Launched in 2010 by Sara Archambault, Sean Flynn, and Ben Fowlie, the DocYard is an award-winning film and discussion series that runs from January through April at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, and also sponsors special screenings and co-presentations throughout the year. Each screening is a new experience as we connect audiences directly with film and media makers who are exploring the documentary form through insightful post-screening discussions.
Since its inception, the DocYard has helped to bring over 100 films and filmmakers to Cambridge. In 2011, the DocYard was awarded a Special Commendation by the Boston Society of Film Critics for “presenting a vibrant forum for the Boston documentary community to see important new non-fiction works and to have meaningful discussions with the filmmakers.” In 2014, the DocYard was voted a BostInno “50 on Fire” Media Award Winner.
Our commitment to sharing and promoting cutting edge work in documentary is emphasized by the community we call home. Boston has long been a center for documentary filmmaking. It continues to be a place where students come to learn and experiment; where world- renowned documentary filmmakers are teaching and creating work; and where the craft is continually being developed and expanded. Many filmmakers breaking new ground in non-fiction storytelling today are building on Boston’s rich legacy of documentary and innovation of the form.
The DocYard is a program of the LEF Foundation. A private family foundation dedicated to the support of contemporary arts, LEF was established in 1985 with offices in Massachusetts and California. The Moving Image Fund was launched in 2001 through the LEF New England office in Cambridge, MA. LEF New England supports the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region and broadens recognition and support for their work nationally and locally. The Moving Image Fund has awarded $4 million in grant funding to over 300 projects.
The DocYard Team
DocYard Co-Founder and Programmer; Program Director, LEF Foundation
Sara Archambault is the Program Director at the LEF Foundation, and Programmer/Co-founder of the award-winning documentary film series The DocYard. Sara has an extensive professional history in production, programming, and foundation work. She was Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Managing Producer for Ebb Pod Productions on the Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North, and worked as a producer with Christopher Lydon on his radio show Open Source. Sara is producing the feature documentary Street Fighting Man which has received support from IFP Week’s Spotlight on Documentary, Hot Docs International Pitch Forum, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. The film has also been featured in Indie Wire, The Documentary Blog, WNYC’s The Takeaway, and Film Threat. She is frequently an advisor, juror, moderator, and panelist with a number of film festivals. Sara is a 2013 Sundance Creative Producers Lab Fellow and was sited as one of 2013’s “One to Watch,” along with the Street Fighting Man team, by The Independent.
DocYard Co-Founder and Programmer; Founder/Director, Camden International Film Festival
Ben Fowlie is the founder and executive director of the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world, and one of the 12 best “small town” film festivals in the US (POV). He is also the founder of CIFF’s Points North Documentary Forum, which has hosted dozens of key industry decision makers from the BBC, HBO, A&E, The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, PBS, POV, ITVS, ZDF, Arte, the Tribeca Institute, the Sundance Institute and Channel, among others. Ben is currently a member of the Maine Film Commission and sits on the Industry Advisory Board and Nominating Committee for the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. A frequent panelist and juror at film festivals including the Silverdocs Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, SXSW, IFFBoston and Sheffield Doc/Fest, Ben is also an adjunct instructor at Unity College in Maine.
Executive Director, LEF Foundation
Lyda is a founding board member and current Executive Director of the LEF Foundation. She has been recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council with the prestigious Commonwealth Award and honored by Women in Film and Video New England with the Image Award for Vision & Excellence in the media arts. In 2005, she joined the Creative Capital board and currently serves as its Chair. In addition to her philanthropic work, she is also an independent filmmaker. In 2011, she had her debut as director/producer with her film, Love and Other Anxieties; and served as executive producer for Secundaria, with director Mary Jane Doherty, which premiered in 2013.
DocYard Outreach Coordinator; Program Assistant, LEF Foundation
Gen joined the LEF Foundation in 2013, where she also works as Outreach Coordinator for the DocYard. A Cambridge native with a background in film & cultural studies, East Asian studies, and documentary film production, she has a degree in social anthropology from Harvard College, and is equally fascinated by the moving image as an art form and by how films are produced, distributed, and interpreted across various social and cultural contexts. She lived in Beijing from 2010 to 2013, where she worked as a translator and project coordinator for independent film organizations including the Documentary Film Festival China (DOChina) in Songzhuang, Indie Workshop, NORDOX and the Flaherty Seminar in China. Now living in Somerville, Gen continues to make non-fiction and is co-founder of Crows & Sparrows, an initiative that seeks to connect media artists and audiences in North America and East Asia, with a focus on Boston and Beijing.
DocYard Discussion Moderator
Erin Trahan has a particular interest in facilitating public dialogue about arts and culture and has led discussions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston Public Library, Mass Poetry Festival, the DocYard, and several area film festivals. Her writing includes film and travel journalism, essays, and poems. She currently edits and publishes The Independent, an online magazine about film, contributes film reviews and feature stories to WBUR’s The ARTery, reads poetry submissions for AGNI Magazine, and juggles assorted freelance projects, such as helping to produce the personal documentary LOVE AND OTHER ANXIETIES. She earned an MFA in poetry from Bennington College in 2010.