BLOG

TOPIC: Social Justice

Documentarians Meet the Real People Behind a Media Firestorm

Documentarians Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard picked a hefty, complex, but as it turned out incredibly timely subject to collaborate on. The film ACORN and the Firestorm looks at the downfall of the huge community organizing non-profit ACORN, brought about by right-wing journalists’ covert video sting, and the ensuing media frenzy. Sam Pollard has made … READ MORE

Takeovers and Occupations: A Survey of American Mini-Rebellions and Political Stands

In the Independent Lens No Man’s Land, we get a fly on the wall sense of the tense armed takeover and 41-day standoff at Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge, led by rancher Ammon Bundy and his militia. Before it was all over, 26 people were arrested and charged with felony conspiracy against the government for their roles … READ MORE

Documentarian Ventures into the “No Man’s Land” of Malheur Takeover

Documentarian David Garrett Byars is making his feature film debut with No Man’s Land, but he’s made short films before. including Recapture, a short documentary chronicling the attempt of right-wing activists to reclaim the federally-managed Recapture Canyon in southern Utah. Clearly that experience informed–and provides a nice segue–to No Man’s Land, which provides a tense fly-on-the-wall … READ MORE

Director Finds Real Life Superheroes with “Conviction”

Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer, also the program director of the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University, has made acclaimed films about a wide collection of topics, from song-poems to Nollywood (Nigerian) film to FBI informants, but each tells a very human and compelling story. And his new film, the Tribeca Special Jury Award-winning True … READ MORE

Laura Dunn Draws From Wendell Berry for Look at Rural America

Laura Dunn’s first feature documentary, The Unforeseen, executive produced by Robert Redford and Terrence Malick, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, aired on the Sundance Channel, and was called “a poetic and high-minded meditation on American developers’ manifest destiny and the cancer it introduces into the natural world,” by critic David Edelstein. It explored a … READ MORE

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback Digs Into Political Cover-Ups and Chemical Spills in Americans Water

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s previous film Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013), a humorous but chilling documentary about the erosion of online privacy and what info governments and corporations are legally taking from citizens each day, has become (or remains) timely again. Hoback’s new film, What Lies Upstream, promises to remain relevant for some time as … READ MORE

“Sentencing Children”: A 7-Part Series

Watch our seven-part, Webby Award-nominated series on juvenile sentencing laws, “Sentencing Children.” “Sentencing Children” was produced by Dan Birman and Independent Lens. This series is part of Independent Lens‘s commitment to fostering collaboration between filmmakers and journalists. “Sentencing Children” was originally published by The Tennessean newspaper, and tells the stories of Cyntoia Brown and other incarcerated juveniles … READ MORE

Shoes Wisely: Stacey Tenenbaum Shines a Light on an Age-Old Profession

Award-winning filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum co-created a critically acclaimed series in Canada, The Beat, which followed a team of beat police officers patrolling the streets of Downtown Vancouver. Exchanging the police beat for shiny feet for her new film, Tenenbaum’s The Art of the Shine [premiering on Independent Lens Monday, April 9; check local listings], travels from New York City … READ MORE

Censored Iranian Artists, Poets and Musicians Threatened with Exile

[Note: Please enjoy this guest essay on Iranian artists and censorships, in conjunction with the broadcast premiere of When God Sleeps, by artist and game creator Kurosh ValaNejad. See more on him at the end.] by Kurosh ValaNejad, guest contributor In the Islamic Republic of Iran, artistic expression is not denied.  Iranians can sing and dance … READ MORE