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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

89: Opal H. Bennett on Short Documentaries

11/8/2018
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Short documentaries are thriving on platforms like Netflix, HBO and New York Times Op-Docs. This year, the DOC NYC festival picked 12 short docs for its first ever Short List: Shorts. Programmer Opal H. Bennett talks to Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers to highlight some the year’s leading Short Doc awards contenders that are currently […] The post 89: Opal H. Bennett on Short Documentaries appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:34:03

88: DOC NYC Preview 2018

11/1/2018
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Wim Wenders, Rashida Jones, and Michael Moore are among the hundreds of documentary filmmakers coming to New York City for the DOC NYC festival from November 8 to 15. DOC NYC artistic director and Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers gives a preview of the festival loaded with clips from films. He interviews key members of […] The post 88: DOC NYC Preview 2018 appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:01:01:41

87: Sandi Tan on “Shirkers”

10/25/2018
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Winner of the 2018 Sundance Directing Award for World Documentary, Sandi Tan makes her debut with “Shirkers,” now on Netflix. She grew up in Singapore. As a teenager in the 1980s, she had an outsider’s sensibility, obsessed with punk rock, fanzines, and indie film. She took a film class from a middle-aged American man named […] The post 87: Sandi Tan on “Shirkers” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:30:01

86: Alex Gibney & Trevor Birney, Wanted in Belfast

10/18/2018
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Alex Gibney’s “No Stone Unturned” uses leaked police documents to investigate an unsolved mass murder in Northern Ireland. Now the police are pushing back. On August 31, police raided the Belfast homes and office of producer Trevor Birney and journalist Barry Mccaffrey and arrested them over the leaked documents. Gibney has been notified that he’s […] The post 86: Alex Gibney & Trevor Birney, Wanted in Belfast appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:37:04

85: Maxim Pozdorovkin on Trump, Putin & Pussy Riot

8/2/2018
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During the 2016 US election, Russia Today offered a steady stream of English-language reports that disseminated to American audiences via YouTube and Facebook. Filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin digs into those reports and other Russian media coverage to offer an immersive look at propaganda in “Our New President.” The film was originally crafted as a short for […] The post 85: Maxim Pozdorovkin on Trump, Putin & Pussy Riot appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:47:41

84: Matt Tyrnauer on “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”

7/26/2018
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Gore Vidal played a key role behind the scenes in helping Scotty Bowers tell his secret history of Hollywood. Starting in the 1940s, Scotty operated an infamous gas station in Hollywood where he would arrange sexual trysts for celebrities who needed to keep their gay, lesbian or bisexual lives hidden. With Vidal’s help, Scotty published […] The post 84: Matt Tyrnauer on “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:44:53

83: Jason Kohn on “Love Means Zero”

7/19/2018
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Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier and Kathleen Horvath are only a few of the champions who came out of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy. Bollettieri ran a controversial program taking kids at a young age to live away from their parents, but he turned out more champions than any other coach. The new Showtime documentary […] The post 83: Jason Kohn on “Love Means Zero” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:53:27

82: Kevin MacDonald on Whitney Houston

7/12/2018
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Whitney Houston had an angelic voice, but fought demons in her personal life. The new documentary “Whitney” explores her talents and tribulations. Filmmaker Kevin MacDonald previously directed the documentaries “Marley,” “Touching the Void,” and the Oscar-winning “One Day in September,” as well as the fiction film “The Last King of Scotland.” Pure Nonfiction host Thom […] The post 82: Kevin MacDonald on Whitney Houston appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:34:23

81: “Three Identical Strangers” director Tim Wardle

7/5/2018
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Separated at birth, the triplets Bobby, Eddy and David discovered each other by accident at age 19 in 1980. They became media sensations. Madonna cast them in a movie and they opened a Manhattan restaurant called triplets. Their lives took many twists and turns that are documented in the film “Three Identical Strangers.” Pure Nonfiction […] The post 81: “Three Identical Strangers” director Tim Wardle appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:31:37

80: Jonathan Safran Foer & Christopher Quinn on “Eating Animals”

6/28/2018
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Relax, “Eating Animals” isn’t proselytizing for vegetarianism. But author Jonathan Safran Foer and filmmaker Christopher Quinn are asking you to think more seriously about factory farming. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews Foer and Quinn touching upon how factory farmed meat affects our health, the environment and the economy. Foer also remembers his discussion with […] The post 80: Jonathan Safran Foer & Christopher Quinn on “Eating Animals” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:41:58

79: Judd Apatow on Garry Shandling

6/14/2018
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Comedian Garry Shandling is remembered for creating two ground-breaking TV shows: “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” He was also a key mentor to Hollywood writer and director Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”; “Knocked Up”). After Shandling’s death in 2016, Apatow gained access to his mentor’s diaries. He draws upon them for […] The post 79: Judd Apatow on Garry Shandling appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:38:03

78: Liz Garbus on The New York Times in “The Fourth Estate”

5/31/2018
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Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened Miss Simone?”) follows The New York Times team of reporters and editors covering the first year of the Trump administration in the four-part Showtime series The Fourth Estate. Garbus talks to Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers about the making of the series. She was previously interviewed on episode 5. […] The post 78: Liz Garbus on The New York Times in “The Fourth Estate” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:19:49

77: Wim Wenders on Pope Francis

5/24/2018
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Buena Vista Social Club, Pina Bausch and Sebastiao Selgado are among Wim Wenders past documentary subjects. Now he profiles the head of the Catholic Church in “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” released in theaters by Focus Features. Wenders talks to Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers about the making of the film. He also […] The post 77: Wim Wenders on Pope Francis appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:33:57

76: Filming Ruth Bader Ginsburg

5/10/2018
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is profiled in the new documentary “RBG.” Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews the directing duo of Betsy West and Julie Cohen on Ginsburg’s career fighting for women’s rights. They discuss their personal experiences of enduring sexism in the worlds of broadcast news and public radio. On Twitter: @betsywest […] The post 76: Filming Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:45:57

75: Dawn Porter on “Bobby Kennedy for President”

5/3/2018
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“Bobby Kennedy for President” is a four-part Netflix series that traces the politician’s career with an emphasis on issues of racial justice. The final episode reexamines his 1968 assassination and the trial of Sirhan Sirhan that left unanswered questions. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews filmmaker Dawn Porter on the making of the series. She […] The post 75: Dawn Porter on “Bobby Kennedy for President” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:30:58

74: Joe Berlinger from “Brother’s Keeper” to “Intent to Destroy”

4/26/2018
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Joe Berlinger has been making documentaries for over 25 years. He started out at Maysles Films where he met Bruce Sinofsky. In 1992, they made “Brother’s Keeper”, a story of a murder trial in upstate New York, that revitalized observational documentary. They went on to make the “Paradise Lost” trilogy and “Metallica: Some Kind of […] The post 74: Joe Berlinger from “Brother’s Keeper” to “Intent to Destroy” appeared first on Pure Nonfiction.

Duration:00:43:18

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