In September of 2012, journalist Barrett Brown wasn’t just pursuing a story—he became the story.

Brown is the founder of Project PM, a onetime associate of hacktivist collective Anonymous, book author and writer for outlets such as Vanity Fair, The Guardian, and The Daily Beast. He was arrested in Dallas County for threatening an FBI officer via YouTube, and subsequently indicted on 12 federal charges related to the email leak of Stratfor, a private intelligence company. Most of those charges were eventually dropped, but he was eventually sentenced to 63 months in prison. From prison, he wrote a series of articles for The Intercept that won a National Magazine Award.

As he says in the below interview, filmmaker Alex Winter has tracked developments at the intersection of journalism and hacker culture for over 25 years. Though he’s most popularly known for early-career work as an on-screen actor (The Lost BoysBill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), his expertise in this field led to two recent documentaries, Downloaded (2013) which detailed the evolution of Internet filesharing, and Deep Web (2015), which focused on the politics of the dark web and covered the trial of Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht. Winter’s attempts to film Barrett Brown in prison were rebuffed by the Bureau of Prisons, leading to a series of phone interviews that factor into his new Field of Vision short, which also recounts Brown’s arduous, time-sensitive journey from jail to halfway house with his parents—a journey that transpired less than a month ago. In the below interview, Winter recounts the logistics and challenges of that shoot, the value of turning a film around at a breakneck pace, and how he identified with Brown’s plight.  

When did you first hear about Barrett Brown?

Winter: I became aware of him before he was arrested, when he was doing Project PM, the web-based news organization that he founded, and then through the work that he did with Anonymous. These were people that I’ve been either associated with or have been very well aware of for many years. The intersection between journalism and hackers, and people using the Internet to disseminate and leak information—I’ve been very involved in that world since the late 80s, since the BBS Usenet era. Barrett kind of showed up on my radar as soon as he showed up on the general radar. I started approaching him about two years ago, trying to get an interview with him [while he was] in jail, and like many things with Barrett it was both grave and hilarious. The Federal Bureau of Prisons staunchly refused to let me in, even though I was just filing the regular media requests, which were supposed to be perfectly acceptable. They kept finding hilariously byzantine reasons for why each one was being rejected, and it became so comical that he ended up writing about my ill-fated attempts in one of his articles.

And so instead of interviewing him at the prison you started doing it over the phone?

Winter: Yeah, I decided to do weekly audio recordings with him, which I began over a year ago. I’ve got a mountain of really great discourse with Barrett that I got every week up until his release.

Did you intend to do anything in particular with those recorded interviews, or did you feel it was important to just keep doing them and figure it out later?

Winter: I felt it was important to just keep doing them. He’s an extremely important journalist, his situation is significant, and I felt his experience needed to be documented. I wanted to give him the opportunity to go beyond what was going to appear in print—which is amazing, which is why he’s won these awards—but just to let him riff. I was interested in covering his biographical history as well as his day-to-day life in prison. I didn’t have a very mercenary agenda. At some point I would like to make a long-form film about Barrett. It may or may not happen and I may or may not end up using that audio for it. But I did use some of it for this Field of Vision piece.

So you’ve got the audio interviews, which, as you said, you’ve been recording for the past year, and yet the majority of what’s in the film was filmed very, very recently. Normally there’s a much longer lag time between filming and publishing for a documentary like this. How did this come about?

Winter: I knew the date that he was being released, and he and his family both approved of me going to film him being released, and it occurred to me to pitch the idea to Field of Vision because it felt like something that would be potentially of value as journalism, as a filmmaker-driven journalistic piece. So I contacted them and said look, I’m going to shoot him regardless—I just need your sign off and your oversight and I’ll go get it done. I have my own gang here, so I knew that we could get it through a pipeline quickly. Our turnaround was pretty quick, but it was no different than making a news piece that has to get out. Frankly it helped having made Deep Web, which was like this times a thousand in that it was made during breaking news. So we’re really used to moving ahead at a breakneck speed.

Yet Deep Web was a feature you spent years making, and you shot this footage, what—two weeks ago?

