Acclaimed filmmaker Steve James to launch DOC Institute’s 2014 Masters Series.

Director Steve James


Acclaimed US filmmaker Steve James to launch DOC Institute’s 2014 Masters Series

DOC Institute, a leading provider of professional development and services to documentary filmmakers, is launching the 2014 edition of its popular Masters Series with the acclaimed American documentary filmmaker Steve James, director of documentaries including the Oscar nominated Hoop Dreams, Tribeca Grand Prize winner The War Tapes and recent Sundance Festival premiere, Life Itself.

Attendees of the Steve James Masters Series will attend a two hour Masters Series Class led on Saturday, March 22 followed by a reception and special private screening of the yet to be released Life Itself, about the late film critic Roger Ebert. James will also offer a full day Masters Series Lab on Sunday, March 23 to a select group of attendees.

During the Masters Series Class, James will discuss his approach to the craft of storytelling, from the decisions driving the aesthetics to the role of the filmmaker in story. James will also share his insight on the subject of access in documentary film, a theme that runs strongly throughout all of his film credits.

The Masters Series Class will be hosted by DOC Toronto Board Member Sean Farnel, a film curation strategist and former programmer at TIFF and Hot Docs.

The DOC Institute is pleased to welcome international crowdfunding site Indiegogo as Presenting Sponsor of the Steve James Masters Series. James raised completion funding for Life Itself using an Indiegogo campaign; donors were then provided with access to a live stream of the film’s Sundance world premiere.

Now in its sixth year, the Masters Series invites celebrated documentary filmmakers and acclaimed professionals including editors, cinematographers and sound designers to share their in-the-field experiences and expertise with members of Toronto’s professional documentary filmmaking community. The Masters Series attracts over 350 participants each year from recent film school graduates to seasoned veterans.

The Steve James Masters Series Presenting Sponsor is Indiegogo and Community Sponsors are Kartemquin Films, Markham Street Films, Mercury Films, Primitive Entertainment and White Pine Pictures. The Venue Sponsor is Corus Entertainment. The Masters Series is supported by the Toronto Arts Council and ArtsVest – Toronto’s Business for the Arts matching funds program.

Visit for details and to register.

About Steve James

Steve James launched his career in 1994 with the Oscar nominated documentary Hoop Dreams. He has since become one of the most acclaimed documentary makers of his generation, with noted works including Stevie; the acclaimed miniseries The New Americans; Tribeca Grand Prize winner The War Tapes; and The Interrupters, which won a duPont Journalism Award. James’ most recent documentary Life Itself, premiered to great acclaim at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

About DOC Institute:
The DOC Institute develops and leads programs to help documentary-makers succeed at every stage of their careers. At the DOC Institute, professionals of every job description, career level, and non-fiction style learn real world business skills, hone their craft and make industry connections. In addition to the Masters Series, the DOC Institute offers a Producers Exchange skill-building program stream featuring: Essentials Bootcamp, Breakthrough Mentorship Program, Executive Retreats and Meet the Funder Nights. Making connections between filmmakers and the community is at the heart of our DOC Connects stream: Docs in Class, Community Connections Screening Series and Docs for Change, a new program set to launch this May.

The DOC Institute is an initiative of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Toronto Chapter.Visit to learn more.