Uncomfortable Questions

Posted March 1, 2012

Panel #49
Sunday, March 4, 12:30pm
Columbia Art League, 207 S. Ninth St.

It’s not easy for filmmakers to be simultaneously delicate and assertive in confronting interview subjects head-on. These fearless directors lead the way. With Rachel Leah Jones (Gypsy Davy), Lee Hirsch (Bully), and Bart Layton (The Imposter). Moderated by Julia Reichert.

Julia Reichert

Julia Reichert has been called a godmother of the American independent film movement and is a three-time Oscar nominee. With Jim Klein, Julia made Growing Up Female, which was the first feature documentary of the modern Women’s Movement and is now on the National Film Registry. She and Steven Bognar’s film A Lion in the House premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, and received a Primetime Emmy for “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.” Her latest film, also with Bognar, The Last Truck premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, and screened on HBO. Julia is co-founder of New Day Films, the film distribution co-op, and the author of “Doing It Yourself,” the first book on self-distribution in independent film, and is Professor of Motion Pictures at Wright State University.

Rachel Leah Jones (Gypsy Davy)

Born in Berkeley, California, and raised between Berkeley and Tel Aviv, Rachel is a documentary filmmaker who specializes in socially and politically engaged work about Israel/Palestine. Her directorial credits include 500 Dunam on the Moon (2002), about a Palestinian village transformed into a Jewish artists’ colony, Ashkenaz (2007), about Ashkenaziness, the Israeli version of whiteness, and Targeted Citizen (2010), about the structural inequality of Palestinian citizens of Israel. This year, she comes to True/False with Gypsy Davy (2011), which was commissioned by Israel Channel 8 and received the Juliano Mer Khamis Documentary Award. Over the years, Rachel has been affiliated with various progressive media outlets such as the award-winning radio/TV program Democracy Now!

Lee Hirsch (Bully)

Lee Hirsch is the founder, director, and producer of the Local Voices for Obama project, a series of ads featuring Obama supporters in small towns in swing states speaking candidly about him. It won Best Presidential Ad and Best Independent Expenditure at the 2009 Reed Awards. Lee’s debut feature film, Amandla! a Revolution in Four Part Harmony, was released to acclaim, winning the Audience and Freedom of Expression Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as one of the five Emmy awards it was nominated for. Financed by the Ford Foundation and HBO, Amandla! was theatrically released in the United States by Artisan/Lions Gate. Lee also directs and produces programs for Discovery Channel and the History Channel, and is also a well regarded music video director. He comes to True/False this year with Bully, an unsettling and deeply felt look at the bullying epidemic in American schools.

Bart Layton (The Impostor)

Bart Layton is a British filmmaker known for visual innovation and challenging conventions. He has directed a number of acclaimed documentaries for both British and American broadcasters and on several occasions has been a finalist for the best documentary award of The Royal Television society, has been shortlisted for a BAFTA award, and been named a finalist for Best Documentary at the Grierson Awards. Layton served as executive producer on 23 episodes of Locked Up Abroad and a handful of other television shows. He is the Creative Director of leading British production company, RAW.