Regardless of whether he’s working in a long or short form, filmmaker Stephen Maing digs in. For his 2012 feature High Tech, Low Life, Maing spent five years trailing two dissident citizen journalists as they reported on censored news throughout mainland China. Subsequent projects saw him tracking the failed mayoral campaign of Christine Quinn in New York City, where the director is based, and exploring the highly charged issues of race and NYPD policing.

According to Maing, it was his work on High Tech, Low Life that led him to collaborate with Laura Poitras and Peter Maass at The Intercept, yielding the short film The Surrender, which debuted on the site in February 2015. The film was released in tandem with Maass’s written investigation “Destroyed by the Espionage Act”; both tackle the story of Stephen Kim, a U.S. State Department expert who was prosecuted and eventually imprisoned for allegedly revealing classified information to a reporter.

As Maing describes in the following interview, he and Maass made trips to Kim’s home in Virginia right up until the morning Kim checked himself into a Maryland prison. With The Release, the filmmaker continues Kim’s saga by documenting his departure from prison 13 months later, finding a man struggling to process what he’s been through and repair his shattered life.

To what degree did your reporting overlap or work in conjunction with Peter Maass’s investigation?

Maing: It’s always nice to be able to compare notes and impressions, and we would walk away with very similar questions as our understanding of Stephen’s story evolved. It was really tense in the beginning because Stephen was quite worried about potential retaliation by the Department of Justice for possibly saying the wrong thing, or coming off as though he was refuting the terms of the plea agreement that he ultimately made. It was a complicated situation, so it was meaningful to be down there with Peter.

How did you make sure that you each got what you needed?

Maing: The two mediums can have very different needs, such as the balance between observation and interview. We would stagger our trips so Stephen Kim could develop a relationship to the camera that was independent of the print reporting.

And we knew there were things we both needed to be present for, which were informing the trajectory of our reporting. The challenge would be trying to show what was going on with him and what he was going through — as opposed to straight telling. A lot of time was spent sitting and talking with Stephen in the kitchen, but a lot of amazing and interesting information would emerge from that — even if the majority of that would actually not be usable for me. It was valuable to be able to establish an independent relationship where I could start to become more of a fly on the wall in his life.

There’s a visual and auditory aspect to what you’re doing, decisions about look and feel that you’re making as a filmmaker that were distinct from what Peter was doing — though he’s got his own set of choices in terms of form. And even between your two films here, you’re making different choices. How did you come to make those choices, and how did they relate to your understanding of Stephen’s experience?

Maing: I went in knowing very little about what to shoot and how to document Stephen. There were so many questions and points of confusion about what happened to him and what to look for when we first walked through that door. But over time, I grew to understand what he was going through in this situation and in his life. The whole range of emotions he was going through started to inform what I looked for, so by the midpoint of shooting the first part, it was really apparent what kinds of scenes we could get out of this information dump that he was giving us.

In passing conversation, he would mention what it feels like to walk through the supermarket and be totally anonymous going through this thing that is destroying his life, the alienation and the suicidal thoughts he was having. And so immediately there was this thought of — if we can, I would like to film him in the supermarket. Weeks later, he mentions that he’ll have a job to go to when he’s released from prison, which would make him eligible for early release. And so that was another situation I could ask to be present for. Just by the nature of this process of long-form filmmaking, the more time we spend with people, the more we understand how to document what they’re going through.

I love that you’re talking about strategies of long-form filmmaking even though this is a short film. This kind of approach still took an investment of time and the development of a relationship to shape it into the story you wanted to tell. It wasn’t the five years you spent on your feature, but it was showing up and listening, building trust.

