October 19, 2017

9:30 am  -  10:15 am

Calculated Chaos: The Real Take on Fake News

When President Trump rails against respected news organizations as purveyors of “fake news,” what’s really going on? Is he playing to popular mistrust of the media? Serving the interest of top donors and political backers? Pre-emptively discrediting any outside scrutiny of his administration? While the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not the first to criticize the press, the attacks from the White House are qualitatively different from attacks by other leaders under fire. They take aim at verifiable truth as a universal value, and at the legitimacy of an independent press that seeks information in the public interest. Setting the stage for Double Exposure 2017 are Charles Lewis, author of The Buying of the President series and, more recently, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity, Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Far Right and staff writer at The New Yorker, and Matt Thompson, executive editor of The Atlantic.

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10:30 am  -  11:45 am

Protecting Sources & Subjects in a (Newly) Hostile Environment

In the United States, the White House has labeled the press an “enemy of the people,” and incited physical violence against reporters. It has turned the full force of the Justice Department against whistleblowers, and pledged to “open up the libel laws” to fight unflattering coverage. While the Obama Administration may have laid the groundwork by increasing prosecutions of whistleblowers and journalists, as some contend, the Trump Administration has upped the ante: There is talk of new government powers to place reporters under indefinite surveillance and of harnessing the Espionage Act—which carries a potential life sentence—to pursue reporters who publish classified information. In Syria, the threat is physical, fatal in fast-changing ways, and leaves no room for error. In Mexico, investigative storytellers fall victim to drug cartels and government forces alike—with the only protection coming from other reporters and the public. Filmmakers, whose projects typically take years between inception and completion, can be especially vulnerable to sudden shifts in threats, to themselves and to their subjects.   How can journalists and filmmakers work safely amid a sudden and dramatic heightening of the risk of telling a story? How can they better protect their subjects and whistleblowers, who are often on […]

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1:00 pm  -  2:30 pm

Future Imperfect: Storytelling on the Cutting Edge

Over the last decade, a bold spirit of innovation has emerged among visual artists who are committed to leveraging new technologies to create more collaborative, interactive, and immersive storytelling. Pioneering works in transmedia, virtual reality, gaming and other kinds of storytelling represent a convergence of forms that push the boundaries of story and authorship. How does the further mixing of professional cultures—that of filmmaker and journalist—affect storytelling? How are news organizations and documentary filmmakers redefining journalism’s possibilities using emerging tools and new technologies? What are the potentials offered by emerging technologies to tell new stories and reach new audiences? And what is their intended impact? This panel will hear from leading programmers and practitioners on the cutting edge of these new innovations, to offer a glimpse into the horizon of visual storytelling.

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2:45 pm  -  4:00 pm

Rapid Response in the Age of Trump

The process of making films has a particular metabolism. Many projects, from inception to completion, take months, years, sometimes a decade to bring to fruition. Yet, in the current political climate, with major scandals breaking on a near daily basis, filmmakers wishing to tackle urgent issues must work more quickly, in a range of formats and for a variety of platforms. In newspaper journalism, of course, there is an infrastructure already in place for the release of fast breaking news, but for investigative journalists, like filmmakers, stories often take months, and occasionally longer than that. How can filmmakers and investigative journalists do the kind of digging required to unpeel stories at warp speed on a daily basis? This panel explores the new challenges and opportunities presented by an increasingly tumultuous political climate, and looks at the ecosystem being put into place to support the rapid deployment of stories, from new practices, to new funders to the expansion of platforms designed to present this work and give it context, meaning and impact.

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4:15 pm  -  5:30 pm

Gimme Shelter: Icarus and the New York Times

A series of New York Times interviews introduced the protagonist of Icarus—the whistleblower at the center of the film who exposed widespread doping of Russian athletes—even before the film’s celebrated debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.   While documentarians typically find inspiration in newspaper accounts, Icarus turned that convention on its head. Filmmaker Bryan Fogel and producer Dan Cogan sought in advance journalistic coverage to protect their film subject, Grigory Rodchenkov. They turned to New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz, who had been in touch with Rodchenkov before he came to the United States, and offered exclusive access to a prized source under their protection. Their goal—one not shared by Ruiz, as a journalist: to shield their subject from potential prosecution, or even assassination, as Rodchenkov was not only exposing the scandal: his own lab had supplied the ‘cocktails’ that enabled Russians to dope their athletes at the Sochi Olympics, and beyond.   Fogel, an amateur cyclist, had been so fascinated by the question of pharmaceutical enhancement in sports, that at first he planned a doping regimen for himself to see if it could go undetected. He would film the results of this experiment in a satirical style akin […]

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Screening: One of US

In their new documentary ONE OF US, acclaimed Academy-nominated filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (JESUS CAMP, DETROPIA) take a deep and moving look at the lives of three individuals who have chosen to leave the insular world of Hasidic Judaism. The film follows Etty, a mother of seven, who leaves a violent marriage and divorces her husband; Ari, a teenager who is struggling with addiction and the effects of childhood abuse; and Luzer, an actor who, despite having found some success in the secular world, still wrestles with his decision eight years earlier to leave the Hasidic community. Produced over three years, ONE OF US offers unique and intimate access to the lives of all three as they deal not only with questions of their beliefs but also with the consequences of leaving the only community they have ever known. With their trademark sensitivity and keen interest in the nature of faith, Ewing & Grady chronicle these journeys towards personal freedom that comes at a very high cost.

