June 1, 2018

Essential Doc Reads: Week of May 28

Filmmaker Jennifer Fox. Photo: Kyle Kaplan/HBO

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!

From Deadline, filmmaker Jennifer Fox writes about her first dramatic film, The Tale, which is based on her struggle as a survivor of sexual abuse.

People often ask me if I ever considered telling the story of The Tale as a documentary since that was what I was known for, but the truth is I never did. There was no evidence of what happened to me, except in my mind. And I wanted to investigate that memory through fiction by re-creating what happened and the journey to unravel it.

From Deadline, Matthew Carey talks to Maclain and Chapman Way about their hit series, Wild Wild Country.

"There’s a famous saying, 'History is written by the winners.' I think for many years how the [Rajneeshees] were covered in Oregon was through a very particular lens. Kind of a neat thing about being a documentary filmmaker is you get to shine a light on the story 35 years after it happened and you get to hear from the other perspective of what this group went through," Chapman states. 

From RealScreen, filmmakers Peter and Teddy Kunhardt discuss the challenges of making a time-sensitive doc about Senator John McCain.

"It was important for us to have all the individuals speaking about John in the present tense, not in the past tense," Teddy Kunhardt explains. "We didn’t want to make an obituary film."

From The New York Times, Deepti Hajela talks to Ric Burns and his and Li-Shin Yu's new American Experience documentary, The Chinese Exclusion Act.

"This is the DNA of American immigration policy," Burns said. "It is not A story about immigration, it is THE story about immigration and you're not going to understand any of the other aspects of it without understanding this thing: In 1848, you got off the boat and disappeared, in 1882 suddenly there was a racially invidious distinction being made."

From DigiDay, Sahil Patel explains BuzzFeed’s ventures into the documentary space.

BuzzFeed has built a sizable audience on YouTube and Facebook with its entertainment and lifestyle content. But in Hollywood, the publisher's news division has helped BuzzFeed land its first deals with big-name buyers such as Netflix and Hulu.

From the Archive—July-August 2007 Issue:  "Praise Free Women and Pass the Camera: Jennifer Fox on 'Flying'"

"I decided to try to use the camera in a way that mimicked the way women's conversations usually occur. So, rather than let the camera be in a third-person position, either on a tripod or with a cameraperson, I decided to pass the camera between myself and other women in a similar way to how women ‘pass the ball' back and forth in conversations," Jennifer Fox describes. 

In the News

Tim Pastore Exits from National Geographic


Stanley Nelson Partners with Starbucks to Create Documentary on Bias Awareness


History Greenlights 'Grant' from Appian Way, RadicalMedia, Lionsgate


Alex Gibney to Helm Theranos Doc for HBO


Michael Jackson’s Estate Sues ABC for Copyright Infringement


'The Distant Barking of Dogs' wins at Docaviv