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We are so fortunate, here in Boston, to have the resources of the MIT Open Doc Lab in our backyard. Last night I attended “The People Formerly Known As the Subject,” a presentation by the amazing Katrina Cizek and Gerry Flahive – the minds and motivation behind HIGHRISE.
Our 3rd DocYard summer season has wrapped and another collection of amazing films and artists has come and gone. Nearing the end of this summer’s programming, several people approached me asking about how we select the films. I’ve been programming screening and discussion events with filmmakers for my entire professional life, and these inquiries made me realize that what seems so rote to me is actually a total mystery to others. Now that the summer season is closed and we’ve turned our eyes to the next round of films in our scope, I thought it was a good time to share a bit about the process and thinking behind our programming.
I had the privilege last week to be among a small group gathered for the New Arts of Documentary summit, a project of the Open Doc Lab at MIT. The summit brought together a group of mediamakers, technologists, scholars, curators and funders who are all experimenting with, thinking about, and forging new ground in the practice of nonfiction storytelling. Throughout the day, we shared rich discussion and saw some amazing projects playing with the boundaries of what documentary is and, significantly, what it can be. We also wrestled with the obstacles and ethical issues at play in the field, leaving with more questions than answers and a promise of more conversation to come.

New England