As part of our commitment to supporting creative explorations of nonfiction filmmaking, Field of Vision has launched Field Notes, a new online journal for original writing about nonfiction cinema in all its forms.

Critic and programmer Devika Girish will serve as Field Notes Contributing Editor and contribute to the site’s editorial vision.

Devika is the Assistant Editor at Film Comment and a Talks programmer at the New York Film Festival. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Reverse Shot, Village Voice, Sight and Sound, and other publications, and she has served on the selection committees for the Mumbai Film Festival and Berlin Critics' Week.

For our first issue, Devika sat down with the writer, curator, and producer Rooney Elmi, who is the founding editor of SVLLY(wood) and the co-founder of the No Evil Eye microcinema; and writer and programmer Matt Turner, who serves as the marketing manager at Open City Documentary Festival and is the founding editor of the Non-Fiction journal. We hope that their conversation—which touches upon the intersections of form and subject matter in documentary, the mode’s exploitative and colonialist legacy, and the need to create sustainable spaces for writing—functions as a sort of “mission conversation,” in lieu of a traditional, monolithic mission statement.

Also joining Field Notes is programmer, writer, and broadcaster Ashley Clark, who begins a new regular column about non-fiction image work called By Ashley Clark.

Ashley Clark is the director of film programming at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has curated film series at BFI Southbank, the Museum of Modern Art, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, among other venues, and has contributed writing to publications including Film Comment, Sight & Sound, and the Guardian. His first book is Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” (2015).

His first column for Field Notes, on nonfiction pioneer Stuart Hall, is available to read here.

Two other pieces launched today, including filmmaker Charlie Shackleton’s exploration of the subjective nature of truth in his challenge to correct misinformation about the events of, and legendary legal case behind, his film Lasting Marks. You can read Charlie’s piece, “Sex, Lies and Wikipedia,” here. And a beautiful piece told through letters between writer and programmer Sarah Fonseca and queer artist and writer Jillian McManemin exploring the representation of sex workers on screen, the parallels of non-fiction filmmaking, friendship and place can be found here.

Field Notes will be commissioning original essays, interviews, correspondences, reported features, and other journalistic and creative explorations of nonfiction filmmaking. We are also open to publishing previously circulated work in translation from other languages to English or in collaboration with independent local and international publishing initiatives. We do not publish reviews.

To contact us about a pitch for Field Notes, please email us at with a 100-200 word summary of your idea and 2-3 samples of your previous writing.


More to Watch

See all shorts