Maing: I’m always amazed by the process of long-form filmmaking, even if it is for a short film. For this piece, Stephen really was a slow burn. It took a long time to acclimate him to the idea of being documented — even though in some ways, he was desperate to get his story out. The nice thing about the long days and months spent making long-form docs is that as Stephen acclimated to the camera, I think it also became an open — sometimes even cathartic — space for him to begin to unpack and express some of his feelings. Whenever we have the opportunity to really dig in and establish a relationship with a subject, the sense of what to look for becomes more acute. I don’t think that it would have been possible to just go down for five or six days and do this piece. It was around 25 days of filming, and it was important to spend that kind of time.

What was it like to film with him again after he’d been in prison? He seems changed, and the second film you made with him is different as well.

Maing: It felt really great to see him, to see that he hadn’t lost his sense of humor and was still able to talk with perspective. But I was also really moved, and kind of blow away that he had gone through that whole experience and was now living in the basement of an old couple’s house — they’d generously allowed him to stay while he gets his life together.

There’s a getting-into-his-point-of-view element that’s really interesting here, both in a contemplative visual approach and the interpolated, emotionally accumulating voiceover. They’re such strong aesthetic choices, and they’re a departure from the choices you made in the first film. How did you come upon that?

Maing: Unlike Part 1, Part 2 was able to unfold without this contextual burden of establishing what had happened to him, what the circumstances were. Presumably, people arriving at this second part already got a strong sense that this was an individual who had been very harshly prosecuted under the Espionage Act, considering that he didn’t engage in any kind of wartime spying activity for which the Espionage Act was initially designed.

Instead, we had the luxury to really live inside his mind and get into some of the details of what it was like to get through prison. He told us he kept a daily journal of everything that happened to him, and received a tremendous number of letters and cards from people who had followed his case and were generally worried about him. As he went through this writing and correspondence for the first time since leaving prison, it immediately took him back. I could hear it in his voice — there would be these long pauses between one page and the next, or from one card to the next. I didn’t know what the structure of the second part would be until I saw him handling these cards and letters, and it’s quite a gift to a filmmaker when a subject is triggered by something so powerful.

To what degree does Stephen’s specific story represent larger issues of government overreach and the quashing of critical discourse?

Maing: I think it’s very much about power and legitimacy. Stephen Kim is among the growing list of mid-level government employees like Thomas Drake, Jeffrey Sterling, and Chelsea Manning targeted by the Espionage Act for challenging the government. We see how vulnerable individuals become when an administration’s policy or messaging is threatened.

Stephen Kim happened to have serious national security concerns about our policy toward North Korea, but he didn’t have the political clout to protect himself. It’s crazy to see how others with deep connections like Gen. Petraeus have gotten off so lightly considering the magnitude of his national security violations. Or how relatively unscathed Hillary Clinton has been despite her blithe mishandling of classified information. So I do think Stephen Kim’s story is a direct reminder of larger issues at play. It’s a reminder that we exist in a governed society that may resemble the idea of a democracy with rule of law — until you cross the line.

How do you balance tackling those larger issues and forces with honoring the specifics and complications of your subject? Is it something largely navigated in the editing, or was it present whenever you spent time with or spoke to Stephen?

Maing: It’s very hard for me to imagine going through what he has — to become radioactive to almost everyone you know and thought of as a criminal. I thought a lot about how to mitigate this presumption of guilt that simply came with the Espionage Act charges he fought. It didn’t help that circumstantially Stephen seemed to have made some mistakes, most notably in trusting James Rosen. But being guilty of a serious felony and being accountable for perhaps a significant lapse in judgment are two radically different things.

To neutralize this presumption of guilt, it was important to humanize Stephen’s story. And instead of making a film that attempted to re-litigate his case and innocence to viewers, I thought it would be important to give a window into his personality and world view, and raise larger questions about the extreme nature of the Espionage Act charges. Being a short film, it was also more realistic and powerful if we could try to just activate some of those questions: Why are some convicted and others aren’t under the Espionage Act? Was Stephen’s prosecution meant to correct a great breach of national security or maybe just to send a message about the consequences when government officials choose to speak to the press?

