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Read Hank and Jilann’s Sundance Film Festival blog,

written as they went through the rollercoaster experience of premiering a film at this world-renown documentary film competition for the first time.

 

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Keeping The Faith

Hey there!  You’ve just found an invaluable resource for documentary filmmakers.  Welcome! It is so exciting to put all of our knowledge into a form where others can benefit from the maddening mistakes, painful failures, and happy successes. Doing this site makes me realize that even all of the difficult experiences I’ve had along the way as a filmmaker have helped me and have had a purpose.

I see really clearly now how there can be a greater reason for things that are painful in the moment, but maybe very instructive in the long run.  I see that in the end, if you keep working diligently, and passionately, it will add up to something worthwhile.  I am still encouraged by a quote from one of our subjects in “Homeland", who said mid-way through filming, “Always have faith in what you’re doing”.  This was a man who had been trying to get a decent home for his family for 18 years to no avail, and on that day, one was finally coming to him.  It was coming down a reservation back-road on a 16 wheeler, then rocking and rolling down his torn-up, pot-holed driveway.  I think it is the best mantra I can offer to a documentary filmmaker.  It is faith that has always carried me through the tough times waiting for funding, dealing with technical difficulties, or trying to keep a subject on board for the long haul.

I truly believe that this documentary journey is so important.  It is about facing the truth and touching the core of humanity.  What could be more vital than that?  I look forward to helping you discover the truths ahead of you through this process.  And remember, “Always have faith in what you’re doing”.  What you are doing is important.

From “Homeland” Michael Little Boy and family the day they received a new home.

As we build this site, we are also trying to keep our eye on the ball at our own film company, Philomath Films.  Right now, we are getting ready to release a new film called Circle of Stories, about Native American storytelling, and we’re also in development on two new film ideas.  One is a new installment in the theme of Shakespeare being done in unique places, and the other is about the juvenile justice system intersecting with a rare educational experience.

We were just in New Jersey meeting some potential new subjects.  It’s exciting to embark on a couple of new long-term projects.  Right now we are in the process of securing rights and developing our proposals and fundraising materials.  We’ll keep you up-to-date on the progress of each project as we go along.

--Jilann

P.S. If you are currently beginning a documentary film and need help with how to develop and protect your documentary ideas, check out our DOCUMENTARY HOW TO video tutorial called Developing Your Documentary Ideas.