October 2004


Mira Nair Announces Film Lab in Uganda

In July, acclaimed Indian-born filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala) unveiled her latest project: a film lab for aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters from East Africa and South Asia.

Behind the Music

Contemporary rock docs take center stage

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” –Charlie Parker


Will independent films influence this year’s election?

Picture if you will, Karl Rove and Karen Hughes sitting around the offices of Bush-Cheney 2004, talking strategy and shooting the breeze. Suddenly the phone rings. “Karl,” a young aide says excitedly. “I’ve got bad news for you. The Democrats have a new weapon: independent documentary films!”

Mind the Gap

Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation confronts his mother’s schizophrenia

Although “development hell” is the norm for most independent filmmakers, the experience of Jonathan Caouette stands apart. The thirty-two-year old Caouette spent almost twenty years making Tarnation, his first feature-length documentary, which went from being a $218.32 home video project edited on iMovie, to a $400,000 theatrical release that will open this fall.

Where Are We Going?

The documentary industry arrives on a new track

The question on everyone’s mind is, Will it last?

The Subtle Art of Awareness

The tricky business of marketing social-cause films

When Jim de Sève began working on his documentary, Tying the Knot, four years ago, it was a small, personal film. He had fallen in love with Kian Tjong and both men wanted Tjong, an Indonesian immigrant, to stay in New York. Had they been a straight couple, says de Sève, they would have married immediately and solved Tjong’s Green Card problem.

How can I do this full time?

The Documentary Doctor outlines three financial scenarios

Dear Doc Doctor:

I can’t wait for the time when I am able to be a full-time independent documentary filmmaker—it’s been really difficult juggling so many balls in the air. Is there any way to make the path quicker and smoother?

You Are Here

Home movies are becoming a documentarian’s favorite footage

Jonas Mekas used his camera to survive. When Mekas, the founder of the Film-Maker’s Co-Op, emigrated from Lithuania to New York City in 1949 after having endured the brutality of the concentration camps, he immediately began to make home movies.

Spice Market

The New York International Latino Film Festival

I am white and alone in a darkened room at night with over four hundred Dominicans in New York City. It is a room full of laughter. A room full of stereotypes embraced and shattered. And a room every American should experience in one way or another.

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