We started by talking about how you moved from your feature on Chinese journalists to this American domestic narrative. Looking back, how much overlap do you see between the two?

Maing: High Tech, Low Life was about the risks of speaking truth to power — these two scrappy citizen journalists pushing up against a powerful censorship apparatus that targets individuals and media alike. The guys in the film would talk about how in China, political legitimacy for the government was very much about social control and squashing competing narratives. So, it’s unfortunate to say, there probably are some parallels to be drawn.

But for me, this project was about trying to get at something more intimate. There’s a line by James Baldwin that I think Stephen once quoted that goes, “People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.” For me, that perfectly captures the power of visual journalism to help us unpack both what is sublime and immensely personal about history and struggle. To think, after all he accomplished as a young immigrant to this country, a gifted student of history and literature, and one of our rising stars in the intelligence community, that he would ultimately choose to go back to South Korea and leave this place he once loved and sought to protect. The takeaway is maybe that it’s not just Stephen’s story — it’s our history too.



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Field of Vision announces today a new fellowship and its first-ever artist-in-residence. 

The Field of Vision fellowship is a year-long, collaborative program designed to support filmmakers in achieving their long-term artistic goals. The four 2018 Field of Vision fellows are: director Garrett Bradley (AloneBelow Dreams); director, actor, and activist Michelle Latimer (RiseChoke); filmmaker Charlie Lyne (Fish StoryBeyond Clueless); and Lyric Cabral, director of the Emmy-winning documentary (T)error.

“We are establishing this fellowship program to support filmmakers beyond project-based commissions, and to invite artists to collaborate in our editorial process," said Field of Vision executive producer Laura Poitras.  

The first year of fellows were selected from filmmakers who had worked with Field of Vision over the last three years. In addition to creating a framework for idea development, creative support, and a grant, Field of Vision will conduct workshops throughout the year in the areas of digital security, research, and legal issues. Fellows will also be invited to participate in Field of Vision’s editorial process, from identifying urgent stories to offering filmmaker feedback and guidance.

“We have wanted to support filmmakers in as many ways as possible since the beginning of Field of Vision,” said executive producer Charlotte Cook. “We are so thrilled to create these fellowships to be able to collaborate further with these incredible artists, all of whom are visionaries whose work is at the forefront of exploring the ways of combining art and storytelling and expanding the form.”

In addition to the four fellows, Field of Vision and First Look Media are jointly supporting data artist Josh Begley as an artist-in-residence in 2018. On staff at The Intercept since 2014, Begley has regularly collaborated with the publication’s co-founder Jeremy Scahill on multiple projects, including The Drone Papers. Begley’s first project as artist-in-residence is Concussion Protocol, a short film made with footage of all reported concussions sustained in the NFL this season. It has been viewed over 1.6 million times. 

January was a landmark month for Field of Vision. Yance Ford’s Strong Island, made with support from Field of Vision, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, marking the first nomination for an openly transgender director. 

Five Field of Vision-supported documentaries also screened at Sundance Film Festival, and three received special jury awards: Steve Maing’s Crime + Punishment; RaMell Ross’s Hale County This Morning, This Evening; and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s Our New President

Founded in 2015, Field of Vision has funded over 70 shorts and provided support for 10 feature documentaries. Field of Vision is the recipient of the International Documentary Association’s Best Short Form Series award and a News and Documentary Emmy nomination. 

About the Fellows:

Garrett Bradley

Garrett Bradley is a New Orleans-based filmmaker. Her debut feature documentary,Below Dreams, premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Her work has been exhibited in several prominent venues, including the Getty Museum, Hammer Museum, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rooftop Films, New Orleans Film Festival, Hot Docs, and SXSW. Her short film Alone (Sundance 2017), which was released as part of the New York Times’s Op-Docs series, won a Sundance Jury Award and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. She has received fellowships from the Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation, and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Garrett is also the co-founder of Creative Council, an artist-led afterschool program that helps high school students develop strong portfolios and applications for college. She currently teaches filmmaking at Loyola University.

