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 unvarnished advice on everything that happens after they finish their final cut. From sales agents to online distribution to European sales, this is a chance for filmmakers to get unbiased answers on some of the thorniest topics in the movie business.


Amanda Rose Wilder, director, Approaching the Elephant

Anna Sandilands and Ewan McNicol, co-directors, Uncertain

Joe Callander, director, Life After Death

Kitty Green, director, Ukraine is not a Brothel

Niels van Koevorden and Sabine Lubbe Bakker, co-directors, Ne Me Quitte Pas

Linda Vastrik Forest of the Dancing Spirits

Ryan Murdock, director, Bronx Obama

2014 SWAMIs

Cara Mertes, director of the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative. Formerly, executive producer of the award-winning PBS “P.O.V.” documentary series.

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

Philippa Kowarsky, founder and managing director of Cinephil Distribution & Co Productions.

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

Ryan Krivoshey, director of distribution at The Cinema Guild.

Scott Macaulay, editor of Filmmaker Magazine, and independent film producer.

Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program. Formerly the Commissioning Editor of Arts at Channel 4 Television in London.