January 11, 2019

Essential Doc Reads: Week of January 7

Jason DaSilva at Getting Real '18. Courtesy of AMPAS

Essential Doc Reads is a weekly feature in which the IDA staff recommends recent pieces about the documentary form and its processes. Here we feature think pieces and important news items from around the Internet, and articles from the Documentary magazine archive. We hope you enjoy!

 

Speaking to Folks magazine, filmmaker Jason DaSilva talks about the continued evolution of his AXS app for the disabled community, as well as his upcoming film, When We Walk.

[The AXS app's] mission is to serve people with disabilities through media and technology. It's focused on the app as well as my film projects. We're also trying to do some things around changing national healthcare policy but we don't want to take on too much. We're growing, but not rapidly. We're keeping stable.

Writing from the Sundance blog, Liz Manashil and Rebecca Green polled a swath of distributors about their acquisition and releasing strategies, and shared their observations on what the distributors said.

I'd love to see more distributors take a chance on innovation. Very often distributors will take as many rights that they can get (though mainly domestic territories noted below) and will not have the resources to be super customized in how they release their titles.

Joshua Benton of NiemanLab.org asked a number of journalists and educators around the world about the fate of fake news for 2019.

Will the quality of information we use to make political choices get any better in 2019? Or are we at the doorstep of an even worse era of "fake news" and other mis-, dis-, and malinformation? These predictors looked at the big picture and, more often than not, came away less than perfectly optimistic.

Craig Phillips of PBS.org talks to filmmakers Jeff Springer, Chris Metzler and Quinn Costello about Rodents of Unusual Size, and IDA Pare Lorentz grantee, prior to the film’s January 14th premiere on Independent Lens.

Les Blank's films were a major influence. I was fortunate enough to be able to tell him about the idea for the film at a party over a bowl of raccoon stew before he passed away. His films really captured the energy of the place and provided such a fascinating entry-point into the region. His spirit lives on in Southern Louisiana and there are so many people who knew and loved him down there.

The New Yorker's Stephania Taladrid talks to Robert Bahar and Almudena Carracedo about their Pare Lorentz Award-winning film The Silence of Others and to some of the survivors of the Franco regime who appear in the film.

"We wanted to spark a conversation anew, because the common view is that these are trite subjects and that we need to move on," Carracedo told me. "But so many people are suffering because they can't forget, and they cannot be forced to forget."

From the Archive: Winter 2018: "A Place at the Table: Doc Filmmakers with Disabilities on Building Careers and Disproving Stereotypes"

I believe that we need to tell our stories because we can do so from our own perspective, not one that is filtered through someone else's lens. Who is more likely to make a film about police violence against the disabled and Deaf? Who better the make a film about the life-and-death consequences of rolling back the ACA and Medicare? We make films that go well beyond the worn-out tropes of what being disabled and Deaf is all about. Being able to view a broader perspective on life benefits us all.

 

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Picture Motion Acquires Film Sprout

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