Documentary Landscapes
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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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How to Win an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (or At Least Have a Shot at It)

How to Win an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (or At Least Have a Shot at It) | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Documentary producers discuss the race to the Academy Awards at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

It seems to me that under the new voting system, more commercially viable films have a better shot at winning the award than their more experimental or controversial counterparts.

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Gan Gan by Gemma Green-Hope | Short Film

Gan Gan by Gemma Green-Hope | Short Film | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Gemma Green-Hope celebrates the life of her grandmother by telling the story of her colourful life in this powerful and evocative short film 'Gan-Gan'
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Beautifully animated stop-motion documentary about a loving grandmother. 

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Twenty Eight Feet | Short Film

Twenty Eight Feet | Short Film | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
A short documentary about David Welsford, who has given up the luxuries of land in search for happiness and adventure on a 50 year old wooden boat he restored from a scrap heap
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Having grown up on the East Coast, and learning to sail as a kid, this film really speaks to me. I've always wanted to go on a long-distance sailing adventure somewhere. It's a beautifully shot film that takes you there.

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Valley of Dolls | Short Film

Valley of Dolls | Short Film | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
An elderly Japanese woman repopulates her small village with lifesized dolls modeled after people who died or left the valley.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very intimate portrait of a Japanese doll-maker and the valley she inhabits with her hauntingly life-like art. 

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Interview: Joe Berlinger on 'The System'

Interview: Joe Berlinger on 'The System' | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
We talk to Joe Berlinger, whose new series 'The System' premieres on Al Jazeera America this Sunday night.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A look at Joe Berlinger's new series on the American Justice system as well as working in the world of nonfiction television.

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An Intimate Portrait of an Eccentric Sci-Fi Doc: Behind the Scenes of 'The Immortalists' « No Film School

An Intimate Portrait of an Eccentric Sci-Fi Doc: Behind the Scenes of 'The Immortalists' « No Film School | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

How many dimensions do you need to tell a story about the most potentially life-altering breakthroughs of the future — science that might let you live forever? After shooting about a third of production in 3D, the filmmakers behind The Immortalists decided to scrap a stereoscopic shoot and opt instead for the intimacy of DSLR, a cerebral world of animation, and an experimental sound design based on water, clocks, and the internal organs of a fish. Below we interview co-directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, along with their sound designer Peter Albrechtsen about their film that premiered at SXSW and is showing next week at HotDocs. Hit the jump to hear about anything from the schizophrenic nature of editing to recording bugs in windowsills.

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Hot Docs: Advice from the Masters on Finding Your Documentary Voice

Hot Docs: Advice from the Masters on Finding Your Documentary Voice | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
How do filmmakers express and evolve their creative vision in a film or through a body of work? At Hot Docs 2014, Margaret Brown, Barbara Kopple and John Zaritsky explore what it takes to create a distinct cinematic voice that speaks through the work itself.
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Joe Berlinger, Director of 'Whitey' Doc, Tells a Different Story About Whitey Bulger

Joe Berlinger, Director of 'Whitey' Doc, Tells a Different Story About Whitey Bulger | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Joe Berlinger has made a career of heart-hitting, intellectually provocative documentaries that also manage to be immensely entertaining.

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CARTEL SALUTES: Riley Hooper’s FLO | The Non-Fiction Cartel

CARTEL SALUTES: Riley Hooper’s FLO | The Non-Fiction Cartel | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

We’re big fans of Riley Hooper’s work. Her first short documentary, FLO, played at festivals around the country last year and became a NYTimes OpDoc. It’s finally up on Vimeo – where Riley actually works as Content + Community Manager – watch above!

 

I had the chance to chat with Riley recently about new projects, collaborative filmmaking and exciting tends in self-distribution.

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A Brony Tale Documentary Trailer

A Brony Tale Documentary Trailer. Narrated by Ashleigh Ball, the voice of two characters from the hit show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. http://bit.ly...
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Not a Brony, but I am fascinated by what draws this community towards this show. Potentially, it's an interesting look into an unknown world that most of us didn't know existed. 

