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Filmmakers Turned Firefighters Venture Behind the Lines in “Wildland”

Filmmaker Alex Jablonski and his filmmaking partner Khalil Hudson had quite the arduous, smoke-filled journey to make the film Wildland. The documentary premieres on Independent Lens Monday, Oct. 29. Alex told us that Wildland started with a question: How do young men grow up? “We always wanted to tell a story about wildland firefighters but it was … 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

The Unmaking of: Stories of the Greatest Films Never Made

The “making of” documentary has become a lively subgenre of nonfiction filmmaking, thanks in large part to the explosion of home video and the proliferation of cable channels in the past few decades. Once a purely promotional creation to run in theaters or on entertainment TV shows, the mix of behind-the-scene peeks, production footage, and … READ MORE

Rest in Peace, Jimmy Scott

Jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott, the subject of the Independent Lens documentary (and 2004 IL Audience Award Winner) Jimmy Scott: If Only You Knew, passed away June 12 at the age of 88.  Scott’s life and career was a real rollercoaster, which started with him singing in the 1940s with Lionel Hampton’s band, falling out of sight until the … READ MORE

Meet the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Enjoy this collection of additional videos and links from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who are the center of Reuben Atlas‘s new Independent Lens documentary Brothers Hypnotic. Follow this horn-playing family as play everywhere from New York subways to a rainy Belgian concert, bringing the funk wherever they go.

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Reuben Atlas Gets Down to Brass Tacks with Brothers Hypnotic

New York-based producer, director, and “non-practicing lawyer” Reuben Atlas has filmmaking in the bloodlines and music frequently on his mind, so it’s no surprise he wanted to combine the two interests when running across the all-in-the-family Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. The result is Brothers Hypnotic. Read our Q&A with Atlas about the film.

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