Documentaries: Most Popular Articles
These documentaries are entertaining, educational and enlightening films will set excellent standards for the life-long movie watching habit that begins in childhood.
Documentaries are a rich source of information and inspiration, and those on my ever evolving list of recommendations belong in a special treasury. My top ten list of documentaries is a constant work in progress, one that reflects how nonfiction film deals with the pressing issues of today. Also taken into consideration is the availability of wonderful new nonfiction films as they are released. Check back often for updates.
Documentaries about the Holocaust
A list of documentaries that provide invaluable insights about how America, Americans and the rest of the world have reached the point of economic crisis, and are reacting to the situation. These films may suggest ways you can improve your own financial stability by changing your spending patterns and habits.
A list of excellent documentary films about animals and human interaction with them.
Top ten list documentaries for Memorial Day viewing focus on individual stories about true heroes. Learn their lives and honor them!
A List of documentaries by and about women.
A documentary about teenage girl prostitutes in New York City and the Girls Education and Mentoring Services that help them to find a new direction in life.
These documentary films show you how global warming, pollution and mismanagement of Earth's resources are setting the stage for environmental disasters that will, if unabated, ultimately make out planet unlivable. The films may alarm you--but that's a good thing, if it leads you to resolve to preserve and restore the environment for the well being of future generations.
Great dance documentaries not only record brilliant choreography and performances, they stand as works of art in their own right.
As if raging hormones weren't enough! These documentaries present a very interesting, compelling picture of teens growing up in today's world.
These superb music documentaries on DVD will bring you closer to the music and musicians you love and ideal for watching over and over again.
Oscar Winning Documentaries by year from 2006 to 1980
These inspiring documentaries show how personal commitment to a project or giving your all to a cause can make a difference.
A primer of basics about documentary film.
Presenting a good documentary trailer is an integral part of the producing and marketing a nonfiction film. What makes a good documentary trailer? Read on...
An A to Z List of Documentaries About Famous and Infamous People
Documentary style has constantly evolved and redefined itself. Here's an overview of how styles have changed from the first films to the present day.
A commentary about the controversy about the representation of truth in 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Kathryn Bigelow's truth=based narrative feature.
Michael Moore, champion of liberal political and social causes, is arguably the best known and most influential documentary filmmaker in the world.
If your local movie theaters aren't programming enough documentary films, let them know you want more. And, until they respond positively, turn on your TV. Networks and cable channels program doumentaries regularly. Some are made for TV, and others are broadcast before being released on DVD. Keep tabs on program schedules for PBS, HBO, IFC and other channels that present documentaries on a regular basis. You'll find a great variety of wonderful films not playing at a theater near you.
A nonfiction film that emphasizes verbal commentary and argumentative logic.
Emphasizing the documentary filmmaker's engagement in observing the subject's daily life and circumstances and documentinf them with an unobtrusive camera.
These documentaries are great to watch with your family when you gather the clan for special occasions. Let this list of entertaining and inspirational documentaries be your guide to films that will delight loved ones of all ages.
A list of documentary films that chronicle the horrors of genocide and its aftermath around the world.
Nominees for the 2013 Oscar for Best Documentary
The emphasis of the filmmaker’s subjective attitude or personal engagement with a subject to evoke audience reaction.
My choice of five nominees for the 2014 Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary, picked from the Academy's fifteen-film shortlist.
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1990s. Page 2.
Animals are among the most popular subjects for documentary films. See how documentary filmmakers deal with animals from the Arctic to Antarctica in their films.
Filmmaker Steve Kroschel uses his own experiences, anecdotes from others and experts' comments to show the healing powers of 'grounding' or 'earthing'
This series of excellent documentary films was produced to raise public awareness about poverty and what can be done about it. The series will be broadcast around the globe, reaching an estimated 250-million viewers, in November, 2012.
