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 2010, we have presented over 65 screenings and welcomed dozens of filmmakers to Boston, and in 2011, the DocYard was awarded a Special Commendation in 2011 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.”
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 office in Cambridge, MA to support independent film and video artists. Since its inception, the Moving Image Fund has supported over 200 independent filmmaker projects with approximately $3,500,000 in funding. The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent film and video artists in the region and broaden recognition and support for their work locally and nationally.
The DocYard Team
DocYard Co-Founder and Programmer; Program Director, LEF Foundation
Sara Archambault (Producer) 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 an independent film programmer with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a documentary festival recognized as one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world, and one of the 12 best “small town” film festivals in the US. He is also the founder of the Points North Documentary Forum, a conference component of CIFF which has hosted dozens of key industry decision makers from the BBC, HBO, A&E, The New York Times, Vimeo, PBS, POV, ITVS, ZDF, Arte, the Tribeca Institute, the Sundance Institute and Channel and Cinereach, among others. He is also a co-founder and programmer for the award winning DocYard screening series in Cambridge, MA. Ben has been honored as a member of the Thom Powers “20 under 40: Industry Leaders To Watch Out For” and currently 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 and Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK, Ben also works with filmmakers as an independent consultant.
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, Lyda became a Creative Capital board member.
DocYard Outreach Coordinator; Program Assistant, LEF Foundation
Originally from Cambridge, Gen studied social anthropology, Chinese, and film at Harvard. She lived in Beijing from 2010 to 2013, where she assisted and coordinated independent film initiatives including DOChina, Indie Workshop, and NORDOX. She also helped to screen a number of American independent films in China. Back in Boston, Gen continues to make non-fiction and to work on transnational media projects.
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.