Interviews

Boom or Bust: The Cinema Guild's Ryan Krivoshey

Cinema Guild director of distribution, Ryan Krivoshey talks with the Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution


Cinema Guild's short film "Sari's Mother" has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Ryan Krivoshey, the Cinema Guild's director of distribution, talks with The Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution, how the perception of the documentary has evolved since 9-11 and how Internet distribution has had an impact on the way films are seen.

Much has changed since 1968 when Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel created The Cinema Guild and television was the niche market for all things educational.

Quest for Truth

An interview with director and producer Rory Kennedy about her latest film "Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House"


Helen Thomas with filmmaker Rory Kennedy.

Filmmaker and political activist Rory Kennedy talks with The Independent about her latest documentary Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House about influential political journalist Helen Thomas. The film premieres on HBO on August 18th with additional airings throughout the month.

Rory Kennedy didn’t always know she wanted to be a filmmaker, but she did see herself as a political activist. As the daughter of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, politics run strong in her blood. In wanting to make an impact on people’s lives, she gravitated towards film as a means of educating herself and others about political and social issues.

Rider Strong Moves On

Rider Strong talks about his new short, Irish Twins, and "coming down with" hope for Obama


Rider Strong's ad "It Could Happen To You" won funniest ad in the Obama in 30 Seconds contest.

Once a child actor, Rider Strong charts a new course for his career by writing and directing (with brother Shiloh) the short film Irish Twins currently on the festival circuit (see the trailer), not to mention earning the “funniest ad” award for MoveOn.org’s recent Obama in 30 Seconds contest (watch it). Strong talks with Erin Trahan about his first short, his future political career, and why he's a lot more like Arnold Schwanzenegger than one might think.

Rider Strong grew up on television. Not like most of us, consuming it after school with a Hi-C juice box and a Swiss Cake roll, but as Shawn Hunter, the beloved boy next door on Boy Meets World. Considering the fate of other child actors, spending ages 13 to 20 under the hot lights of American television could have been his one-way ticket to rehab.

Werner Herzog Made Me Do It

An interview with filmmaker Lee Kazimir about his film "More Shoes"


Lee Kazimir on his walk across Europe in "More Shoes."

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be to go on a long walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev. So Lee Kazimir took his advice literally. His journey resulted in his first feature documentary, More Shoes (see the trailer). As the film makes its way through the festival circuit, Lee stop to talk with The Independent about the film and the people he met along his journey.

Stuck in a dead-end job and worried he'd never make it as a filmmaker, Lee Kazimir decided to take Werner Herzog's advice. Legendary filmmaker Herzog had once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be not to practice filmmaking but to walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev.

The Future of Public Media: Talking with Pat Aufderheide


Pat Aufderheide at Beyond Broadcast Conference.

At SILVERDOCS 2008, writer Randi Cecchine talks with Pat Aufderheide, founder and director of the Center for Social Media at American University, about moving their Beyond Broadcast conference to SILVERDOCS, unraveling the complexities of fair use, and taking on the future of public media.

At SILVERDOCS 2008, writer Randi Cecchine talks with Pat Aufderheide, founder and director of the Center for Social Media at American University, about moving their Beyond Broadcast conference to SILVERDOCS, unraveling the complexities of fair use, and taking on the future of public media.

Documentary 2.0: Making Media That Matters

Katy Chevigny, Executive Director of Arts Engine, Inc., the nonprofit arm behind the festival, and Gina Teleroli of Meerkat Media Collective, one of the seven collaborators behind Every Third Bite, another of this year’s official selections, discuss artistic collaboration, trends from this year’s festival, and how the Internet is changing the way we make and view film.


Some members of the Meerkat Media Collective discuss decisions in the editing room.

The Independent catches up with Katy Chevigny, Executive Director of Arts Engine, Inc., the nonprofit arm behind the festival, and Gina Telaroli of Meerkat Media Collective, one of the seven collaborators behind Every Third Bite (watch the film), another of this year’s official selections, to discuss artistic collaboration, trends from this year’s festival, and how the Internet is changing the way we make and view film.

