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Jennifer Merin

Resolution: More Documentaries in 2013

By December 30, 2012

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Another new year is here, and here's to making it a happy and successful one!

If you're concocting a list of new year resolutions, set down your resolve to watch more documentaries in 2013, and to support documentary filmmakers in their work. And, if you're open to tips about how to best implement your resolve, here are several for consideration:

  • Keep a calendar of documentaries that are open in theaters, have broadcast dates and are releasing on VOD or free online streaming.
  • Make a commitment to watch at least two documentaries every week, and stick to it.
  • Subscribe to a documentary film series if there is one programmed at a theater or university in your area.
  • If theaters in your area are not programming documentary films, organize patrons to petition the management to change its policy and show nonfiction films on a regular basis.
  • Form a documentary watching club with five or six members who meet monthly to watch documentaries in theaters, on television or online, and then discuss them afterwards. To be fair, rotate responsibility for selecting the documentary among the group's members, or have everyone vote on which documentary you'll watch.
  • Use the public library as a resource for documentaries. If your local public library isn't circulating nonfiction films, request that they do so.
  • If you're entertaining children with DVDs, make sure you show them documentaries in addition to animated and family-oriented narrative features, and make sure that they know the difference between true stories and ones that are made up.
  • Pick documentary projects to support financially on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, where you can pledge whatever you can afford to help filmmakers complete and/or distribute their films.
  • Post your impressions about the documentaries you see and support on Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets.
  • Sign up for documentary newsletters, including the weekly newsletter distributed by Documentaries.About.com.

2012 has been a tremendous year for documentaries, with great films, wider-than-usual distribution of them and audience growth. Let's make 2013 even better!

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