Winter: Deep Web premiered literally the day that Ross Albrecht was sentenced. Which was a coincidence. We made it for a major cable network, EPIX, and they already had a date set. They had all their people standing by and I literally came out of the courtroom and went directly into their post—the actual cable post—and typed up what the sentence was and it aired across the U.S. like three hours later. So it was pretty identical to that experience. In some ways it was less hair-raising because there weren’t uncertain outcomes here. I mean, there were uncertainties, but it wasn’t like where I didn’t know that [Ross] was going to get a double life [sentence].

Speaking of uncertainties in this film, let’s talk about the absurdly short time in which Barrett was supposed to make it from the prison to the halfway house. Was your filming factored into the terms of the journey, for either the authorities or Garrett and his family?

Winter: Not really. I mean, I knew in advance that there was no way I’d be able to film him in prison—I’d been rejected, I gave up on that, and so I didn’t attempt to film on their property. I kept a distance and just documented a guy coming out into the world, extracted from one institution and then dropped into another. I was more concerned that his dates would change—they’re constantly changing things on him. His sentence doesn’t end until March, and because he’s still under the care of the Bureau of Prisons I thought anything is possible.

And so, even though you’d bee talking to him by phone for a year, the first time you met him was when he came out of the prison?

Winter: Yeah, it was bemusing. It was a very emotional day for him and his mom and dad, and a physically demanding day. He hadn’t been in a car in four years. He hadn’t been beyond the prison yard in four years, and he hadn’t really eaten food other than the prison food, so he got sick immediately. He’s a pretty stoic guy, but also he’s an emotional person like anybody else. But what I love about Barrett is that he’s got this razor sharp sense of humor, and he’s able to see the humor in his own situation. I also have a sense of humor about fairly grave things—you kind of have to—so we hit it off in that regard right away. We’d bonded over the phone all these weeks and so we just fell into that rapport. We know each other, we just hadn’t physically met. Which is actually not an uncommon set of circumstances. I dealt with Sean Fanning on my Napster story for ages before we ever met. So I felt like we’d known each other by the time I started working with him on the ground. In the age of the Internet that’s not altogether uncommon.

The idea of getting into a car for the first time in four years and then having to spend the whole day in a car—its unbelievable. Considering the conditions of the shoot, were there any moments where any of them expressed or hinted that, “I get why this is important but I really would rather you not being here shooting this?”

Winter: No. No, he was great. Barrett had been living in a fish bowl for four years. And though I had developed a good rapport with his mother—it was the first day I met his father—I think it was more unsettling for them. It was a fairly intrusive thing for me to be doing, even though I keep a small footprint and we’re pretty stealthy about getting out of everybody’s face. But there were definitely times during the course of that day when it was awkward to have this film crew on this very tense and very emotional journey that they were on, because not only had they not had him in their care for all this time, but the Bureau of Prisons gave them very little time to get from one end of Texas to the other. It’s not hyperbole—they would have been a flight risk if they’d been fifteen minutes late. So they had this unnecessarily high-pressure time issue, which made the drive really stressful for everybody. And then there’s me asking, you know, “Can I get another shot of this? Oh, can you not get out of the car yet? And oh, you got out on the wrong side. Could you lower your head so I could get the shot of this building?” I mean, that was the day.

It winds up being really dramatic and cinematic, with the bulk of the film happening inside the car, in a race against the clock as they drive across the state. And because of that very pronounced confined space, you become very aware of when the camera is next to him versus when it’s behind him, all of that. What guided those decisions, and how did you negotiate adding more bodies to that small space?

Winter: Well, we had a fairly big SUV, which had a front seat, a middle bench and back bench. There was my DP and sound guy, and I lived in the very back. And we had a GoPro running all the time in the very front seat to get shots of his mom. Now, I’m mostly a narrative filmmaker—I’ve only been doing doc stuff for a short while now—so I just treated it like a narrative, like I was going to shoot a car sequence. I knew going in that I wanted the whole thing to happen in this confined space. I thought it would give the narrative some momentum and some shape. But also, because the guy had been in jail, I liked the idea of shooting in a confined space. I thought it would convey some of the essence of how he has been living for the last four years. So we basically constructed the day like I would if I were shooting a narrative car sequence. And my guys were really sensitive, and we weren’t barking orders. We set everyone up with lavs and just kind of faded into the background. And that allowed us to get a lot of genuine, not guarded, and not manufactured stuff out of them, especially Barrett. As I said, he has been under scrutiny by strangers for years.

