Site Seeing, an online world of news, film, art, music and literature from nine countries, was the first website to broadcast the audio of documentary films in their entirety using RealAudio. This website, begun in 1996, is a must-see for anyone interested in independent documentary filmmaking. The U.S. page features a ton of links. There are on-line exhibitors (The Bit Screen), journals (Bright Lights film journal & Current), nonprofits (The Video Project & Willow Mixed Media), tech resources (Cassette House), catalogs (Le Video), production companies (Sound Print Media Center & EnviroVideo), workshop opportunites (Maine Photographic Workshops), university programs and producers (Stanford & Drexell), and much more. Each country also features TV and print news sites–a good starting point for researching publicity outlets. Kilima also spotlights several documentaries with the option of viewing excerpts or the films in their entirety. There’s a short synopsis and film still for each, plus numerous links. For instance, California Redemption, a film about the homeless who live on the change they receive from redeeming cans and bottles, has contact info for the director, many images, a transcript of the film, and a list of links related to homelessness.

Documentary Educational Resources (DER) is a nonprofit organization that produces, distributes, and promotes ethnographic films the world over. Its clear and concise website is a resource for anyone interested in this particular branch of documentary filmmaking. DER has produced films on subjects as varied as the political and cultural diversity in Kenya and the Sahel region of Africa, the significance of Balinese trance and healing, and the diversity of music and dance in New England. If you’re interested in having DER consider distributing a film of yours, you can easily fax or email a proposal. Go to "Contact Us" and recommend your own film. For ethnographic film users, there are over 400 video titles that you can find and purchase by doing a quick search on the site. Each link gives you a synopsis, resources on the subject, and purchase information. If you like the site’s "Featured Film of the Month," which could be new or old but newly significant, you may order it at 50% off for the entire month. There is also a large photography archive, broken up geographically, on the site as well. "What’s New" features new productions and information on the DER Digital Post Production Studio, which offers an Avid MCXpress weekend workshop for $175. The site also features a short but solid list of links pertaining to film and anthropology.

"Blond hair, a fur coat, and a shotgun" are the typical accoutrements of a Texan socialite, according to one Houston native questioned by Tessa Blake in her documentary Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me, a film that opens theatrically this month in New York. Tessa Blake, the Me of the title, has created a documentary about the life of her much-married, very opinionated, oil-baron father. Her accompanying website is a cleanly designed, model electronic press kit, which includes all the pertinent information on her film. In addition, Blake has linked to the homepages of several film festivals, indie film associations, and assorted other special-interest sites. The site includes contact information for Castle Hill–which is releasing the film–bios for her father, her producer, and for herself. She may be blonde and appears to be a bit of a black-sheep, but there’s no sign of that fur coat–or the shotgun.

About :

Lisa Vasta was an intern at The Independent and a freelance writer.