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CATEGORY: Interviews

Overturning Expectations Alongside the Women Warriors of Ms. Veteran America

Long a successful film producer, Lysa Heslov, along with her husband, Oscar-winning producer/writer/director Grant Heslov, founded Children Mending Hearts ten years ago, a non-profit dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth in the U.S. through educational and humanities programs that build empathy and global citizenry. She’s produced cult indie films like Attention Shoppers, Bug, and Hank Azaria’s … READ MORE

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

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

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

Peter Bratt Feels the Calling to Tell Dolores Huerta’s Story

Filmmaker Peter Bratt‘s first feature Follow Me Home, a San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award winner, was produced with his brother Benjamin Bratt, which they followed with the heartfelt indie film La Mission, shot on location in their hometown of San Francisco,  “an honest attempt to portray the destructiveness of violence in the Latino community” (Hollywood Reporter). … READ MORE

Filmmaker Theo Anthony’s Ratty Exploration of Urban Segregation

In the New York Times critics’ pick review of Theo Anthony’s Rat Film, Jeannette Catsoulis wrote: “Equal parts disturbing and humorous, informative and bizarre, Rat Film is a brilliantly imaginative and formally experimental essay on how Baltimore has dealt with its rat problem and manipulated its black population.” She continues, “Anthony shines as much light on racist urban … READ MORE

10 Questions with “Rat Film” Composer Dan Deacon: On Baltimore, Rats, Player Pianos and Theremins

Baltimore-based composer/musician Dan Deacon did the music for Theo Anthony’s Rat Film [premiering on Independent Lens Feb. 26]. The film, which uses the urban rat as a way to explore a deeper story of urbanization and segregation, is a unique blend of history, science and sci-fi, poetry and portraiture. And Deacon’s music, also a unique … READ MORE