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DocHouse Conversations

DocHouse Conversations

By Bertha DocHouse
Conversations from the documentary world.
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DocHouse Conversations #11: Katerina Cizek
DocHouse Conversations returns for a second series! Our host Carol Nahra will be talking to three filmmakers, the films which influenced them and more. Our guest for the next episode will be two-time Emmy and Peabody-winning documentarian Katerina Cizek. With her community-based and ground-breaking projects Highrise and Filmmaker-in-Residence at the National Film Board of Canada, Kat has received international acclaim and transformed the NFBC into a world leading digital-hub. Highrise, a multi-year and many-media documentary experiment, explores vertical living in suburbs around the globe. Its aim is to investigate urban living in the 21st century and examines how the process of documentary making can steer and take part in social change rather than just documenting it. Kat’s work across various emergent digital platforms continues as artistic director and co-founder of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. There, she published (with Uricchio et al.) the world’s first field study on co-creating media called Collective Wisdom. Her earlier films and human rights documentaries supported criminal investigations, helped to change UN policies, and were also screened as evidence at an International Criminal Tribunal. Some of these films are Hampton-Prize winner Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News (2002, co-directed with Peter Wintonick), In Search of the African Queen: A People Smuggling Operation (1999, co-director), and The Dead are Alive: Eyewitness in Rwanda (1995 editor, co-writer, narrator). In this episode which will be released 11th January, Carol talks with Kat about the Emmy and Peabody award winning Highrise project and how it has impacted her career. They also look at a film which she admires and is close to her heart: Wintopia. It’s a moving portrait of Kat’s friend and co-director of Seeing is Believing Peter Wintonick, made by his daughter Mira. For many years Peter Wintonick roamed the world, searching for Utopia, planning to make a film about his quest. When he dies in 2013 at aged 60, his mourning daughter Mira begins sorting through the 300 tapes he left behind. She decides to finish her father’s film, merging it with a portrait of the man himself. In doing so she probes the painful reality that while generously giving his time to the global documentary community, Peter deprived his wife and daughter of his presence for months on end.
January 11, 2021
DocHouse Conversations #10: José Padilha
DocHouse Conversations are  thrilled to come back for a second mini-series.  Carol Nahra, our podcast host, talks to international filmmakers about what films inspired them and what films have changed their careers. For this episode Carol is in conversation with award-winning director José Padilha. Jose is a critically-acclaimed filmmaker for both his nonfiction and fiction (Narcos, Elite Squad) work. His feature doc directing debut Bus 174 chronicles the hijacking of a public bus in Rio de Janeiro on 12th June 2000. With real-time media footage we follow the events of a young and armed man taking the eleven other passengers hostage. At the same time José explores the societal factors that contributed to the young man’s homelessness and alienation. José and Carol will discuss the impact that Bus 174 had on his career - and how filmmakers such as Albert Maysles and Jonathan Demme supported him along the way. You can watch this Peabody-winning doc on Kanopy. They also discuss José’s choice for inspirational documentary: Leon Gast’s Academy Award- winning When We Were Kings. The film chronicles the famous 1974 heavyweight championship, baptised ‘The Rumble In The Jungle’, between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. Watch When We Were Kings on BBC iPlayer. Finally, Carol and José revisit the film through which they met: Secrets of the Tribe (2010), which Carol produced and José directed. The BBC Storyville film was eight years in the making, had its world premiere at Sundance, and was bought by HBO.  Through the stories of Yanomami anthropologists Napoleon Chagnon and Jacques Lizot, the film casts doubt on the entire science of anthropology. Find out more and watch the film on YouTube, Kanopy or Amazon.