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October 20, 2017

9:30 AM  -  10:15 AM

Opening Conversation: Taking FOIA To Film

For journalists, the Freedom of Information Act is a familiar tool for unlocking government documents and data, often in massive quantities. The information gleaned gives breadth and context to stories that might otherwise be easily dismissed as merely anecdotal or biased. For filmmakers venturing into retrieving government documents, however, the challenge is different. They must wrestle with rendering the dry language of records into compelling cinema. Hear from two directors who are using FOIA to inform and shape current projects on timely issues, in conversation with Topher Sanders of Pro Publica, an investigative news organization known for its groundbreaking reporting on patterns and problems that often emerge after analyzing vast troves of government data.

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10:30 am  -  11:45 pm

Embedded: From Cinema Verité to Immersive Journalism

While the Pulitzer Prize has never gone to an undercover reporter, the practice of shedding the status of an outsider to live the story is as old as Sir Richard Burton, who wandered Arabia, and Nellie Bly, who feigned insanity to expose brutality at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island in the late 1800s. In documentary filmmaking, immersive storytelling found its most vivid and persuasive form only in the 1960s, with the parallel direct cinema and cinema verité movements, a mode which has since remained a touchstone of the genre. In our current information-saturated environment, immersive storytelling has the ability to cut through spin and noise to reach more complex and deeper truths. While undercover reporting and clandestine infiltration, along with overt forms of immersion and embedding, may trade authority and distance for authenticity, they bring vulnerability as well—in the gathering of the story as well as its telling. Blending into the background can raise a raft of unanticipated ethical and legal issues, in the physical and virtual world. This panel will explore the process by which investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers approach this critical form of immersive storytelling.

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12:45 pm  -  2:00 pm

You Are Here: Storytelling From The Ground Up

Filmmakers and journalists have long recognized the important role that storytelling and “voice” have in expanding perspectives and fostering a collective conversation, a practice that is all the more urgent in the age of siloed newsfeeds and assaults on “media elites.” This panel examines a fast-developing trend that builds narrative agency from the ground up, in an effort to reach the unlikely viewer: the emergence of first-person and community initiated storytelling. Affordable and readily available technology, for one, is bringing those living an experience into the investigative process, and opening new channels for them to tell their own stories. We’ll hear about unique collaborations between reporters, filmmakers and residents, as well as strategic supporters developing skills and outlets for citizen journalists. We’ll also explore what happens when a filmmaker shares a distinct vulnerability with her subject, and uses personal experience as the starting point of a cinematic investigation.

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2:15 pm  -  3:15 pm

Fireworks: Meet the Funders

Hardly any journal or film exists without the people you’ll hear from here. A select group of fiscal supporters of prominent journals and films will give a behind-the-scenes view of the inner-workings of the funding process. They will discuss how they make strategic funding decisions and determine desired outcomes; what they deem a successful project; and how prospective grantees can more successfully position their projects for funding. This is not to be missed.

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3:00 pm  -  4:30 pm

Give/Get: Cross-Sector Collaboration in Film and Journalism

Journalism and filmmaking spring from two different cultures, each with their own approaches and assumptions, ethics and forms. Skills and resources that may be inherent in one profession are often not available, or even visible to the other. Increasingly, however, we are seeing cross-sector pollination, in which the work of journalists and filmmakers are integrating and overlapping. Filmmakers are embedding in newsrooms to work alongside reporters, helping those newsrooms develop visual forms of storytelling and engage with new audiences in ways print reporting alone could not. At the same time, filmmakers are selectively incorporating tenets of investigative reporting into their work, and adapting the supportive infrastructure of a newsroom, such as legal counsel, fact checking, and security measures, into their production process. The most successful practitioners, editors, and curators, on hand for this session, are aiming to achieve storytelling more transcendent than the sum of its parts.

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3:15 pm  -  4:15 pm

Fireworks: Meet the Online Platforms

The traditional ways to view a film are becoming increasingly obsolete. On-line platforms, many emanating from established news publishers, have become the go-to site for the exhibition and consumption of cutting-edge works of investigative film and visual journalism. Hear from leaders in the online digital exhibition space, on the kinds of work they’ve produced in the past, what they’re looking for going forward, and the best way to approach them with new stories and ideas.