Recent Field of Vision films: Like (SXSW 2016), The Earth is Humming (to be released)

Lyric Cabral

Director Lyric R. Cabral creates investigative work that exposes new information for the public record. Cabral’s directorial debut (T)error won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and was hailed by Variety as "a vital exposé.” (T)error has screened at more than 50 film festivals worldwide and is now available on Netflix. Lyric is a recipient of the International Documentary Association’s Emerging Filmmaker Award and has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. A current Rockwood/ Just Films Fellow, Lyric is a former Sundance Women in Film Fellow and a veteran of Sundance Institute’s Edit Lab and Creative Producing Lab. Prior to making films, Lyric worked as an editorial photojournalist; her photography was recently on exhibit in Gordon Parks: The Making of An Argument at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

Recent Field of Vision film: The Rashomon Effect (in production)

Michelle Latimer

Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin) is a Toronto-based writer, director, activist, and actor. Her body of work includes Choke (Sundance 2011), which received a Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Honorable Mention in International Short Filmmaking and was chosen as one of TIFF Canada’s Top Ten in 2012; The Underground (TIFF 2014); Nimmikaage (Oberhausen 2016); the feature-length documentary ALIAS, which was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award; and the Viceland docuseries Rise (Sundance 2017). Michelle is currently working on her first dramatic feature The Freedom Project, adapting the bestselling novel The Inconvenient Indian (HBO/NFB) for screen, and being the showrunner for the seriesRed Nation Rising, which is in development for Sienna. She has programmed for ImagineNATIVE, Hot Docs Film Festival, and the Dawson City International Short Film Festival.

Recent Field of Vision film: Nuuca (TIFF 2017, Sundance 2018)

Charlie Lyne

Charlie Lyne is a filmmaker and film critic, best known for the essay films Beyond Clueless and Fear Itself. He has also directed a number of shorts, including the award-winning documentary Fish Story, and the 10-hour protest film Paint Drying. His work has screened at festivals including Sundance, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and SXSW.

Recent Field of Vision film: Personal Truth (IDFA 2017)

About the Artist-in-Residence:

Josh Begley

Josh Begley is a data artist and app developer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is the creator of Metadata+, an iPhone app that tracks U.S. drone strikes. Begley’s work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, The Intercept, The Guardian, New York Magazine, and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Recent Field of Vision films: Best of Luck with the Wall (Doc Stories 2016, True/False 2017), Concussion Protocol


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American football is a beautiful sport. There’s a tremendous amount of grace that goes into it. For a moment, men can fly; the highlight reels are spectacular.

It can also be horrific — like watching someone get hit by a car.

Since the season started, there have been more than 280 concussions in the NFL. That is an average of 12 concussions per week. Though it claims to take head injuries very seriously, the National Football League holds this data relatively close. It releases yearly statistics, but those numbers are published in aggregate, making it difficult to glean specific insights.

I have been tracking these injuries all season. Using a variety of methods, including reviewing daily injury reports from, I have created what I believe is the most complete dataset of individual concussions sustained during the 2017-2018 season.

The resulting film, “Concussion Protocol,” is a visual record of every concussion in the NFL this year.

This film does not make an argument for ending football. Rather, it invites a set of questions. In the spirit of Saidiya Hartman, I am interested in “defamiliarizing the familiar.”

When we watch American football, what are we seeing?

By cutting together only these scenes of injury — moments of impact, of intimacy, of trauma — and reversing them, I hope to open up a space to see some of this violence anew.

In his recent book “Black and Blur,” Fred Moten asks, “What is it to rewind the given? What is it to wound it? What is it to be given to this wounding and rewinding?”

Representing this series of collisions in reverse — and in slow motion or “dragged time” — I hope to make strange what has for many of us become normative: the spectacular, devouring moment of a football hit that knocks a player out cold.

