Global Film Academy Launches 1st Season of Live Webinars July 9


Independent filmmakers tend to work in isolation. Once they leave film school, the opportunities to exchange information about the business and art of filmmaking become few and expensive. If they’re self-taught, their network of like-minded professionals may be smaller.

Perhaps they talk late at night at film festivals. Or they attend an occasional expensive workshop focused on theory or technical tools.

Now any filmmaker with an internet connection has the chance to attend live workshops, exchange ideas with peers around the world, and engage with industry experts, from the comfort of her own computer.

Beginning in July, Global Film Academy (GFA) will offer live online courses on practical tools and techniques for documentary and fiction filmmaking, on everything from story construction to pitching to connecting with core audience. GFA’s sessions are short—30 minutes each day for three days—to accommodate the busy schedules of working filmmakers and the industry experts who teach. Sessions are designed to be interactive, to ensure participants’ needs are met and questions answered.

GFA was founded by a team of filmmaker/consultants with international reach.

GFA’s mission is to provide working filmmakers with affordable access to industry experts and groundbreaking information.

GFA’s motto: where practice shapes theory.

Each week for six weeks, GFA will present a course from Tuesday through Thursday, from 1 pm to 1:30 pm EDT. Each course will include one of the founders of GFA as host/facilitator and at least one guest instructor/industry expert.

Filmmakers can choose three different levels of participation:

  • General Admission, for access to 3 live classes: $15
  • Preferred Seating (limit 15 per course), class access and assignments reviewed by instructor: $27
  • Directors Lounge (limit 5 per course), includes classes, assignments reviewed and a one-hour consultation: $73

GFA offers discounts to members of a growing list of partner organizations, including D-Word, an electronic community for documentary filmmakers, and Video Association of Dallas.

For the first season, enrollment is limited to 100 per webinar.

The team behind GFA are: Fernanda Rossi, the Documentary Doctor, filmmaker/author Andrew Zinnes, and MocaMedia—Angela Alston and Gwendolyn Alston—community engagement consultants.

Course Schedule for the First Season

  • July 9-11, Casting Director: Actors Rule, Get Them Attached Now, with Andrew Zinnes and Michelle Gertz
  • July 16-18, Pitch This!, with Fernanda Rossi and Sandi Dubowski
  • July 23-25, Originate or Adapt: Paths into the Business, with Andrew Zinnes and guest instructor to be announced
  • July 30-Aug. 1, Storytelling and Market Trends: How to Make Your Documentary Fit In, with Fernanda Rossi and guest instructor to be announced
  • Aug. 6-8, Beyond A-List Film Festivals: Plan B for Your Film, with Angela Alston, Jon Reiss, and guest filmmakers
  • Aug. 13-15, The Importance of Your FANbase: Build, Grow, and Leverage Audience Engagement, with Gwen Alston, Nevette Previd, and guest filmmakers


About the Founders of Global Film Academy

Fernanda Rossi supports and guides filmmakers with proven methodologies in the creation and improvement of rough cuts, fundraising trailers, synopses, treatments, scripts and pitches. She has doctored over 300 documentaries, fiction scripts and work samples, including two Academy Award® nominees. Fernanda has given presentations and seminars for organizations such as HotDocs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, and SilverDOCS. Her columns and articles have been published in trade publications like The IndependentDocumentary Magazine, and others. She is also the author of the book that, according to industry professionals, is the bible on demo production: Trailer Mechanics: A Guide to Making your Documentary Fundraising Demo.

Andrew Zinnes received his Masters in Film at American University. His first film job was immersed in the political arena, working in the media department at The White House during Bill Clinton’s presidency. With a taste for movies and the fight to go for it, Andrew moved to Los Angeles where he worked in development for top Hollywood producers Norman Lear and Donald De Line at Paramount Pictures. He moved to the Original Movies Division at USA Networks where he worked on popular and critically acclaimed series including Helen of TroyThe Dead Zone, and Monk. Andrew was the US Editor of The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook. He now is Creative Director for Filmmaker Junction and oversees their signature events, The Documentary Summit and Filmmaker Junction: Crime Series Interactive. His number one rule which he pounds into his students: STORY ALWAYS COMES FIRST.

Angela Alston and Gwen Alston of MocaMedia are sisters. Angela is based in Dallas, Texas, and Gwen in Madrid, Spain. New York City is their hometown and hub. Through MocaMedia, they help filmmakers achieve their goals, extend the life of their films, and reach an international audience through festivals, community screenings, partnerships, and social media. Films they’ve represented include A Sea ChangeMothers of BedfordMission of MermaidsUnburden, and Shored Up. Angela is an award-winning maker of short films who has worked in community relations and publicity. She has an MFA in film and video production from the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the board of the Video Association of Dallas. Gwen comes from a marketing and publishing background. She teaches an online video production class at Syracuse University in Madrid and is a mentor on the board of the I Can Still Do That Foundation. Gwen holds degrees from the University of Madrid, New York University, and Vassar College. Both sisters are members of D-Word, an online community for documentary filmmakers.

For more information about Global Film Academy visit ,

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