• Description
  • Bios
  • Open to all AFI DOCS passholders.

    A key to being competitive in the hunt for significant granting opportunities offered by national organizations is the ability to frame what could be perceived as a local or regional story and elevating it to the national stage. In this highly practicable session, moderated by International Documentary Association (IDA) Program Officer Dana Merwin, we unpack the grant-writing process with director Beth Aala and producer Beth Levison, whose documentary MADE IN BOISE has its world premiere at this year's AFI DOCS.


    Moderator: Dana Merwin

    Beth Aala
    Beth Levison

  • Dana MerwinDana Merwin (moderator) is the Program Officer in the Grants Department at the International Documentary Association. Prior to joining IDA, she was the production manager for Al Jazeera America's documentary unit and the Peabody Award-winning series FAULT LINES. She was the Director of Operations for Jupiter Entertainment in Los Angeles, where she oversaw delivery of docu-reality series to various cable channels. She has served as a production manager on numerous film and television productions.


    Beth AalaBeth Aala is a three-time Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning producer for her work at HBO. She co-directed and produced RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN (Sundance, 2017) and directed and produced SUPERMENSCH: THE LEGEND OF SHEP GORDON (Toronto, 2014), a 2015 News and Documentary Emmy® Award nominee.


    Beth LevisonBeth Levison is an Emmy® and Peabody-winning producer based in NYC. MADE IN BOISE, which she produced, will make its world premiere at this year's AFI DOCS. PERSONAL STATEMENT, which she also produced, was the opening night film of AFI DOCS 2018. Levison's additional producing credits include 32 PILLS: MY SISTER’S SUICIDE (HBO, 2017), THE TRIALS OF SPRING (PBS, 2019) and LEMON, which she also directed (PBS, 2011). Levison is the owner of Hazel Pictures, serves on the producing faculty of the SVA's MFA program in Social Documentary Film and is a co-founder of the Doc Producers Alliance (DPA), and a mom.