Last week the launch party for How Documentaries Work, the new book by Associate Professor Jacob Bricca, took place at the University of Arizona Bookstores. Documentary veteran Jack Walsh delivered opening remarks before Bricca read insightful passages from the book and then took part in a Q&A.
How Documentaries Work, published by Oxford University Press, breaks down the hidden conventions of documentaries in clear and accessible language for film students and documentary enthusiasts alike. Bricca, an award-winning documentary director, producer, and editor, provides a behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood view of what’s really going on in the construction of nonfiction films and television shows.
The book presents examples from contemporary documentaries and docuseries and delivers insights from some of the most exciting nonfiction filmmakers and craftspeople working today, including director Steve James, producer Amy Ziering, editor Aaron Wickenden, and composer Miriam Cutler.
In addition to his book release, Bricca has been continuing the festival and awards tour for Missing in Brooks County, the award-winning human rights documentary he produced and edited. Last month, he travelled with the film’s directors Lisa Molomot (TFTV Adjunct Instructor) and Jeff Bemiss to New York to attend the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. Seated alongside the makers of such films as the Oscar-nominated Navalny and the festival darling The Janes, the team was honored as a Finalist in the celebration of the best of journalism. From there they traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress about the vital issues in the film. Operation Identification founder Dr. Kate Spradley and South Texas Human Rights Center Director Eddie Canales accompanied the filmmakers as they held joint briefings in meeting rooms of the House and Senate. Kate and Eddie then met with the Legislative Directors for Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) to advocate for a centralized office for missing persons in Texas and for a demilitarized approach to border security.
The film team wrapped their D.C. visit with an encore screening sponsored by the University of Arizona Washington, D.C. Center for Outreach and Collaboration. The event featured a panel including Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer from the Washington Office on Latin America and Jenny Johnson from the Southern Border Communities Coalition. Questions were raised from all sides of the political spectrum and the audience included representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sojourners, Oxfam America, the American Bar Association, the Episcopal Church, the Project on Government Oversight, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the National Institute of Justice, and Human Rights First.
This week, the film team is in Cuba to present Missing in Brooks County at the Santiago Alvarez International Documentary Film Festival, presented by the Cuban Film Institute.Learn more about 'How Documentaries Work'