Documentaries: Most Popular Articles
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.
These documentaries are entertaining, educational and enlightening films will set excellent standards for the life-long movie watching habit that begins in childhood.
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.
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.
A list of excellent documentary films about animals and human interaction with them.
A List of documentaries by and about women.
These inspiring documentaries show how personal commitment to a project or giving your all to a cause can make a difference.
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.
An A to Z List of Documentaries About Famous and Infamous People
A primer of basics about documentary film.
A list of anti-war documentaries.
Documentaries about the Holocaust
Throughout the history of film, documentary styles have been influenced by available technologies, current world view and social mores. Here's a brief overview of how documentary styles have changed from the first films to the present day.
As if raging hormones weren't enough! These documentaries give us access to the world of today's youth worldwide, to teenagers and tweens facing daunting pressures and hardships, and others who're finding solutions to their problems. Kids are our hope for the future, but what hopes do they have? Collectively, these documentaries present a very interesting, compelling picture of teens growing up in today's world.
ESPN launches a Female-centric documentary series entitled 'Nine For IX' in honor of Title IX's 40th anniversary.
Oscar Winning Documentaries by year from 2006 to 1980
A List of Ten Documentaries About The Movies, Movie Makers and the Movie Business.
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.
A list of 26 top documentary festivals in the USA, Canada and Europe, with links to festival Websites, 2014 schedules, and overviews.
Ken Burns is best known for creating epic multi-episode documentary series in which he fully explores American history and culture.
Michael Moore, champion of liberal political and social causes, is arguably the best known and most influential documentary filmmaker in the world.
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 documentary films that chronicle the horrors of genocide and its aftermath around the world.
20 Feet From Stardom - Review of the 2014 Oscar-winning documentary
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.
Great dance documentaries not only record brilliant choreography and performances, they stand as works of art in their own right. The camera not captures moving images, but moves along with them, taking part in its own elaborate cinematic choreography. And, dance documentary directors use archival and current verite footage and interviews to chronicle the lives of dancers and dance companies. This is a list of exemplary dance documentaries.
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
Noted documentaries expert and BBC Storyville Commissioning Editor Nick Fraser comments on 'The Act of Killing,' directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.
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.
A nonfiction film that emphasizes verbal commentary and argumentative logic.
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...
A list of documentaries about food production and distribution, and healthy nutrition.
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1990s. Page 2.
A off-camera voice that comments about the images on film.
Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer gets top thugs in the Indonesian genocide to reenact their murderous deeds in a Hollywood-style film of their own creation.
The true story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, who risked their lives to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Vienna.
Particle Fever takes you inside the Large Hadron Collider to see what happens when subatomic particles collide at the speed of light. BANG on!
The emphasis of the filmmaker’s subjective attitude or personal engagement with a subject to evoke audience reaction.
Filmmaker Steve Kroschel uses his own experiences, anecdotes from others and experts' comments to show the healing powers of 'grounding' or 'earthing'
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 commentary about the controversy about the representation of truth in 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Kathryn Bigelow's truth=based narrative feature.
Documentaries About Sex, Sexuality, Romantic Relationships and Human Reproduction
An annotated list of documentaries about fine art and artists.
The shortlist of feature length documentaries contending for the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
A list of documentaries about people who have unusual professions, focusing on their work and lifestyle.
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.
Emphasizing the documentary filmmaker's engagement in observing the subject's daily life and circumstances and documentinf them with an unobtrusive camera.
Why 'My Neighbor,My Killer, filmmaker Anne Aghion's compelling Rwanda genocide documentary has such great impact and influence.
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.
Inventor Tim Jenison sets out to prove that Johannes Vermeer, the 17th century Dutch master, had more than skills. He had tools! Read on....
My choice of five nominees for the 2014 Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary, picked from the Academy's fifteen-film shortlist.
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.
Documentary film director Errol Morris also produces award winning commericals for Sharp Electronics and liberal causes. Page 2.
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.
Jonestown The Life and Death of Peoples Temple is a real life horror story of mass suicide ordered by cult leader Jim Jones.
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.
Documentary Filmmaker Michael Apted has worked on The Up Series since 1964, following the lives of fourteen British citizens to chronicle their changing perspectives and expectations.
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.
Michael Jackson rehearses for the This Is It tour. The performances were to be the King of Pop's come back, but the tour had to be cancelled due to Jackson's untimely death two weeks before the premier in London.
