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The Messy Truth

November 26, 2016

Just before this election Van Jones spoke with a bunch of residents from Gettysburg, PA to try to get at the heart of the divide in our country. He talked with angry Trump folks, conflicted Trump folks, hesitant Hillary voters, angry Bernie peeps, disaffected voters, and everything in between. But instead of bringing the usual television sensibilities of splash and spectacle, Van sat down and had nuanced conversations, and tried to sincerely connect with people. It was amazing to see what bridges can be built when we just sit down, talk and listen.

The production team from City of Trees at Meridian Hill Pictures got together to produce this election mini-series with Van Jones' Magic Labs Media. I served as a consultant on the project, and edited Episode 3, Van's toughest challenge -- a young Trump supporter who wouldn't back down.

 

 

 

 

Remembering the Fight

November 10, 2016

If you're as depressed as I am then you're having a hard time making sense of this.

Not much I read or reason places me on solid ground. The rationales are sound, the numbers clear, but nothing makes it make real sense. That is the power of such reckless anger and hate. It burns in a loveless and irrational vortex. All of us spinning and talking and crying, my young film students found in their deep despair a different fire. One that warms and creates and builds. One that fights. Their very existence trying to become better artists is even more critical than ever. They know this, they see this, and they are up for the challenge. It is inspiring and it reminded me to know myself. That is the power of artists and art.

Every single film I have ever made or spent serious time collaborating on has searched for humanity in the world. They have attempted to understand the lives and experiences of people living on the fault lines, folks just desperately trying not to fall in. And when they do, how they climb out, branch by branch and stone by stone.

Six years ago I finished a film called To Be Heard about three of the most vibrant, talented, and brave people I know. I spent five years with Pearl, Karina and Anthony as they grew into adulthood tiptoeing through the minefield into which we were all born.

In them I remember the power when someone who has little, fights for everything. These three people faced the darkest of themselves and did not give up. They fought (sometimes each other), sometimes they lost, sometimes the won, but they never gave up. If you want to spend some time in this world with these three young people then we will all be together again. Survivors, fighters, friends and family still not giving up.

To Be Heard is screening for free Saturday November 12, 2016 at DOC NYC. You can purchase tickets here

Navigating the River: An article I wrote

August 1, 2016

Last year I finished editing a feature documentary called City of Trees. This past spring (April '16) it screened at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. While attending a "speakeasy" at the festival I got inspired to write about my experience editing the film, and how our process exposed some nascent issues with the medium of documentary storytelling.

IDA published the article on their site, and it will also appear in the 2016 Summer issue.

You can read it in its entirety here:
Navigating the River: The Hidden Colonialism of Documentary

www.documentary.org

A New Site!

July 20, 2016

Nicole Films now has an updated website!

Pages for film work, cinematography and my non-profit videos have all been added. Photo galleries coming soon!