Kickstarter’s Liz Cook charts a sustainable path for documentary crowdfunding

Read the story at the International Documentary Association.

‪A late legend of documentary film spends his swan song with Americans “In Transit”‬



Source: A.V. Club.

For those who believe that death represents a journey from one plane of existence to another, it will seem apropos that the final feature directed by the late and legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, made when he was nearly 90 years old, takes place entirely on a cross-country train.

“In Transit,” on which Maysles collaborated with four other directors, can’t compare to the pioneering Direct Cinema docs he made with his brother, David (who died in 1987)—such classics as “Salesman” (1969), “Gimme Shelter” (1970), and “Grey Gardens” (1975). But it’s very much of a piece with Maysles’ lifelong commitment to capturing reality on the fly, offering a vivid cross-section of regular folks who all happen to be aboard the Empire Builder, an Amtrak train that makes a three-day journey between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest.

The film’s ideal audience is people who, riding public transportation, would rather eavesdrop on other passengers’ idle conversations than don noise-canceling headphones and get lost in a book.

“If you’re at a crossroads, why are you snowboarding?” one man reasonably asks of someone else’s ostensible quest for self-knowledge. “When I was at a crossroads, I was robbing people for lunch. Like, that’s a crossroad. What you’re doing is going on vacation.” We never actually see the person he’s complaining about, but the passengers we do see—some talk directly to the camera, others ignore it—have a multitude of reasons for being on the Empire Builder.

Continue reading “‪A late legend of documentary film spends his swan song with Americans “In Transit”‬”

With a mini-documentary, live interviews, and user-friendly interactives, The Washington Post just showed the world how to launch an investigation

Read the story at Poynter.

“A World In Disarray”: Vice examines American foreign policy in Special Report on HBO

Source: Deadline.

HBO will premiere Vice Special Report: A World in Disarray, a documentary that examines the past, present and future of American foreign policy, on Friday, July 21.

In the exclusive HBO presentation, Vice founder Suroosh Alvi and other Vice correspondents examine the foreign policies that have shaped the modern world and meet people living through today’s major conflicts. It features interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Ash Carter and others.

“In this increasingly confusing modern political landscape, we thought it would be interesting to canvass the best minds in foreign policy in an attempt to make sense of what is actually happening and weigh in on the greatest dangers that are facing us today,” says Vice founder Shane Smith. “Marrying signature Vice on-the-ground reporting with unique insights and explanations of how we got here, from the people who were actually there at the table, makes for a foreign policy wonk’s dream. Enjoy!”

Starting with an exclusive interview with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “A World in Disarray,” the special observes America’s role in a post-Cold War world and the unfolding consequences of an “America First” policy.

Alvi and correspondents Sebastian Walker, Ben Ferguson and Isobel Yeung will provide exclusive, never-before-seen footage as they travel through Syria, Ukraine, China and South Korea for firsthand accounts of ongoing humanitarian crises and political struggles in these and neighboring countries.

‪Meet the people on the front lines of America’s coal wars. “From the Ashes” premieres tonight on National Geographic

Source: National Geographic.

In today’s America, coal is a dirty word.

Advocates for clean energy point out that coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

Politicians argue that the coal industry provides tens of thousands of invaluable jobs to America’s blue-collar backbone.

Public health officials warn of the myriad risks of mining and burning coal: respiratory disease, cancer, birth defects, death.

For their part, coal miners remember the generations of workers who provided for their families by powering America—and worry that they can’t do the same for themselves.

In “From the Ashes,” a new documentary from Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, people on all sides of the debate get a chance to speak up.

“From the Ashes,” a feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker Michael Bonfiglio, premieres tonight at 9 pm ET on National Geographic.