Katerina Cizek is Opening up Documentary at MIT’s new Co-Creative Studio


Courtney Sheehan reports on digital media pioneer Katerina Cizek, who has brought a new documentary project to the Toronto International Film Festival.  Cizek is leading the co-creation of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, a research center for emerging new media technologies.  Sheehan discusses Cizek’s newest film project and the exciting innovations in documentary filmmaking that are being explored.

Telluride: A Film Student’s Reflection


Varun Chounal, one of this year’s Fellows at the 2017 Telluride Student Symposium, describes his experience in an essay for The Independent. Chounal’s account celebrates the famed film festival and its earnest engagements with young artists. Applications for the 2018 Student Symposium will be due in the new year. Follow news at at

Daniel Lombroso: Profile of a D.C. Filmmaker


Mike Sullivan profiles Washington D.C. Filmmaker Daniel Lombroso on his path toward becoming a documentarian. Lombroso recounts the making of several documentaries including 2014’s Mountain of Servants and his most recent film, Church Militant: A Right Wing Empire in the Making. Lombroso is an Associate Video Producer for Atlantic Studios, the video division of The Atlantic magazine.

How To Utilize A Painful Past in Creating a Successful Film


Screenwriter Mark Renshaw discusses his personal investment and creative process in the  2016 award-winning short drama Surrender, directed by Christopher Carson Emmons. The film centers on the inner life of a struggling alcoholic, played by Aram Hekinian. Surrender is Renshaw’s second film.


Back to the Feature: How (Some) Shorts Grow Long


Originally published in the January/February 2005 issue of The Independent, this article is also available in our archives. A long time ago, in a film school far, far away (from NYU), a young man with big dreams and a small bank account made a short film with a long title. His name was George. And… Read more »


Expanding Off-Screen Relationships, On Screen: A Closer Look at “Twinsburg”


Earlier this year, independent filmmaker Joe Garrity debuted Twinsburg, a short film about identical twin brothers, Jerry and Paul, who reconnect at the largest gathering of twins in a small town in Ohio. In this essay, Garrity chronicles the making of the story and its impact on his relationship with his own twin, who he played opposite in the film — as well as how he plans to expand it from a short into something greater.