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4:30 pm  -  5:30 pm

Anatomy of a Serial: Closing Conversation with Ryan White and Jean Wehner, The Keepers

Set in Baltimore in the 1960s, The Keepers investigates the unsolved murder of Sister Catherine Cesnick, a beloved nun at Archbishop Keogh High School, who tried to stop the serial sexual abuse of students by the school’s chaplain. Nominated for an Emmy Award and told in serial form over seven episodes, Ryan White’s remarkable film follows an investigative reporter and two alums of the school, now retired, who take it upon themselves to unravel the mystery of their former teacher’s brutal killing, a murder that has reverberated through the decades.   The Keepers raises important questions about police involvement in a network of abuse in a town where the archdiocese ruled unchallenged, the church leadership’s indifference to the suffering of victims, the failure of prosecutors to protect the public, and the subsequent cover-up that allowed a killer to literally get away with murder. From a cinematic perspective, The Keepers expands the distinctive experience of episodic storytelling—which is fast emerging as standard in the visual and aural investigative mode. Its journey illustrates a film’s ability to intervene in and directly impact the world beyond celluloid, and explores the responsibility of a filmmaker to his subject, who entrusts her most vulnerable secret to […]

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Reception: Hosted by the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and the MacArthur Foundation

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation cordially invite all DX registrants and guests to a reception to celebrate the IDA Enterprise Production Fund Grantees and Double Exposure Fellows.

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Screening: Cocaine Prison

COCAINE PRISON unfolds in Bolivia’s notorious San Sebastian gaol, a virtual citadel inside a crumbling old colonial house. The film follows the lives of Hernan, a drug mule arrested on his first run, his younger sister, Daisy, who struggles to win his freedom, and Hernan’s friend Mario, a cocaine worker and father sealed away at San Sebastian, far from his children. In a country where the coca leaf is woven deep into the culture and poverty assures a steady supply of labor, COCAINE PRISON goes beyond the image of the gun-toting “Narco” to uncover the lives of three small fish who swim in the tide of coca’s promise.

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Screening : No Stone Unturned

In 1994, six men were gunned down and five wounded in a pub while watching a World Cup soccer match in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. With a police investigation that was perfunctory at best, the case remained unsolved. In this non-fiction murder mystery, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the original case to investigate why no culprit was ever brought to justice.

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October 21, 2017

9:30 am  -  12:30 pm

Pro Bono Legal Clinic for Visual Storytellers

The Pro Bono Legal Clinic offers investigative storytellers lacking legal representation the opportunity to connect with experts who can knowledgeably discuss legal challenges they are confronting. Leading attorneys in the areas First Amendment law, privacy and libel, Freedom of Information, whistleblower protection, copyright and intellectual property will be on hand. Attorneys will brief participants on case law and trends relevant to the problems that journalists and filmmakers have articulated upon registering for the clinic, and field questions from them. Attorneys have also agreed to consider representing select participants in need of counsel on an ongoing basis pro bono.   All Access pass holders receive a link via email to pre-register for the Legal Clinic. They should describe the legal challenges they are facing to ensure participating attorneys are aware of their issues. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis to those who pre-register and are confirmed to attend. 

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9:30 am  -  12:30 pm

Safe+Secure Filmmaker Workshop, in Association with Doc Society

From Ferguson and Charlottesville to Nairobi and Bogotá, covering volatile situations presents immense challenges for independent documentary filmmakers. They must make quick decisions on any number of situations: where to place a camera on the frontline of unpredictable protests, whether driving down a dangerous road is the right thing to do, or whether to trust a fresh source. This Safe+Secure workshop will inform filmmakers how to assess and mitigate the plethora of risks one faces whilst making a film. The training is relevant to a variety of situations such as war, natural disasters, protests, organized crime, repressive states, or digital security challenges affecting investigations done even from one’s bedroom! While most hostile environment-training deals with ducking crossfire and kidnappers, this session will teach filmmakers how to avoid unnecessary peril with careful preparations before, during and after assignments. Participants will emerge with a better understanding of how to shun hostile parties and film more safely.

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10:00 am  -  12:30 pm

Hands-on Workshop Introduction to Immersive Journalism – Part I

This condensed workshop will help participants understand the rapidly evolving field of immersive media, how to immediately start to explore and experiment, and issues in the emerging form, with a primary focus on journalism.   Foundations  Based on work and research in Saleem Khan’s JOVRNALISM practice with news and other organizations, and drawing on emergent consensus with other global leaders, participants will gain a grounding in what immersive media are, why they matter, fundamental principles and practices, key ethics and other issues confronting us today and into the future.   Register here.

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11:00 am  -  12:30 pm

Accessing the Archive

A workshop covering the politics and logistics behind archive use in creative documentary forms. Mila Turajlic is a documentary filmmaker and archive researcher whose work in archives extends from accessing and reactivating film archives of a disappeared country to tracking down the erased history of a resistance movement. Aimed at directors, producers, and the archivally-curious, the workshop will break down the logistical process of researching, obtaining, and working with archival materials. Using examples of creative archive treatment, it will aim to raise philosophical questions of archive activism in terms of right to use, involvement in collecting and preserving, and the construction of private memory from public archives.

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Screening: Devil’s Freedom

Filmmaker Everardo González interviews victims and perpetrators of violence in Mexico, where more than 100,000 people have been executed in just the last five years, and another 300,000 people made indirect victims. All of his subjects are masked, from the killers to the soldiers to the orphaned toddlers. The masks give those who suffer and inflict violence the rare freedom to speak frankly and without fear. Flesh-colored and tight-fitting, the masks create the sense of an invisible country of victims, enablers, would-be reformers and killers, caught in a maelstrom from which there is no escape.