Rather than making a film about concussions with a flurry of hard hits, however, I am interested — inspired by Hartman — in looking elsewhere. How might we see the totality of this violence without just replaying the violence itself? “By defamiliarizing the familiar,” Hartman writes in “Scenes of Subjection,” “I hope to illuminate the terror of the mundane and quotidian rather than exploit the shocking spectacle.”

In a moment when black athletes are being chastised for kneeling in protest of police violence, it should not be lost on us that calls to “get back on the field” or “stick to football” are also calls for players to subject themselves to the slower forms of violence the football field contains.


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Field of Vision is debuting their new film, A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN by Marshall Curry.

A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN (Dir. Marshall Curry)

In 1939, twenty-thousand Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN uses striking archival fragments recorded that night to transport modern audiences into this disturbing gathering. With chilling resonance in light of events in Charlottesville and around the country, the film is a reminder about the power that far-right ideology once had in America and a wakeup call about the importance of to addressing it today.

From Field of Vision Co-Founders:

Laura Poitras: "When Marshall approached us with the film two days after Charlottesville, my first thought was, 'we need to put this film in cinemas,' and release it like a newsreel."

Charlotte Cook: “When Marshall first showed us this footage we were stunned. We felt that due to this political climate it was essential to get this film out fast, but also that to do so we needed to try a different style of distribution. By playing in theatres across the country first we hope this the film will be able to reach beyond our usual audience, and into a range of communities and cities around the US. Creating a conversation around the film from the ground up. It’s extremely exciting to be able to do this with Marshall, a filmmaker we’ve been wanting to work with for a long time. And this film is so incredibly well, and thoughtfully, made. We can’t wait for people to see it.”

On Sunday September 24, the film will be shown across the country at 22 screens in Alamo theaters in:

Kansas City


San Francisco


Austin Lakeline

Austin Mueller

Austin Ritz

Austin Slaughter

The film is also playing at the IFC Center in New York until Friday playing before the 12:30pm showing of “The Unknown Girl."

The film will be part of a special event at the NYFF, and more festivals to come, along with an online release.

About Marshall Curry: MARSHALL CURRY is a two-time Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker. His film, “Street Fight,” follows Cory Booker’s first run for mayor of Newark, NJ and was nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy. His follow up documentary, “Racing Dreams” tells the story of two boys and a girl who live in rural America and dream of one day racing in NASCAR. It won numerous awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, and aired on PBS and the BBC. His third film, “If a Tree Falls, a Story of the Earth Liberation Front” peels back the layers of a radical environmental group that the FBI called the number one domestic terrorist group in the United States. That film won the award for Best Documentary Editing at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to be nominated for an Oscar. Marshall was Executive Producer and an additional editor of “Mistaken For Strangers,” a comedy rock-doc about indie band, The National. Most recently Marshall directed and edited “Point and Shoot,” a documentary about a young Baltimore native who set out on a 30,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East and wound up joining the rebels in Libya fighting Gaddafi. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released in theaters and aired on PBS and the BBC. Marshall is a graduate of Swarthmore College where he studied Comparative Religion and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Duke, Columbia, NYU, and other colleges. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.


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Before directing Field of Vision’s latest film, “Duterte’s Hell,” with Aaron Goodman, Luis Liwanag worked as a photojournalist for local and foreign press in the Philippines. In the following essay, he reflects on his transition from taking still photographs to filmmaking, and what it was like to capture the horrors of President Duterte’s “war on drugs.

I discovered photography when I was 11. My family did not own a single camera, but our neighborhood sorbetero [ice cream vendor] had a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera and would take our family photos for us. I remember we had so many that when I opened my mother’s closet, dozens of photo albums would cascade down from the shelves. My dad, an artist and illustrator, kept stacks of old National Geographic, Time, and Life magazines tucked away in his filing cabinet. I bought my first camera at age 12: a Kodak Instamatic. I guess you could say I was destined to be in this line of work.

