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42 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Justin Schein faces an unthinkable dilemma in "Left on Purpose"
Justin Schein is a veteran filmmaker who has worked with scores of documentary subjects, but nothing could prepare him for an aging yippee named Mayer Vishner. Schein thought he was making a documentary about Vishner’s life. Vishner had a different idea, and it shook Schein to his core and tested his mettle as a friend, filmmaker and human being. Schein's 2015 film, "Left On Purpose," follows the colorful, unforgettable Vishner through a minefield of emotional and ethical issues.
45 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
Joe Brandmeier hits the road to interview married couples in "I Do?"
Joe Brandmeier was an average married guy who accepted the ups and downs of being coupled. But then a particularly tough patch in his marriage prompted him to think more deeply about the institution. Brandmeier became deeply curious about why we get married, what it means to be married, and how different kinds of couples make it work. He hit the road and interviewed a variety of married couples throughout the upper midwest. The interviews became the crux of his 2016 film, "I Do?" It's an amiable look at how real couples love, laugh, cope and persist.
31 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Pamela Littky spends 10 years following kids voted "Most Likely to Succeed."
Hollywood photographer Pamela Littky was overtaken by a nagging curiosity ... what happens, she wondered, to the thousands of kids named Most Likely to Succeed in high schools all across America? Littky embarked on her first documentary film to find out. Ten years later, she answered the question in her 2019 film, "Most Likely to Succeed." It's an endearing and honest look into life's most vulnerable period where even high school stars get bumped around along the way.
53 minutes | Jun 26, 2021
Jesse Alk explores Kolkata's mysterious native dogs in "Pariah Dog"
Jesse Alk's father, Howard, was a documentarian who died when Jesse was a child. Decades later, Jesse wound up retracing his father's footsteps to Kolkata, India, where Howard had documented West Bengali musicians in the early '70s. Jesse fell in love with the city, its people, and particularly its native street dogs. He filmed the dogs and the people who care for them, capturing the loneliness and suffering of both. His film, Pariah Dog, debuted in 2019 at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and won Best Feature.
34 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Dani Connor Wild discovers she's a filmmaker while locked down in northern Sweden
Dani Connor Wild was volunteering for a wildlife photographer in northern Sweden when the Covid pandemic descended and locked her in place. For the next six months she lived alone in a town of 20 mostly elderly residents and found solace and meaning by heading into the dense, rustic woods near her home. What she found there altered the trajectory of her young career and transformed her into a successful multi-platform documentarian. Her first documentary film, The Squirrels & Me, was released on YouTube in February and has already racked up nearly a million views.
19 minutes | May 3, 2021
Michael Lucid goes back to school to tell the story of "Dirty Girls"
In 1996, Michael Lucid was a senior at the Crossroads school in Santa Monica, California. He noticed a social phenomenon that had the school buzzing and wanted to know more. So he grabbed a camcorder and began documenting a group of impossibly young female idealists whose brash manners and clothes were ruffling feathers on campus. In the process, he created a time capsule that still captivates people 25 years later.
38 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Pat Taggart unearths the story of a lifetime in "Billboard Boys"
In 1982, three young men from Allentown, Pa., climbed aboard a billboard in a competition to win an $18,000 mobile home. Times were tough, owning a home was an inaccessible dream, and the three competitors were determined to win. They wound up living on the billboard far longer than anyone imagined and became global celebrities in the process. Nearly four decades later, their story of obsession and determination still resonates. Filmmaker Pat Taggart discusses how this unusual contest came to be and how he overcame an unsettling first interview to make the film.Learn more about the film at billboardboys.com.
30 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Tommy Avallone stalks a legend in "The Bill Murray Stories"
The internet is awash in what are known as "Bill Murray stories." Murray crashing a bachelor party. Bill Murray joining a random kickball game. Bill Murray washing a stranger's dishes. Tommy Avallone traveled to two continents to find out whether these stories were true, and what they tell us about Bill Murray as well as ourselves. Avallone's 2018 film, "The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man," is a light-hearted exploration of a quirky and beloved celebrity. But it's also a meditation on life and the importance of being present.
46 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Jeremy Workman tracks an obsessive pedestrian in "The World Before Your Feet"
When Jeremy Workman learned his friend, Matt Green, planned to walk every street in New York City, Workman did what any sensible filmmaker would do: he grabbed his camera and followed along. Three years and 600 hours of footage later, Workman had everything he needed to tell the story of Green's unusual quest in Workman's film, The World Before Your Feet.
35 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
How Daniel Weinshenker became "The Story Whisperer"
Daniel Weinshenker is a poet and creative writer whose literary journey has led him to a new and unexpected artform—helping ordinary people document their lives through digital storytelling. The stories that ensue are tiny documentary films that capture the intimate and symbolic moments in everyday life. Weinshenker is the director of the Denver office of StoryCenter, a non-profit with a mission to promote listening and compassion through the telling of stories.
25 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Paige Tolmach reckons with the past in "What Haunts Us"
Eddie Fischer was a charismatic teacher who ruled the halls of an elite prep school in Charleston, South Carolina. He also harbored a terrifying secret that left shame and heartbreak in his wake. Director Paige Tolmach was a student at that school. Three decades later, Tolmach decided to tell the story of how Fischer shattered so many lives without being detected. Her film, "What Haunts Us," was released in 2018 and earned an Emmy nomination for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking.
52 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Brian Rose's long and winding road to making "When I Last Saw Jesse"
Jesse Ross was a 19-year-old college student who disappeared at a college conference and was never seen or heard from again. Brian Rose sits down to discuss Ross's disappearance and how he approached the mysterious story in his 2019 documentary, "When I Last Saw Jesse."
2 minutes | Jan 1, 2021
Welcome to "Talking Documentary"
"Talking Documentary" is a new podcast devoted to documentary films and the people who make them. Join us for a series of conversations with the great creators in the documentary field.
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