Skip to main content

Documentary Filmmaking

Breakwater Studios is the first spotlight of Making a Production, our new strand of in-depth profiles featuring production companies that make critically-acclaimed nonfiction film and media in innovative ways. Mark Jonathan Harris digs into the company's history from its founding by Ben Proudfoot to its recent support of other directors, its branded content division, and the key creative characteristics of their award-winning short films.
Though staying in her home region of Appalachia, documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon departs from her vérité beginnings in her latest feature, King
Film at Lincoln Center’s recent retrospective, “The Dirty Stories of Jean Eustache,” brought more attention to The Mother and the Whore (1973)—the
Many media depictions of Chicago don’t resonate with me. As someone raised in its northern suburbs, I’m happy to watch works such as "The Dark Knight" (2008), "Widows" (2018), or one of the Kartemquin documentaries shot in the city. However, most of them focus on the city’s corrupt politics or have a strong crime element in the story. In a saturated media market where (true) crime sells, a story’s criminal and political attention-grabbing subject can overshadow the aspirations of real-life residents.
In films like 'Hoop Dreams' (1994), 'Stevie' (2002), and 'The Interrupters' (2011) and television series like 'America to Me' (2018) and 'City So Real' (2020), Steve James has established himself as one of the preeminent observational documentarians in the US. Over nearly 30 years, he’s chronicled social change in Chicago via various ordinary citizens, from aspiring basketball players to antiviolence activists. In a departure for James, his latest film, 'A Compassionate Spy,' is a real-life espionage thriller about Theodore Hall, a young physicist on the Manhattan Project.
We are excited to announce a new partnership with Front Row Insurance Brokers to provide IDA members with Producer’s Errors and Omissions (E&O)