As a kid, I would just snap pictures of my friends in school. As an adult, being a photographer has given me the power to make observations about daily life in my country and voice my opinion on certain issues.

When President Rodrigo Duterte came into power, the rampage of extrajudicial killings started. My fellow journalists were covering the night shifts at the police headquarters. Reports would come in—either from radio dispatch or via Twitter—and they would travel to crime scenes in convoys. It was only a matter of time before I decided to started going with them, to see the effects of Duterte’s war on drugs for myself.

Shooting this and other documentaries has been transformative experience for me. When working as a hired photojournalist, I didn’t really set up my shots—I just filmed whatever is happening right in front of me.

And as I witnessed the aftermath of the slayings, I felt like I was reconnecting to my old self. I was a police beat photographer at the onset of my career, but later shifted to more varied issues and mainstream news coverage. I became focused on issues dictated by the editorial policies of media entities that employed me.

Now, as a freelancer—and particularly with this film—I’ve had the leeway to choose stories that I feel I can interpret better visually. And although the nightly spate of killings numbed me in some ways, I felt for the people directly or indirectly affected by them.

A couple of months into photographing the killings in Manila and its surrounding metro area, Aaron Goodman, an educator and video journalist whom I had worked with previously, saw my images on social media and asked me if I was interested in collaborating with him on a video documentary about Duterte’s drug war.

While filming, we had to maintain a low-key lighting style, and only expose for the midtones. I wanted to be unobtrusive and invisible while shooting the events so that we left as few traces of ourselves as possible.

We had a limited amount of time to set up each shot. When you’re filming events as they unfold, you don’t really have control over what is going to happen. You have to visualize the image in your mind’s eye beforehand, and shoot whatever occurs in the moment.

While filming, we were very attuned to the sounds, textures, emotions and details of each scene. My approach was to linger in a single framed shot as if it was a single image and slowly transition into another well-composed frame and capture the entire story happening between those frames.

Although I am an advocate of still photographs and what photography great Henri Cartier- Bresson calls “the decisive moment,” I have discovered that video, though more fleeting, can be equally powerful in stringing together single images to make a powerful statement.

See Goodman and Liwanag’s film here:

To see more work by Luis Liwanag, visit his website here. To see the work of Aaron Goodman, visit his website here.


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New York, NY (May 17, 2017) - Starting May 18, 2017, Fusion will unveil the first in a series of short films from the Our 100 Days initiative from Firelight Media and Field of Vision. The films explore threats to U.S. democracy and the stories of targeted communities in the current highly polarized political climate. Episodes will be released weekly, beginning with directors Sofian Khan and Nausheen Dadabhoy’s Act of Worship, a rare behind-the-scenes look at CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a champion of civil rights for Muslims in the US that finds itself in the crosshairs of a new administration’s policies.

“The current moment in the U.S. is a result of our collective refusal to tell the whole story of America. Not only do we need new stories, we need new storytellers. At Firelight, we have been committed to supporting storytellers of color for many years,” shares documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson. “The partnership with Field of Vision has allowed us to deepen that support by providing filmmakers of color with the resources and platform necessary to create powerful cinematic narratives that deepen our understanding of these frightening times.”

The series will also feature work from filmmakers: Cecilia Aldarondo, Chelsea Hernandez & Iliana Sosa, Adele Pham, Lorena Manriquez & Marlene McCurtis, Nadia Hallgren, and Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman. The films examine, among other topics, the immigration issue through the intimate lens of motherhood; a history of racially-motivated violence in one of America’s most iconic liberal cities; the fight for protections for trans students through the lens of one Virginia teenager; and the rapid response by Muslim attorneys navigating the chaotic rollout of the travel ban.

