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Documentary Landscapes
A look at documentary filmmaking practices and how they're evolving
Curated by Justin Nalepa
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Get on the Doc Bus - A Canadian Exploration of Documentary and Community

Get on the Doc Bus - A Canadian Exploration of Documentary and Community | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

OPEN CINEMA is a community screening program that has been successfully exploring the use of cinema as a tool for community engagement since 2003. Documentary screenings in cafe-style venues are followed by open forum discussion with invited guests on the social justice issues addressed by the film.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A trip across Canada to help identify and build an alternative screening network.

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Tell Me Something

A photography and creative advice book from fifty of the world's best documentary filmmakers.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A creative book for creative minds in the field of documentary filmmaking.

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Principles of Interaction Design for Interactive Documentary Makers : Kino-Eye.com

Principles of Interaction Design for Interactive Documentary Makers : Kino-Eye.com | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

David Tames - "I’ve been looking for an interaction design book I could recommend to documentary filmmakers interested into expanding their practice beyond linear video and towards mobile devices and the web, and this is it. This is one book you’ll want in your library and after reading it you’ll keep going back to for inspiration and clarification."

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A short description of Janet H. Muray's book on interaction design. Some key observations by David...

 

"The affordances which comprise the palette for representation in any genre of digital media: 

 

procedural - composed of executable rules, I prefer to call this affordance computational

 

participatory  - inviting human action and manipulation of the represented world

 

spatial - navigable as information repository and/or virtual place

 

encyclopedic - containing very high capacity of information in multiple media formats"

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“William and the Windmill” wins Grand Jury Award at SXSW

“William and the Windmill” wins Grand Jury Award at SXSW | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

The film tells the story of TED Speaker William Kamkwamba, who has come to be known by the title of his memoir, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. At age 14, Kamkwamba built a windmill out of junk parts, adapting a design he saw in a library book in order to provide electricity for his family in rural Malawi.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Also worth checking out is this article about director Ben Nabors' inspiration behind making this film:

 

http://www.tribecafilminstitute.org/filmmakers/gucci_documentary/news/196678341.html

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The New Digital Storytelling Series: Elaine McMillion | Filmmaker Magazine

The New Digital Storytelling Series: Elaine McMillion | Filmmaker Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Last week, Filmmaker and the MIT Open Documentary Lab kicked off their collaborative series of interviews with digital storytellers with a conversation with
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I'm really excited about seeing Hollow. As an aspiring interactive storyteller, it's really interesting to see how Elaine was inspired to create her project and her process of adopting interactive storytelling. 

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Definition Magazine - Def Mag - GoPro 3 Black Gets Turned Into A Camera That Every Cinematographer Wants

Definition Magazine - Def Mag - GoPro 3 Black Gets Turned Into A Camera That Every Cinematographer Wants | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

A newly released digital cinema camera called the Novo is designed to provide filmmakers with the power and versatility of the GoPro Hero3 but with fewer cinematic limitations.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Great concept, if only the cameras were to become widely available to cinematographers and filmmakers alike.

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Masterclass: How to Fund Your Documentary

Learn how to navigate the vast array of funding options for non-fiction, and avoid the pitfalls, in this intimate masterclass with sales agent Louise Rosen.
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Atrocities, Through a Child’s Eyes. ‘War Witch,’ Directed by Kim Nguyen

Atrocities, Through a Child’s Eyes. ‘War Witch,’ Directed by Kim Nguyen | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
“War Witch” tells the story of orphaned African children who have been conscripted into a rebel army after their village has been attacked and their parents slain.
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Sundance Programmer Mike Plante On Going Places with Short Films

Sundance Programmer Mike Plante On Going Places with Short Films | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The Independent Filmmaker Project fosters the development, production and promotion of hundreds of feature and documentary films a year.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

My belief is that if your story is compelling, it doesn't matter what length your film may be. In fact, I think that short films today hold more weight with the internet being a more viable platform for shorter length content. 

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See What It’s Like To Escape From North Korea With Interactive Experience “The Defector”

See What It’s Like To Escape From North Korea With Interactive Experience “The Defector” | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
From the threats of nuclear weapons to larger-than-life dictatorial leaders, North Korea is without a doubt one of the least understood, most notorious countries in the world.

Via i-Docs
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i-Docs's curator insight, February 25, 2013 6:53 AM

“You can only do so much in film, but in an interactive web doc, you place the user in the point of view of a defector--they see, hear, and experience what a defector goes through,” says Shin, who’s also executive producer at Fathom. “It’s an incredibly powerful way of letting people understand experiences that are completely out of their realm."

