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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Interactive Documentary: 10 Things I have Learned

Presentation I gave at X Media Lab in Lausanne, Switzerland on September 27th, 2013. Trying to sum up all the lessons I've learned working on the TFI New Media
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Hat tip to @povdocs for sharing this wonderful presentation.

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How a Film Makes It Big: 'Our Nixon' Director Penny Lane Takes on Her Critics « nofilmschool

How a Film Makes It Big: 'Our Nixon' Director Penny Lane Takes on Her Critics « nofilmschool | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

From a broadcast premiere seen by millions on CNN, to the angry rants of TV personality Ben Stein, director Penny Lane is on a roller coaster ride with her first feature film, Our Nixon. Penny sat down with nofilmschool to talk about everything from the tiered process of funding her project, sorting critics and sales agents, to how she is dealing with the multicolored reality of a film’s success.

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Attention Filmmakers: Get Your Free Music from New YouTube Audio Library

Attention Filmmakers: Get Your Free Music from New YouTube Audio Library | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Through its newly launched YouTube Audio Library, YouTube is offering any creator 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks you can use for free.
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Another great resource tool for filmmakers. Combined with other creative commons services like Mobygratis, CCmixter and FMA, filmmakers have a lot of options for finding great music online.
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Provocative documentary InRealLife challenges tech giants' 'insidious' streak (Wired UK)

Provocative documentary InRealLife challenges tech giants' 'insidious' streak (Wired UK) | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Beeban Kidron has made a provocative documentary, called InRealLife, which raises serious questions about how safely young people are able to navigate the digital age
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Beeban Kidron: ""The idea of the internet as sort of open and democratic and free and with no hierarchy, the libertarian beginnings as it were with peer-to-peer networks… I'd sort of like for everyone to just admit that we're beyond that now...I don't think it's 1984, I think it's the bloodyTruman Show."

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TIFF 2013: The documentary wrap

TIFF 2013: The documentary wrap | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
As the 38th Toronto International Film Festival fades to memory, realscreen offers its annual wrap-up of all of the key doc news from the Canadian event's 11 days, from the directors and discussions to the red carpets and parties.
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EMPIRE, an immersive documentary project that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism

EMPIRE, an immersive documentary project that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
A hidden synagogue in the mountains of Indonesia. A Dutch-style village in the Sri Lankan rainforest. A white separatist enclave in the South African desert. These are just a few of the communities brought to light in Empire, an immersive documentary project that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism.

Shot in ten countries over four years by project by the Dutch-American filmmaking team Eline Jongsma & Kel O'Neill (aka Jongsma + O'Neill), Empire employs a broad range of storytelling techniques—including nonfiction filmmaking, multi-channel video projection, and experience design—to unearth the contemporary aftershocks of the world's first brush with global capitalism. By turns epic and intimate in its approach, Empire explores the ways in which the conditions of past continue to define our lives in the present.

Empire's installations and interactive videos will be a highlight of the New York Film Festival's Convergence program and will be on display at several venues on the Lincoln Center campus. Viewers are invited to chart their own course through the work, and to draw their own thematic connections as they go.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Hat tip to @storycodeorg for this great Q&A with the project's creators:

 

http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=82b0df30a96b10c1c84a36acf&id=0f82f6cbae&e=86e8fcdbb3

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Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky's Photographic Essay, Water

Following their triumph with Manufactured Landscapes, photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal reunite to explore the ways in which huma...
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Incredible look at Edward Burtynsky's photographic process. 

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TIFF Filmmaker Bootcamp on How to Use Festivals to Sell Your Film « nofilmschool

TIFF Filmmaker Bootcamp on How to Use Festivals to Sell Your Film « nofilmschool | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

You made your film, and thanks to the great internet content democratization, you can now buy it on Amazon. Let the champagne flow! Until you realize, however, that without a better plan, selling 5 DVDs a year simply won’t earn you enough to make your next film. In this 2013 Toronto International Film Festival Filmmaker Bootcamp video, keynote speaker Ira Deutchman, who started marketing for Cassavetes and today advocates a rise-from-the-dead for theatrical distribution, breaks down how you can use film festivals to distribute your film to a growing audience.

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Doc the World – Point of View Magazine

Doc the World – Point of View Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Filmmakers must create their own personal manifesto: a world-view, an auteur style, a unique cinematic POV to his or her storytelling.
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The Rise of Documentary Film - The shocking truth

The Rise of Documentary Film - The shocking truth | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

 Why are audiences increasingly choosing fact over fiction? Perhaps the current dearth of realism (endless comic-book sequels and apocalyptic action movies) is forcing more discerning viewers to choose authentic storytelling over spectacular visuals and far-fetched plots. Documentaries such as “Blackfish” may also fill a gap in investigative journalism, as fewer newspapers and broadcasters invest in long-term projects.

Justin Nalepa's insight:

An interesting theory as to recent box office successes and the growth in the documentary film genre within a mainstream audience.

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'Citizen Koch' Controversy, 'Leviathan' Director and DJ Spooky To Take Center Stage at IFP Conference

'Citizen Koch' Controversy, 'Leviathan' Director and DJ Spooky To Take Center Stage at IFP Conference | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

IFP's 2013 Filmmaker Conference, which runs from September 15-19 at the New York Public Library's Bruno Watler Auditorium, will feature keynotes from cinematic non-fiction's posterchild, the famously laconic Lucien Castaing-Taylor ("Leviathan"), "Rebirth of a Nation" multimedia artist DJ Spooky, and "The Hunger Games" producer Jon Kilik.

