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Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary

| 1 h 37 min

In this feature-length film on the art of the documentary, director Pepita Ferrari interviews 33 leading documentarians and shows clips from over 50 films. From cinéma-vérité pioneers like Albert Maysles and Michel Brault to mavericks like Errol Morris and Nick Broomfield, it explores the challenges of capturing reality on film. Directors as diverse as Pakistani feminist Sabiha Sumar and new media guru Peter Wintonick reflect on ethical issues and the contested status of the “truth.”

Featured interviews include German iconoclast Werner Herzog; Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán; British director Kim Longinotto and Alanis Obomsawin, the First Lady of First Nations cinema. Visit Capturing Reality for additional interviews and background.

  • participant
    Jennifer Baichwal
    Manfred Becker
    Michel Brault
    Nick Broomfield
    Joan Churchill
    Eduardo Coutinho
    Paul Cowan
    Jean-Xavier De Lestrade
    Molly Dineen
    Jennifer Fox
    Denis Gheerbrant
    Serge Giguère
    Patricio Guzmán
    Werner Herzog
    Scott Hicks
    Heddy Honigmann
    Sylvain L'Espérance
    Jean-Pierre Lledo
    Kim Longinotto
    Kevin MacDonald
    Albert Maysles
    Errol Morris
    Stan Neumann
    Alanis Obomsawin
    Laura Poitras
    Velcrow Ripper
    Hubert Sauper
    Rakesh Sharma
    Barry Stevens
    Sabiha Sumar
    Nettie Wild
    Peter Wintonick
    Jessica Yu
  • director
    Pepita Ferrari
  • writer
    Pepita Ferrari
  • producer
    Michelle van Beusekom
  • cinematographer
    Marc Gadoury
  • editor
    Barbara Brown
  • original music
    Robert M. Lepage
  • research
    Pepita Ferrari
    Michelle van Beusekom
    Gabriella Romano
    Christiane Talbot
    Katherine Kasirer
  • archival research
    Sylvia Mezei
    Gabriella Romano
  • clearances
    Sylvia Mezei
    Gabriella Romano
  • research consultant
    Diane Poitras
    Jerry McIntosh
  • production coordinator
    Gabriella Romano
    Steve Hallé
  • additional camera
    Katerine Giguère
    Bernardo Palmeiro
    Kirk Tougas
    François Vincelette
  • sound recordist
    André Boisvert
  • additional sound recordist
    Bo Anderson
    Patrick Bordes
    Fred Burnham
    Ian Challis
    Simon Elsbury
    Jeff Henschel
    John Koster
    Chris Miller
    Kip Savoie
    Piotr Van Dijk
  • production assistant
    Garth Archibald
    Sarah Arruda
    Mickey Barr
    Walter Brito Dias
    Ivanildo Jorge Da Silva
    Romain Grumbach
    Damian Kuehn
    Luc Mikelson
    Christian Mouzard
    Evandro José Fraga Neto
    Felipe Kremer Ribeiro
    Stefan van de Staak
    Sam Vines
    Sean Yopchick
  • production manager
    Fernando Alvares Salis
  • sound design
    Olivier Calvert
  • sound editor
    Olivier Calvert
  • mix
    Geoffrey Mitchell
  • musician
    Olivier Thouin
    Stéphane Allard
    Jean René
    Elizabeth Dubé
    Sheila Hannigan
  • assistant
    Nicolas Borycki
  • graphics
    Philippe Raymond
  • digital imaging
    Philippe Raymond
  • titles
    Gaspard Gaudreau
    Philippe Raymond
  • digital editing technician
    Amélie Bolduc
    Pierre Dupont
    Martine Forget
    Isabelle Painchaud
    Danielle Raymond
  • HD conversion
    Jean Colombe
  • online editor
    Denis Gathelier
  • post-production coordinator
    Brigitte Sénéchal
    Sylvain Desbiens
  • marketing lead
    Susan Nosov
    Mary Graziano
  • marketing coordinator
    Annmarie Martin
    Karen Feiertag
  • legal
    Stéphane L'Écuyer
  • production administration
    Suzanne Morin
    Marie Tonto-Donati
  • administrative assistant
    Sylvie Azoulay
  • transcription
    Anissa Rawji
    Hélène Laporte-Rawji
    Victor Regalado
    Alex Costa
    Gabriella Romano
  • translation
    Alex Costa
    Karina Garcia Casanova


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Ages 13 to 17

Media Education - Documentary Film
Media Education - Film and Video Production

Students should use one or more of the aesthetic approaches shown in the film to produce a documentary on a subject in their environment. They should also explain their artistic choices and prove that these choices let them show reality as faithfully as possible. A panel can then be set up to discuss the choices and their relevance.

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary
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