Just in time for Spring's awakening, an annotated list of documentaries about sex -- with a range of titles to interest everyone from viewers looking for
The documentary establishment provides ways to pitch projects, get funding and distribution, But is it so different from the Hollywood studio system?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is paying tribute to legendary documentarian Les Blank with a series of special screenings in New York City from July 30 to August 1, 2013. Here's the schedule...
'Why Poverty?' is a series of eight diverse one hour films, each of which investigates the causes of poverty around the world or suggests a path to diminish it.
The Stoning of Soraya is the true story of the stoning to death of a women in rural Iran because her husband falsely accused her of adultry. The shocking story, smuggled out of Iran by an Iranian journalist who was living in France, became a best selling book that brought world wide attention to the stoning of women
Great Halloween Documentaries - A List of Top Documentaries for Halloween
A list of documentaries that foment independent thought about the issues that arise when Americans consider the meaning of independence. These films are ideal for watching as part of your Independence Day celebrations -- before or after the parades, fireworks and barbecues.
Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne set out to make a memorial about his best friend, Dr. Andrew Bagby, with the intention of giving the tribute to Dr. Bagby‘s son, Zachary, so the boy--unborn at the time of Dr. Bagby‘s brutal murder, would know about the father whom he would never be able to meet.
Documentaries About Sex, Sexuality, Romantic Relationships and Human Reproduction
The shortlist of feature length documentaries contending for the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
Transmedia is a new buzz word in the documentaries realm. Find out here what transmedia means and why it's the wave of the future.
Particle Fever takes you inside the Large Hadron Collider to see what happens when subatomic particles collide at the speed of light. BANG on!
This list of documentaries that reveal important aspects of black history and culture in America are a great way to celebrate Black History Month.
These documentary films about American history and political leaders will help you to understand how the nation has arrived at where it is today.
A curated list of documentaries to watch for some serious entertainment during summer 2014.
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1980s. Page 3.
Documentary Films Coming Soon
Find out how you can participate in the making of a documentary film by becoming an investor in the project of your choice. You can support a film that's in its initial development phase, one that's in progress or one that needs funds for completion or distribution. Here's a ten step plan.
Top Ten List of Documentaries about Genocide cover the Holocaust, as well as mass killings in Rwanda, Darfur, Chile, Cambodia and elsewhere in the world. They also expose philosophies and organizations that could lead to genocide in the future -- even in the United States.
A list of documentaries about people who have unusual professions, focusing on their work and lifestyle.
: French, meaning "film truth." A term applied to documentary films in which there is a truthful live
A discussion about recent trends in the corporate underwriting of documentaries, and questions raised about the efficacy of branding sponsorships of nonfiction films.
A list of 26 top documentary festivals in the USA, Canada and Europe, with links to festival Websites, 2014 schedules, and overviews.
Manakamana, the latest release from Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, takes you on an exciting, enlightening adventure to remote Nepal.
Filmmaker Nati Baratz discusses his documentary, Unmistaken Child, and the way Tibetan Buddhist influenced his thinking about the film, and about life. Page 2.
Lioness, by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers, profiles a group of courageous women soldiers who were deployed to Iraq as support personnel--mechanics, cooks, and clerks--but found themselves in actual combat situations. Known as Team Lioness, they are the first generation of American women to return home as combat veterans, and their debriefing in this film is enlightening.
Filmmaker Nati Baratz discusses his documentary, Unmistaken Child, about Tibetan Buddhist monk Tenzin Zopa's search for the reincarnation of the Geshe Lama Konghog, a recently deceased spiritual master.
IFP Independent Film Week's Spotlight on Documentaries is one of the world's most important showcases for new and emerging documentary filmmakers and their projects. The IFP Marketplace is held in New York City annually in September. The 2008 dates are September 14-22.
Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer gets top thugs in the Indonesian genocide to reenact their murderous deeds in a Hollywood-style film of their own creation.
A list of anti-war documentaries.
History, it seems, repeats itself. So, hadn't we best take a good look at these documentaries about our past American presidents to see where our present-day politicking pundits may be leading us in the future.