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The Most Northern Place - Web Documentary

The Most Northern Place - Web Documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

The Most Northern Place is a simple but powerful web documentary about a small town in Northern Greenland.

 

It tells of a clash of cultures and a conflict of territory set during the run-up to the Cold War, and the forced relocation of the Inuit population native to the town of Thule by the U.S. Army, circa 1953.

 

The haunting soundtrack, stunning imagery and elegantly simple user experience is quite powerful. 

Justin Nalepa's insight:

I love the way this is put together. I'm trying to emulate this style for personal doc project I've been working on the last few years.

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The Believer - Interview with Mary Harron

The Believer - Interview with Mary Harron | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
A 2013 study conducted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism shows that in the last decade there has been no sustained increase in female directors of independent films shown at the Sundance Film Festival. In Hollywood, it’s worse: of directors of the top box-office films from 2002 to 2012, only 4.4 percent were female. Amid those dismal statistics, director Mary Harron’s perseverance in the industry is an inspiration for female filmmakers, and she is an example of how to endure an artistic life packed with both praise and controversy.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Scott Macaulay, Editor-in-Chief, Filmmaker Magazine: "The interview reminded me how hard it is to step off the publicity cycle but how you still have to try. It’s so easy to allow the calendar of releases, festivals, conferences to dictate your coverage. But you’re always speaking to people, then, when they’re in publicity mode. They are upbeat and often not too candid. More importantly, you’re letting how you spend your time as a journalist be dictated by publicists and distributors. So much coverage of the independent scene in general, including ours, would be better if we let ourselves step back a bit."

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Errol Morris interview: facing down Donald Rumsfeld - Telegraph

Errol Morris interview: facing down Donald Rumsfeld - Telegraph | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
He has trapped a murderer and prompted Robert McNamara to admit to 'war crimes’. But in Donald Rumsfeld, has documentary-maker Errol Morris finally met his match?
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I loved Fog of War, probably one of the reasons I'm so drawn to the documentary genre, and I'm very excited about Morris' new film. Here's hoping that it is equally as revealing and brilliant.

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Jody Shapiro Interview for Burt's Buzz (2013)

Jody Shapiro Interview for Burt's Buzz (2013) | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Director Jody Shapiro on 'Burt's Buzz,' the Man in the Burt's Bees Logo and How Isabella Rossellini Spawned the Film.
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Five Questions with Elena Director Petra Costa | Filmmaker Magazine

Five Questions with Elena Director Petra Costa | Filmmaker Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

In the astounding and lyrical Elena, Petra Costa charts the journey of her charismatic, troubled older sister from their youth in Brazil to their year abroad in New York, where Elena is consumed by her pursuit of an acting career. Juggling found footage, voiceovers, interviews, and visual metaphors with effortless aplomb, Elena maintains the utmost intimacy despite the far-reaching chronology and geography of its subject.

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CLOUDS interactive documentary

CLOUDS interactive documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

CLOUDS is an interactive documentary exploring artists who create open source tools for creative expression.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Via Storycode: 

 

CLOUDS is an interactive, generative, documentary that allows the viewer to explore different perspectives on the intersection of code and culture. Filmed using a new 3D cinema format called RGBD and created entirely with opensource software, CLOUDS uses a data-driven “story engine” to present an endless, ever-changing conversation.

It explores themes of creativity and invention, interactive art, simulation, computational design, data visualization, and the future of storytelling.

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Reality Checks: When Will Cannes Embrace Docs Like the World's Other Major Film Festivals?

