Latest Posts

Thu, 03/30/2023 - 13:33
Bitchitra Collective: Indian Women in Documentary announces their inaugural cohort for the Bitchitra Collective Film & Media Fellowship. The seven selected filmmakers are based in India and the US and of Indian heritage. Each will receive a grant of $2,000 for an ongoing short or feature-length documentary project, in addition to receiving a year-long mentorship with an established filmmaker. Bitchitra Collective was started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to raise emergency funding to support audiovisual artists in India. Members of the collective include established filmmakers Nishtha
Wed, 03/29/2023 - 12:31
Responding to the “permacrisis”—a 2022 “word of the year” meaning “an extended period of instability and insecurity” and the title for one of the talks at this year’s CPH:DOX film festival and conference in Copenhagen—was a prevailing theme at this season’s March event. You could feel it in the fragile, sensitive, and overstressed disposition of filmmakers (“Sometimes I feel like drowning,”1 “I’m very much in a phase of burnout”2); you could hear it from producers and sales agents lamenting the squeeze in documentary distribution (“It’s a frightening moment”3, “dozens have spots have gotten
Thu, 03/16/2023 - 17:27
Mexican director Rodrigo Reyes (Mexico City, 1983), makes films deeply grounded in his identity as an immigrant artist, crafting a poetic gaze from the margins, using striking imagery to portray the contradictory nature of our shared world, while revealing the potential for transformative change. He has received the support of The Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), Sundance, and Tribeca Institutes, while his films have screened on PBS and Netflix. His film “499,” won Best Cinematography at Tribeca and the Special Jury Award at Hot Docs. Rodrigo is a recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim and
Thu, 03/16/2023 - 17:16
Wesleyan University is a liberal arts college located in Middletown, Connecticut. Founded in 1831, Wesleyan is a school “where critical thinking and practical idealism” are encouraged to intermingle. With a student body of approximately 3,000 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, it boasts alumni as varied as composer/writer/director/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, filmmaker Michael Bay and writer/director Joss Whedon. However, we would be remiss if we did not mention that other Wesleyan alums include Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur “Genius” Grant Fellows, Academy Award winners, and Nobel Prize
Mon, 03/13/2023 - 16:41
Over the past week, IDA collected tributes to Judith "Judy" Heumann from those who knew her and were influenced, advised, or galvanized by her disability rights activism, mentorship, and relational world-building. These written memorials are introduced by Jim LeBrecht, who wrote a piece that places Judy's interest in documentary film and the representation of people with disabilities in context within our nonfiction film ecosystem. Judy Heumann was a mentor and friend for over 50 years. Called “the mother of the disability rights movement,” Judy was that and so much more. Her connection to our
Wed, 03/08/2023 - 14:13
This year’s Getting Real conference was marked by a constant debate around ethical choices in documentary filmmaking. Every aspect of the process was assessed: not only the role of filmmakers but also those of editors, producers, and funders were subjected to critical scrutiny. Even the rights of documentary participants had a space to be debated. But there was a missing link: without deep discussions around actual films that everybody in the room had seen, how could we evaluate documentary ethics from the standpoint of the viewer? In his classic book Le documentaire, un autre cinéma, French
Mon, 03/06/2023 - 14:36
Half a century ago, British feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s exploration of the “male gaze” postulates how the visual arts—and by extension, works of literature—objectify and frame women through a heterosexual male viewer’s sexual desires, stripping women of agency to their bodies as commodities being consumed for male viewing, ownership, and conquest. What might constitute the “female gaze” not only sets a counter-narrative to the male gaze, but also subsumes principles of intersectional feminisms that account for subjective and individual experiences and definitions of gender and sex
Thu, 03/02/2023 - 10:35
In 2018, I received the “3 Days in Cannes” pass, which allows passionate lovers of cinema from all nationalities and backgrounds between the ages of 18 and 28 to attend the Festival de Cannes. To get the accreditation, I needed to submit an essay about why I loved cinema, and two weeks before the festival opened, I received an email confirming that I had been selected. But soon, my joy turned to anguish; my pass included neither accommodations nor travel. I was a film festival worker in Mexico, and I used that experience to write about my love for cinema; after all, given the working
Thu, 02/23/2023 - 17:27
Two articles that came out right after the Uvalde Massacre in May 2022 questioning whether graphic images of the mutilated children would change gun policy left me thinking about the role of photographic images. The fundamental question succinctly stated in the New York Times article: “Would dismantling graphic images of the results of gun violence jolt the nation's gridlocked leadership into action?” Days after another mass shooting of school children, we may wish for the answer to be “Yes!”, as it would give us hope that such an atrocity would never happen again. Why is this question so
Thu, 02/23/2023 - 16:54
In 2003 I was enrolled in a class taught by Vanalyne Green called “The Personal Essay Film.” I had recently fallen in love with Vanalyne—like you do when you’re an angry teenager having your entire worldview destabilized—after watching her essay film about how she got herpes from a hot cowboy that looked like the Marlboro Man. The day’s viewing was Sink or Swim by Su Friedrich. I didn’t have the words then to articulate the splendor, the darkness, the gentle wisdom of this film. But now I do.