Industry leaders and cultural innovators came together at the inaugural Truth Seekers Summit, a festival highlighting the work of documentary filmmakers, journalists, and activists from around the world.
The celebration — presented in partnership with Showtime — featured panels, keynotes, and Q&A’s with filmmakers like Errol Morris and Stanley Nelson, as well as discussions between leading documentarians and journalists about everything from the perception of truth in media to why injecting your own voice into documentary filmmaking is so vital.
As the presenting sponsor of the Truth Seekers Summit, Showtime reaffirmed its commitment to elevating documentary filmmaking and gave audiences an exclusive first look at Attica, a film from Stanley Nelson that investigates a fateful five days 50 years ago in a notorious upstate New York prison. Nelson uses first-hand accounts from former inmates to provide audiences with a deep sense of place and time, and tells the story of the deadliest prison rebellion in American history with an unflinching eye.
Stanley Nelson has spent his career turning a camera lens on the Black experience in America. The filmmaker behind Freedom Riders and The Murder of Emmett Till has created unsparing examinations of painful periods of American history, and he was recognized with the MacArthur “genius” grant in 2015 thanks to his work. Watch his conversation with Variety writer Addie Morfoot, in which Stanley discusses his work with first-time filmmakers and why the subjects he chooses need to have a deep level of personal importance.
Check out a rundown of 10 panels from the first Truth Seekers Summit, and be sure to watch Attica on Showtime when it debuts later this year.
Errol Morris on Breaking Rules
The dean of American documentary filmmaking Errol Morris sat down with Variety’s Jenelle Riley to discuss his work, legacy, and signature style. The Academy Award-winning director of The Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line spoke honestly and openly on why he believes that rules and codes are damaging to the art of documentary filmmaking and what documentarians should be paying attention to when they’re making a film.