The True/False SWAMI mentorship program was launched in 2007 as a way to help new nonfiction filmmakers navigate the sometimes treacherous terrain of the doc film world. Through meetings with seasoned and knowledgeable industry professionals, first-time filmmakers get friendly advice on everything that happens after they finish their final cut. From sales agents to online distribution to European press, this is a chance for filmmakers to get unbiased answers on some of the thorniest topics in the movie business.

Special thanks to Chicken and Egg Pictures for sponsoring the 2012 SWAMI program.


Noah Cowan, artistic director of TIFF Bell Lightbox, a visual culture center including cinemas, galleries, and learning studios in downtown Toronto. He’s the former co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival and of the distribution company Cowboy Films.

Sandi Dubowski, director, Trembling Before G-d and the work-in-progress The Amichai Film Project; producer,
A Jihad for Love; co-producer, Budrus; Good Pitch U.S. outreach director and grassroots distribution maven. DuBowski speaks about strategic international distribution campaigns, creative audience outreach, engagement, and funding.

Heidi Ewing, co-founder of New York-based Loki Films along with Rachel Grady. Their films include Detropia, Jesus Camp, The Boys of Baraka, and 12th & Delaware.

Rose Kuo is the executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, America’s pre-eminent film presentation organization. She co-founded Festworks, a festival-consulting firm.

Tom Quinn, co-president of Radius, the new boutique distribution label within the Weinstein Company,
and former senior vice president at Magnolia Pictures.

Esther Robinson, award-winning filmmaker/producer (A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory); former director of film/video and performing arts for the Creative Capital Foundation, and one of the principal architects of their innovative grant-making system

Jess Search, co-founder of the independent filmmakers' network Shooting People, and chief executive of Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation


Emma Davie, co-director, I Am Breathing
Tinatin Gurchiani, director, The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
Eliane Raheb & Nizar Hassan, director and producer, Sleepless Nights
Nick Bentgen & Lisa Kjerulff, director & producer, Northern Light
Jason Osder, director, Let the Fire Burn
Catalina Vergara, co-director, The Last Station
Martha Shane & Lana Wilson, co-directors, After Tiller