Film Training Manitoba presents the Film Master Series 2024 (In partnership with The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, DOC Manitoba, and Moxie Films) February 10 & 11, 2024
*Both the Masterclass and SWIFT Session are now sold out!
Film Training Manitoba (FTM) and our partners are pleased to announce Rory Kennedy as our distinguished masterclass instructor for 2024.
FTM annually conducts special masterclasses with renowned and highly accomplished film industry professionals. These sessions develop the skills of Manitoba’s film industry professionals by allowing the instructors to share advice and insights on their careers and experiences.
Past Master Series instructors have included: Steve Yedlin, Cinematographer – THE LAST JEDI (2017) and KNIVES OUT (2019), Carl Gottlieb, Screenwriter – JAWS (1975) and THE JERK (1979), Mark Irwin, Cinematographer – THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (1998), SCREAM (1996), Jordan Samuel, Makeup Department head – THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017), and FAHRENHEIT 451 (2018), and Les Blank, Filmmaker – BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982), & WERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE (1980), William B. Davis, Actor – THE X-FILES.
Rory Kennedy is an Academy Award-nominated, Primetime Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. She has made over forty films, including DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing, Last Days in Vietnam, and Ethel, all of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her films have appeared on the major streamers and broadcast networks including Netflix, HBO, National Geographic and PBS. Her work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, and she has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Today Show, CNN, and NPR.
Kennedy, along with her husband, Emmy-nominated writer/producer Mark Bailey, is a co-founder of Moxie Films. In partnership with Netflix, Imagine Entertainment and Appian Way, she most recently directed and produced the feature documentary The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari. Examining the devastating 2019 eruption of New Zealand’s Whakaari/ White Island volcano, the film was released by Netflix on December 16, 2022, and five days later became the number one Netflix film in the US, as well as in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe. Later that week, it broke the official Netflix Global Top Ten.
Earlier that same year, Kennedy directed and produced the Netflix feature documentary, DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing, investigating the prelude and aftermath of the two tragic Boeing 737-Max crashes. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022 and launching on Netflix the following month, the film also went on to break the official Netflix Global Top Ten.
Other recent work by Kennedy includes her 2017 film, Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton, an intimate portrait of the legendary big-wave surfer that had its world premiere at Sundance and was distributed theatrically through IFC and streamed on Hulu. In 2014, Kennedy’s PBS/American Experience feature documentary Last Days in Vietnam premiered at Sundance, went into wide theatrical release in the fall of that year, and garnered an Academy-Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In 2012, her HBO feature documentary Ethel chronicled the extraordinary life of her mother, Ethel Kennedy; the film premiered at Sundance and was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards.
Prior to that, in 2011, Kennedy produced Killing in the Name, which garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short. In 2009, she executive produced Street Fight, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. In 2007, her HBO film Ghosts of Abu Ghraib premiered at Sundance and went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special. Other recent projects include Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow for the Discovery Channel and The Fence, which opened the Sundance Film Festival, and was broadcast on HBO.
Kennedy is currently partnered with Academy Award-nominated producer Alexander Rodnyansky on Adrift, an AR Content feature documentary exploring how the international community has responded to refugees since World War II, which premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2023. She is also directing and producing an HBO documentary series on Synanon, the long-celebrated addiction treatment center that transformed over the decades into an organization engaging in cult-like activity, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2024.
Kennedy recently served two terms as Governor of AMPAS. She is the founder of the Climate Emergency Fund, which supports activists protesting climate change. She lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband, three children, two goats, two nice dogs, one very mean dog, and a sixty-two-year-old tortoise named Zippy.
Location: The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology – 130 Henlow Bay – The Delta Room
Saturday, February 10 – 10am to 12pm – Supporting Women in Film Trades (SWIFT) Moderated Speaker Session at MITT
Registration fee: $20
Rory Kennedy will be engaged in a moderated one-on-one session about women’s important role in film and media. FTM’s SWIFT session will be exclusive for women, non-binary and trans participants. Kennedy will share advice and personal experiences to encourage the participants in jobs and careers.
Saturday, February 10 – 1pm to 5pm – Masterclass
Registration fee: $75
During this in-depth in-class session, Kennedy will illuminate how documentary filmmakers engage in every part of production. Using clips of select projects, Kennedy will discuss the creative elements of filmmaking from concept through distribution. Using personal examples, Kennedy will share her creative process on how to deliver a compelling cinematic story.
Topics covered will include:
- Finding the story
- The value of first-person accounts and getting the “original source”
- Developing trust with your subjects
- Working with broadcasters, distributors and streamers
- Collaborating with creatives and crew
- Navigating production challenges
- Shaping your story in post-production
This in-class session will not be streamed or recorded in any manner.
Please note: A Rory Kennedy’s film Ethel (2012) will screen at MITT on February 10 at 6pm.
Sunday, February 11, 2024 – 1pm to 6pm – One-on-one Training Sessions
Registration fee: $125
Eight advanced level Manitoba-based filmmakers will receive 30-minute individual one-on-one sessions with Kennedy. Applicants will be selected by a jury of senior level DOC MB members.
Applicants will be required to submit a one-page cover letter and a CV. In the cover letter, applicants are advised to detail what project(s) they are working on and how they wish to use this session to advance their work.
FTM, DOC MB and MITT strongly recommend that Manitoba-based Women, older workers, Indigenous, BIPOC, persons with disabilities, youth, LGBTQ2S+ and other underrepresented workers take part and apply of the one-on-one sessions.
*Applications are now closed.
Film Training Manitoba Course Registration Policy
- Registrations are non-transferable
- Participants must be 18 years of age or older to register and attend the course.
- Participants must register in advance of the course. No drop-ins.
- Registration is on a first come, first served basis – unless otherwise specified. Enrollment may be limited.
- Payment in full is required to secure a spot in an FTM course.
- No Recording.
- Participants must cancel up to 4 full business days prior to the course start date to receive an 80% refund.
- No refund will be given to participants who cancel within 4 full business days before the course start date, or if they do not attend the course.
- Film Training Manitoba reserves the right to cancel, or postpone, any course where a minimum registration level has not been met. Participants registered for a course that is canceled will receive a full refund.