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.
The Cross - The Arthur Blessitt Story is about the 40-year journey of Arthur, Blessitt, who walked around the world with a twelve-foot cross on his back.
Errol Morris, documentary film director of The Fog of War
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.
Nominees for the 2013 Oscar for Best Documentary
A List of Important Documentary Film Festivals in the United States and Canada
These documentary films about American history and political leaders will help you to understand how the nation has arrived at where it is today.
Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite investigates the death of SeaWorld whale trainer Dawn Branceau, who was killed by an orca named Tilikum in 2010.
The New York Times is offering documentary filmmakers a new opporuntity to show their work in short form on line. Here are the details.
A guide to the Academy Awards and Documentary Film, covering the current and past years' films nominated for Best Documentary Feature, with background information about how nominees are selected and who votes for the winners, plus lists of winners in previous years.
A documentary about the popular Jewish song, 'Hava Nagila.'
Someone whom we see and/or hear whose purpose it is to represent the point of view of the film.
The issue of corporate funding -- or branding -- of documentaries heats up as Red Bull Media House enters the arena, producing and distributing sports documentaries that fly the Red Bull banner.
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.
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1980s. Page 3.
A list of dopcumentaries about religion, religious topics, ethics and social mores.
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.
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 important international documentary film festivals in Europe, Asia and New Zealand
How does a documentary qualify for Oscars consideration? Here's a wrap about the Academy of Morion Picture Arts and Sciences' rules and regulations.
A discussion about recent trends in the corporate underwriting of documentaries, and questions raised about the efficacy of branding sponsorships of nonfiction films.
Academy Awards Qualifying Requirements for Documentary Films
An overview of New York's Downtown Community Television Center, including its history, administration, educational courses and production facilities.
Alexander Payne Talks Truth in Filmmaking
Spring sports. Spring getaways. Gardening. Wardrobe Changes. End of the school year. These springtime concerns are all the subjects of intriguing documentaries. Celebrate the change of seasons by watching the films on this curated list of documentaries about Spring things.
This documentary about the life, career and psyche of Marilyn Monroe is based, in part, on newly discovered writing by the iconic actress and sex symhol.
In documenting journalist Lawrence Wright’s one-man play, My Trip to Al-Qaeda, filmmaker Alex Gibney takes us beyond the confines of the stage presentation, and into locations where the writer/performer discovered and wrangled with the material, the ideas and interpretations he first presented in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower, and then adapted into his Off-Broadway hit performance.
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.
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.
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.
The Shed Internship presents young filmmakers with an outstanding opportunity to experience all aspects of the business of factual entertainment on television, including project planning, production and post-production.
Documentary Films Coming Soon
Great Halloween Documentaries - A List of Top Documentaries for Halloween
Filmmaker Cindy Meehl follows Buck Brannaman, known as the original horse whisperer, as he travels around the USA presenting workshops in which he not only trains horses, but spreading words of wisdom about every aspect of life.
An interview in which the filmmaker as interviewer is both off-camera and unheard.
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.
Zachary Heinzerling's charming documentry chronicles the lives and work of quirky New York artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara.
Filmmaker Paul Greengrass achieves a high level of authenticity in this thrilling truth-based narrative feature that documents a real life incidence of piracy, hijacking and kidnapping on the high seas.
The Golden Trailer Awards recognize the year's outstanding movie previews. Here's an overview and list of nominees for the 2013 Golden Trailer Awards.
An annotated list of six must-see films at the 2013 Human Rights Watch Film Festival -- in case you can't see them all.
A feature length documentary about the lives of subsistence hunter-fishermen in the remote Siberian Wilderness.
Filmmaker Margot Benacerraf discusses the restoration of her legendary film, Araya, which won the International Critics Award at Cannes in 1959 but was not released in the U.S. until 2009.
Master filmmaker Fredrick Wiseman explores life on campus at the University of California Berkeley, revealing the current state of higher education in the United States.
This list of documentaries that reveal important aspects of black history and culture in America are a great way to celebrate Black History Month.
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.
A list of documentary films about political campaigns and elections in the U.S.
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 3.
Director Roger Donaldson discusses reality and truth in filmmaking.
Film Noir is a term used to describe a particular genre of cinema.
A collection of exclusive and candid interviews with leading documentary filmmakers.
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.
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.
