Polio Virus Documentary: A Case Study in the Defeat of a Raging Epidemic

A SHOT TO SAVE THE WORLD is a special about Jonas Salk’s race to defeat the dreaded polio virus. It captures how strong, unifying leadership and Science-based government can overcome a terrible global epidemic. I became committed as an Executive Producer. Bill Gates kindly agreed to serve as the narrator of our film, and his foundation supported …

Coronavirus: The Economic Impact of Lost Markets & Festivals. Workarounds for Producers

The impact on the documentary economy of cancelled markets and events due to Coronavirus precautions is serious. A helpful approach to understanding this loss is to recap what’s involved in the distribution of fine, one-off documentaries in a typical season. This process was captured in my very useful post with Windrose‘s Pauline Mazenod. Read: How …

Killer Virus: Case Studies of co-productions on the AIDS & Ebola epidemics

The challenges of covering the Coronavirus pandemic are anticipated in two of my Case Studies: Rise of the Killer Virus and In Ebola’s Wake. HIV / AIDS: The Rise of the Killer Virus is a scientific detective story. It traces the pre-history of HIV back to the moment of its origination in Africa around 1908. Key …

Sundance Selections 2020: What are the Odds for Documentaries?

A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. But what are the odds that a U.S. or international documentary will earn a slot on the program? Submissions: 1,774 Documentary Features were submitted to the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, which opens on January 23: 840 were from the U.S. …