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All posts by Craig Phillips

Craig is the digital content producer for Independent Lens, based in San Francisco. He is a film nerd, cartoonist, classic film poster collector, wannabe screenwriter, and owner of/owned by cats.

The Story of 9to5: A Movement that Changed the American Workplace

Julia Reichert and her filmmaking partner and life partner Steve Bognar, have been making documentaries for a long while. Most recently, in 2020, the team won the Academy Award for American Factory, about the reopening of a shuttered auto factory in Ohio. But their incredible dossier goes back to the 1970s — Julia’s first film, … READ MORE

How Jared Leto and 92 Film Crews Captured 24 Hours in America

In some ways, you’d think Jared Leto, Oscar-winning actor, movie star, and frontman for Platinum-selling band (with his brother Shannon) 30 Seconds to Mars, would not need much of an introduction. But now you can add another hat, with a new, heartfelt project for Leto, which is in some ways as ambitious as anything he’s … READ MORE

Battling a Male-Dominated World for Recognition and a Raise

Filmmaker Yu Gu was born in Chongqing, China, raised in Vancouver, Canada, and found her way to the University of Southern California film program. Her films, like the feature documentary that she co-directed Who is Arthur Chu?, which won two festival grand jury awards and was broadcast on WORLD Channel in 2018, explore intersections between … READ MORE

Filmmaker Exposes Shocking Pattern of Illegal Sterilizations in Women’s Prisons

Erika Cohn has made powerful documentaries for Independent Lens before and is no stranger to telling intimate, surprising stories in tense environments: her Peabody Award-winning film The Judge showed Shari’a law in a new light to Western eyes, through the story of the first-ever female judge in Palestine’s religious courts; and the Utah native filmmaker … READ MORE

Jonathan Scott Investigates Who Controls Our Power

In some ways Jonathan Scott should need no introduction—or so you’d think as co-host with his brother Drew of the hugely popular HGTV shows Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, which air in more than 160 countries, and as a best-selling author, magazine co-founder, Billboard-charting recording artist, and social media influencer. But there’s another side … READ MORE

How Three Passionate Candidates Represent Women Shaping the Future

What does “representation” mean in the midst of a historically tense election year?  In her film Represent, filmmaker Hillary Bachelder sought to show the universal struggle to redefine repressive expectations for women in politics with a look at three women running for office in a male-dominated world. Originally from Maine, Bachelder went to Chicago for … READ MORE

Comfort Viewing: What Filmmakers and Writers Are Watching to Get Through It

What are YOU watching to provide comfort during these trying times? Filmmakers, artists, critics and writers chimed in with their personal favorite shows and films to watch when in dire need of checking out and calming down, which, let’s face it, is pretty commonly needed these days.  See what they came up with below.

Young Musicians Play Ancient Instrument in the “Olympics of the Pipe Organ”

The Montreal-based filmmaker Stacey Tenenbaum‘s joyful film The Art of the Shine, which aired on PBS, took the director all over the world, from New York to Toronto, Paris to La Paz, Bolivia, to look at the forgotten profession of shoe shining. Now with her film Pipe Dreams, she brings the world to her hometown, … READ MORE

Filmmakers Show the World the Real Easter Island, a Wakeup Call with Hope

Sergio Mata’u Rapu has spent the last 15 years shooting and producing documentaries that have aired on History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic, and NOVA. Based in Minnesota, a very long way from the remote southeastern Pacific, he’s also likely the only native of Rapa Nui (or Easter Island) producing documentaries in an English-speaking country. … READ MORE

Sasha Joseph Neulinger Confronts Family Trauma Head-On

It’s been a pretty impressive run for what was someone’s very first feature documentary. But then again, Rewind is no ordinary first film. After Sasha Joseph Neulinger finished film school at Montana State University, he discovered the raw materials that would propel him to tell the extraordinary story of his life. A very candid autobiographical … READ MORE