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1:30 pm  -  3:00 pm

Fact Checking Workshop, presented by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

In an era where fake news and filter bubbles seem to create alternative realities and threaten the basis of democracy, it’s more important than ever that investigative journalism is factually correct, so viewers can trust the reporting.   In this workshop, we will show what can happen if journalists and news organizations neglect to fact-check before publishing or for the sake of dramatic storytelling omit important facts. This is a hands-on workshop; we will train participants to strategically and efficiently fact-check their own biases and their own reporting, even if the filmmaker has no institutional support. We will show how to independently verify facts, background people and how to use new tools that can help journalists verify when and where an image was shot. Filmmakers will not only develop a road map to fact-check their own work, they will also learn about investigative skills and tools that will benefit any reporting, and even facilitate distribution.   Lindsay Crouse from the The New York Times’ Op-Docs team will share how her news organization verifies visual content and two independent investigative filmmakers, Pulitzer Center grantees Eleanor Bell formerly with the Center for Public Integrity and Hilke Schellmann, Emmy-Award winning investigative journalist and […]

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1:30 pm  -  3:00 pm

Safeguarding Sources: A Practical Guide for Investigative Filmmakers

Mark Felt. Daniel Ellsberg. Karen Silkwood. Frank Serpico. Throughout history, whistleblowers have risked their lives to expose illegal or unethical activity, and have played a critical role in government accountability. Filmmakers and journalists working in the investigative mode often rely on the testimony of a crucial witness, vulnerable subject, or whistleblower, but what is their responsibility to keeping them safe, both legally and psychologically? As documentary filmmakers and journalists find themselves venturing into increasingly dangerous terrain, what are best practices for shooting and sharing sensitive or volatile information? This intensive workshop, led by the filmmaker, Sonia Kennebeck, the producer Ines Hofmann Kanna, and the subject, Lisa Ling, of National Bird — a film about the US reliance on aerial combat drones and the impact on three former operators and current whistleblowers involved in the tracking of targets — is designed to introduce practical resources and specific strategies to investigative filmmakers about how to protect sources and subjects and keep them safe during and after filming.

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1:30 pm  -  3:00 pm

Playing Your Way to Impact

Wondering how to get started on your outreach campaign? Stymied by requests to describe your film’s outcomes? Join Dot Connector Studio’s Jessica Clark and Angelica Das for a hands-on workshop based on the Impact Pack—a card deck designed to help makers and funders develop more effective media strategies. Incubated at the Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project and based on more than a decade of Clark’s research into how media can drive social change, the deck has been used by filmmakers at AFI’s Doc Impact Lab, media development experts at the Central European University, funders at the Philanthropy Workshop and many others. The workshop will step attendees through how to use the cards, and then invite them to discuss their own engagement strategies.

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1:30 pm  -  3:00 pm

Hands-on Workshop Introduction to Immersive Journalism – Part II

This condensed workshop will help participants understand the rapidly evolving field of immersive media, how to immediately start to explore and experiment, and issues in the emerging form, with a primary focus on journalism.   Lab    Participants will apply foundations gained in the first part of the workshop by learning how to plan and prototype immersive experiences, and collaboratively develop design dialogue skills to use in their own organizations for immersive journalism.   Register here, limited to 10 participants on a first-come first-served basis.

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Screening: Hall of Mirrors

Filmmakers Ina and Enes Talakic follow legendary reporter Edward Jay Epstein, still going strong at 81, as he investigates Edward Snowden’s 2013 leak of classified documents on government surveillance. One of the last of his generation of journalists, the energetic, articulate, and boyish Epstein delights in his discoveries, and in skewering accepted truths. Part chronicle of shoe leather investigative reporting, part romp through a life lived at the top of the social chain, HALL OF MIRRORS takes on us through Epstein’s most notable investigations, examining the Warren Commission’s work, the roots of the diamond industry, the strange career of Armand Hammer, and the inner workings of big-time journalism itself.

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Screening: The Rape of Recy Taylor

Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother, was gang raped by six white boys on her way home from church in Alabama in 1944. Though white on black rape was a familiar threat in Jim Crow South, few African American women spoke up, in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists–one of whom lived near her house in Abbeville. The NAACP sent its chief investigator, Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice, before the local sheriff forced her to leave town. Filmmaker Nancy Buirski exposes an ugly legacy of slavery, ignored by the mainstream press of the time–until Recy Taylor.

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Screening: Voyeur

VOYEUR follows Gay Talese — the 84-year-old giant of experiential journalism — as he reports one of the most controversial stories of his career: a portrait of a Colorado motel owner, Gerald Foos. For decades, Foos secretly watched his guests with the aid of specially-designed ceiling vents, peering down from an “observation platform” he built in the motel’s attic. He kept detailed journals of his guests’ most private moments — from the mundane to the shocking — but most of all he sought out, spied on, and documented one thing: couples having sex. Talese’s insatiable curiosity leads him to turn his gaze to a man accustomed to being the watcher, exploring a tangle of ethical questions: How can a reporter trust a source who has made a career of deception? What does a journalist owe to his subjects and his readers? Who is really the voyeur?