A documentary about Denver, Colorado's Croke-Patterson Mansion, said to be one of the world's most haunted places. Genuinely spooky!
Someone whom we see and/or hear whose purpose it is to represent the point of view of the film.
Ken Burns is best known for creating epic multi-episode documentary series in which he fully explores American history and culture.
Noted documentaries expert and BBC Storyville Commissioning Editor Nick Fraser comments on 'The Act of Killing,' directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.
A List of Ten Documentaries About The Movies, Movie Makers and the Movie Business.
An annotated list of documentaries about fine art and artists.
Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and the Ford Foundation's JustFilms have partnered to launch the TFI New Media Fund, a six-year multi-million dollar initiative to find, fund and develop documentary projects that integrate the traditional documentary film format with newer media platforms, including video games and mobile apps, as well as social networking and micro-blogging.
A list of films to watch for Veterans Day 2013
ESPN launches a Female-centric documentary series entitled 'Nine For IX' in honor of Title IX's 40th anniversary.
Pat Tillman turned in his multimillion dollar pro football contract, became an Army Ranger and set off to war in Afghanistan, where he was killed by friendly fire. Amir Bar Lev documents Tillman's life and shows his family's battle to get to the truth about his untimely death.
This is an annotated list of hybrid documentaries in which narrative filmmaking techniques -- reenactments, special effects, animation and other such elements -- are used effectively to deliver story elements essential to conveying the film's subject and theme.
A list of documentaries recommended for watching during Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
A List of important international documentary film festivals in Europe, Asia and New Zealand
Widely recognized as the premiere Latin American film festival in the U.S., the New York International Latin American Film Festival (NYILFF) takes place every August. Here's an overview, with an annotated list of the 2012 program of documentaries.
IDFA, the acronym for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, is one of the the world's largest and arguably most prestigious film festivals featuring documentaries exclusively. It takes place in November of each year, in Amsterdam.
The big challenge for documentary filmmakers and distributors is audience development -- converting die hard blockbuster fans into devoted documentary watchers. It's a hard task. But there's hope.
A list of my favorite films from IDFA 2013
Filmmaker Matt Mindell follows holocaust survivor Leo Zisman as he guides a group of young Jews through the Nazi death camps in Poland, telling them of his personal experiences of Nazi cruelty and inhumanity.
Cinereach is a nonprofit foundation that supports independent filmmaking. Since its founding in 2006, Cinereach has given away more than $5-million in grants and awards.
An overview of Sheffield Doc/Fest, the noted international documentaries film festival that takes place annualy in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
In We Are Together: The Children of Agape (2006) (also known as Thina Simunye), documentary director Paul Taylor follows children aged seven to 16 who live in the Agape Orphanage in the Natal, South Africa. Most of them have lost their parents to HIV, which is decimating the population. The very talented children form a choir in hope of making and marketing a CD that will help them to improve their circumstances. The kids' compelling stories and a brilliant soundtrack make this film a must see.
Filmmaker Alex Gibney's Taxi To The Dark Side is a shocking expose about the American military's torture of prisoners--many of whom have been shown to be innocent of any crime--in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba. In this interview, he discusses making this film, and his ideas about the aesthetics and responsibilities of making documentary films.
A Definition of Hybridization as Used to Describe Documentary Films
In 'Who Killed the Electric Car?,' documentary filmmaker Chris Paine chronicles the recent conspiracy to prevent proliferation of a series of automobiles that ran quietly and efficiently on electricity.
8: The Mormon Proposition is an eye-opening expose of how the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS), while masking their activities behind a conveniently convened coalition, campaigned against and defeated California law allowing and recognizing same sex marriage. Asserting beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a women, Mormon leaders spent an estimated $25-million and mobilized an army of Mormons to canvas California, influencing voters throughout the state.
Film Noir is a term used to describe a particular genre of cinema.
Hot Docs annual film festival is North America's largest documentaries film festival, with a comprehensive screening program and opportunities for filmmakers to meet with distributors, marketers and moviegoers.
