NYC will fill an important void in New York City and will be a cornerstone for documentary storytellers from all over the world to showcase premieres, hold panels and give audiences the thrill of discovery,” said Vanco. “We’re creating a festival that will curate people as much as work, creating a space for the world’s leading thinkers, activists, creators, and celebrities to come together for dialogue, inspiration, and incubation of ideas.”

“We want to take a fresh approach to the concept of a festival,” said Powers. “Since New York City is the center of journalism, broadcasting, publishing and more, it makes an ideal location to gather the world’s leading documentary storytellers across many fields and give them a platform to reach new audiences. The line-up will look at the past, present and future.”

“We want to congratulate The IFC Center on creating a festival devoted to this compelling segment of the industry,” said Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Commissioner Katherine Oliver. “New York City is the independent film capital of the US, and the perfect location for a festival focusing on documentary filmmaking. At MOFTB, we serve as the one-stop shop for all productions shooting throughout the five boroughs, offering premier customer service.”

Representing the span of documentary storytelling, the festival’s advisory board includes two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple, author Nelson George, cartoonist Joe Sacco, Cara Mertes of the Sundance Documentary Development Fund, Ruby Lerner of Creative Capital, and Philipp Engelhorn of Cinereach.

More information can be found online at Patrons from all over the world can experience the festival through its web site, which will feature exclusive content including video clips, on-the-scene reportage, and ways for audiences who are inspired by DOC NYC films to get more involved.

About Thom Powers, DOC NYC Artistic Director
Thom Powers is the creator and host of the acclaimed documentary series Stranger Than Fiction that takes place at the IFC Center. Now in its 13th season, STF has earned an international reputation and featured esteemed guests such as Jonathan Demme, Laurie Anderson, Albert Maysles, and Barbara Kopple. Powers also serves as the documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where he presented premieres of celebrated titles such as “Capitalism: A Love Story,” “Food, Inc,” “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” and “Encounters at the Edge of the World.” He also curates TIFF’s Mavericks conversation series, where he has hosted discussions with President Jimmy Carter, Chris Rock, Matt Damon, Howard Zinn, and others. He has taught at New York University for 10 years and recently received an award for Teaching Excellence.  He co-founded the Cinema Eye Honors – an annual award for documentary excellence – now in its fourth year.

About Raphaela Neihausen, DOC NYC Executive Director
Raphaela Neihausen is the executive director of Stranger Than Fiction and oversaw the creation of its web site, media strategy and growth in season pass holders. Prior to STF, she worked for seven years at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), advising Fortune 100 companies on strategic growth. Neihausen also produced the documentary “Miss Gulag” (recipient of grants from the Ford Foundation and Sundance Documentary Fund) that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to be broadcast all over the world. She speaks six languages and holds a BSFS/MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

About John Vanco, DOC NYC Managing Director

Through his leadership roles in film distribution and exhibition over the last 15 years, John Vanco has strived to connect great works of cinema with appreciative audiences. Greenwich Village’s IFC Center, led by Vanco since its 2005 opening, serves as a focal point for the independent film community.  As one of the founders of Cowboy Pictures, Vanco led the distribution efforts on behalf of dozens of foreign language, documentary and American fiction features, including works by Lynne Ramsay, David Gordon Green, Catherine Breillat and Shohei Imamura.  Cowboy also programmed an innovative film calendar at a Manhattan cinema and managed the theatrical libraries of Janus Films and Pennebaker/Hegedus films. Previously, Vanco served in various capacities at Miramax, New Yorker Films and Fine Line Features.

About IFC Center
IFC Center is a state-of-the-art cinema in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village.  Opened in June 2005 following an extensive renovation of the historic Waverly Theater, the theater expanded from three screens to five in 2009.  Bringing the very best in new foreign-language, American independent and documentary features to NYC audiences, IFC Center is also known for its innovative repertory series and festivals, showing short films before its regular features in the ongoing “Short Attention Span Cinema” program, and special events such as the guest-programmed “Movie Nights” and frequent in-person appearances by filmmakers.  The theater’s lobby concession stands feature a unique array of food and merchandise, from organic popcorn, locally-made vegan baked goods and David Lynch coffee to CineMetal t-shirts, books and a carefully curated selection of classic, foreign and independent films on DVD and Blu-Ray.  IFC Center also offers a membership program that includes ticket and merchandise discounts, free members-only screenings and other rewards.  For additional theater information, current and upcoming program details and more, visit

About the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Established in 1934, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS) is among the several colleges and schools that comprise New York University, one of the largest private research universities in the United States.  NYU-SCPS offers 14 graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees for both traditional-aged and adult students, and more than 100 certificates and 2,500 continuing education courses in key sectors where New York leads globally: Real Estate; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Philanthropy; Communications Media, Publishing, Design, and Digital Arts; Business, Marketing, and Finance; and the Liberal and Applied Arts, among others. NYU-SCPS programs in Design, Digital Arts and Film include professional certificates and intensives in such areas as filmmaking, video production, documentary, editing, producing, and many others. For additional information, visit