Documentary Site started as an outlet for my interests in documentary 15 years ago. Since then, my presence has expanded to writing, managing Twitter fans, and connecting with makers, promoters, and fans of documentary. Probably three of the coolest things to come from this endeavor are being invited to write for POV, visiting Kartemquin studios, and leading a discussion after a screening of The Trials of Muhammad Ali. My current project involves watching and writing about 365 documentaries in 2014. Feel free to send along your suggestions via Twitter @documentarysite!

#365Docs: A Year of Watching Documentaries

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You’ve seen “365 Projects” about photography, whether a year of selfies or lunches. Others have chosen to focus on clothing, writing, or some other life goal. For my new home on POV’s Documentary Blog, my plan is to get things started by watching 365 documentaries in 2014.

Part of the plan includes watching specific groups of documentaries — such as documentary selections from the Criterion Collection — but I also plan to watch 25 documentaries from debut directors, 15 interactive documentaries, and the work of a single documentary maker, though I am unsure just whom yet.

Kartemquin Films has generously offered me access to their catalog as part of this project, so I will be watching their films throughout the year. Of course, PBS documentaries, such as those on POV, Independent Lens, and FRONTLINE, and their archives, will be part of these activities as well. I am also going to make a conscious effort to seek out documentaries made prior to 1960.

I plan to write something about each one. Ideally, the practice will consist of posts of about 250 words, sometimes a formal review, sometimes a quick riff in reply to what I have seen, and I will include how I heard about the documentary, who distributed it, and how I accessed it. I will also try to group documentaries that offer connections through subject, style, or theme.

Thanks to social media, the 365 projects have become fun ways to build communities, and I invite your thoughts on the documentaries I see and on the documentaries you think I should see. Leave them in the comments below, @documentarysite on Twitter, or via e-mail to hmcintosh@documentarysite.com.

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Heather McIntosh
Heather McIntosh
Heather McIntosh started Documentary Site as a resource for documentary media and has greatly enjoyed the connections it has fostered over the years.