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All posts by Craig Phillips

Craig is ITVS/Independent Lens Interactive Editor, based in San Francisco. He is a film nerd, cartoonist, wannabe screenwriter and owner of/owned by cats.

Paying Homage to UT Tower Mass Shooting Victims with Life Affirming Animation

Craig Staggs is the lead animator for the little animation studio that could, Minnow Mountain, based in Austin, Texas, also the home base of filmmaker Keith Maitland. Staggs’ company did the brilliantly layered animation for Maitland’s film TOWER. Of that film which tells the story of the heroes and victims who were on the University of … READ MORE

Reformed Racists: Is There Life After Hate for Former White Supremacists?

Accidental Courtesy [premiering Monday, February 13; check local listings] portrays African American musician Daryl Davis’s attempt to change white supremacists by gradually shattering their prejudices with his friendship. It’s a complicated, risky, and controversial pursuit, but Davis has succeeded in convincing numerous men to abandon their hatred to become reformed racists. One of Daryl’s former white supremacist friends is Scott … READ MORE

Filmmakers Tell Story of William Trotter’s Fight Against Racist Silent Blockbuster

Birth of a Movement, based on Dick Lehr’s book, captures the backdrop to a prescient clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape — that happened in 1915. It is essentially the story of legendary film director D.W. Griffith, whose technically groundbreaking but inarguably racist silent film blockbuster Birth of a Nation was … READ MORE

Independent Lens Film “I Am Not Your Negro” Nominated for 2017 Academy Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the nominations for the 89th Oscars and Independent Lens was thrilled to learn that I Am Not Your Negro [official site] received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary. Raoul Peck‘s film, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and which was called “one of the best movies you are likely … READ MORE

Filmmaker James Solomon Peels Back the Mythology of the Kitty Genovese Story

The Witness (which premieres on PBS’s Independent Lens Monday, January 23, 2017; check local listings) may be James Solomon’s first film as director, but his vast experience as a storyteller made him the perfect fit for reopening this case. The Witness, which made the Oscar shortlist, took 11 years to make, patiently following Kitty Genovese’s brother … READ MORE

Philbert McLeod: Never Conquered (and Rest in Peace)

In this piece created for Independent Lens by filmmaker Mat Hames, we get to know more about Eastern Shoshone tribal elder Philbert McLeod, one of the stars of Hames’ Independent Lens documentary What Was Ours. Philbert had an incredible breadth of knowledge about his tribe’s history, and fought for America in Vietnam, for which he … READ MORE

Filmmaker Mat Hames Goes to Wind River to Amplify Native Voices

Award-winning filmmaker Mat Hames’s feature documentary, When I Rise, about African American mezzo-soprano and civil rights icon Barbara Conrad, was featured on Independent Lens and nominated for an IDA Documentary Award. One of Mat’s other films, Last Best Hope, about the Belgian Resistance during WWII, eventually led to him being knighted by the King of … READ MORE

Containment Filmmakers Go into the Future to Read the Warning Signs

Harvard professors and filmmakers Peter Galison and Robb Moss have been collaborating for a decade: first, in co-teaching a course, bringing student filmmakers into scientific laboratories to think about the way the real work of technology, medicine, and science could be put on film. Then, they co-directed Secrecy, a 2008 feature documentary about the moral, … READ MORE

For Filmmakers Geeta and Ravi Patel, Love Is a Family Affair

It was a long and winding road for sibling filmmakers Geeta Patel and her brother Ravi in the making of their film Meet the Patels — including not just the initial family trip to India, but many air miles racked up to attend matrimonial conventions and basically looking for love in all the wrong places while … READ MORE

Garrett Zevgetis Hacks Normal for a Best and Most Beautiful Film

While Boston-based filmmaker Garrett Zevgetis has made several short films and worked for PBS’s FRONTLINE, Best and Most Beautiful Things is his feature-length debut. Yet he’s already been named one of “10 Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent magazine: “Best and Most Beautiful Things is a portrait of a young woman’s journey to assert her identity and find … READ MORE