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.
A list of excellent documentary films about animals and human interaction with them.
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 by and about women.
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 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.
These inspiring documentaries show how personal commitment to a project or giving your all to a cause can make a difference.
Oscar Winning Documentaries by year from 2006 to 1980
Michael Moore, champion of liberal political and social causes, is arguably the best known and most influential documentary filmmaker in the world.
As if raging hormones weren't enough! These documentaries present a very interesting, compelling picture of teens growing up in today's world.
Emphasizing the documentary filmmaker's engagement in observing the subject's daily life and circumstances and documentinf them with an unobtrusive camera.
Great dance documentaries not only record brilliant choreography and performances, they stand as works of art in their own right.
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.
A nonfiction film that emphasizes verbal commentary and argumentative logic.
An A to Z List of Documentaries About Famous and Infamous People
Filmmaker Steve Kroschel uses his own experiences, anecdotes from others and experts' comments to show the healing powers of 'grounding' or 'earthing'
A list of documentaries for viewing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
A primer of basics about documentary film.
The emphasis of the filmmaker’s subjective attitude or personal engagement with a subject to evoke audience reaction.
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.
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.
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.
This list of documentaries that reveal important aspects of black history and culture in America are a great way to celebrate Black History Month.
Documentaries About Sex, Sexuality, Romantic Relationships and Human Reproduction
'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.
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.
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 list of documentary films that chronicle the horrors of genocide and its aftermath around the world.
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 26 top documentary festivals in the USA, Canada and Europe, with links to festival Websites, 2014 schedules, and overviews.
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
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1990s. Page 2.
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.
The shortlist of feature length documentaries contending for the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
Ken Burns is best known for creating epic multi-episode documentary series in which he fully explores American history and culture.
A list of documentaries about people who have unusual professions, focusing on their work and lifestyle.
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.
An annotated list of documentaries about fine art and artists.
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.
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.
Looking for New Year's resolutions? Let the twelve documentaries on this list inspire you to make a difference during the new year.
Noted documentaries expert and BBC Storyville Commissioning Editor Nick Fraser comments on 'The Act of Killing,' directed by Joshua Oppenheimer.
Someone whom we see and/or hear whose purpose it is to represent the point of view of the film.
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 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.
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
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.
An interview in which the filmmaker as interviewer is both off-camera and unheard.
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.
A List of important international documentary film festivals in Europe, Asia and New Zealand
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.
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.
A off-camera voice that comments about the images on film.
Detailing the differences between the Primetime Emmy Awards and News and Documentaries Emmy Awards, the various documentaries awards categories and different organizations behind each of the two awards presentations.
: French, meaning "film truth." A term applied to documentary films in which there is a truthful live
In The E-Team, filmmakers Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman follow heroic Human Rights Watch activists as they covertly enter regional conflict zones in Syria
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.
Anthropomophism, unusual in documentary films, attibutes human traits and characteristics to animals.
A curated list of documentaries to watch for some serious entertainment during summer 2014.
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 narrative voice in the documentary film that articulates an explicit argument.
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.
A list of documentary film festivals that focus on specific themes, notably human rights.
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.
Emphasis on the interaction between filmmaker and subject.
A documentary film that is comprised entirely of archival footage.
A List of Ten Documentaries About The Movies, Movie Makers and the Movie Business.
Actuality films featuring native peoples.
Oscar winning documentary films of the 1980s. Page 3.
Pressure Cooker is a documentary about Philadelphia inner city high school students who find their way to a better life by dedicating themselves to Wilma Stephenson's culinary arts class.
A List of Important Documentary Film Festivals in the United States and Canada
Text that appears periodically on screen to provide information such as the date, the time, the location or to identify a person shown on screen.
The documentary establishment provides ways to pitch projects, get funding and distribution, But is it so different from the Hollywood studio system?
My choice of five nominees for the 2014 Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary, picked from the Academy's fifteen-film shortlist.
The belief that the world represented on screen is as it really is and has not been modified.
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.
Emphasis on making evidence persuasive, albeit not necessarily accurate.
A discussion about recent trends in the corporate underwriting of documentaries, and questions raised about the efficacy of branding sponsorships of nonfiction films.