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Focus on Sustainability Film Festival to screen four documentaries

Focus on Sustainability Film Festival to screen four documentaries | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

The upcoming annual Focus on Sustainability Film Festival will feature domestic and foreign documentaries, as well as a panel discussion with filmmakers, foodies and academics.

 The films:Bitter Seeds (9:00am)
Click here to watch the TrailerLove Meat Ender (10:50am)
Click here to watch the TrailerUrban Roots (12:10pm)
Click here to watch Trailer
Short film: Teo in Toronto by Min Sook LeeSushi: The Global Catch (3:00pm)
Click here to watch the Trailer
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Looking forward to this film festival. I'm a big fan of Planet in Focus and I love the sustainability theme. 

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Shorts ‘Paperman’ and ‘Curfew’ Win Oscars, ‘Inocente’ is 1st Academy Award-Winning Kickstarter Film - NoFilmSchool

Shorts ‘Paperman’ and ‘Curfew’ Win Oscars, ‘Inocente’ is 1st Academy Award-Winning Kickstarter Film - NoFilmSchool | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Another year, another Oscars, but this one was very special to the indie community for one major reason: the documentary short Inocente made history as the first Kickstarter film to win an Academy Award. Hollywood might have just started noticing the crowdfunding platform recently, but independent films have benefitted greatly over the last few years, and Kickstarter has been involved in a number of festival and award-winning films — including a few Oscar nods

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Katerina Cizek and Gerry Flahive @ the OpenDocLab | Open Documentary Lab at MIT

Katerina Cizek and Gerry Flahive @ the OpenDocLab | Open Documentary Lab at MIT | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

The People formerly known as Subjects.

Documentary Collaboration in the 21st Century.

 

Talk, MIT Oct 24, 2012

 

"In this talk, Director, Katerina Cizek and Senior Producer, Gerry Flahive, compared two distinct projects within their HIGHRISE story universe (Out My Window and One Millionth Tower) in order to explore the multitude of co-creative possibilities in a new kind of documentary practice.  The National Film Board of Canada’s HIGHRISE project is a multi-year digital documentary experiment exploring the human condition of vertical living around the globe. This Emmy-award winning project innovates with new approaches to both documentary form and content."


Via mirmilla
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mirmilla's curator insight, February 19, 2013 2:27 PM

A great analysis of the issues related to new approaches to both the form and the content of the documentary

 

A milestone.

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1st time filmmaker earns Hot Docs opening slot - Arts & Entertainment - CBC News

1st time filmmaker earns Hot Docs opening slot - Arts & Entertainment - CBC News | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
A story of family life by the owners of a strip club, created by a first-time filmmaker from Guelph, Ont., will open the 2013 edition of Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary film festival.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A look at some of the canadian documentary films and filmmakers slated for this year's Hot Docs film festival.

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The Revolution Movie | By filmmaker and eco-warrior, Rob Stewart l WWF-Canada Blog

The Revolution Movie | By filmmaker and eco-warrior, Rob Stewart l WWF-Canada Blog | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

I used to think saving sharks was the most important issue on the planet, but after Sharkwater was released, I met with numerous scientists and conservationists who told me: “What you’re doing is great, but you’re missing the point. We’re going to lose everything, and if we do, there won’t be any sharks left to save. By the middle of this century, we could have no fish in the sea, no coral reefs, no rainforests, nine billion people without enough food, and a planet that can’t sustain many forms of life.” That’s when I set out to make Revolution.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Conservation, climate change, environmental sustainability...they're all really important issues that need to be addressed and time to do so is running out. Rob Stewart's new film takes a global perspective on the current issues which threaten the preservation and continuance of life on this planet.

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The One Question Every Festival Needs to Ask Itself: Why?

The One Question Every Festival Needs to Ask Itself: Why? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Former Hot Docs Director of Programming, Sean Farnel kicked up a bit of a shitstorm recently by re-igniting the age-old debate on whether festivals should pay filmmakers for playing their films. Soon enough the festival blogosphere raised its head and shot down the argument once again. Tom Hall did a great job of laying out the economic issues faced by all fests. Heather Croall did a good job of bringing up the other value a fest brings to filmmakers, and in a brilliant comment to her post from Nick Fraser, we got some finger wagging at some other culprits in the not-paying-the-filmmaker-

enough arena.

 

But whether or not a festival can or should pay is ultimately just the first question we should ask, and then we should quickly move on to the deeper, thornier questions that might actually lead to some meaningful change. Such as? Well, such as: why have film festivals at all?