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October 22, 2017

Screening: Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

In 1946, S.E. Branch—a white Southern racist, and the artist’s great-grandfather—murdered Bill Spann, a black man, in rural Alabama. The murder has become hushed and hidden family lore. When Wilkerson sets out to unravel the mystery, he encounters obstacle upon obstacle—destroyed records, everyone refusing to talk. He’s accused of bringing shame upon the family, shaking up old trouble nobody wants. Soon enough, his life is threatened too.

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Screening: Trust WHO

Filmmaker Lilian Franck investigates the Geneva-based World Health Organization, a body of the United Nations charged with protecting global health. Franck exposes an organization infiltrated by special interests, including the tobacco, pharmaceutical and nuclear industries, with direct effects on global health.

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Screening: The Other Side of Everything

Ten years following Serbia’s democratic revolution, a look through the keyhole of a locked door in an apartment in Belgrade combines a family memoir with the portrait of a country in turmoil, to reveal a disillusioned revolutionary and her struggle with the ghosts haunting Serbia’s past and present. Filmmaker Mila Turajlic tracks down hidden video footage that had been confiscated from television stations inside Serbia and gathers records overseas, to reveal political resistance that nationalist leaders had airbrushed from the nation’s history, in a bid to strengthen their grip.

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Screening: End of Truth + Extended Post-Screening Discussion

“They are gone.” These are the words that propelled photojournalist Nicole Tung into a daunting situation which nothing could have prepared her for. Masked men wielding Kalashnikovs had abducted her friends John Cantlie and James Foley while they were en route from Syria back into Turkey. Nicole had been nervously waiting for their arrival at the border. Instantly, their fate rested upon her ability to find out who captured her friends and how to get them back alive.   The abductions of John Cantlie and James Foley were the beginning of a hostage taking frenzy which impacted the foreign policy of many countries.  Because of media blackouts surrounding the kidnappings, many others unwittingly ventured forth into hostile ISIS territory. Fixers were targeted, causing people who thought they were safe to be captured. These unsuspecting journalists and aid workers were thrown into a dark and desperate situation that ended horribly for those whose countries didn’t pay ransom. These crimes revealed what can happen when truths are obscured – causing negotiations and rescue missions to go horribly wrong.   END OF TRUTH is an emotionally powerful investigation into the political and criminal enterprise of kidnappings as ISIS rose to power in war […]

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October 10, 2018

Screening: Watergate

HISTORY’s definitive original documentary, WATERGATE, chronicles one of the biggest criminal conspiracies in modern American politics and features a roster of some of the most important media, legal and political figures from the scandal, including Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, John Dean, Jill Wine-Banks, Richard Ben-Veniste, and many others. Post-screening discussion with Academy Award®-winning director Charles Ferguson, Richard Ben-Veniste, George Frampton, Elizabeth Holtzman, Mark Mazzetti, and Jill Wine-Banks.

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October 11, 2018

9:30 AM  -  10:45 AM

Opening Conversation: Supreme Truth: From High School Halls to Hallowed Walls

The Senate testimony of Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has transfixed the nation, with Dr. Ford’s memories of sexual assault in high school dredging bitter memories for women across the country. This Opening Conversation explores high school as the incubator of impunity, protected by a culture of cruelty, in print and film. For Roll Red Roll, director Nancy Schwartzman went to Steubenville, Ohio, where a “boys will be boys” culture shunned a young rape victim whose assailants had circulated photos of her assault on social media — and who had the temerity to report her assault to police. For a series in the Washington Post, Elizabeth Bruenig returned to her high school in Arlington, Tex., to investigate the story of a classmate who was raped, and was essentially hounded from their school after reporting the assault to police. Moderating the conversation is Cheryl Thompson, investigative reporter for The Washington Post.  

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11:00 AM  -  12:15 PM

Pivot: The Unexpected Moment

One filmmaker trained her lens on the Russian oligarchs behind the Miss Universe pageant, and stumbled into explosive material shedding light on Donald Trump. Another project set out to chronicle the Dirty Wars in Latin America. The co-directors, though, kept a shadow project in mind: They collected vast testimony and other evidence over more than 20 years that prosecutors are now using in court to punish torturers and killers. This panel will explore the work of filmmakers and journalists whose stories took an irrevocable turn, precipitating a change of course and opening new vistas.

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1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM

Framing Trauma: The Crises of Witnessing

Filmmakers and journalists are often drawn, if not driven by a sense of obligation, to tell stories of injustice. School girls kidnapped and forced into becoming sex slaves for Islamist guerrillas, sex workers embroiled in the U.S. criminal courts system, and citizens, police, and community advocates facing escalating violence on the streets of Baltimore: all of these are major stories of 2018, and all of them involve trauma. How do, and how should, journalists and filmmakers tell these important stories? How to balance the need to know and tell “the whole truth” with the emotional well-being of a source who has already suffered deeply? We will hear from directors of new films in which trauma or acute crisis played a role, prominently or as a seemingly inescapable undercurrent.

