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If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for DOC NYC, the Toronto International Film Festival and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. How did first time filmmakers pull off Making a Murderer? How did a producer from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart become the show runner for The New Yorker Presents? How did a lawyer become an award-winning Sundance director? Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. Subscribe now.

If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for DOC NYC, the Toronto International Film Festival and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. How did first time filmmakers pull off Making a Murderer? How did a producer from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart become the show runner for The New Yorker Presents? How did a lawyer become an award-winning Sundance director? Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. Subscribe now.
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United States

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If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for DOC NYC, the Toronto International Film Festival and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. How did first time filmmakers pull off Making a Murderer? How did a producer from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart become the show runner for The New Yorker Presents? How did a lawyer become an award-winning Sundance director? Often the stories behind the scenes are as dramatic as what’s on the screen. Subscribe now.

Language:

English


Episodes

73: Sophie Fiennes on Grace Jones

4/19/2018
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Grace Jones has been commanding attention for decades as a singer, actress and icon. Now filmmaker Sophie Fiennes crafts a documentary as unconventional as its subject in “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami.” The film immerses us into Grace’s life on the road – from her childhood home in Jamaica to the recording studio of “Hurricane” […] The post 73: Sophie Fiennes on Grace Jones appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:36:01

72: Jed Rothstein on “The China Hustle”

4/5/2018
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Could China be responsible for the next Wall Street crash? Filmmaker Jed Rothstein explores that question in “The China Hustle.” After the 2008 market crash, American investors started paying close attention to the growth in Chinese companies. The film follows the founder of a small investment firm named Dan David who got bullish on Chinese […] The post 72: Jed Rothstein on “The China Hustle” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:25:01

71: Amanda Micheli on “Vegas Baby” & IVF Treatment

3/22/2018
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In “Vegas Baby,” filmmaker Amanda Micheli follows several wannabe parents who enter a contest for free IVF treatment at a Las Vegas fertility clinic – ranging from a Midwestern couple to a Lady Gaga impersonator. Micheli’s previous films include “Double Dare” about female stunt women and the Oscar-nominated short “La Corona” about a Colombian women’s […] The post 71: Amanda Micheli on “Vegas Baby” & IVF Treatment appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:21:20

70: Mark Duplass, Chapman & Maclain Way on “Wild Wild Country”

3/15/2018
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Netflix’s new true crime series “Wild Wild Country” explores the 1980s case of the so-called sex guru Bhagwan Rajneesh whose followers established a city near the small town of Antelope, Oregon and raised fears among locals. The clash of cultures escalated to both sides arming themselves. Rajneesh’s personal secretary Ma Anand Sheela was at the […] The post 70: Mark Duplass, Chapman & Maclain Way on “Wild Wild Country” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:33:47

PN 69: Remembering Chris Hondros

3/8/2018
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The documentary “Hondros” tells the story of war photographer Chris Hondros who was killed alongside Tim Hetherington in Libya in 2011. Hondros is known for iconic photos that were published all over the world: a jubilant warrior in Liberia; an Iraqi girl after a checkpoint shooting in Tal Afar; and an Arab Spring clash in Tahrir […] The post PN 69: Remembering Chris Hondros appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:33:06

PN 68: Policing in “Flint Town”

3/1/2018
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Netflix’s new 8-part series “Flint Town” follows the city’s police department as they cope with a depressed economy, high crime and a water crisis over the course of 2016. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews the three directors of “Flint Town” – Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper and Jessica Dimmock – in front of a live audience […] The post PN 68: Policing in “Flint Town” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:37:16

PN 67: “Control Room” Revisited with Josh Rushing

2/22/2018
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Fifteen years ago as America prepared to make war on Iraq, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim embedded herself at the U.S. military’s CENTCOM media headquarters in Doha, Qatar. She and cinematographer Hani Salama focused on how the rising network Al Jazeera covered the war differently from American news. Two key characters are Al Jazeera journalist Hassan Ibrahim […] The post PN 67: “Control Room” Revisited with Josh Rushing appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:30:36

PN 66: Attorney Gloria Allred on “Seeing Allred”

2/15/2018
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The lawsuit “Summer Zervos v. Donald Trump” is among the high profile cases handled by attorney Gloria Allred. The Netflix film “Seeing Allred,” directed by Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman, explores the history of the 76-year-old lawyer, known for her work with women, LGBT and other minority clients. On February 6, Allred sat for a […] The post PN 66: Attorney Gloria Allred on “Seeing Allred” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:29:00

PN 65: Sam Pollard on Sammy Davis Jr, Spike Lee & St. Clair Bourne

2/8/2018
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Sam Pollard reflects on collaborating with Spike Lee, Henry Hampton and St. Claire Bourne; and on directing his latest film “Sammy Davis Jr: I Gotta Be Me.” Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Pollard at TIFF Doc Conference in September 2017. You can watch an extended version of this interview at TIFF Originals on YouTube. […] The post PN 65: Sam Pollard on Sammy Davis Jr, Spike Lee & St. Clair Bourne appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:30:55

