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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

Description:

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

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


PN 53: TIFF 2017 Documentary Preview Part 1 of 2

8/30/2017
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The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place September 7-17, 2017. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers is the festival’s documentary programmer. On this episode, he’s joined by his colleague Dorota Lech to discuss the line-up and preview film clips being made public for the first time. The films discussed in this episode in order of their mention are: Grace Jones: Bloodlight & Bami (d. Sophie Fiennes) Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (d. Morgan Spurlock) One of Us (d. Heidi...

Duration: 00:37:11


PN 52: Playwright Dominique Morisseau on “Detroit ’67,” “Pipeline,” “Shameless” & more

7/27/2017
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While Detroit is in the headlines for the 50th anniversary of its darkest days, we focus on one of its brightest new storytellers, playwright Dominique Morisseau. Pure Nonfiction host (and Detroit native) Thom Powers talks to Morisseau about her breakthrough play “Detroit ’67,” her new work “Pipeline” at Lincoln Center, writing for Showtime’s “Shameless” and her upcoming musical about The Temptations called “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” coming to Berkeley Repertory Theater. Next episode, we...

Duration: 00:31:47


PN 51: Errol Morris & Elsa Dorfman on “The B-Side”

7/13/2017
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Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman has worked for several decades on Polaroid’s rare 20" x 24” format camera. She had a loyal clientele in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but was hardly known outside. Now she is the subject of Errol Morris’ new film “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography.” Morris and his wife Julia are longtime friends of Dorfman and her husband Harvey Silverglate (a criminal defense lawyer who comes up in Morris’ book “A Wilderness of Error”). Pure Nonfiction host...

Duration: 00:36:37


PN 50: D.A. Pennebaker on “Monterey Pop” at 50

6/22/2017
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Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who are among the classic acts captured by D.A. Pennebaker in "Monterey Pop.” Now for the 50th anniversary of the concert, the film is being released in a new 4k restoration by The Criterion Collection and Janus Films. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Pennebaker along with two of the film’s cameramen Jim Desmond and Nick Proferes on June 14, 2017 at the IFC Center in front of a live audience. For more on Pennebaker, listen to...

Duration: 00:36:40


PN 49: Steve James From “Hoop Dreams” to “Abacus”

5/18/2017
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New York's Chinatown is the backdrop for Steve James' latest documentary "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail." He follows a David vs Goliath legal tale about the Chinese-American family behind a small bank defending themselves against an aggressive prosecution. In Part 1 of this episode, Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to James about his breakthrough film "Hoop Dreams" and the development of his career that included a stint directing fiction films. In Part 2, Powers interviews three of...

Duration: 00:44:45


PN 48: HBO’s Sheila Nevins on Seductions, Heartbreaks & Her New Book

5/11/2017
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Meryl Streep, Audra McDonald and Glenn Close are among many esteemed performers who read stories on the audio version of Sheila Nevins' new quasi-memoir “You Don’t Look Your Age…And Other Fairy Tales.” Nevins has served for 35 years overseeing HBO Documentary Films. Now she reveals tales from her own life covering childhood, seduction, heartbreak, feminism, motherhood and aging. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviewed Nevins on her 78th birthday (April 6). She speaks candidly about...

Duration: 00:44:13


PN 47: Jonathan Demme & Renée Shafransky on Spalding Gray

5/4/2017
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“Swimming to Cambodia,” the 1987 film directed by Jonathan Demme, had a rippling influence. It laid the path for a kind of first person storytelling that today is widespread from “This American Life” to “The Moth." The film is deceptively simple: monologuist Spalding Gray sits behind a desk and tells a stream of consciousness story about working as an actor on “The Killing Fields,” set against the back drop of America’s secret war in Cambodia. Gray had originated the project as a four-hour...

Duration: 00:29:09


PN 46: Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus on “Hot Girls Wanted”

4/27/2017
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Sex and technology are the focus of the new Netflix series "Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On." Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews the series' creators Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. They previously made the similarly titled feature documentary "Hot Girls Wanted" about young women entering the world of amateur porn. Bauer and Gradus also directed "Sexybaby" about changing sexual mores in the digital age. On Twitter: @iamrashidajones @hotgirlswanted @thompowers...

Duration: 00:26:17


PN 45: Matt Tyrnauer on “Citizen Jane”

4/20/2017
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Jane Jacobs, author of "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," changed the way we think of urban planning. Matt a Tyrnauer's new documentary "Citizen Jane" tells the story of her epic battles with New York power broker Robert Moses. On this episode, Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews Tyrnauer about the film and his previous documentary "Valentino: The Last Emperor," about the Italian fashion designer. On Twitter: mtyrnauer @janejacobsdoc @thompowers @purenonfiction This...

Duration: 00:44:04


PN 44: From Indiana Jones to Guatemala’s Civil War – Frank Marshall & Ryan Suffern

4/13/2017
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"Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Jurassic World" and “Sully” are among Frank Marshall’s stellar producing credits. Now his company Kennedy/Marshall has a documentary division. Their latest film is “Finding Oscar” about the search for a boy who survived an infamous 1982 massacre in Guatemala’s civil war in the jungle hamlet of Dos Erres. The film’s director Ryan Suffern started his career as Steven Spielberg’s assistant and rose up to run the documentary division at Kennedy/Marshall. On this...

Duration: 00:26:33

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