There’s a subtle move, after he gets sick, with the camera pulling back from the second to the third row, and in a sense it’s almost comical—you’re giving him extra room, which means like two extra feet. But it makes a real effect when you’re watching it. You too want to give him that extra room, and it creates a tone of accommodation rather than voyeurism.

Winter: I like changing up the angles and I also like what those angles tell us. We’re just here observing this guy in this really vulnerable moment. I like that shot a lot too, over the back bench of the car, and also the shot of him sleeping. Passed out and just so exhausted from the whole experience. Because of the length of the journey obviously we were able to give him time. I think he was asleep for an hour and a half. And we just chilled out.

With this piece, and with your dealings with Barrett in general, you’re in effect a journalist observing and telling a story about another a journalist—he’s basically both subject and colleague. And a colleague that shares some of the same preoccupations and concerns that you do. Are there things you had to negotiate in terms of that?

Winter: I have never experienced that before, you’re right. Barrett and I do share a lot of similarities, even though I am older than he is and come from a different generation. And I am more of a filmmaker than a journalist. In negotiating the story I wasn’t trying to exonerate him—what he did was outrageously wrong. Even though he was out of his mind going cold turkey off heroin—he still made [those threats]. But I really identify with the level of anger that can come from being targeted. I look at his case, Aaron Swartz’s case, and at people who have been targeted for actions that are not actually illegal. Barrett was targeted. And his reaction to being targeted was inappropriate. Aaron Swartz’s reaction was ultimately tragic. I feel an enormous sense of identification. I wouldn’t call it sympathy or empathy, because I don’t think it’s appropriate to threaten people’s lives and I don’t condone that at all. But I do feel enormous identification with the depth of the emotional response to “I was practicing journalism and I was getting information out to the people it needed to get out to and I was being unjustly targeted for that.” Barrett’s a very interesting person for that to have happened to because he’s so articulate and so dogged. I have not been in a place with a subject like that before.

Do you feel fully comfortable going out with a piece like this, knowing that it’s going to dovetail a bit with his own reporting?

Winter: I have enormous regard for his journalism. He’s a brilliant writer. I think he’s honestly one of the best we’ve got. We need people like him. But I don’t see much crossover happening otherwise. I just respect it. And I would be very interested in following his path, in terms of seeing where he goes and documenting it.

How about working again at this breakneck pace? Obviously you’ll be working on features, but might you make more of these short pieces that can enter right into the conversation?

Winter: The longer form stuff I’m doing takes forever. I’m making a Frank Zappa film, and it’s probably going to take me at least another two years. Given the state of the country, the political climate and the president-elect, I am very eager to keep telling stories and getting out these filmmaker-driven news pieces. I have a couple others in mind that I am tempted to jump into. I think that it’s really important that all of us do whatever we can with whatever we’ve got.

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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 NFL.com, 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

https://drafthouse.com/kansas-city/show/american-assassin

https://drafthouse.com/kansas-city/show/it-2017

https://drafthouse.com/kansas-city/show/kingsman-the-golden-circle

https://drafthouse.com/kansas-city/show/mother

Yonkers

https://drafthouse.com/yonkers/show/3-d-rarities

https://drafthouse.com/yonkers/show/solaris-4k-restoration

San Francisco

https://drafthouse.com/sf/show/ingrid-goes-west

https://drafthouse.com/sf/show/beach-rats

https://drafthouse.com/sf/show/infinity-baby

Brooklyn

https://drafthouse.com/nyc/show/zardoz

https://drafthouse.com/nyc/show/dunkirk

https://drafthouse.com/nyc/show/good-time

https://drafthouse.com/nyc/show/mother

Austin Lakeline

Austin Mueller

Austin Ritz

Austin Slaughter

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/mother

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/grindhouse

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/stronger

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/the-big-sick

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/brads-status

https://drafthouse.com/austin/show/tough-guy-cinema-repo-man

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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STANLEY NELSON AND LAURA POITRAS PRODUCED DOC SHORT SERIES TO PREMIERE ONLINE AT FUSION

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.

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ABOUT FIELD OF VISION

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.

ABOUT FIRELIGHT MEDIA & FIRELIGHT FILMS

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.

ABOUT FUSION

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

MEDIA CONTACT After Bruce PR Tracy Nguyen-Chung tracy@afterbruce.com 503-701-2115

Field_Notes

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