2024 Getting Real

3:45PM Open Breakout Session: Standards for Generative AI (with the Archival Producers Alliance)

Expired May 16, 2024 12:00 AM
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Generative artificial intelligence (GAI) is flooding our world with a dizzying amount of generated material and is beginning to change every aspect of producing films. The documentary industry does not yet have guidelines in place for how filmmakers can ethically incorporate these new tools. Generated material presented as “real” in one film will be passed along—on the internet, in other films—creating the danger of forever muddying the historical record. If we allow the commingling of the real and the unreal without distinction or transparency, if neither images nor audio can be believed, then the integrity of the nonfiction genre runs the risk of being hopelessly compromised.


The newly-formed Archival Producers Alliance (APA) is working to create guidelines so that GAI is used in accordance with the journalistic values the documentary community has long upheld. This session will bring together the co-founders of APA with three expert respondents who will talk through a draft of the guidelines, and along with the attendees of the session, offer feedback on how best to word and implement these standards. The ultimate goal will be to create a set of principles that will be adopted as norms by filmmakers, production companies, platforms, awards bodies, and distributors throughout the industry.


Established in 2023, the Archival Producers Alliance was founded as a way for archival producers to come together, create community, and develop best practices around their unique role within the film industry.

Moderators: Jennifer Petrucelli, Stephanie Jenkins, and Rachel Antell (APA)

Respondents: Elizabeth Woodward (Another Body), Jon-Sesrie Goff (Ford Foundation) and Shana Swanson (ITVS)

Biographies (submitted by the speakers):

Jennifer Petrucelli is an archival producer with more than 20 years experience in documentary film. A co-founder of Sub-Basement Archival, Jennifer has served as an archival producer for numerous award winning films, including Peter Bratt’s “Dolores,” Nicole Newnham & Jim LeBrecht’s “Crip Camp” and Dawn Porter’s “37 Words.” Most recently, Jennifer co-founded the Archival Producers Alliance, a membership organization dedicated to creating community and developing best practices for archival work in the documentary film industry.

Stephanie Jenkins has over a decade of experience seeing documentary films from development to delivery. She has worked with Ken Burns and Florentine Films since 2010, on multiple projects including their eight-hour series Muhammad Ali (PBS, 2021), The Central Park Five (2012) , Jackie Robinson (2015), and East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (2020). She was a 2018 - 2019 Impact Partners Producing Fellow, and a member of multiple industry organizations, including the DPA, the PGA, and ATAS. In 2023, she co-founded the Archival Producers Alliance and is working with that group on putting guidelines in place around the use of generative AI materials in non-fiction media. As a musician, she is known for her five-string banjo work.

Rachel Antell has worked in documentary film production for over two decades in various capacities, but found her true passion in archival producing. In 2014 she co-founded Sub-Basement Archival with Jennifer Petrucelli, where she has had the honor of being archival producer on dozens of contemporary & historic documentaries. Sub-Basement films have aired on streaming platforms, cable, public and network television; screened at Sundance and festivals worldwide; and garnered FOCAL Awards as well as a recent Emmy nomination for their research and use of archival footage. In 2023, Rachel co-founded the Archival Producers Alliance, an organization engaged in activism and advocacy for people in the field. She is especially passionate about helping guide the archival and documentary communities to navigate new challenges to the industry presented by generative AI. Rachel holds a Masters degree from Stanford University’s Documentary Film program.