The Story of Ferguson through the Eyes of the People Who Lived it

By the time we wrapped our last shooting day, we had collected over 300 hours of footage. Lungs shouted for justice and moments later filled with teargas. A father baked cookies during a moment of peace. A police chief and a mayor cited lack of data. Our creative team quickly realized we had several possible...

“A Huge Historical Project”: Editor Kim Miille on Tell Them We Are Rising

MacArthur Fellow Stanley Nelson has devoted his career to documentary explorations of the African American experience. The 65-year-old director/producer has made films on Marcus Garvey, the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers. His most recent film is Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, which premiered this week at the...

Profound Communication Only Happens When There Is Persistence

I often ask myself, how does each of us weave our own responsibilities into the pattern of history? How can I tell stories about human rights and the quest for justice yet engage people who are uninterested or apathetic? And the answer has always brought me back to this idea of the persistence of vision....

“Communication Is Where a Film Lives and Dies”: Director Zoe Lister-Jones

Communication is where a film lives and dies. It is essential for efficacy, for performance, and ultimately for translating a director’s vision to the screen. To me communication is less about the art of talking than it is about the art of listening. I hired an all-female crew on Band Aid, which was deliberate on...