Getting the real story can take months or even years of following a film’s subject.
Recently at DOC NYC, moderator Thom Powers sat down with four filmmakers whose projects were selected for the the best of the fest Short List to share their thoughts on what makes good observational cinema and what are some challenges of the form. The panel included Laura Poitras, whose film Risk hinges on her unique access to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and Greg Barker, director of The Final Year, which captures key figures of the outgoing Obama administration in the intensity of their positions. Poitras and Barker were joined on the panel by Matthew Hamachek, editor of City of Ghosts, which accompanies citizen journalists who have fled from Raqqa, Syria after being targeted by ISIS, and Julie Goldman, producer of Abacus: Small Enough To Fail, the story of a family-run bank persecuted after the 2008 financial crisis.
Together, the filmmakers reflected on the vérité style, the challenges their films faced, and how they ultimately discover their stories after spending months or years following their subjects.
From:: No Film School