Based on a True Story Conference/Workshop

Robert Greene at 2014 BOATS
Thursday, March 5, 2020 9:00am to Friday, March 6, 2020 11:00am
Various Locations (see each film)

Thursday, March 5 @ Smith Forum in RJI


9:00-10:30 am: Documentary Filmmaking with a Racial Equity Lens, with Marshalle Montgomery and PG Watkins


In order to foster environments that are equitable and inclusive, we must have authentic conversations about race that help us as a society to recognize our common humanity. It is crucial for society to have opportunities to discuss social issues, culture, implicit bias and personal experiences related to race. This workshop is intended as an experience that helps individuals develop greater awareness of their own racial perspectives as well as those of others. Through the power of storytelling we will engage each other in open and candid dialogue about race and documentary filmmaking with a racial equity lens.


 10:45 am-noon: The Journalist as Film Hero, a conversation with Collective director Alexander Nanau, moderated by Katherine Reed 


The much-anticipated True/False feature Collectivefocuses on the aftermath of a deadly fire and the journalists who fought a corrupt government to find out why this tragedy happened. The film allows us to observe journalists at their finest, depicting them as heroes with the mission to look out for the people when the government is too corrupt to do so. Romanian director Alexander Nanau discusses his decision to feature the reporters at the center of this story and his own work uncovering the truth.


Noon-1:15 pm: Working lunch: FOIA Workshop for Journalists and Documentary Filmmakers, with Gunita Singh


Stick around for pizza and an informative workshop from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on how filmmakers and journalists can use the Freedom of Information Act to add depth to their filmmaking and reporting. This hands-on session will culminate with the filing of a request for a current project now under investigation.


1:30-2:45 pm: Step inside The Viewing Booth, with director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz in conversation with Cristina Mislán and Brad Prager


How does one turn a long-standing political and religious struggle into a psychological examination of how we consume—and are consumed by—media? Can we apply what we learn from viewing footage of one conflict to viewing others? Director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz takes on this task with his latest film, in which the longstanding human rights conflict between Israel and Palestine takes on new meaning when seen through our contemporary digital lenses.


3:00-5:00 pm: Our First Films with Zia Anger, featuring Kirsten Johnson, Sierra Pettengill, Robert Kolodny and Kamau Bilal


Inspired by Zia Anger’s radical and inventive documentary performance My First Film, this session features four filmmakers as they dive into their first forays into putting their creative ideas on the screen. With Anger leading the way, the filmmakers will bare all and discuss just what they were thinking when they made their first films, including taboo concepts such as failing upwards, inspiration and the roots of future creative successes. Featuring the films themselves as the center point of this conversation, this will be a raw and powerfully unique look at the creative process.


Friday, March 6 @ Smith Forum in RJI


9:30-11:00 am: Daydrinking and Filmmaking: The Ross Bros. on Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, moderated by Alissa Wilkinson


True/False True Vision Award honorees Bill and Turner Ross bring their actively observational eyes to Smith Forum to stage an interactive making-of from their Sundance hit Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, dissecting the angles and showing how they created their controversial film. Live cameras will deliver what Bill and Turner are seeing through their viewfinders as they cast, direct and live edit scenes on our stand-in bar just like they did at the “Roaring ’20s,” the bar depicted in the film.


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 Photo by Shane Epping.