Interviews

Documentary 2.0: Making Media That Matters

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Each June, The Media That Matters Film Festival selects a group of 12 shorts by independent filmmakers designed to spark action and debate in twelve minutes or less. Unlike other festivals, MTM works to promote its selections year-round through online streaming, broadcasts and community screenings. Finalists from this year’s festival, which just premiered in New… Read more »

To Shoot "Flying," Jennifer Fox Gave Up Control of Her Camera

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As an award-winning director, producer and camerawoman, Jennifer Fox is certainly well-versed in all the conventions of ‘proper’ documentary filmmaking – introduce the camera slowly, don’t talk about your own life, “create a neutral plane they can project on,” as she says. However, her latest film Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, a six-hour series… Read more »

"Prince Among Slaves": Recreating History on a Budget

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Prince Among Slaves, which aired in February on PBS as part of public television’s Black History Month programming, is the story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, an African prince who was captured by slave traders in 1788. He completed the Middle Passage in shackles, and ended up sold to a farmer of modest means in Natchez,… Read more »

Writing a Companion Book to Your Film

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An examination of how the Iraq War went so wrong, Charles H. Ferguson’s documentary No End In Sight is by turns forensic and surreal, a synthesis of devastating facts, damning archival footage, and poignant interviews with well-placed Iraqis and Americans who tried in vein to keep catastrophe at bay. It’s an unusually ambitious film for… Read more »

What an Actor Looks for in a Filmmaker

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He’s most recognized for his menacing role as Ethan Rom on Lost, most respected for playing the cheated-on, threatening husband in In the Bedroom, and most pitied as an innocent victim in The Grudge. Yes, William Mapother can play scary. But he can also play nice. Exhibit A: A charming scene in the light and… Read more »

Taking an Abstract Idea and Creating a Narrative

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King Corn is a slightly apocalyptic documentary that explores where we come from—or where our food comes from, at the very least. By interweaving a filmmaker-as-subject story of two guys, a cornfield, and some ammonia fertilizer with disparate elements, the film expertly tackles the complicated overarching issues related to farming subsidies in the United States…. Read more »

A Loving Riff on Punk Life in Tokyo

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The first time Pamela Valente, 37, set foot in Tokyo, she was instantly swept away. The Brazilian-born filmmaker, who’d been living in France for more than a decade, loved Paris, but longed to return to live in a city where the pace was more frenetic. So in 2003, she up and moved to Tokyo. For… Read more »

How to Get a Short on Logo

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Grassroots filmmakers are always looking for mainstream distribution, and short films often have a particularly tough time gaining exposure. Which is why the success of the Logo Network’s short-film programming is welcome news. Two years ago, Logo, which is basically MTV’s gay cousin, launched The Click List: The Best in Short Film, a weekly show… Read more »