Documentary

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“‘I Have My Real-life Self and My Online-Self, Just Like Everybody Else’”: Liza Mandelup on Teenage Social Media Stars and Her Hulu-Premiering Doc, Jawline

“I’m telling you guys,” says 16-year-old Austyn Tester, sitting in a leather computer chair and speaking into his Macbook’s webcam. The otherwise bleak, wood-panelled room he sits in is completely taken over by soft lighting equipment; the camera pans from his perfectly coiffed hair down to his dirty socks and stained carpet. “If you’ve got a dream, you’ve got to chase it. Don’t let anyone’s opinions affect you.”  In director Liza Mandelup’s feature doc debut, Jawline, Austyn speaks to himself as much as he does to the gaggle of teen girls that are watching him live-stream his motivational speech. He […]

We Speak to the Photographer Documenting Love Stories of Couples and Families Impacted by the Global Refugee Crisis

We Speak to the Photographer Documenting Love Stories of Couples and Families Impacted by the Global Refugee Crisis

One photographer recently travelled to both Turkey and Mexico to document the global refugee crisis in pictures, a series that went on to earn him a win at the World Press Photo Awards. We spoke with the man himself to uncover more details about the inspiring love stories of couples and families who have been forced to flee their native countries in search of a better life.

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“We Decided to Treat the Policy and the Propaganda as if They Were Also Human Characters”: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang on One Child Nation

One Child Nation, winner of this year’s Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize (and premiering theatrically August 9th via Amazon Studios), is a striking cinematic examination of China’s three-and-a-half decade long, one-child policy by filmmakers Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow, I Am Another You) and Jialing Zhang (Complicit). It’s also a stunning uncovering of the multi-layered machinations required for a government to negate reproductive autonomy. And ironically, as the NYC-based Wang herself points out towards the end of the film, advocates of China’s (now defunct) policy and the US’s (very much alive) anti-abortion stance both subscribe to a core belief in state […]

A Unique Photography Journey Between Father and Son

A Unique Photography Journey Between Father and Son

National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey explored a different perspective on photography when he traveled with his four-year-old son. Seeing the same journey through his sons eyes opened Huey up to the differences in how adults and children see the world.

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Photographing the Largest Protest in Puerto Rican History

Photographing the Largest Protest in Puerto Rican History

Last week, somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Puerto Ricans marched along the largest highway on the island in protest against the governor Ricardo Rossello, and I was there.

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“A Record for All of History of What Our Lives Were Like, and What We Went Through”: Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts on For Sama

Nabbing this year’s top doc prize at Cannes (as well as at SXSW), For Sama is a harrowing, on-the-ground look at the disintegration of a society through one young woman’s eyes. That woman, Waad Al-Kateab, also happens to be the film’s co-director (along with Emmy Award-winning, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Edward Watts). Incredibly, and courageously, as her beloved city of Aleppo came under attack by Syrian forces, Al-Kateab decided to pick up a camera and create a heartfelt record — or rather “love letter” — to her unborn daughter Sama. What she captured was not just the clear-eyed reality of losing friends […]

“I Was Drawn… to the Pure Mystery of It”: Liz Garbus on Her HBO Doc, Who Killed Garrett Phillips?

In 2011 the small town of Potsdam, NY was rocked by an inexplicable atrocity: 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was discovered murdered in his home. The tragedy in turn launched a manhunt, which led to the ex-boyfriend — or rather, one of the ex-boyfriends — of Garrett’s mother Tandy Cyrus being arrested for the crime. Which only led to more questions as this man, Oral “Nick” Hillary, happened to be the beloved soccer coach at Clarkson University. And also one of the few black men in town. Liz Garbus’s Who Killed Garrett Phillips? painstakingly follows the twists and turns that unfolded over […]

“There’s This Idea that Filmmakers are Social Workers, Which They’re Not!”: Errol Morris on His Portrait of a Holocaust Revisionist, Mr. Death

The following interview of Errol Morris originally appeared in Filmmaker‘s Fall, 1998 issue. In 1988, Fred A. Leuchter, an engineer from Massachusetts who made a living designing more “humane” electric chairs, was hired by Ernst Zundel, the publisher of several pro-Hitler, Holocaust-denying tracts, to conduct a forensic investigation into the use of poison gas in Nazi concentration camps. On his honeymoon, Leuchter travelled to Auschwitz and, with his wife sitting in the car reading Agatha Christie novels, illegally chipped away at the brick, collecting mortar samples which he transported back to the States. Testing these samples for traces of cyanide […]

Behind the Scenes at Ilford Photo’s Factory

Behind the Scenes at Ilford Photo's Factory

Far from dying out, film photography still has a place in many people’s hearts. One of the companies which has warmly occupied this space is Harman technology Limited, which has been trading as Ilford Photo since 2005. This lovely short film documents what still goes on in their factory today.

