Yes, this is all about YOU! At a time when you’ll hear everyone say that everything is possible and nothing is working, and you feel overwhelmed by everything it takes to make your film, this is the week to finally take the time to assess what filmmaking is to you and what it will take to make you succeed on your terms. Join us to explore the tools you need to succeed and recharge your creative battery with a special brand of “radical relaxation: great films, great food and deep discussions on the art, politics and the plain fun of filmmaking.”

Plan on bringing 20 minutes of your work to share- either a work in progress or one that you’ve recently completed for brainstorming, problem solving, and deep discussion. The seminars are organized by Susi Walsh, Executive Director of CID and John Scagliotti, Emmy Award-winning documentary producer and the creator of the public television series In the Life – the monthly hour-long program on news and culture about the gay community. Guest speakers will join throughout the week.

How to Apply

Applying for the retreat week is easy. Just write a letter to Susi Walsh and John Scagliotti to let us know something about you and what you are working on that you might want to “workshop” that week (plan to screen 20-30 minutes of either a work in progress or completed piece). Send the letter to John Scagliotti( and Susi Walsh ( We expect to have more applicants than spaces so please respond as soon as possible. We’ll be putting the group together from your letters in June,  which is aroundthe time the deposits are due. We do this so that you can make your summer plans.

Cost and Amenities

The costs for filmmakers participating for the week is only $350 per person.

Includes: a single Cabin room for 7 nights (shared bathroom facilities), clean linens and towels, continental breakfasts, buffet lunches, and sit-down family style dinners, afternoon excursions to swimming holes and country outings, pick-up from the Bus or Train station in Brattleboro Vermont, and programmed Morning Seminars. Wireless internet availabile. Participants are asked to bring 20-minutes of their media on DVD or VHS for evening “film slams” in the Organ Barn with late night discussions (optional hot tub discussions) afterwards on the deck. Participants will be responsible for their travel to Treefrog Farm in Guilford or to a public transportation pick up spot in Brattleboro, Vermont. Once registered, more information will be emailed to you including suggested items to bring and directions. Note: while afternoon excursions are planned, you can use this time if you wish as ‘free time’ or as Kopkind calls it – “radical relaxation.”

Kopkind and CID are able to offer this camp for filmmakers at such a reduced rate due to the generosity of their supporters. If you would like to help support filmmakers seminar, please contact us!

Questions about the seminars and retreat as well as the Grassroots Film Festival can be attained by emailing John Scagliotti at feel free to send this information to others who might want to participate.

Annie Berman of WIFV/NE reflects on her 2010 experience:
Radical Relaxation from NAMAC by JoAnn Wypijewski:

Prior Participants:

2017: Kelly A. Burkhardt, Lisa D'Apolito, Rick Flynn, Bryan Horch, Immy Humes, Cami Kidder, Chris Owen, Jeffrey Ruoff

2016: Patricia Goudvis,  Immy Humes, Jamal T. Lewis, Paul Moon, Richard Morse, Jonathan Schwartz, Savanna Washington, Rebecca Williams, Debra A. Wilson –Read the 2016 participant bios HERE

2015: Katherine “Kat” Cheairs i,Ben Pender-Cudlip ,Nancy Kates. Helen De Michiel , Cyn Lubow ,Torrie Rosenzweig ,Tal Skloot, Martha Swetzoff, Keil Troisi, Monica Wise, Jim Wolpaw

2014 Alex Halkin, Bill Lichtenstein, Roberto Mighty, Derek Burrows, Lydia Harris, Scott Ryan, Lisa D’Apolito, Indrani Kopal, Tracy Heather-Strain, Melissa Langer, Michaela O’Brien.  Read 2014 participant bios HERE

2013 Casey Callister, Laurel Chiten, Lisa Leeman, Andrea Meyerson, Meaghan Murphy, Maureen McNamara, David Pavlovsky, Vandana Sood-Gittings, Robin Truesdale, Irene Zabytko

2012: Jenny Alexander, Helen DiMichel, Alexandra DeGonzalez, Maryanne Galvin, Bob Nesson, Michael Rossi, Emmy Scharlatt, David Tames, Bruce Weaver, Lise ZumwaltRead 2012 participants bios HERE

2011: Jesse Freeston, David A. Goldenberg, Jonathan Goldman, Lily Keber, Jan Krawitz, Pearl J Park, Marilyn Pennell, Karen Schoucair, Julia Haslett, Martha Swetzoff.

2010: Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider (San Francisco), James Demo (Boston), Susan Rivo (Boston), Annie Berman (New York), Ben Actenberg (Boston), Jesse Achtenberg (Washington DC), Gabriela Bohm (Los Angeles), Andrea Torrice (Cincinnati), Woody Bovota (Cape Cod)

2009: Dean Hamer (Washington, DC), Ann Bennett (NY, New York), Brett Story (Montreal, Canada), Sharon Arkin (Tucson, AZ), Sanford Lewis (Amherst, MA), Matt Gossage (Austin, TX), Kavita Pillay (Cambridge, MA), Betsy Kalin (Los Angeles, CA), Joan Mandell (Detroit, MI)

2008: Erin Sisk, Heather Kapplow, Betsy Kalin, Lynn Cadwallader, Terry Holzgreen, Daniella Broitman, Grace Shulner, Sarah Hesterman, Benedicte Naudin

2007: Nancy Kelly, Savanna Washington, Jonathan Skurnick, Karen Everett, Jim Wolpaw, Nancy Kates, Bennett Singer, Natalie Lardner, Carlyn Saltman and Tim McCarthy.

2006: Joel Katz , Nancy Kates, Robbie Leppzer, Alexandra de Gonzalez, Emily Kunstler, Deb Ellis, Eli Moore, Jenifer Kaplan, Rebecca Snedeker and Savanna Washington.