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2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM

Unmediated Subjects

To professionals, subjects offer “material,” their stories to be cut and shaped, mediated through our pens and lenses. The voices on this panel, though, are all those of subjects who have appeared in investigative works, unfiltered and unmediated. How and why did they agree to be part of the process, what were their expectations, and how did the filmmaker live up to those expectations? What do they make of the film’s portrayal of them, and its impact on their lives? This is our chance to hear what it’s like for those who entrust us with their stories.

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Screening: Short Cuts Program

OUR NEW PRESIDENT (Dir. Maxim Pozdorovkin, 2017, 12 min.) Donald Trump has become a beloved cult figure for many Russians. OUR NEW PRESIDENT uses found footage, fake news and state-controlled political programming to reveal the variety of ways Trump’s newfound Russian supporters express their devotion. A project of Field of Vision. THE TRIAL (dir. Johanna Hamilton, 2018, 17 min.) Aka Pradhan, James Connell and Sterling Thomas are lawyers for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men facing the death penalty for plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Employed by the Military Commissions Defense Office, Pradhan, Connell and Sterling are public defenders of sorts — albeit unorthodox ones — paid by the Department of Defense. THE TRIAL provides a window to reflect on the impact of a rarely seen part of the war on terror: a lack of accountability for the legacy of torture and the build-up to the largest criminal trial in American history. A project of Field of Vision. NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS (dir. Penny Lane, 2017, 23 min.) Nellie Bly was a muckracking investigative journalist who changed the game for women in reporting before women even had the right to vote. Drawing from extensive primary sources including […]

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4:15 PM  -  5:30 PM

Elegy and Evidence: A Conversation with Yance Ford (Strong Island) and Stephen Maing (Crime + Punishment)

In Crime + Punishment, hailed as one of the most riveting documentaries of the year, director Stephen Maing investigates illegal racial quotas in the New York Police Department, a big-picture problem told through the eyes of a dozen police officers who faced ostracism and more to blow the whistle on the practice, which destroyed countless lives. Just outside the city, in suburban Long Island, Yance Ford’s subject is also race and policing, but his look is intensely, gut-wrenchingly personal. Ford returns to the shooting of his big brother William by a white man, a murder that was never prosecuted, and for which police somehow managed “to turn my brother into the prime suspect in his own murder,” as Ford notes in Strong Island, nominated for this year’s Academy Award for best documentary. Maing and Ford speak with Topher Sanders, who covers racial inequality for the investigative news organization ProPublica.

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Screening: Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram

STOLEN DAUGHTERS: KIDNAPPED BY BOKO HARAM revisits a shocking story that made global headlines. In 2014, 276 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped from a school in Chibok, Northern Nigeria, and hidden in the vast Sambisa forest for three years by Boko Haram, a violent Islamic insurgent movement. Granted exclusive access to the 82 girls who were freed last year and taken to a secret government safe house in the capital of Abuja, the film explores how the young women might adapt back to life after having experienced such trauma, and how the Nigerian government is navigating, and at times commandeering, their reentry into society. An HBO Documentary Films Release. Post-screening discussion with Karen Edwards, producer Sasha Achilli, and Laura Blumenfeld.

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Screening: Roll Red Roll

ROLL RED ROLL goes behind the headlines of a notorious high school sexual assault case to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen, and defended them when it did. Post-screening discussion with director Nancy Schwartzman, film subjects Alexandria Goddard and Rachel Dissell, and Hanna Rosin.

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October 12, 2018

9:30 AM  -  10:45 AM

Into the Deep Fake

As fake news evolves, it has gone from random clickbait and doctored photos to sophisticated multi-layered operations, skilled at exploiting the capacity of social media’s echo and amplification chambers. It seeks to control not just the story, but the public’s ability to trust in the press as a reliable source of information for holding government accountable, and to destroy the credibility of investigative storytellers it targets. It seeks to turn facts into “facts,” with truth up for grabs — to sometimes devastating and dangerous effect. But all is not dark. Alongside this assault on verifiable truth, equally sophisticated responses are emerging to expose the machinery behind the factories of fake reality, and strategies to challenge its spread.

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9:30 AM  -  11:30 AM

Docs in Progress Peer Pitch Part I

Through a competitive application process, nine projects have been selected by Docs in Progress to participate in Peer Pitch at Double Exposure. Peer Pitch is a Docs in Progress initiative, whereby documentary filmmakers with works-in-progress at any stage of development can give their pitches a test run to a panel of industry leaders, and an audience of filmmakers.

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11:00 AM  -  12:15 PM

Security Case Studies with Safe+Secure at Doc Society

In today’s world, the making of a documentary can be a minefield, presenting myriad risks to the physical, digital, legal, reputational and emotional security of filmmakers, crews and contributors. In this panel with the Safe+Secure initiative at Doc Society, three filmmakers facing a range of security threats or challenges in their recent work will unpack the risks involved, precautions they took and lessons learned with a panel of experts in safety, digital security, law and trauma.  

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1:15 PM  -  2:30 PM

Interrogating Data

What could be more neutral than data, the gold standard of law, policy — even investigative inquiry? It carries the whiff of science and the weight of fact. Data can turn the anecdotal into the emblematic. And it is being collected on a massive scale. Filmmakers, journalists and artists may work in different modes and to different ends, but they often share data as a common and integral source material. This panel takes a deeper look at our age’s unusual relationship to data: whose is collected and through what means, how it is used and misused, and what it tells us.  

