BLOG

CATEGORY: Behind the Films

RaMell Ross Charts “the Visual Story of Blackness” in Oscar-Nominated Doc

Just one year after RaMell Ross’ Hale County This Morning, This Evening won a Special Jury Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the filmmaker will follow his film’s television debut on PBS by awaiting the Academy Awards, where it is one of five finalists for Best Documentary Feature. Quite a journey for the photographer-teacher-turned-filmmaker, for … READ MORE

Three Things About “The King,” with Eugene Jarecki and Steven Soderbergh

Documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki’s pedigree is impressive. He has twice won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Peabody Award for: The House I Live In, his 2013 film about America’s War on Drugs (which had its broadcast premiere on Independent Lens); and for his 2005 film about American foreign policy, Why We Fight. … READ MORE

Director Duo Show No Easy Answers in Fight Over Land

The team behind the new Independent Lens film My Country No More, Rita Baghdadi and Jeremiah Hammerling, told us they were drawn to Hammerling’s native North Dakota to make this film “because his hometown, as well as much of rural America, was changing rapidly and we wanted to document those changes. And we also wanted to explore the importance … READ MORE

Erika Cohn Unfolds a New Perception of Shari’a Law in Portrait of Remarkable Woman

Erika Cohn, who co-directed (with Tony Vainuku) the Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens doc In Football We Trust, went from the gridiron in Utah to the Shari’a courts of Palestine for her follow-up film The Judge, the story of the first-ever female judge in Palestine’s religious courts. The film is “a welcome femme-empowered portrait of an inspirational female … READ MORE

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

Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon Peel the Layers of Buckley and Vidal

It’s not often you’ll find a documentary filmmaking team who combined have won an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Grammy, but the multi-faceted duo of Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon have done just that. Neville’s 20 Feet from Stardom won the Oscar for Best Documentary and Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues took an Emmy; Gordon’s album notes for Keep an Eye on the Sky, … READ MORE

Dawn Porter Unlocks the Story of Laws Targeting Abortion Providers

Filmmaker Dawn Porter has shown a willingness to probe uncomfortable truths and untold stories in the past. LA Times critic Robert Lloyd called her acclaimed Independent Lens film Spies of Mississippi “eye-opening” for its look at the ways civil rights activists were spied on by the government in the ’50s and ’60s. For her new film, TRAPPED, Porter returns to the … READ MORE

Seven Years Filming the Homeless of Oakland

The filmmaking team of Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush both come from incredibly varied backgrounds, and bring an abundance of talents and interests to the table for the first feature documentary film for both as directors: Dogtown Redemption, which won the Audience Favorite Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Among many other hats, Soltani … READ MORE

Abigail Disney Wields the Power of Dialogue with The Armor of Light

Abigail Disney (her grandfather was Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company, just to get that out of the way) has long been a producer of award-winning documentaries, including producing Pray the Devil Back to Hell, The Invisible War (Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated film for Independent Lens, 2013), and the five-part PBS special series Women, War … READ MORE