Features

Moving Images

By

Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me (2004) was an unqualified hit. The documentary, which followed Spurlock as he ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days and interviewed a string of experts on the rapidly worsening American obesity epidemic, was nominated for an Oscar. It won at Sundance and at countless other festivals. It earned glowing reviews… Read more »

State of Fear

By

The Last Shot The mobs were ferocious and loud. They were beating policemen, looting government buildings, and smashing the cameras of local media. I feared that they would turn on us. We were shooting the last scene of State of Fear, which documents the legacy of Peru’s war on terror, but to the rioters we… Read more »

Hell or High Water

By

In 1998, I joined the production team of Julie Gustafson’s Desire, a documentary about teenage girls from three diverse New Orleans neighborhoods. Funded by both local and outside foundations, Desire was one of the first in New Orleans to create paid opportunities for local documentary makers. As a member of Julie’s crew, I met many… Read more »

Piecing It Together

By

Shortly after Jean-Luc Godard released Breathless in1960, an exasperated journalist said to the young director: “Surely you think that a film should have a beginning, middle, and end.” “Yes,” Godard replied after a moment, “but not necessarily in that order.” Those words not only launched the French New Wave but have since inspired thousands of… Read more »

Woman, Thou Art Loosed

By

Is America ready for gospel cinema? Independent producer Reuben Cannon thinks so. The former veteran casting director sees a vast, untapped audience similar to that which propelled Mel Gibson’s 2004 religious epic The Passion of the Christ to a multi-million dollar success. Except in Cannon’s version, the untapped audience is made up of several million… Read more »

Singing Pictures

By

Movie musicals are not dead. They didn’t die in the 1930s. Television didn’t kill them. And expensive 1970s flops didn’t knock them out, either. They may have been hibernating or relegated to children’s animated films, but the musical keeps coming back, to haunt or to thrill, depending on your attitude. Some say Miramax’s Chicago (2002)… Read more »

Promoting your film

By

Dear Doc Doctor: All I can afford in terms of marketing my documentary is my Internet connection and email account. What’s the best way to use them? There was a time when nobody had an Internet connection. Spam was just canned meat and attachment was mostly used to describe a bond of affection. Ah! Remember… Read more »

NEWS

By

In July, acclaimed Indian-born filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala) unveiled her latest project: a film lab for aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters from East Africa and South Asia. Built on the Sundance Film Institute model, MAISHA—which means “zest for life” in Kiswahili—will hold its first session in August 2005 in Kampala, the capital city… Read more »

Spice Market

By

I am white and alone in a darkened room at night with over four hundred Dominicans in New York City. It is a room full of laughter. A room full of stereotypes embraced and shattered. And a room every American should experience in one way or another. Oscar Herasme, president of the Dominican American Professional… Read more »

How can I do this full time?

By

Dear Doc Doctor: I can’t wait for the time when I am able to be a full-time independent documentary filmmaker—it’s been really difficult juggling so many balls in the air. Is there any way to make the path quicker and smoother? It used to be that in this land of opp-ortunity, the American dream was… Read more »