December 29, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #9: Smriti Mundhra
DocHouse Conversations is delighted to be kicking off a three episode second series. Carol Nahra talks with three directors about a film which inspired them - and a film which changed their lives.  First up is Smriti Mundhra, an Academy Award-nominated director/producer and one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 Filmmakers to Watch. Her short film St. Louis Superman, co-directed with Sami Khan, was nominated for a 2020 Oscar in the short documentary category.  The film follows Bruce Franks Jr., a celebrated battle rapper and activist. Franks had  won a seat on the Missouri State Legislature; the directors followed him in the summer of 2018 as he worked to get a law passed that would recognise gun violence as a public health epidemic. Read Smriti's and Sami's IDA interview here. In July, Netflix launched the eight part Netflix series Indian Matchmaking, which Smriti created and executive produced. The series features matchmaker Sima Taparia as she tries to connect Hindi singles in India and the US. The global release of the show created a media buzz. Smriti's feature doc debut, A Suitable Girl (2017), co-directed with Sarita Khurana, is an observational documentary covering many of the same themes of Indian Matchmaking in a very different style. The film world premiered in competition at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Magazine and was awarded the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize at the festival. Watch a Suitable Girl on Netflix. In this DocHouse Conversations episode Carol talks to Smriti about the making of A Suitable Girl and how it changed her life. They also discuss what it’s like covering the same subject matter in two very different styles: an independent observational documentary shot over many years, and a fast turnaround reality series for Netflix.  Smriti’s choice for the film that has inspired her is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun. The 2015 immersive documentary chronicles a three week musical collaboration between Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and ‘The Rajasthan Express’, in a 15th century fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Rent Junun on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes
December 15, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #8: Vanessa Engle
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra is in conversation with veteran documentary maker Vanessa Engle. In the first 15 years of her career Vanessa made arts documentaries for the BBC. Since 2005, Vanessa has been making authored social affairs documentaries on a wide range of subjects, many of which explore our fundamental values and belief systems. Read more about Vanessa and her work in our Filmmaker Spotlight blog here: See what’s on our online hub here: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: Films made available to watch online: THE FUNERAL MURDERS (2018): THE CULT NEXT DOOR (2017): LOVE YOU TO DEATH: A YEAR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2015): INSIDE HARLEY STREET: EP 3 MAKE ME WELL (2015): WALKING WITH DOGS (2012): MONEY Series: MONEY: EP 1 WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? (2011): MONEY: EP 2 COUPLES (2011): WOMEN Series: WOMEN: EP 1 LIBBERS (2010): JEWS Series: JEWS: EP 1 THE PRISONER (2008): JEWS: EP 2 THE NEXT GENERATION (2008): LEFTIES Series:LEFTIES: EP 1 PROPERTY IS THEFT (2006): LEFTIES: EP 3 A LOT OF BALLS (2006): ART & THE 60s Series: ART & THE 60s: EP 2 FROM BRONZE TO BAKED BEANS (2004): LINKS Late Show Arts Magazine Programme: Mary Harron: Paul Greengrass: James Marsh: Alan Hayling: Natalie Briggs article: Natalie Briggs article: Patrick Caulfield: Barry Flanagan: Adam Curtis: Sheffield Doc/Fest session mentioned: Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
June 30, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #7: Yance Ford
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes Oscar-nominated, Emmy Award-winning director-producer Yance Ford. When Strong Island was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards, Yance made history as the first openly transgender director nominated for the Oscar. Yance is a former Series Producer of the PBS documentary series POV. During his tenure, his work garnered 5 Emmy Awards and 16 Emmy nominations. Read more about Yance’s doc Strong Island in our ‘Docs to watch: #BlackLivesMatter’ blog: See what’s on our online hub here: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: FILMS: Strong Island (2017) - Currently available for free on YouTube as part of Netflix’s Black Lives Matter Collection, watch here: Alan Jacobsen - DOP for Strong Island Tongues Untied (1989) - Available to watch on Kanopy here: Read Yance’s article ‘Remembering Tongues Untied’ here: Nostalgia For The Light (2010: Battle Of Chile (1998): High School (1968): Risk (2016) - Laura Poitras doc about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: The Infiltrators (2019) Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera: Whose Streets? (2017) Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis: LINKS: Walker Evans Photographer: Chris Burden - Performance Art: Coco Fusco: Gordon Parks: Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse
June 16, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #6: Ollie Wright
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes Open City’s Documentary Festival’s Director of Film Programme, Oliver Wright. They will be discussing how Oliver selects films, and how Open City are dealing with COVID-19. Read more about Open City Documentary Festival and their programme here: See Open City’s archive of documentaries to watch online here: Read our ‘An Open City Doc For Every Mood’ here: See what’s on our online hub here: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: FILMS: Open City 2019: Movements of a Nearby Mountain Open City 2018 - Baronesa Open City 2011 - El Sicario FILMMAKERS IN FOCUS: Open City 2018 : Kazuo Hara Open City 2018: Laura Huertas Milan Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
