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 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 honest answers to some of the thorniest topics in the movie business.


Lissette Orozco, director, Adriana’s Pact

Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside, directors, América

Miles Lagoze, director, Combat Obscura

Leilah Weinraub, director, SHAKEDOWN

Tao Gu, director, Taming the Horse

Lorna Tucker, director, Westwood


KATIE DOERING, producer of the ‘Sundance Catalyst’ and ‘Women at Sundance’ initiatives for the Sundance Institute. Doering is also an award-winning documentary producer (The Wild and Wonderful Whites).

SANDRO FIORIN, founder, FiGa Films, where he represents and distributes Latin American content worldwide. Fiorin previously worked at the Film Forum, Universal, First Look and CalArts.

THOMAS ORDONNEAU, distributor and producer through his French company, Shellac. His films include The Other Side (dir. Roberto Minervini) and the Arabian Nights triptych by Miguel Gomes.

JESS SEARCH, chief executive of the U.K.-based Doc Society, which supports filmmakers through projects like the Good Pitch. She also co-founded the independent filmmakers’ network Shooting People.

COURTNEY SEXTON, vice president for CNN Films. Previously she managed featured documentaries for Participant Media (An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., Standard Operating Procedure).

MENG XIE, Beijing-based film curator and producer, co-founder of the China Art Film Fund (Mrs. Fang) and founder of the sales agency Rediance. Xie was the film curator at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.

SWAMI Lunchtime Speaker: RAJENDRA ROY, chief film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, where he has organized exhibitions, including ones for Tim Burton and Mike Nichols. Mr. Roy co-authored “The Berlin School” (2013).

For previous SWAMIs and SWAMettes, check out our archive pages.