Documentary filmmakers are often challenged to create visual metaphors when retelling past events. This panel discussion will examine the imaginative ways that makers use to build the world of their film with animation, re-enactments and various other visual devices. Join filmmakers Julia Bacha, Eliza McNitt, Amanda Zackem and moderator Marcia Rock for this exploration of the many options and choices available for creative storytelling with visually distinctive elements.
Julia Bacha is a Peabody award-winning filmmaker, media strategist and Creative Director at Just Vision. Her credits include Control Room (2004, Writer/Editor), Encounter Point (2006, Writer/Co-Director), Budrus (2009, Director/Producer), My Neighbourhood (2012, Director/Producer) and The Wanted 18 (2014, Impact Producer). In addition to 20 international film festival awards, Bacha is the recipient of the King Hussein Leadership Prize, the Search for Common Ground Award, the Ridenhour Film Prize, and the PUMA Creative Impact Award. She is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, an Advisory Board Member to the Tribeca Film Institute and a TED speaker. Her latest film, Naila and the Uprising (2017) had its world premiere at DOC NYC followed by IDFA and the Dubai International Film Festival.
Eliza McNitt is a writer and director who explores the cosmic collision of science and art. From astronauts to astrophysicists, she works alongside scientists to tell stories about the human connection to the cosmos. Her films and VR experiences have appeared at festivals including SXSW Film Festival, Hot Docs, Cannes NEXT, AFI Fest, and Sundance. She’s a OneFifty creator and Alfred P. Sloan grant recipient. McNitt's upcoming VR series Spheres, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, is an episodic journey through the songs of spacetime. Spheres stars Jessica Chastain as the voice of the cosmos. Spheres made history at the 2108 Sundance Film Festival as the world's first ever acquisition of a VR experience.
Amanda Zackem is a Director and Cinematographer from Upstate NY who uses film as a tool to explore consciousness, simplicity, truth and justice in this experience we call life. She was Director of Cinematography for the documentary Germans & Jews and Producer of the feature length documentaries, The Trial of the St. Patrick’s Four and Blind Spot. Her short documentary on women’s cycling pioneer Georgena Terry screened in film-festivals worldwide. Her most recent documentary, American Psychosis, is based off an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, Author and Activist Chris Hedges and discusses consumerism, totalitarian corporate power and living in a world dominated by pervasive illusion. It has screened in film festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards and was most recently nominated for Best Short Documentary at the Raindance Film Festival in London. Zackem is a board member of Seeding Sovereignty, which is an youth led organization that empowers indigenous and non-indigenous women, honoring the fact that sovereignty prioritizes the rights of the earth, plants, animals and coming generations, protecting all those that cannot speak.
Marcia Rock’s (Moderator) documentaries cover international dilemmas, women’s issues as well as personal perspectives. She has won many awards including three local Emmys. Recently, Rock completed three films on veterans, two with Patricia Lee Stotter. Service: When Women Come Marching Home won a NY Emmy and is on World Channel. From the plight of salt harvesters in Ghana to the changing role of women in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, she has also covered Irish American and Northern Irish history. She experimented with form in her personal documentary Dancing with My Father. Rock is the director of News and Documentary at the NYU Carter Journalism Institute and she co-authored with Marlene Sanders, Waiting for Primetime: The Women of Television News.
Produced by Andrea Skipper and Marcia Rock
Hosted by the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
Special Thanks to Marcia Rock, Director of News and Documentary
at the NYU Arthur Carter Journalism Institute and
Chair of NYWIFT's Documentary Committee