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New Exhibition Shows How a Look at the Dark Side Can Show a Photographer the Light

New Exhibition Shows How a Look at the Dark Side Can Show a Photographer the Light

An amazing new exhibition has just opened, depicting images once lost to history and giving us a behind the scenes glimpse at some of the greatest mysteries of our time.

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“Our Work Was Bound to Cause Discomfort…”: P.A. Carter on his HBO-Premiering Doc Series, Behind Closed Doors

One of the most complicated (and epic, as it feels much larger than the sum of its two parts) documentaries I’ve seen in years, P.A. Carter’s Behind Closed Doors is this summer’s not-to-miss film for true crime devotees. Debuting on HBO July 16th and 17th, Carter’s meticulously-crafted picture begins with the double murder of 13-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her family’s servant Hemraj Banjade in the Talwars’s upper-middle-class home — a mystery that immediately unleashed a media circus in the staid Indian town of Noida. But it was the whiplash machinations surrounding the subsequent investigations and interrogations, trials and appeals, that […]

New Exhibition Shows Unseen Crime Scene Photos From the Mid-1900s

New Exhibition Shows Unseen Crime Scene Photos From the Mid-1900s

A revealing new exhibition in Los Angeles is set to feature black and white photos from real crime scenes between 1925 and the 1970s, taken by police officers who worked for LAPD.

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Changing Documentary Release Strategies, the Rise of Podcasts and Climbing U.S. Non-fiction Budgets: Tracking Industry Change at the 2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest

A reminder that the documentary world is rapidly evolving was once again made clear at this month’s 26th edition of the Sheffield Doc/Fest. At the festival’s two-day pitch event, the MeetMarket, as well as at the lively boutique cinema hub at Showcase Cinemas, there were buzzy talks around smartphone filmmaking, the growing rise of short-form content, the emerging marketplace for podcasts and the array of distribution opportunities now available to all forms of docs. Addressing the festival’s diverse span of content —- subject matters ranging from gender relations and frayed international politics to Macedonian beekeeping woes — festival programmer Luke […]

Fujifilm and Elia Locardi Team up in New Webseries

Fujifilm and Elia Locardi Team up in New Webseries

Elia Locardi, famous for taking beautiful landscapes and cityscapes, and refusing to go skydiving, has recently teamed up with Fujifilm, Smugmug, and Flickr to create “Moments in Time”, a new webseries following Elia around the world on his photographic journey.

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Almost 2,500 Unseen Images From 9/11 Have Been Discovered on a CD at a Yard Sale

Almost 2,500 Unseen Images From 9/11 Have Been Discovered on a CD at a Yard Sale

There are many defining images from the devastating events that occurred in New York on September 11, 2001. But now, almost 18 years later, thousands of previously unseen photos showing the extent of the ground zero clean-up operation have been discovered on CD-Rom discs at a house clearance sale.

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Photographing Noctilucent Clouds

Photographing Noctilucent Clouds

During a few weeks around the summer solstice, the situation in the highest regions of the atmosphere can be ideal to form a rare kind of clouds. Invisible by day, these clouds can be lit by the sun when its beneath the horizon, showing up as noctilucent clouds.

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“Now is an Interesting Moment, When the Cruelties and Inequality are More Exposed than Ever”: Petra Costa on her Netflix-Premiering Doc on Brazilian Politics, The Edge of Democracy

Politics is confusing at the best of times. But in the age of Brexit, Trump and now Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, it’s impossible to keep track of the fake news, alternative facts and the good old-fashioned lies, damned lies and statistics. Since January 1st of 2019, President Bolsonaro has been ruling the roost in Brazil, following hot on the heels of a president who was almost impeached (Michel Temer), one who was impeached (Dilma Roussef) and one who now keeps a prison bed warm (Lula). The political shenanigans came so thick and fast from the biggest nation in South America […]

Watch: Guts, Noah Hutton and Taylor Hess’s Short Doc on the Feminist, Anti-Colonial Environmental Lab, CLEAR

“Reproducing the status quo is deeply political because the status quo is crappy,” says the Newfoundland-based Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research’s Max Liboiron in Taylor Hess and Noah Hutton’s sharp and inspiring short doc, Guts, currently streaming at The Atlantic (and embedded above). At CLEAR, Liboiron’s work is both deeply political as well as practical. Her environmental science examining the effect of plastic pollutants on animal and human environments and food chains poses a more-than-rhetorical challenge to mainstream ideas around recycling and environmental cleanup. From The Atlantic: In the documentary, she asks a group of well-intentioned recyclers to look […]