How do you fund a documentary film? Where do you go, and what do you need to know? And – provided you secure the funding – how do you get your film out into the world and make sure people hear about it? 

Our guest, Jessica Edwards, has a broad background in the film industry as a director, producer and publicist. Her first feature-length documentary, Mavis!, about soul music legend Mavis Staples and her family group The Staple Singers, premiered on HBO in 2016 and was awarded a Peabody for distinguished achievement in documentary filmmaking.

Her award-winning debut short Seltzer Works premiered at SxSW and was broadcast on the PBS series POV in 2010. Her other documentaries including Tugs (2011), The Landfill (2012) and Slowerblack (2017) have screened at film festivals around the world including Sundance, SxSW, Hot Docs, Full Frame, IDFA and dozens of others.
Edwards is a Vice-President at the VR content studio Scenic, where she has collaborated with outlets like the Wall Street Journal on 360 video documentaries for Samsung Gear, Google Daydream and other VR platforms.

As an independent film publicist for over 10 years, Edwards worked with such filmmakers as Sofia Coppola, David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, Gus Van Sant and many others. 

In 2015 she was named 10 Documakers to watch by Variety. Edwards holds a MA in Media Studies from The New School in New York City and a BA in Cinema Studies from Concordia University in her native Canada. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Doc Talk recorded October 15th at The New School

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