Nominees for the 2013 Oscar for Best Documentary
Academy Awards Qualifying Requirements for Documentary Films
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.
A list of documentaries recommended for watching during Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
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.
A list of documentaries about food production and distribution, and healthy nutrition.
ESPN launches a Female-centric documentary series entitled 'Nine For IX' in honor of Title IX's 40th anniversary.
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 documentary on the life and career of Joan Rivers, made as the comedienne turns 75 years old.
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.
Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer gets top thugs in the Indonesian genocide to reenact their murderous deeds in a Hollywood-style film of their own creation.
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.
A songle continuous shot of unusually long duration which eliminates the need to edit the scene.
Documentary Films Coming Soon
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.
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 collection of exclusive and candid interviews with leading documentary filmmakers.
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.
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.
A feature length documentary about the lives of subsistence hunter-fishermen in the remote Siberian Wilderness.
Winter Soldier on DVD. Documentaries.
Alex Gibney's documentary about the drug-influenced career of iconic countercultural journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is a fascinating account of the 1960s and 70s.
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.
A list of films to watch for Veterans Day 2013
An annotated list of documentaries opening in theaters from September 7 to 14, 2013
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.
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.
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.
A documentary about Denver, Colorado's Croke-Patterson Mansion, said to be one of the world's most haunted places. Genuinely spooky!
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...
Particle Fever takes you inside the Large Hadron Collider to see what happens when subatomic particles collide at the speed of light. BANG on!
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.
Documentaries opening theatrically in January, 2013
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.
Great Halloween Documentaries - A List of Top Documentaries for Halloween
Filmmaker Terry Sanders discusses Fighting For Life (2008) and other matters, including the nature of objectivity in documentary filmmaking, the phases of filmmaking and subjects as dramatic characters.
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.
Academy Award Winning Documentaries of the 1990s, listed by year.
A list of documentary films about political campaigns and elections in the U.S.
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.
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 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.
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.
Basic information about the AFI Silver Docs Film Festival, held annually in Silver Spring, Maryland in June. Festival history and programs are included.
Errol Morris, documentary film director of The Fog of War
An annotated list of six must-see films at the 2013 Human Rights Watch Film Festival -- in case you can't see them all.
Musicwood documents the impact of environmental issues on music, as guitar-makers try to protect rare trees, the source of wood for their instruments.
The New York Times is offering documentary filmmakers a new opporuntity to show their work in short form on line. Here are the details.
'The First Saturday in May' directors John and Brad Hennegan follow six trainers as they put their amazing and beautiful thoroughbred horses--including the fabulous and tragic Barbaro--through the paces leading up to the Kentucky Derby, the annual race that’s known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.“
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 Documentary Filmmakers A to Z. For each filmmaker listed here, you'll find links to profiles and/or interviews.
A list of thrilling documentaries about Antarctica and Earth's other cold places, ideal for watching to escape the sizzle of summer heat waves.
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.
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.
Watching films made by women about women is a wonderful way to celebrate International Women's Day, which occurs on Friday, March 8, 2013. Here's my list of recommended films for this year.
Inventor Tim Jenison sets out to prove that Johannes Vermeer, the 17th century Dutch master, had more than skills. He had tools! Read on....
A an documentary chronicling the illness and untimely death of Edinburgh architect Neil Platt, who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease.
Filmmaker Nati Baratz discusses his documentary, Unmistaken Child, and the way Tibetan Buddhist influenced his thinking about the film, and about life. Page 2.
A one-a-day list of documentaries for Black History Month, week one. Covering a wide range of achievers, accomplishments and ongoing issues.
Filmmaker Nancy Buirski's thrilling dance documentary is laced with all of the glamour, romance and tragedy that shaped prima balllerina Tanaquil Le Clerq's
Film Noir is a term used to describe a particular genre of cinema.
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. Page 2.
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.
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.
Reviews of June 2014 documentaries: Citizen Koch, Burt's Buzz, La Bare, Internet's Own Boy, Supemensch, Case Against 8
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is Kevin Rafferty's nostaligic replay of the amazing playoff game between the undefeated football teams of the two Ivy League giants.
An overview of Salem Film Fest, a documentaries-only film festival hed annually in Salem, Massachusetts.