Doc U: The Documentary Filmmaker as Journalist
From Citizenfour to Virunga, documentary filmmakers are increasingly breaking important investigative stories, while at the same time employing gripping story-telling techniques and delivering powerful cinematic experiences. What are the artistic and personal challenges of working in both the documentary and journalism spaces? What do independent filmmakers need to know when they do work that has traditionally been done in the employ of broadcast networks and media companies?
Join award-winning filmmakers Andrés Cediel (The Judge and the General), Dan Krauss (The Kill Team), Carrie Lozano (executive producer of documentaries for Al Jazeera America), and Pete Nicks (The Waiting Room); First Amendment expert James Wheaton; and Trevor Timm, executive director of The Freedom of the Press Foundation, for an illuminating panel discussion that will take you to the frontlines of doc filmmaking and journalism.
Andrés Cediel is a journalist and documentary producer. He co-produced The Judge and the General, which chronicled human rights cases against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. This film was nominated for an Emmy and received a duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. Cediel produced several pieces from Brazil for Frontline World. He co-produced “Post Mortem,” a collaboration between Frontline, NPR and ProPublica, which examined death investigation in America. Cediel also produced Frontline’s “The Real CSI,” a revealing look into forensic science. Most recently, Cediel produced “Rape in the Fields,” a collaboration between Frontline, Univision, the Investigative Reporting Program and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which investigated the hidden reality of rape on the job for immigrant women. Cediel graduated from Brown University and received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dan Krauss was nominated for an Academy Award and two Emmy Awards for his first film, The Death of Kevin Carter. The film also won prizes from the Tribeca Film Festival, the International Documentary Association and The San Francisco International Film Festival, among others. His most recent film, The Kill Team, won The Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Truer than Fiction Independent Spirit Award, the National Board of Review Top 5, was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards and nominated for a Director’s Guild of America award. Working as a Director of Photography, Krauss has photographed numerous feature documentaries, including: Inequality for All (Sundance Film Festival 2013); Broadway Idiot (SXSW 2013); We Are Legion (SXSW 2012);The Most Dangerous Man in America (Academy Award nomination 2010); and Life 2.0 (Sundance Film Festival 2010). In 2012, Krauss received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship from the Sundance Documentary Institute. Krauss earned his Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he is presently a lecturer in documentary film and television production.
Carrie is executive producer of documentaries for Al Jazeera America. She was formerly senior producer of the weekly investigative series Fault Lines, which goes beyond the headlines and holds the powerful to account as it examines the impact of U.S. policy domestically and abroad. Prior to joining Al Jazeera America, Lozano worked with veteran investigative reporter Lowell Bergman at U.C. Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Program, where she ran a Knight-funded project on multiplatform collaborative investigative reporting. She was a contributing reporter on PBS Frontline’s Black Money and Post Mortem, and is an award-winning independent documentary producer and director. Her work has broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and POV, on Logo TV, and on BBC’s Storyville, and has screened theatrically and at film festivals worldwide. She was formerly director of operations at New Day Films. Lozano’s work has been nominated for an Academy Award and has been recognized by the International Documentary Association, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival, among others.
Peter Nicks’ latest feature documentary The Waiting Room was released in 2012 to critical acclaim, being named by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle as the best documentary of 2012 and shortlisted for an Academy Award®. It received the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction filmmaking grant, Gotham IFP and Independent Spirit Award nominations for best documentary and a Cinema Eye nomination for best debut feature. Prior to his recent work in film, Nicks produced and directed nonfiction television, earning an Emmy for Blame Somebody Else, a PBS documentary exploring human trafficking during the Iraq War. Nicks was recently awarded the SFFS/KRF screenwriting grant for his first narrative feature Escaping Morgantown, loosely based on the year he spent in federal prison in the early 90s. Nicks is now in production with The Oakland Police Project, the second of a trilogy of character-driven documentaries set in Oakland, CA. He received his B.A. in English from Howard University and his M.A. in journalism from UC Berkeley.
Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit organization fighting for press freedom in the digital age. He is also a writer and lawyer who writes a twice-weekly column for The Guardian. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, and POLITICO. Trevor formerly worked as an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2013, Timm received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award for journalism.
James Wheaton is President and Legal Director of the Environmental Law Foundation, and Senior Counsel and Founder of the First Amendment Project. Through the First Amendment Project, he runs a Free Speech Legal Clinic at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He teaches the Journalism Law seminar in the Graduate Schools of Journalism at both Stanford and UC Berkeley. James served formerly as City of Oakland Public Ethics Commissioner, Executive Director of California Common Cause, and co-chair of the Society of Professional Journalists (NorCal) FOI Committee. He has been honored as Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer three times, for his work in each of his specialties: Environmental Law, Constitutional Law and Water Law. He has also received awards from the Playboy Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists Northern California Chapter, and the Ecology Law Quarterly. He is a graduate of Brown University and Berkeley Law School.