The controversy surrounding public television organization's revoked funding for the documentary "Citizen Koch" will be explored on the panel "Documentaries that Disturb the Power Structure" with "Citizen Koch" filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, as well as "Park Avenue" producer Mette Hoffman Meyer and ITVS's Claire Aguila

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Docutopia #61: Is There a Doc Box Office Slump? (And What Does It Matter If There Is?) | SUNDANCE NOW

Docutopia #61: Is There a Doc Box Office Slump? (And What Does It Matter If There Is?) | SUNDANCE NOW | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

For the last five years, documentaries have surged at the U.S. box office. Even if you disregard the success of concert films (Justin Bieber, Katy Perry) and DisneyNature movies (Chimpanizee, African Cats), there has been a huge boost in ticket sales for docs. Top earning titles have included such usual suspects as 2016: Obama’s America (which raked in $33.5 million), Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story ($14.4 million), Waiting For ‘Superman’ ($6.4 million) and Food, Inc. ($4.4 million). As further evidence of the box office potential for big-screen nonfiction, there have been dozens of other docs that have earned well over a million dollars in theaters since 2008.

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10 Must-Watch Indian Documentaries With Very Strong And Impactful Stories | Youth Ki Awaaz

10 Must-Watch Indian Documentaries With Very Strong And Impactful Stories | Youth Ki Awaaz | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The very definition of a ‘documentary film’ today has undergone a sea-change, thanks to the extraordinary films with a message that appeals to the masses.
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‘Let the Fire Burn’ Consists Entirely of Archival Clips

‘Let the Fire Burn’ Consists Entirely of Archival Clips | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
“Let the Fire Burn,” about the radical group Move and its 1985 bombing by the Philadelphia police, consists entirely of found footage.
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‘Hollow’: The Next Step For Social Documentary? | Mediashift | PBS

‘Hollow’: The Next Step For Social Documentary? | Mediashift | PBS | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Every year IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) holds a week-long conference with filmmakers around the world flocking to New York City to attend panels, network and pitch.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

I've been following Hollow since it's Kickstarter days, it's great to see how it's all coming together and pushing the documentary genre and the medium forward.

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The Unreal Rise of Reality Television

The Unreal Rise of Reality Television | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Once the home to archive driven, heavily narrated non-fiction shows featuring Nazis, sharks and WWII airplanes, a large part of cable television has opened its arms to truck drivers, crab fishermen, pawnshop owners and the denizens of Louisiana swamps as the siren song of the duck call has demonstrated that there are ratings and heaps of ad dollars in them-thar bands of working class heroes.


Via Edwin Stepp
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Fact or Fiction? Neorealist Features and Hybrid Documentaries Blur the Line

Fact or Fiction? Neorealist Features and Hybrid Documentaries Blur the Line | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
At IFP Film Week, panelists discussed the distinctions between documentary and narrative films and highlighted their own projects, which blurred the lines between the two.
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TIFF ’13: Zweig remembers the “Funny”

TIFF ’13: Zweig remembers the “Funny” | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Filmmaker Alan Zweig (pictured) was the surprise winner of the Best Canadian Feature prize at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, for his doc When Jews Were Funny. Here, he talks to realscreen about the making of the film.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

Alan Zewig: "We tried for every Jewish star there was, but I think some of them actually were afraid that the film was a sort of history of Jewish comedy, and were over that.The film is really more about the transformation of a culture--"

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Powering A Nation Presents: Over Water Under Fire

Powering A Nation Presents: Over Water Under Fire | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The interactive documentary, “Over Water Under Fire,” combines a video narrative with motion graphics and text to present the Colorado river as a living timeline of our nation’s innovations and exploitations with water.
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Sense and Sensibility: Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab – Point of View Magazine

Sense and Sensibility: Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab – Point of View Magazine | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it

Since its world premiere last summer at the Locarno Film Festival, Leviathan has trawled the festival circuit, snagging a few prestigious awards to go along with a string of sterling reviews. It’s easily the most successful film to date produced by Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL), a new department overseen by Castaing-Taylor. The SEL’s stated mandate is to foster “creative work and research that is constitutively visual or acoustic—conducted through audiovisual media rather than purely verbal sign systems.”

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Director Bill Siegel Discusses Documentary "The Trials Of Muhammad Ali" | Life+Times

Director Bill Siegel Discusses Documentary "The Trials Of Muhammad Ali" | Life+Times | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Life+Times recently got a chance to speak with Siegel about his documentary, “The Trials Of Muhammad Ali”.
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Thom Powers’s Routine for Toronto Festival

Thom Powers’s Routine for Toronto Festival | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Thom Powers, the organizer of Toronto Film Festival’s documentary section, starts previewing hundreds of entries, with assistance, in June.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

"Over the past decade’s boom in nonfiction film, documentaries of all shapes, sizes and niche interests have found their way into theaters. But getting there is still half the battle. Documentarians face often paltry budgets and ample competition for attention in an increasingly fractured marketplace."

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'New York Times' Develops Interactive Documentary Series for Tablets

'New York Times' Develops Interactive Documentary Series for Tablets | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
The New York Times is going tablet-first -- at least for one new documentary series.
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Why Did CNN, Time, Al Jazeera and Netflix Start Documentary Units? | POV Blog | PBS

Why Did CNN, Time, Al Jazeera and Netflix Start Documentary Units? | POV Blog | PBS | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
Several news and media organizations have announced new divisions or commitments to documentary programming. Heather McIntosh investigates why.
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Indiewire's Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

Indiewire's Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding for Filmmakers | Documentary Landscapes | Scoop.it
As crowdfunding becomes more and more the standard for independent film projects, filmmakers continue to look to Indiewire for resources on the best practices and tips for crowdfunding.
Justin Nalepa's insight:

A great compilation of resources on crowdfunding for filmmakers via @indiewire

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