If the French event represents the most distinguished showcase on the planet for the most cutting-edge talents in international cinema, shouldn't it be more receptive to the rising tide of documentary and hybrid nonfiction forms?
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Interview: Paul Almond on Starting the 'Up' Series

Interview: Paul Almond on Starting the 'Up' Series | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
50 years ago, Canadian filmmaker Paul Almond began the Up series when he interviewed a bunch of young children for an episode of World in Action.
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The Keys To A Successful Documentary Pitch from Hot Docs Pitch Forum 2014

The Keys To A Successful Documentary Pitch from Hot Docs Pitch Forum 2014 | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Here are some highlights from the 15th Annual Hot Docs Forum and tips about how to best pitch your documentary project.
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Documentaries About Subjects Who Don't Want to Be Subjects

Documentaries About Subjects Who Don't Want to Be Subjects | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

The new documentaries 'Finding Vivian Maier' and 'The Unknown Known' raise the question of whether they ought to be focusing on people who don't want to be in the spotlight. For the former it's more of an ethical dilemma regarding a deceased subject, and for the latter it's a question of the value in a film that is unable to get underneath the surface of its subject.

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Friederike Anders's curator insight, April 30, 2014 6:10 AM

ein ethisches Dilemma des Dokumentarfilms - der unwillige Protagonist...

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Immigrant Nation - A collaborative interactive documentary

Immigrant Nation - A collaborative interactive documentary | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Immigrant Nation explores our connections to immigration, past and present, through storytelling.

 

At the heart of this project is a simple idea: the U.S. is a nation shaped by immigration, and most families have personal story about it. These stories, whether they happened generations ago or quite recently, are not often shared. We want to bring them to the surface - exploring the interconnectedness of these narratives.

 

Immigrant Nation has three components:
- this web site
- a series of short documentary films
- live events in schools, museums, libraries, film festivals and other public spaces designed to engage diverse communities in sharing their immigrant stories

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A very interesting collaborative approach to unify stories about the past and present culture of immigrant communities in the United States.

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Lincoln Center's Art of the Real Will Change How You See Documentaries

Lincoln Center's Art of the Real Will Change How You See Documentaries | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Art of the Real is a new two-week documentary showcase programmed by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Here's a preview of the lineup, an international selection of films that blur the line between fiction and nonfiction and re-assert the documentary as an art form.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

More consideration on the lines between fiction and nonfiction in documentary and filmmaking in general.

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Attention Filmmakers: Werner Herzog's 'Rogue Film School' - Indiewire

Attention Filmmakers: Werner Herzog's 'Rogue Film School' - Indiewire | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Attention Filmmakers: Werner Herzog's 'Rogue Film School' Teaches Guerrilla Filmmaking Tactics and the Art of Lock-picking. Werner Herzog. Of the many (we're talking many) wildly entertaining stories about Werner ...
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I really wish I had the money/time to apply for this, maybe one day. The is an extraordinary opportunity to learn from one of most fascinating filmmakers on the planet.

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Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam

Via Cartoon Brew: 

 

An ‘Anijam’ is a collaborative animation where various artists create individual short animated segments that are linked together to make one larger film. For the first time in Canadian history, 15 of Canada’s most acclaimed independent animators have come together to create a collaborative animated film. Yellow Sticky Notes: Canadian Anijam is an innovative and global approach to animation filmmaking and unites animators from coast to coast, from Vancouver to Halifax and all parts in between, to self reflect on one day of their lives using only 4×6 inch yellow sticky notes, a black pen and animation meditation.

 

Each of the animators created their sequence without knowing what the other participants were creating. Starting with a ‘to do’ list written on the day of a memorable event, the animators transitioned from text to imagery by utilizing ‘animation meditation’ to create a visually animated poem representing how their lives were affected by that pivotal day. In the end, the thousands of sticky note drawings are linked together to create a dynamic and inspirational animated film that connects the human spirit while celebrating individual artistic expression with the goal of inspiring future generations of animators. For more information, visitYellowStickyNotesAnijam.com.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A wonderfully put together animation that uses yellow sticky to-do lists, and significant moments in people's lives, to give a creative and fun storytelling approach. 

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ornana’s Jim Cummings on How To Make a Short Film and Get It Seen | Filmmaker Magazine

ornana’s Jim Cummings on How To Make a Short Film and Get It Seen | Filmmaker Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Short films are a peculiar enterprise. They are well regarded as an investment vortex, with nearly zero prospects for return and lots of prospects for expense.
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