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Documentary at Tribeca: Formats, Cinéma vérité, Exposé

Taxi passes the Tribeca Film Festival

Is documentary a genre? The Tribeca Film Festival this April, which Indiewire just rated among the top three for documentary, gave a chance to survey the scene of docs and look for trends. “Too many people think documentary is a genre,” said programmer Cara Cusumano. “But documentary can have every genre a narrative film can be.”

You can slice the genre question a lot of ways, but you can’t deny that the marketplace for real-life entertainment has never been hotter, and even on the indie doc circuit makers are working within formats that sell. And you can’t deny Tribeca Film Festival is positioning itself as not only a showcase but a market. At the documentary smorgasbord of Tribeca, you could see documentaries working within formats designed for great promo and quick sale. But you could also find the improbable, the quirky, and the shocking. Read more...

Dangerous Documentaries and Online Journalism

Nonny de la Peña, fellow at USC School of Cinematic Arts and founder of immersive journalism VR company Emblematic Group, speaks at the 2015 ISOJ on the University of Texas-Austin campus, Apr. 18, 2015. Mengwen Cao/Knight CenterGuest post by Andrew Lih

The insights of CMSI's Dangerous Documentaries project connected with a number of news projects at the International Symposium on Online Journalism at the University of Texas this year, showing the risks visual storytellers are taking in reporting important societal issues and the emerging challenges in the new genre of immersive documentary making. Read more...

Pat Aufderheide to be Honored with Stoney Award

Pat Aufderheide moderating An Afternoon with George Stoney at the National Gallery of ArtThe Center is proud to announce that founder and longtime director, Pat Aufderheide, is the recipient of the 2015 "George C. Stoney Award for Outstanding Documentary Work" from the University Film and Video Association (UFVA). From UFVA: The award is "given annually by the UFVA's Documentary Working Group caucus to an individual (or production team) who demonstrate(s) the values that George Stoney promoted throughout his career--stories that represent the poor, the lesser known, the working class, and as a hallmark, engage social injustice themes." Read more...

Evangelicals, Dictators, Zealots and Engineers: Documentaries Take Us Inside Other Realities at Tribeca


DemocratsAt Tribeca Film Festival this year, four exceptional documentaries built their success on exploring personalities, situations and ideologies alien to the typically liberal documentary audience. For anyone who wants to make media that matters, these films provide models for exploring difference. Read more...

THE MAMA SHERPAS Premieres in Los Angeles on May 27

The Mama SherpasIncoming Co-Director at CMSI, Brigid Maher, announced today the acquisition of her upcoming documentary The Mama Sherpas, by BOND/360 and executive producers Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. The Mama Sherpas will premiere on May 27th in Los Angeles, followed by regional, VOD and DVD releases.

"I'm humbled and honored to have Abby and Ricki come on board as Executive Producers," said Maher, associate professor in American University’s School of Communication. "Their 2008 film The Business of Business Born had a groundbreaking impact on how women made choices around birth and inspired me to tell the story of hospital midwives who are working to bring the C-section rate down through their women based approach. Read more...