June 09, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #5: Filmmaking Panel
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes a panel of filmmakers whose documentaries were all at different stages when the world went into lockdown. Listen as they share their experiences navigating this uncertain new world. For more information on today’s filmmakers and their work, read our blog: See what’s on our online hub here: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: LINKS: Walter Murch: The theatrical experience and what it really means: Film Collaborative Blog: Film Festival Distribution in the age of COVID-19: Dok Incubator: FILMS: The Booksellers (D.W. Young director, produced by Judith Mizrachy, 2019): The Reason I Jump (Jerry Rothwell, 2020): Return to Epipo (Judit Oláh, 2020): Coup 53 (Taghi Amirani, 2019): Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
May 26, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #4: Dan Reed
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes documentary filmmaker Dan Reed. With a career spanning a quarter century, Dan has established a reputation as one of the most dedicated and talented filmmakers working in Britain today. Long known in the UK, Dan came to worldwide prominence last year with his devastating portrait of sexual abuse Leaving Neverland. The two part Channel 4/HBO film won a number of awards. This week Carol talks to Dan about his life making documentaries. In an extended edition of the podcast, they take a deep dive into his two very different types of documentaries: observational filmmaking and personal testimony combined with archive. For more information on today’s episode, read our filmmaker spotlight blog: See what’s on our online hub here: For more information on today’s episode, read our filmmaker spotlight blog: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: FILMS: Leaving Neverland (2019): Calais: To The End of The Jungle (2017): Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks (2016): From Russia with Cash (2015): Escorts (2015): The Paedophile Hunter (2014): Terror at the Mall (2014): Legally High (2013): #SHOUTINGBACK (2013): Children of the Tsunami (2012): Terror in Mumbai (2009) : Terror in Moscow (2003): The Valley (2000): Cape of Fear (1994):
May 12, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #3: Daisy Asquith
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes filmmaker and senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, Daisy Asquith. In more than twenty years as a filmmaker, Daisy Asquith has told human stories the length and breadth of the UK, and beyond. They discuss her research into themes of shame and performance, as well as her relationships with the people she films. They’ll also discuss her latest project Momento, in which she is making personal memorial films for victims of COVID-19. For more information on today’s episode, read our filmmaker spotlight blog: See what’s on our online hub here: Find out more about Carol Nahra here: LINKS: See Daisy’s work on her website here: MA Filmmaking (Screen Documentary) Course: Professor Stella Bruzzi: Bryony Kimmings: FILMS: THIS IS THE REAL ME: DOC PARTICIPANTS SPEAK! (2018) QUEERAMA (2017) AFTER THE DANCE (2015) Watch our Q&A for AFTER THE DANCE here: CRAZY ABOUT 1D (2013) Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
April 29, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #2: Orlando von Einsiedel
This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes Academy Award-winning filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel. Orlando is drawn to telling inspiring stories of humble heroism from around the world, often combining intimate personal narratives with macro level politics, powerful visual aesthetics and on-the-ground journalistic muck-racking. Discussing how Orlando’s producer Joana Natasagera pushed Orlando to make his most recent feature, Evelyn - a very personal exploration of the devestatating impact of Orlando’s brother’s suicide on his family. For more information on today’s episode, visit our online hub: See what’s on our online hub here: and find out more about Carol Nahra here: Where you can watch Orlando’s films: SKATEISTAN (2011): VIRUNGA (2014): watch on Netflix here. THE WHITE HELMETS (2016): watch on Netflix here. EVELYN (2019): watch on Netflix here. RADIO AMNIA (2011): watch on IDFA here. AISHA’S SONG (2011): Additional links: Grain Media: / Violet Films: Doc Society: Franklin Dow Interview: Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
April 15, 2020
DocHouse Conversations #1: Victoria Mapplebeck
What does the current lockdown mean for documentary filmmakers and the documentary community? This week our Programme Associate Carol Nahra welcomes BAFTA award-winning filmmaker, writer and artist Victoria Mapplebeck to discuss how the crisis is affecting her own work. We are living in a digital age and now more than ever filmmakers across the globe are employing lo-fi, DIY filmmaking techniques to stay creative during the lockdown. Hear how Mapplebeck uses the ever changing nature of technology to excavate memories within her films, and to tell personal stories.. For more information on today’s episode, visit our online hub: See what’s on our online hub here: and find out more about Carol Nahra here: Watch Victoria’s Films Here: THE WAITING ROOM (2019): THE WAITING ROOM VR: MISSED CALL (2018): 160 CHARACTERS: (2015): SMART HEARTS (1999): Additional Links: Film London: BALTIC Art Gallery: Real Stories Documentaries: BAFTA Acceptance: VR: NOTES ON BLINDNESS (2016): John Wakefield Sound: Rode Mic for smartphone: Arts Council Funding COVID-19: Al Jazeera: Follow us at @BerthaDocHouse Check out our website for upcoming watch parties and podcasts:
April 01, 2020