“This collaboration with Firelight is a way to channel our collective horror about Trump's election. By documenting these first 100 days from the perspective of communities most at risk - immigrants, Muslim Americans, transgender men and women - we want to reveal the threats our country is facing, and not normalize this political moment,” says Field of Vision co-creator Laura Poitras.

Fusion Editor-in-Chief Dodai Stewart adds, "This series of beautiful short films — highlighting social and economic injustices — aligns with Fusion’s mission to cover underrepresented people and amplify the voices of the vulnerable."

In an effort to maximize the reach and impact of the films, local and national organizations will participate in weekly Twitter chats to engage the broad public in online conversations about the issues in the films. The Twitter chats will occur at 1pm ET / 10am PT every Thursday throughout the series run using the #Our100Days hashtag and will be moderated by Firelight Media. The weekly Twitter chats will give online viewers an opportunity to delve deeper into the issues and engage with the film directors, protagonists, and partner organizations.



Field of Vision is a filmmaker-driven documentary unit that commissions and creates original short-form nonfiction films about developing and ongoing stories around the globe. Field of Vision is committed to making cinematic work that tells the stories of our world from different perspectives. Our films are distributed through a variety of partners including news organizations, film festivals, online platforms, broadcast, streaming and cable.


Firelight produces award-winning films that expose injustice, illuminate the power of community and tell a history seldom told, and connects films with concrete and innovative ways for diverse audiences to be inspired, educated, and mobilized into action. Through our Documentary Lab, Firelight is dedicated to developing and supporting talented, diverse documentary filmmakers who advance underrepresented stories, moving them from the margins to the forefront of mainstream media through high quality, powerful productions.


Fusion is news for the new America: a young, diverse, social justice-minded audience.

MEDIA CONTACT After Bruce PR Tracy Nguyen-Chung 503-701-2115


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Scenes from a Dry City (12 min.)

Simon Wood and François Verster

The Trial (15 min.)

Johanna Hamilton

Crooked Lines (11 min.)

Monica Berra, Yoruba Richen and Jacqueline Olive

Nuuca (12 min.)

Michelle Latimer

More to Watch

CamperForce (16 min.)

Brett Story and Jessica Bruder

Graven Image (10 min.)

Sierra Pettengill

Our 100 Days 7/7

American Carnage (9 min.)

Farihah Zaman and Jeff Reichert

The Town I Live In (10 min.)

Matt Wolf and Guadalupe Rosales

Captured in Sudan (28 min.)

Phil Cox, Daoud Hari and Giovanna Stopponi

Timberline (12 min.)

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Duterte’s Hell (8 min.)

Aaron Goodman and Luis Liwanag

Conditioned Response (6 min.)

Craig Atkinson and Laura Hartrick

Our 100 Days 4/7

Here I’ll Stay (10 min.)

Lorena Manríquez and Marlene McCurtis

Our 100 Days 3/7

An Uncertain Future (11 min.)

Chelsea Hernandez and Iliana Sosa

Our 100 Days 1/7

An Act of Worship (9 min.)

Sofian Khan and Nausheen Dadabhoy

The Moderators (20 min.)

Adrian Chen and Ciaran Cassidy

Clowns (7 min.)

Alex Kliment, Dana O'Keefe and Mike Tucker

Project X (10 min.)

Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke

Hopewell (3 min.)

Lorena Manríquez

The Vote (12 min.)

Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko

Like (9 min.)

Garrett Bradley

Concerned Student 1950 (32 min.)

Adam Dietrich, Varun Bajaj and Kellan Marvin

Peace in the Valley (15 min.)

Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Homeland is not a Series (7 min.)

Arabian Street Artists Heba Y. Amin, Caram Kapp and Don Karl aka Stone

#ThisIsACoup 4/4

Surrender or Die (16 min.)

Theopi Skarlatos and Paul Mason

Eric & “Anna” (14 min.)

Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway

Birdie (14 min.)

Heloisa Passos

The Above (8 min.)

Kirsten Johnson