The Ethics of Filming and Photographing Human Remains and Other Sensitive Subject Matter

WED, SEP 27, 3:30-5:30pm

Visual journalists and documentary filmmakers face a host of questions regarding the ethical dimensions of their work. What does it mean to document someone else’s story? Does access to a community grant you special insight? What is the difference between a “subject” and a “participant” in visual journalism and documentary? What unique ethical considerations arise out of working with communities that have been historically marginalized? What is the difference between long-form or essay journalism and the “breaking” news approach taken by large news media outlets?

Filmmaker/Subject Collaboration and Oral History in a Queer Biographical Documentary

Presented by Jean Carlomusto
WED, FEB 22, 2023, 3-5pm

In this workshop, filmmaker Jean Carlomusto and pioneering anthropologist/oral historian/film protagonist Esther Newton will discuss their collaborative process in the making of ESTHER NEWTON MADE ME GAY—a biographical documentary situated within the larger narratives of history. Esther will draw from her insightful essay, “Queer Old Movie Star”, which explores her anthropological and critical insights on the process of being an elder film subject. Jean will compare different approaches she has used on other biographical works such as LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER (HBO). Interviewing and the use of oral history will be explored from the perspective of both the anthropologist and the documentarian.

WORKSHOP: The Many Roles of the Documentary Producer

Presented by Jen Gilomen
February 28, 2020, 2-4pm

Join filmmaker Jen Gilomen, producer and director of photography for the new documentary film UNSETTLED: SEEKING REFUGE IN AMERICA (directed/produced by Tom Shepard) for a discussion about what it takes to produce an independent feature documentary. Producers wear many hats, and each film is different — which means the role of a producer is always morphing to fit the needs of each production. In addition to producing Unsettled, Gilomen has directed, produced, and shot several features and shorts, narratives and documentaries, many with LGBTQ+ themes…

Building Trust, Gaining Access: Working with Documentary Subjects

Presented by Lisa Molomot
November 1, 2019

Independent filmmakers have both advantages and disadvantages over journalists in gaining access to documentary stories and subjects. In this 2-hour workshop, documentary filmmaker Lisa Molomot will discuss how she gained extraordinary access to Border Patrol agents, vigilante ranchers, forensic scientists and human rights activists when filming her upcoming documentary feature Missing in Brooks County, which […]

Directing Vérité Documentaries

February 22, 2019

In this workshop, filmmakers Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney will discuss their vérité approach to documentary filmmaking, both as co-directors on THE UNAFRAID and on their own individual projects. Using clips from THE UNAFRAID and other films as examples, they will discuss the challenges and advantages of filming vérité. This workshop will give participants a […]

Documentary Cinematography and Point of View

Presented by PJ Raval
November 2, 2018

This workshop will survey PJ Raval‘s award-winning feature documentary career focusing on his work as a director and cinematographer. Learn how PJ’s personal upbringing has informed his artistic sensibilities and overall cinematography. The workshop will focus on the question, “How can the camera address who is telling whose story?”

Thinking Like an Editor: How to Turn 400 Hours of Footage into a Film

Presented by Lindsay Utz
March 30, 2018

Lindsay Utz’s workshop will focus on how she shaped the award-winning feature documentary QUEST (“a living, breathing, stunning documentary study of an African-American family in North Philadelphia weathering a tumultuous decade”) from over 400 hours of footage shot over a 10-year period. QUEST premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to […]

Empowering Youth Through Participatory Filmmaking

Presented by Nilima Abrams
November 17, 2017

THE TENT VILLAGE is a collaborative film created by Nilima Abrams and four teenagers in India. The film was a wonderful “accident” that arose from another Fulbright project, and has been screened nationally on PBS and at festivals throughout the US and abroad. THE TENT VILLAGE is about roadside tent dwellers who pick through recycling […]

Documenting the Undocumented: Producing and Distributing Short Films about Immigration

Presented by Theo Rigby
March 3, 2017

Award-winning filmmaker, interactive storyteller and photojournalist Theo Rigby will present his work over the past decade with iNation Media, creating short-form webseries and feature documentaries about the immigrant experience in the U.S. His current project, WAKING DREAM, explores the lives of young undocumented people across the U.S. who have DACA permits. Drawing on this work […]

Documentary Editing: Strategies for Making the Most of Your Material

Presented by Jacob Bricca
November 4, 2016

Documentary editing is one of the most challenging intellectual feats on the planet. One begins with a mountain of shapeless footage and is expected to fashion a fully realized story, complete with finely tuned dramatic arcs, satisfying themes and subplots, and a carefully constructed climax. How does anyone do it? In this workshop, editor Jacob […]

Building Solidarity: Documentary as a Strategy for Human Rights Activism

Presented by Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis
March 4, 2016

Distinguished visiting filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis will discuss their work with Skylight Films, an activist media organization committed for over three decades to producing artistic, challenging and socially relevant media to strengthen citizen engagement, human rights and the quest for social justice. Using as an example their recent film DISRUPTION, about a […]

Web-based Interactive Media

Presented by Luisa Dantas
November 6, 2015

Visiting filmmaker Luisa Dantas will present the interactive online platform she has developed to expand upon her documentary film LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, which chronicles the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans. The workshop will focus on the use of interactive web-based media as a form of strategic non-fiction storytelling to raise awareness and engagement on social […]

Working with Historians and Archives

Presented by Richard Perez
February 17, 2015

This workshop, featuring filmmaker Richard Perez, a senior staff member of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, will focus on collaborating with historians and working with archives and archival footage. Later that evening, Perez will present his 2014 film CESAR’S LAST FAST in a public event at the Screening Room. The film is built around […]

Documentary Development

Presented by James Klein
January 31, 2014

This workshop, presented by Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Klein, focuses on documentary conceptualization and development, addressing such issues as: how to determine whether a documentary film is an appropriate vehicle for your content; how to develop your material for the screen (e.g., voice, structure, stylistic approaches, collaborators, process); thinking about long-form documentary vs. a series of […]