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A look at film festivals and their role in the current realm of independent filmmaking.

 

Also worth reading is this thought provoking article from Brian Newman:

 

http://www.sub-genre.com/post/45758149644/hyper-professionalization-and-atrophy-in-indie-film

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SXSW: Napster doc ‘Downloaded’ premieres and Sean Parker has one great regret | EW.com

SXSW: Napster doc ‘Downloaded’ premieres and Sean Parker has one great regret | EW.com | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

When Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker took the stage after the world premiere of the new documentary Downloaded at SXSW, about the rise and fall of their revolutionary music-sharing service, they were met with tremendous applause. That, says director Alex Winter (Bill from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, incidentally), was a moment of tremendous relief and vindication.

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Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models?

Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models? | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
This year, if you held your ear to the Oscar keyhole and listened hard enough, you might have discerned a slight disquiet. "Very strong category," people were saying about the nominees for Best Documentary Feature.

Via i-Docs
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Loved Searching For Sugar Man, such an inspirational film and great story. The Invisible War was likewise a compelling story on the current crises within the US military, however, I saw neither in theatres. In fact, the only documentary I was able to see outside of film festivals in theatres this year was Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell. 

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VOD for Everyone? Vimeo's Blake Whitman Tells Us About Opening Up Self-Distribution With Vimeo On Demand

VOD for Everyone? Vimeo's Blake Whitman Tells Us About Opening Up Self-Distribution With Vimeo On Demand | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Vimeo's announcement today at SXSW that the company is launching a self-distribution service has the potential to be a major tool for independent filmmakers.
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The Documentary Download Dilemma

The Documentary Download Dilemma | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Documentary sharing sites - a force for good or a drain from makers' pocketbooks? Or both?
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very interesting debate about documentary programming and its online presence.

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How to ... make an interactive documentary

How to ... make an interactive documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Christian Aid's 'Big River Rising' documentary has been shortlisted for a digital media award. Emma Wigley shares her five top tips to get a similar project off the ground
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Great advice for starting an interactive documentary project. 

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Masterful Fishing Doc 'Leviathan' Presents a Fresh Take on the Nature Documentary Form

Masterful Fishing Doc 'Leviathan' Presents a Fresh Take on the Nature Documentary Form | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
There are moments in "Leviathan" so breathtaking that it's easy to forget they're also familiar. The movie could take place on another planet; instead, it peers at this one from a jarring and entirely fresh point of view.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

This type of filmmaking is right up my alley, very interesting in seeing this film when it becomes available. 

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Reinvention Stories

Reinvention Stories | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
In 2008, Forbes Magazine labeled Dayton, Ohio as one of the fastest dying cities in the nation. The GM plant had shuttered its doors, longtime residents were fleeing the city and those who stayed were trying to figure out, "What now?" Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar were like many Dayton residents, disappointed by the dismal labeling of their city. Dayton is a city of inventors, after all, home to the Wright Brothers and birthplace of inventions like the pop-top can and the first electronic cash register. But it was also a place struggling with unemployment and depopulation. They decided to head out into the city and start asking people what they had been doing since the recession hit. What were they before? What happened? Who did they become?
Justin Nalepa's insight:

"The launch of Act One, which follows the lives of six people as they begin that first step of reinvention and takes the audience on a journey through the city of Dayton, as seen through its residents." Zeega has teamed up with filmmakers Julia and Steve to deliver an interactive film experience. 

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HEARTWOOD: Forest Guardians of Cortes Island

HEARTWOOD: Forest Guardians of Cortes Island | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Citizens on a remote BC island take on big timber as they try to end industrial clear-cutting and build a new kind of forestry economy.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I'm very supportive of sustainable ecosystem developments, so I'm interested in seeing how this situation plays out. I like the transmedia component as well, but creating it will probably be as equally challenging if not more than finishing the film. 

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With interactive elements, digital documentaries are changing the way we tell and consume stories

With interactive elements, digital documentaries are changing the way we tell and consume stories | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Yonge Street, a weekly online magazine from Toronto region, dedicates a post to the amazing work done by the National Film Board about the interactive documentary.


Via mirmilla
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Great article on the NFB's work in the world of interactive documentaries.

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mirmilla's curator insight, January 9, 2013 3:24 PM

Excellent summary on the milestone work undertaken by NFB.

siobhan-o-flynn's curator insight, January 10, 2013 7:47 AM

great piece in Yonge Street on iDocs, NFB, Kat & Gerry!