First Person Documentary with Yance Ford, Bryan Fogel & Jeff Orlowski

2/1/2018
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Directors Yance Ford (“Strong Island”), Bryan Fogel (“Icarus”) and Jeff Orlowski (“Chasing Coral”) each put themselves on camera in different ways. The three filmmakers sat down with Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers at the DOC NYC festival last November to discuss how they chose their first person approach. In “Strong Island,” Ford investigates the 1992 […] The post First Person Documentary with Yance Ford, Bryan Fogel & Jeff Orlowski appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:35:34

PN 63: Tabitha Jackson + 2018 Sundance Preview

1/16/2018
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The Sundance Film Festival is always a great place for documentary discoveries. This year features new films about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fred Rogers, Imagine Dragons, Kronos Quartet and more. Pure Nonfiction founders Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen have gotten an early look at several Sundance premieres and have 11 recommendations. Even if you won’t be […] The post PN 63: Tabitha Jackson + 2018 Sundance Preview appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:52:59

PN 62: Errol Morris, Brett Morgen & Ceyda Torun on Documentary Style

1/11/2018
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From “Wormwood” to “Jane” to “Kedi,” documentary directors are making bold stylistic choices. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers led a discussion titled “Finding the Style For the Story” at the DOC NYC festival in November 2017. The guests are filmmakers Ceyda Torun (“Kedi”), Brett Morgen (“Jane”) and Errol Morris (“Wormwood”). They discuss they achieve their […] The post PN 62: Errol Morris, Brett Morgen & Ceyda Torun on Documentary Style appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:40:39

PN 61: Jennifer Brea on “Unrest”

12/21/2017
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The Oscar Documentary Feature Short List of 15 films includes the underdog entry “Unrest” by first time director Jennifer Brea. Her film explores the disease commonly known as “chronic fatigue syndrome” – a name many patients resent as misleading. The official name is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or M.E. Jennifer contracted the disease in her late 20s […] The post PN 61: Jennifer Brea on “Unrest” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:28:15

PN 60: Alex Gibney & Blair Foster on “Rolling Stone”

12/15/2017
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John Lennon, Tina Turner, Hunter Thomspon and Annie Leibovitz are among the many figures covered in the new 2-part HBO documentary “Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge.” Filmmakers Alex Gibney and Blair Foster talk to Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers about telling the magazine’s 50-year history. The conversation also touches upon “Sticky Fingers,” the recent […] The post PN 60: Alex Gibney & Blair Foster on “Rolling Stone” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:42:58

PN 59: Yance Ford on “Strong Island”

11/30/2017
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Winner of the Gotham Awards for Best Documentary, “Strong Island” investigates the 1992 killing of filmmaker Yance Ford’s brother William in Long Island. With a black victim and white shooter, race was a key factor in the case. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to Yance about how the Ford family felt betrayed by the […] The post PN 59: Yance Ford on “Strong Island” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:33:45

PN 58: Brett Morgen on Jane Goodall

11/6/2017
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Jane Goodall is the subject of the new documentary “Jane” that draws upon rediscovered footage from the 1960s capturing her early work with chimpanzees. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to “Jane” director Brett Morgen at TIFF Doc Conference about the challenges of making the film and working with composer Philip Glass. Brett Morgen’s films […] The post PN 58: Brett Morgen on Jane Goodall appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:45:51

PN 57: DOC NYC PREVIEW

10/26/2017
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Eric Clapton, Susan Sarandon, Dan Rather are among over 300 special guests coming to the 8th annual DOC NYC festival, running from November 9-16. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers is the festival’s artistic director. On his episode, he interviews his colleagues Raphaela Neihausen and Basil Tsiokos to guide listeners through the bounty of films and […] The post PN 57: DOC NYC PREVIEW appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:40:01

PN 56: Agnès Varda & JR on “Faces Places”

10/19/2017
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Winner of the Cannes Golden Eye Documentary Award, “Faces Places” is a wondrous collaboration between the 89-year-old Agnès Varda and the 34-year-old street artist known as JR. In the film, they visit small towns in France, creating mural projects that celebrate workers on farms, docks and factory grounds. We also witness the deepening of their […] The post PN 56: Agnès Varda & JR on “Faces Places” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:42:26

PN 55: Frederick Wiseman – From “Titicut Follies” to “Ex Libris”

9/6/2017
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“Ex Libris - The New York Public Library” is that latest film from documentary master Frederick Wiseman. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of his first film “Titicut Follies” set at the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to Wiseman about both those films and others in his long career. “Ex Libris” will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival; and opens on September 13 at New York’s Film...

Duration:00:48:52

PN 54: TIFF 2017 Documentary Preview Part 2 of 2

9/1/2017
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Agnes Varda, Drake, and Cary Grant all get name-checked as Thom Powers and Dorota Lech continue their discussion of documentaries at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). They preview film clips being made public for the first time. The films discussed in order of mention are: Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (d. Matt Tyrnauer) Silas (d. Anjali Nayar & Hawa Essuman) The Legend of the Ugly King (d. Hüseyin Tabak) The Other Side of Everything (d. Mila...

Duration:00:31:58

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