October 15, 2018

Essential Doc Reads: Week of October 8

From the 'Therapeutic Interventions for Documentary' panel at Getting Real '18
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!


Rebecca Day reflects on Getting Real '18 and the 'Therapeutic Interventions in Documentaries' panel ahead of World Mental Health Day in the Scottish Documentary Blog.

When IDA first asked me to host a panel at Getting Real, coming up with the title seemed to be the hardest part. Remarkably, this could have been the first time that a focus on filmmakers’ mental health and well-being was shared publicly at a festival - there is no precedent that we could see. How exactly were we going to do it, and what were we trying to achieve? We settled on Therapeutic Interventions for Documentary, which created lots of space for curiosity and questions! For me, it was a conversation starter and Getting Real was the ideal space for this. As a documentary producer, I’ve been asking questions for many years now about the effect that making films has on our mental health.

From Variety, Brent Lang covers Participant Media's strategy to inspire social action.

Participant Media is not a typical Hollywood company. Participant aims to back movies and TV shows that inspire social action, not just simply entertain.  At a time when gender discrimination has become the galvanizing issue in the media business, Participant is leaning into stories about women who are fighting sexism and leading by example.

Indiewire's Eric Kohn talks to Errol Morris about his struggles to secure distribution for his Steve Bannon documentary, American Dharma.

Stephen Bannon’s name arouses controversy and disdain, so Errol Morris expected to face uncertain audiences when he decided to make Bannon the subject of his next movie. However, even the veteran documentarian didn’t anticipate the volume of backlash he received for “American Dharma,” a feature-length interview with Bannon that digs deep on his role as a senior advisor to Donald Trump and as the architect of his presidency.

Director Peter Jackson restored and colorized World War I footage for his new documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. Indiewire's Zack Sharf reports.

Peter Jackson is beloved by moviegoers for bringing J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth to life in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and the Oscar winner is up to his usual ambitious tricks in his latest project, the World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Jackson utilized modern production techniques to restore and colorize nearly 100 hours of original WWI footage from Britain’s Imperial War Museum. They Shall Not Grow Old uses 90 minutes of footage from the overall total Jackson restored. The footage has been colorized and even converted to 3D for the film’s upcoming theatrical release. The movie will have its world premiere October 16 at the BFI London Film Festival.

Cineuropa sat down with Paul Pauwels, Director of the European Documentary Network, to discuss the future of documentary funding in Europe.

The European Documentary Network (EDN) is increasingly present in places where EU policymaking takes place. And there's a good reason for that - with traditional business models having come under threat over the past few years and decades, now more than ever, the documentary sector is in need of support structures that ensure its survival and its continued output of high-quality documentary films. There's also a political dimension to the documentary genre, since cultural, societal and democratic values are inherently connected to documentaries. These obviously constitute a much-needed counterweight to a media industry dominated by commercial show formats and fiction films. As part of EDN's Media and Society initiative, a major survey aimed at investigating the state of documentary filmmaking in Europe, EDN director Paul Pauwels has met EU policy-makers on different occasions over the past few weeks in order to talk about the future needs of documentary professionals.

From the Archive—Summer 2018 issue: "Emotional Rescue: Addressing Well-Being in the Documentary Career"

Documentary is a challenging art form. It can take you to challenging situations—war zones, harsh climates—and it can introduce you to challenging people. And on a day-to-day basis, there are the uncertainties of fundraising and the daunting prospects of sustaining a career and having a life. At a certain point in the trajectory, you retreat and assess the fact that while the path you're on is your purpose and your passion, even that which defines you can take an emotional and psychological toll. The help you really need goes beyond filmmaking and fundraising.

In the News

IDA announces the Documentary Awards shortlist in the Feature and Short categories.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveils a new schedule for announcing its shortlists.


IDFA announces its selected films and two new sections for the festival.


The full program for DOK Leipzig revealed.


The 128 films screening at the 25th annual Astra Film Festival.


The first class of FRONTLINE/Firelight Investigative Journalism Fellows announced.


The Rogovy Foundation increases the funding for the Miller/Packan Documentary Fund.


Star and subject of the documentary 4.1 miles, Kyriakos Papadopoulos dies at 44.


Producers of Netflix's ReMastered accused of stealing docuseries idea from Adaptive Studios


A Judge's injunction against the documentary Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash is lifted by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.