It’s time for my 2013 book list! Here are my favorite books this year.
What do you get when you hold 500+ filmmakers, funders and network executives in a lodge in the middle of Wyoming? Well, you get one hell of a party compliments of National Geographic, stimulating panel discussions about the future of nature documentary, and impromptu speed pitching sessions throughout the week long event. If you’re really lucky, you spy Jane Goodall holding court to a rapt audience in front of a roaring fire.
This month I produced and directed the first episode of the online series “Hero Next Door” for the Weather Channel. As the name suggests “Heroes” is about people who not only survived an extreme weather event, but saved others in the process. Read More
Orange is the New Black is a Netflix original series about a waspy young woman serving time in a federal prison. Specially crafted for binge viewing, each episode deliciously slips into the next, and yet creator Jenji Kohan never steps too far into the realm of the absurd as to be unbelievable. Firmly rooted in reality, the show is inspired by Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same title about year in a minimum security prison. Read More
Exactly two years ago today, I was heading down to Cape Canaveral to direct a number of short films about the Juno project, NASA’s mission to Jupiter. Juno is a spacecraft that will spend one year orbiting Jupiter, making scientific observations of the planet’s gravity, magnetic fields and composition. I conducted interviews with the scientists and engineers who worked on the project, and we filmed the launch on Aug 5, 2011. Read More
Pussy Riot is a female punk rock political collective based in Moscow known for their provocative guerrilla performances in well known public spaces. In February of 2012, they staged a demonstration to protest the union of church and state on the altar of the Russian orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, for which they were arrested and held for 6 months without bail during a trial that many considered a sham. No one was hurt during the demonstration, and the actual performance was shut down by security within 40 sec. And yet the three young women, Nadia Tolokno, Masha Alyokhina and Katia Samutsevich, on trial were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” and sentenced to two years each in a labor camp.
Recently I was asked to cover the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival’s Spotlight Film Series, which offered 23 world premieres, a record number for the section, and advanced screenings from established and emerging filmmakers that display varied elements of independent and mainstream cinema.