About the DocYard.

Launched in 2010 by Sara Archambault, Sean Flynn, and Ben Fowlie, the DocYard is an award-winning film and discussion series at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, and which also sponsors special screenings and co-presentations throughout the year. Each screening is a new experience as we connect audiences directly with filmmakers exploring the documentary form through insightful post-screening discussions.

Since its inception, the DocYard has helped to bring over 200 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. In 2020, The DocYard was again awarded a Special Commendation by the Boston Society of Film Critics for “for continuing to draw attention to important nonfiction films and filmmakers—and this year for recognizing Boston documentarian Lucia Small with a well-deserved retrospective.”

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. Since its inception, the Moving Image Fund has awarded approximately $4.2 million in grant funding to over 400 projects.

Support the DocYard

Help us bring new award-winning documentary programming and visiting filmmakers to Boston!

The DocYard Team.

Abby Sun

DocYard Curator

Abby is an artist, film programmer, and researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies. She started curating the DocYard in spring 2020. As a film critic, Abby has bylines in Film CommentFilmmaker MagazineFilm Quarterly, Hyperallergic, and others. She has served on juries for Dokufest, Cleveland, Palm Springs, and New Orleans film festivals, as well as nominating committees for the Gotham Awards and Cinema Eye. Her latest short film, “Cuba Scalds His Hand” (co-directed with Daniel Garber), premiered at Maryland Film Festival in 2019. Most recently, other than the DocYard, Abby co-curated My Sight is Lined with Visions: 1990s Asian American Film & Video with Keisha Knight. Expanding on the series’ programmatic urges, Abby and Keisha launched Line of Sight, a suite of artist development activities, in 2021.

Kayla Myers

DocYard Series Producer

Kayla Myers is a programmer, writer, and artist. After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2018 with degrees in Strategic Communication and Digital Storytelling, Myers served as a media production fellow with Impact America in Birmingham, Alabama before returning home to Memphis, where she also works as a programmer with the Indie Memphis Film Festival.

As a member of one of the earliest classes of Digital Storytelling students, Kayla has showcased her short films and photography, both narrative and documentary, at the Citizen Jane Film Festival and in gallery spaces. She is passionate about making films more accessible to those not living in large filmmaking centers and developing audiences with a thoughtful, community-centered approach.

The image is a portrait of LEF Foundation Executive Director, Lyda Kuth. She is a white woman with short blond hair, and she is wearing a black shirt and glasses. She is sitting in a chair with a distinct green pattern.

Lyda Kuth

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. She also was an executive producer on the film by director Alla Kovgan, Cunningham 3-D, released in 2019.  

A portrait of Gen Carmel, the LEF Foundation Program Director. She is a woman with dark, curly hair and there are green leaves behind her.

Genevieve Carmel

Program Director, LEF Foundation

Gen works as Program Director at LEF, where she also provides general support for the DocYard’s programming and operations, having previously worked as DocYard Series Coordinator and Shorts Co-programmer. Outside of her work for LEF and the DocYard, Gen is interested in writing, curating, filmmaking, music, and DIY arts community building as a member of the AgX Film Collective.

The image is a portrait of LEF Foundation Program Officer

Matthew LaPaglia

Program Officer, LEF Foundation

Matthew became the LEF Foundation’s Program Officer in 2021, having moved to the Boston area in 2018 to complete his M.F.A. in film and media art at Emerson College. A native of Central New York, Matthew attended Colgate University, where he studied history and film and attended the Flaherty Film Seminar. In addition to having worked in film production, marketing, and higher education, Matthew is a scholar whose research centers the conceptual nuances of queer art-making. He is also an experimental film and video artist creating work that explores art practice as a historiographical tool, interrogating where memory and identity coalesce with collective narrative. Matthew enjoys live music at intimate venues, going for long runs outside of the city, and he is never far from a book, or more often a stack of them.