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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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Review: Provocative Doc 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks' Is Essential Immediate Viewing

Review: Provocative Doc 'We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks' Is Essential Immediate Viewing | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Titles can be sticky, none moreso than “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” The “we” mentioned could be speaking in first-person perspective in regards to the muckracking online collective, which helped power the biggest security breach in government history. Then again, is the story of WikiLeaks anything other than our story? The story of anyone online who’s ever wanted to know more, who ever wanted to remove the veil of secrecy? If anything, director Alex Gibney might have shot himself in the foot: he could never begin to grasp the magnitude of our collective societal curiosity that has helped bring down walls during the current administration.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Also, great interview with director Alex Gibney via Collider:

 

http://collider.com/alex-gibney-we-steal-secrets-wikileaks-interview/

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Edelstein: How Documentary Became the Most Exciting Kind of Filmmaking

Edelstein: How Documentary Became the Most Exciting Kind of Filmmaking | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
In this age of digital video, the cool kids are making docs.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A well thought-out and written piece about the current state of documentary filmmaking. 

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The (Near-) Future of the Web Documentary

Of unicorns, bears and "transmedia" web documentaries.

by Adnaan Wasey, Director, POV Digital


Via mirmilla
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North Korean documentary tries transmedia trends | YONHAP NEWS

North Korean documentary tries transmedia trends | YONHAP NEWS | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

When Toronto filmmaker Ann Shin screened her riveting documentary "The Defector: Escape from North Korea" last November, she received acclaim for crossing a border that few filmmakers dare to go -- the technological border, that is.

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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.

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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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“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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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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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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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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Winners of 3 Min Filmmaking Contest Pull $200,000 | Chase Jarvis Blog

Winners of 3 Min Filmmaking Contest Pull $200,000 | Chase Jarvis Blog | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
GE's Focus Forward film contest winners create some spectacular 3 min films on some mind-bending concepts - gets my juices flowing. Well worth the watch.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

These are some incredible stories and the videos are equally exceptional. Some of the best work I've seen and I really like the three minute format. It's a perfect fit for the story and visuals, driving home the message behind these great works and projects.

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Doc Soup: Should Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Go To Film School? | Doc Soup | POV Blog | PBS

Doc Soup: Should Aspiring Documentary Filmmakers Go To Film School? | Doc Soup | POV Blog | PBS | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Doc Soup Man Tom Roston tackles the age-old question with input from self-taught filmmaker Matt Morris, professional doc director Brent Huffman, and Jan Krawitz, the head of Stanford's documentary MFA program.
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How to Make Your First Film Halfway Across the World with No Money and Get Picked Up by Oscilloscope - NoFilmSchool

How to Make Your First Film Halfway Across the World with No Money and Get Picked Up by Oscilloscope - NoFilmSchool | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

It’s the stuff of dreams. Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq started out on a no-budget journey to make their first film about one man, a non-proselytizing humanitarian in Pakistan named Edhi. The film, These Birds Walk, just premiered at SXSW to sold out crowds, with Oscilloscope Laboratories coming on board in their first-ever producing role; the film will probably play in theaters later this year. Our Q&A follows.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

A great interview with first time filmmakers Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq about their creative process behind These Birds Walk as well as current cinematic forms and techniques in the realm of documentary.

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World Premier at Hot Docs | The Ghosts In Our Machine

World Premier at Hot Docs | The Ghosts In Our Machine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Through the heart and lens of acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, this consciousness-raising documentary shines a cinematic light on the animals we don’t easily acknowledge – the “ghosts” are commodities within the machine of our modern world.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

Also of note is that this film has an interactive documentary companion, set to launch alongside the premier of the film:
 
"The Ghosts In Our Machine also includes a visually stunning interactive flash story by award-winning artists The Goggles (Welcome to Pine Point; Adbusters). It is an online companion to the documentary; an immersive click-through narrative experience that explores the pages of protagonist McArthur’s photo-journal. McArthur is busily compiling her first draft of an epic photo-book in the film, and viewers of the interactive story can access her inner thoughts. It will premier online in tandem with the release of the film at www.theghostsinourmachine.com."

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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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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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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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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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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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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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