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1:30 PM  -  3:30 PM

Docs in Progress Peer Pitch Part 2

Through a competitive application process, nine projects have been selected by Docs in Progress to participate in Peer Pitch at Double Exposure. Peer Pitch is a Docs in Progress initiative, whereby documentary filmmakers with works-in-progress at any stage of development can give their pitches a test run to a panel of industry leaders, and an audience of filmmakers.

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2:45 PM  -  4:00 PM

Collaborative Responses to Threat

In journalism, there is — tragically — a long tradition of reporters banding together to complete the work of colleagues killed in the line of investigating evil. Colleagues return to the investigation in greater numbers, firm in the belief that the murder of journalists demands a clear and forceful message: You can kill the messenger, but not the story. This session will also look at collective responses to meeting a range of threats to the reporting process, and creating the mechanisms and lines of communication to get the story out against the odds.

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Screening: Unprotected

In UNPROTECTED, an acclaimed American charity said it was saving some of the world’s most vulnerable girls from sexual exploitation. Then the girls were raped, and that was only the beginning. In this documentary, the investigative team at ProPublica explores what happens when good intentions collide with the realities of operating in one of the world’s most troubled nations. It’s a searing story, one whose full consequences are only now coming to light. Post-screening discussion with co-director’s Nadia Sussman and Kathleen Flynn, reporter Finlay Young, and Stephen Engelberg and Claudia Milne from ProPublica.

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4:15 PM  -  5:30 PM

Closing Conversation: Journeys Across the Abyss in Print and Screen

Filmmakers and journalists alike are often drawn to unfamiliar territory — both geographically and culturally — to better understand the world we live in through more than a touristic gaze. They often spend months, sometimes even years, immersed in environments new to them, such as Afghanistan for filmmaker James Longley, whose Angels are Made of Light (DXIFF18) follows students and teachers over three years at a school in an old neighborhood of Kabul that is slowly rebuilding from past conflicts. In Ghost Fleet (DXIFF18) investigative journalist turned filmmaker Shannon Service boldly ventures deep into sea off the coasts of Thailand and Cambodia to chronicle global massive modern slavery that has become a part of industrial fishing and  the global seafood market. For journalist Janet Reitman, the abyss she crosses is closer to home. Her nuanced Rolling Stone cover story on Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev sparked a firestorm of outrage for its effort to understand Tsarnaev in his fullness, and her investigations into the secretive religion of Scientology, as well as American Nazis, have yielded extraordinary new insights. Hear from these filmmakers and journalists on their process and craft, and the surprising insights and obstacles gleaned from working across geographic […]

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Screening: The Feeling of Being Watched

In THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, filmmaker Assia Boundaoui follows the trail of her neighbors’ suspicion that their community just outside Chicago has been under surveillance for over a decade. While investigating their experiences, Boundaoui uncovers tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents that prove her Muslim community was indeed the subject of one of the largest counter-terrorism investigations ever conducted in the U.S. before 9/11, code-named “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” Post-screening discussion with director Assia Boundaoui, producer Jessica Devaney, and Ron Nixon.

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Screening: Ghost Fleet

GHOST FLEET follows a small group of activists who risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen who feed the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, a Thai abolitionist, has committed her life to helping these “lost” men return home. Facing illness, death threats, corruption, and complacency, Patima’s fearless determination for justice inspires her nation and the world. Post-screening discussion with director Shannon Service, producer Jon Bowermaster, and David Kaplan.

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October 13, 2018

10:00 AM  -  11:30 AM

Workshop: Fact-Checking for Filmmakers, Presented By the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

In an era in which fake news and filter bubbles seem to create alternative realities and threaten the basis of democracy, it’s more important than ever that investigative journalism is factually correct, so viewers can trust the reporting.   In this workshop presented by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, we will show what can happen if journalists and news organizations neglect to fact-check before publishing or for the sake of dramatic storytelling omit important facts. This is a hands-on workshop; we will train participants to strategically and efficiently fact-check their own biases and their own reporting, even if the filmmaker has no institutional support. We will show how to independently verify facts, background people and use new tools that can help verify when and where an image was shot. Filmmakers will not only develop a road map to fact-check their own work, they will also learn about investigative skills and tools that will benefit any reporting, and even facilitate distribution.

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Screening: The Truth About Killer Robots

THE TRUTH ABOUT KILLER ROBOTS is an eerie, eye-opening work of science-nonfiction, that charts incidents in which robots have caused the deaths of humans in an automated Volkswagen factory, in a self-driving Tesla vehicle and from a bomb-carrying droid used by Dallas police. Though they are typically treated as freak anomalies, each case raises questions of accountability, legality and morality. Exploring the provocative views of engineers, journalists, and philosophers, and drawing on archival footage, the film goes beyond sensational deaths to examine more subtle ways that robots pose a threat to society. Post-screening discussion with director Maxim Pozdorovkin, moderated by Mark Greenblatt.