In this exclusive one-on-one interview, filmmaker Anne Aghion discusses the making of My Neighbor, My Killer, her highly acclaimed and impactful documentary about the Rwanda genocide, and why she considers nonfiction filmmaking to be an important and socially formative art form.
Filmmaker Havana Marking profiles the notorious gang of diamond thieves known as the Pink Panthers, and tracks their capers and the detectives trying to catch them.
A list of documentary film festivals that focus on specific themes, notably human rights.
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.
In documentary filmmaking, perspective is the selection and arrangement of sounds and images to tacitly convey or imply the filmmaker’s point of view about a subject.
A one-a-day list of documentaries for Black History Month, week one. Covering a wide range of achievers, accomplishments and ongoing issues.
Beautifully shot and well researched, Queen of the Sun is a complete overview of the lives and history of honeybees and how they interact with and impact human society. The film also investigates the causes, implications and impending impact of the colony collapse disorder, which is currently reaching pandemic proportions.
The End Of America presents the ten step blueprint that Hitler and other dictators used to subvert democratic process and put an end to personal freedoms. It compares, step by step, events leading up to establishment of the Third Reich with what has happened in the United States for the past eight years. Very convincing. Very scary. Should be required viewing for anyone old enough to vote or join the army.
A documentary film that is comprised entirely of archival footage.
Movie review of The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
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.
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!
The Cinema Eye Honors recognize excellence in nonfiction filmmaking. This is a list of requirements for consideration.
A documentary about Denver, Colorado's Croke-Patterson Mansion, said to be one of the world's most haunted places. Genuinely spooky!
A Conversation with documentary filmmaker Steve James in five parts, covering his documentary style and favorite films, compassion and respect for his subjects, keeping documentaries real and creating an afterlife for documentary films.
Movie Review of 'Free Angela Davis And All Political Prisoners'
Emphasis on the interaction between filmmaker and subject.
Meat Loaf, In Search Of Paradise is the first-ever documentary about Meat Loaf and follows the iconic rocker, aged 59, as he launches a worldwide tour to promote his latest album, Like A Bat Out Of Hell III.
A an documentary chronicling the illness and untimely death of Edinburgh architect Neil Platt, who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease.
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.
Looking for New Year's resolutions? Let the twelve documentaries on this list inspire you to make a difference during the new year.
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.
A list of documentaries for viewing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
'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 juxtaposition of two or more shots to create a meaningful relationship between them. Editing is extremely important in documentaries, establishing both the film’s credibility and aesthetic.
The formal structural organization of a film that emphasizes visual associations and impressionistic descriptive passages, tonal and rhythmic qualities and de-emphasizes strictly linear or logical sequencing.
Filmmakers Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz follow The Interrupters, a group of social workers, reformed gang members and concerned citizens who are dedicated to preventing outbreaks of death-dealing violence among Chicago's inner city residents.
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.
Blood in the Face is a documentary film about America's White supremacist movement, including the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party, Aryan Nation and The Order.
New York Documentary Film Festival is the American extension of the Florence, Italy-based Festival dei Popoli, the oldest documentaries festival in Europe. The third annual festival, set at New York's Anthology Film Archives, presents 18 films in five days from May 26 to 30, 2010.
A wonderful and affecting profile of beloved prima ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq whose career suddenly ended at age 27, when she got polio.
Dance For Camera 1 and Dance for Camera 2 are two DVDs that present the wide range of possibilities for filmmakers documenting dance performances. In each, directors use their cameras to capture the fluidity of movement within the dancers' bodies, thereby drawing audiences into the dynamics and emotion of the choreography. These breathtaking films are pure pleasure for anyone who loves dance, and they are essential primers for anyone who wants to know more about it.
On overview of the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious documentary film festivals in the United States.
A Definition of Hybridization as Used to Describe Documentary Films
Runnin’ Down A Dream - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich's documentary about Tom Petty, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Irreverent comedian Bill Maher travels around the world from the Wailing Wall to the Vatican to backwater America challenging religious pundits and just plain folk about their various religious beliefs.
An overview of Salem Film Fest, a documentaries-only film festival hed annually in Salem, Massachusetts.
Documentary Film Festivals. Documentaries.
In an exclusive interview, producer Ted Leonsis tells us why and how he made Nanking, a documentary about the massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers during World War II, in the occupied city of Nanking.