Each June, The Media That Matters Film Festival selects a group of 12 shorts by independent filmmakers designed to spark action and debate in twelve minutes or less. Unlike other festivals, MTM works to promote its selections year-round through online streaming, broadcasts and community screenings.

For Inspiration, Judd Ehrlich Looked to the Subject of His New Film, "Run For Your Life"

A look at the crowd-pleasing Fred Lebow biography that premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival


A Place in the Run: Fred Lebow, shown in the red Mercedes, in the subject of Judd Ehrlich's "Run for Your Life."

Though this year's Tribeca Film Festival was dominated by Scandanavian vampires, a decidely American documentary about, yes, a Transylvanian immigrant from Brooklyn also drew crowds. The film is Judd Ehrlich's Run for Your Life (view the trailer), a biography of Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City Marathon. He was also an impresario, a canny politician, a PR machine, a womanizer, a visionary, a hot head, and—in Ehrlich's words—"a survivor in every sense of the word." The challenge in making the film, then, was not digging up material, but sorting through a mountain of interviews and other footage. Ehrlich recently talked about the film with The Independent's Mike Hofman.

While vampires made a big splash at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, a documentary about a son of Transylvania carved out a decidedly different niche for itself.

To Shoot "Flying," Jennifer Fox Gave Up Control of Her Camera

An interview with filmmaker Jennifer Fox about her six-part documentary series "Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman"


"Flying" in South Africa: Khosi (middle), shown with her grandmother and her son, in their Soweto home.

Most documentaries are shot by a DP or the director. Few subjects, if any, get to participate in the actual process of filming. But as Jennifer Fox began to make her latest film, she decided to experiment with a democratic approach that she has come to call "passing the camera." The technique makes Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman personal and intimate, as many documentaries are — but also unconventional and strangely universal. The Independent's Michele Meek takes a look at the six-hour series (view the trailer), which airs on the Sundance Channel this month.

As an award-winning director, producer and camerawoman, Jennifer Fox is certainly well-versed in all the conventions of ‘proper’ documentary filmmaking – introduce the camera slowly, don’t talk about your own life, “create a neutral plane they can project on,” as she says.

"Prince Among Slaves": Recreating History on a Budget

Director Andrea Kalin talks about making a film set in the 18th Century and on two continents


Hard to Cast: Marcus Mitchell stars in "Prince Among Slaves," which aired recently on PBS.

Directors Andrea Kalin and Bill Duke certainly had their work cut out for them when they teamed up to film Prince Among Slaves (watch the trailer), a film that aired recently on PBS. The film tells the story of Abdul Rahman Ibrihima, a Muslim prince who was captured by slave traders in Africa, and sold to the owner of a Mississippi plantation. Recreating the story involved scouting locations, casting the prince, renting a schooner, and scrupulously researching the historical record. Kalin discusses the making of the film with The Independent's Mike Hofman.

Prince Among Slaves, which aired in February on PBS as part of public television's Black History Month programming, is the story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, an African prince who was captured by slave traders in 1788. He completed the Middle Passage in shackles, and ended up sold to a farmer of modest means in Natchez, Mississippi.

Mastering Archival Footage: How to Find It, When to Use It

To make "Doc," a film about her father, Immy Humes had to master of a mountain of source material


An Independent Doc: Immy Humes's latest film recalls the life of her brilliant, troubled father, the late H.L. "Doc" Humes

As if it wasn't hard enough for Immy Humes to make a film about her brilliant but rough father, H.L. "Doc" Humes (pictured at left), she also had to contend with a mountain of source material. Assembling all of it and then incorporating it into a polished narrative took her 16 years. In the end, Doc features photographs from the fifties, black-and-white film footage from the sixties, reel-to-reel video from the seventies, and much more. And did we mention the hundred-page FBI file? Humes recently spoke with The Independent's Mike Hofman about the process of hunting down this material, and then how she came to choose a structure that knit it all together. Check out clips from her film on our Watch page.

Immy Humes is adept at bringing a light touch to dark subject matter as she did in her Oscar-nominated 1991 short A Little Vicious, about a dangerous pit bull and the family who loved him, and 1996’s Lizzie Borden Hash & Rehash, about the abiding fascination Americans have for the New England spinster who was accused of being an ax murderer.

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