An overview of how documentary films approach the subjects of culture and the arts.
An annotated list of winners of the Cinema Eye Honors for 2014, presented January 8, 2014 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.
A list of documentaries about food production and distribution, and healthy nutrition.
The E-Team of heroic Human Rights Watch activists covertly enter Syria and Libya to investigate human rights atrocities and report them to the world.
The Iraq War has become a primary subject for documentary films in which filmmakers show its effects on the people who live and fight in that beleaguered country. Documentary films about Iraq deliver information and impressions often neglected by mainstream news media covering the war.
How does a documentary qualify for Oscars consideration? Here's a wrap about the Academy of Morion Picture Arts and Sciences' rules and regulations.
Chris Hegedus and her partner/husband D.A. Pennebaker have been leading documentary filmmakers for more than thirty years.
Not all films based on true stories are truthful. Some documentary filmmakers use narrative techniques--such as dramatic editing--to sway their audiences, while narrative directors may use documentary elements--archival footage, for example--to convince audience of the credibility of their story. Read here about crossover styles.
Two lesson plans from PBS' POV will help audiences evaluate the documentary films they're watching, and will encourage some to make documentaries themselves. Although targeted primarily for students in junior high and high school, these lesson plans provide good information and excellent guidance for all who are interested in nonfiction film.
A collection of exclusive and candid interviews with leading documentary filmmakers.
As a Toronto International Film Festival programmer, Thom Powers is a powerhouse in the documentary film world, with significant influence over which documentaries will be screened at North America’s largest, most comprehensive and, arguably, most important film festival. His recognition of a film’s qualities can help to create a film’s festival afterlife. Here are his comments about the documentary films selection at Toronto International Film Festival 2008.
A list of documentary film festivals that focus on specific themes, notably human rights.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is putting new qualifying rules for documentary film submissions for consideration for the 2013 Oscars.
Despite controversy about the merits of The Act of Killing, the shock doc survived this year's Oscars short list to become one of the final five nominees for
The International Documentary Association has announced the nominees -- and some winners -- for its 29th Annual IDA Awards, to be presented on December 6, 2013. Here's the list...
Documentary filmmakers and distributors are faced with the constant challenge of developing new audiences for nonfiction films. Festivals are very effective in helping them to do so. Here's how...
The Rape of Europa is a gripping nonfiction thriller about the systematic plunder of Europe’s great and invaluable art treasures by the Nazis during the period of the Third Reich and World War II.
The true story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who risked their lives to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Vienna.
Documentary Superheroes don't wear capes, drive amazing cars, beat up on monsters, nor do they boast extraordinary powers that set them apart from mere mortals. But, the heroic subjects of these documentaries have taken action to make the world a better place, and their achievements aren't fiction. Check out these real life superheroes in their documentary films.
A list of thrilling documentaries about Antarctica and Earth's other cold places, ideal for watching to escape the sizzle of summer heat waves.
An annotated list of documentaries with theatrical releases during the week of September 1 to 7, 2013.
A an documentary chronicling the illness and untimely death of Edinburgh architect Neil Platt, who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease.
A list of entertaining nonfiction films that offer some distraction from the stresses of your real life.
Documentary film director Errol Morris also produces award winning commericals for Sharp Electronics and liberal causes. Page 2.
Bio for Nick Fraser - Documentaries at About.com Contributing Writer
A documentary that takes you inside the world of the Public Defenders' office, as lawyers struggle to assure that the millions of Americans who cannot afford an attorney receive legal representation in felony cases before the country's criminal courts.
A feature length documentary about the lives of subsistence hunter-fishermen in the remote Siberian Wilderness.
In The Footsteps of Marco Polo documents the great travel adventure of Frances O'Donnell and Denis Belliveau, who left their homes in Queens, NY to trace the 25,000 mile route followed by Marco Polo, the great 13th Century Venetian explorer.
More Than Honey is a thorough investigation of the rampant honeybee colony collapse disorder that signals the possible extinction of the critters that pollinate all the crops that feed us all.
