Skip to main content

Documentaries to Watch: Getting Real '18 edition

By Susan Q. Yin

Getting Real ‘18 is almost here! Whether you’ll be joining us in LA or in spirit, you might want to study up on the stellar slate of filmmakers who will be discussing both their work and the issues that matter most to the community. Here are some docs to get real to:


American Promise

Directed by Getting Real ‘18 keynote Michèle Stephenson, American Promise provides a rare look into black middle-class life while exploring the common hopes and hurdles of parents navigating their children's educational journey.

Watch It: Vudu (free with ads), iTunes, YouTube Movies, Google Play, Amazon


Call Her Ganda

One of four international co-production case studies to be presented at Getting Real, Call Her Ganda follows the aftermath of the murder of 26-year old Filipina transgender woman and alleged sex worker Jennifer Laude by 19-year-old US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. The film is an investigative expose of The Philippines’ marginalization of transgender community throughout the country’s violent colonial history.

Watch it: Currently in Theaters



The first of our “Here’s What Really Happened” films, Drone explores the murky world of drone warfare, from the young gamers groomed to kill to the pilots to the grieving families left grappling with the aftermath.

Watch it: Netflix


Food, Inc.

Our pre-conference special screening is Robert Kenner’s classic, Food, Inc. The documentary examines corporate farming practices that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and the environment.

Watch it: Netflix, iTunes, YouTube Movies, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu


Frederick Wiseman films

At Getting Real ‘18, the legendary Frederick Wiseman will be teaching a master class and previewing his new film Monrovia, Indiana. Lucky for all of us, 40 of his films can now be streamed for free through Kanopy.

Watch it: Free on Kanopy


Minding the Gap

Another “Here’s What Really Happened” film, Minding the Gap is a personal visual essay by filmmaker Bing Liu as he searches for correlations between his skateboarder friends' turbulent upbringings and the complexities of modern-day masculinity.

Watch it: Hulu, IDA Screening Series 10/24/18, other upcoming screenings


The Silence of Others

Another international co-production case study at Getting Real, The Silence of Others was created by a team of documentarians from Spain, Mexico, the US, and Canada. The film follows victims and survivors of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco as they organize the groundbreaking "Argentine Lawsuit." The special session will explore why an international creative team was crucial to the film’s impact.

Watch It: Catch it at an upcoming film festival near you



A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman--in this case, a team that works for the Mid-American Bible Company. Getting Real ‘18’s special closing film is available for viewing from the comfort of your home.

Watch It: FilmStruck,  Buy DVD, iTunes, Amazon