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10:15 AM  -  12:15 PM

Pro Bono Legal Clinic

The Pro Bono Legal Clinic offers investigative storytellers lacking legal representation the opportunity to connect with experts who can knowledgeably discuss legal challenges they are confronting. Leading attorneys in the areas First Amendment law, privacy and libel, Freedom of Information, whistleblower protection, copyright and intellectual property will be on hand. Attorneys will brief participants on case law and trends relevant to the problems that journalists and filmmakers have articulated upon registering for the clinic, and field questions from them. Attorneys have also agreed to consider representing select participants in need of counsel on an ongoing basis pro bono.   All Access pass holders receive a link via email to pre-register for the Legal Clinic. They should describe the legal challenges they are facing to ensure participating attorneys are aware of their issues. Seating is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis to those who pre-register and are confirmed to attend.

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10:30 AM  -  12:30 PM

Workshop: Crypto Party

Crypto Party is a decentralized movement with events happening all over the world. The goal is to pass on knowledge about protecting yourself in the digital space. This can include encrypted communication, preventing being tracked while browsing the web and general security advice for computers and smartphones. The DX Crypto Party, led by leaders in digital security from the Freedom of the Press Foundation, aims to bridge a gap between technologists and civilians, and provide a creative space for hands-on instruction on privacy-enhancing technology and encryption tools.

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11:45 AM  -  1:15 PM

Workshop: Research Desk

In a world where every fact is challenged, deep research is the best defense. Research and fact-checking are bookends in the investigative process from story development to the final cut. Whether the filmmaker partners with a researcher, needs to train a new assistant or has to do it on her own, there are methods, tools and techniques beyond Google for connecting the dots, tracking down visual assets and human sources and bulletproofing the production. Filmmaker Johanna Hamilton (1971, The Trial) and filmmaker and curator Shola Lynch (Free Angela And All Political Prisoners, Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed) will discuss the documentary research mindset and process. Investigative researcher Margot Williams (The Intercept and Field of Vision) will take you on a whistle stop tour of skills and resources for finding public records, data, media and people locators online and on foot.

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Screening: The Unafraid

THE UNAFRAID follows the personal lives of three DACA students in Georgia, a state that has banned them from attending their top state universities and disqualifies them from receiving in-state tuition at any other public college. Shot in an observational style over a period of four years, this film takes an intimate look at the lives of Alejandro, Silvia and Aldo as they navigate activism, pursuing their right to education, and fighting for the rights of their families and communities. Post-screening discussion with director Heather Courtney and Ricardo Sandoval-Palos.

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Exposing the Invisible

This workshop will provide tools useful for any research process — from film documentation or cross-border investigations, to community-centered reporting and citizen investigations. Participants will explore the contexts in which information is generated and learn to access valuable digital resources. They will learn about tapping less obvious information sources and techniques for gathering evidence, and recognize the challenges of operating in diverse environments. Time allowing, we will practice a number of techniques. Feel free to bring some of your own case studies and inquiries for expert advice. Please bring a laptop or a smartphone to be able to practice with some of the tools and resources. This workshop is presented in partnership with the Tactical Tech Collective, creators of the Exposing the Invisible project, which explores how new types of actors, data journalists, programmers, researchers, activists, artists and citizen journalists are able to work together to identify and reveal new strands of evidence available in the public sphere. It provides a collection of tools, tactics, guides and video resources exploring innovative and impactful work at the frontiers of investigation.    

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Planning for Visuals

You’re digging deep and your investigation is promising. You’re wondering if you can turn your story into a compelling video or radio story. How do you prepare your sources, think about your story arc from an early stage and build effective scenes that convey the dramatic potential of your story? We will explore the power of great multi-media storytelling and, on a practical level, the process for pulling it off, with Susanne Reber, executive producer at E.W. Scripps Washington bureau and former executive editor of Reveal, the investigative radio show and podcast.   This workshop will cover the essentials of compelling storytelling, including getting the most from your interactions with sources, interviewing for material that lends itself to media beyond print, and building scenes and emotion into your process.

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2:15 PM  -  4:00 PM

Workshop: Saving the Story

In 2016, Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist reporting on the infamous ‘Ndragheta mafia, was gunned down in an effort to silence her reporting. Thus was born The Daphne Project, a global response to the rising danger investigative journalists are increasingly facing. Reporters the world over picked up and completed Daphne’s reporting, sending a powerful message to those who would kill the messenger to choke the story. This workshop will unpack the nuts and bolts of such massive collaboration under conditions of extreme danger. It will be led by Laurent Richard, who coordinated the global effort. He is founder of the Paris-based Forbidden Stories, a nonprofit news operation dedicated to ensuring that these endangered stories reach the public.

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Screening: False Confessions

Each year innumerable American suspects confess to crimes they did not commit, and experts say that trained interrogators can get anybody to confess to anything. The film follows indefatigable defense attorney Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, who is determined to put an end to interrogation techniques that all too often pressure innocent people into false confessions. As we weave through four of Fisher-Byrialsen’s cases, all involving false confessions, the film examines the psychological aspect of how people end up confessing to crimes they have not committed and the consequences of these confessions – for those accused, for their families and for society at large. Post-screening discussion with subject Jane Fisher-Byrialsen and Marcia Davis.

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