Jonestown The Life and Death of Peoples Temple is a real life horror story of mass suicide ordered by cult leader Jim Jones.
<i>Soldiers of Conscience</i> is a documentary about the soldiers' dilemma of whether killing is an acceptable action in war. Statistics show that there are many soldiers who grapple with this issue of morality.
Academy Award Winning Documentaries of the 1990s, listed by year.
When You're Strange, a documentary by Tom DiCillo, chronicles the rise of Jim Morrison and the Doors from obscurity to fame, overnight fame. Frontman Jim Morrison is the featured player, but band members Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore are key figures in archival footage that follows the group into recording studios and on tour, showing Morrison's personal contradictions and growing addictions and ultimate demise. Johnny Depp narrates.
Zachary Heinzerling's charming documentry chronicles the lives and work of quirky New York artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara.
Kirby Dick is known for making controversial documentaries, many of which focus on the subject of human sexuality, how it's looked upon by society and how social attitudes about sexuality impact individuals.
A List of Important Documentary Film Festivals in the United States and Canada
When a rainy day keeps you indoors and makes you feel gloomy, turn to an inspiring and upbeat documentary for a little enlightenment. Here's a list of documentaries that may do the trick!
In RFK Must Die, now available on DVD, BBC reporter Shane O'Sullivan investigates the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and comes to the conclusion that Sirhan Sirhan, now serving a life sentence for the murder, did not act alone.
Filmmaker Alex Gibney's Taxi To The Dark Side is a shocking expose about the American military's torture of prisoners--many of whom have been shown to be innocent of any crime--in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba. In this interview, he discusses making this film, and his ideas about the aesthetics and responsibilities of making documentary films. Page 2.
Beijing-based director Jia Zhangke uses documentary and narrative storytelling to create 24 City, chronicling how the closure of an outdated factory in Sichuan Province effects the lives of 30,000 workers for whom the factory was not just a job, but a way of life.
A off-camera voice that comments about the images on film.
Crips and Bloods: Made In America is director Stacy Peralta's insider investigation of two infamous African-American gangs that rule South Central Los Angeles, the area where America's two bloodiest and most costly incidents of civil unrest occurred--27 years and three miles apart.
Under the Electric Sky, a 3D electronic dance music documentary, is like going to an Electric Dance Carnival. You can host your own theater screening.
French filmmaker Agnes Varda focuses on herself in stylish mix of verite and reenactment in which she examines her childhood on the beach, her marriage to Jacques Demy and her career among cinematic greats such as Jane Birkin, Catherine Deneuve, Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Harrison Ford, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jim Morrison and Philippe Noiret, among others.
Using archival footage and clips from cinema classics, filmmaker Cass Warner Sperling profiles the Brothers Warner, her grandfather and his siblings, who founded Warner Bros. Studios and were among the original and most influential Hollywood movie moguls.
Mother's Day comes once a year, but we can celebrate motherhood every day by honoring the creativity, strength and perseverence of remarkable women. This is a list of documentaries about great women who have nurtured, inspired and enriched the lives of others.
A list of awards categories for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards, presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
A device that functions simultanously as a camera and TelePrompTer-like projector, to capture an interview subject's close up responses to questions posed during interviews.
Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite investigates the death of SeaWorld whale trainer Dawn Branceau, who was killed by an orca named Tilikum in 2010.
The list of nominees for the 2014 Cinema Eye Honors, recognizing outstanding nonfiction films and achievements in the crafts essential to documentary filmmaking.
French filmmaker Laurent Cantet deftly bridges the narrative and documentary genres in “The Class,” recently nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Filmmaker Marshall Curry chronicles the exploits of Matt VanDyke, the American who fought with Libyan Rebels to topple the Gaddafi regime, was captured and imprisoned -- and lived to tell the tale.
A List of Documentary Filmmakers A to Z. For each filmmaker listed here, you'll find links to profiles and/or interviews.