Festival tells the story of three music events—the electronic music festival Moogfest; the jazz, R&B and hip-hop-infused Art of Cool; and the traditional African American Bimbé—that took place in Durham, N.C., in May 2016. In this fast-revitalizing (some would say “gentrifying” or even “homogenizing”) midsized city, this short documentary offers audiences an opportunity to reflect on the churn of past, present, and conflicting visions of the future. Watch the film and read a related article at Public Books.
The Big Ears Film
The Big Ears Film is a meditation on listening and looking in this age of media overload.
Integrating footage from five years of the Big Ears avant-garde music festival, the film blends imagery from the festival’s home of Knoxville, Tennessee, with eclectic musical performances from the festival and interviews with musicians, audience members, and Knoxville residents.
Nazoranai: A Documentary
“I just want to hear things I've never heard before.”
In March 2014, the improvisational sound trio Nazoranai came together for their U.S. premiere, at the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, T.N. Nazoranai: A Documentary goes behind the scenes, spending time with members Stephen O’Malley, Oren Ambarchi, and Keiji Haino.
The Education of Ida Owens
A story of integration, civil rights, and Duke University
This 30-minute documentary follows Ida Owens from her upbringing in rural North Carolina to her years at Duke University, where she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D.
A personal exploration of Southern history, higher education, and the civil rights movement, The Education of Idea Owens brings to the forefront the past and its lingering effects.
Big, Bent Ears
A serial in documentary uncertainty
A 10-part series for The Paris Review—the famed New York literary journal’s first foray into multimedia—Big, Bent Ears combines writing, video, audio and photography.
“a unique and beautifully designed combination of critical literary writing, documentary filmmaking, and event review–seems like a great reason for the Internet to exist. If this is the future of ‘content,’ then…YES!” — Best Music Journalism: March 2015, Red Bull Music Academy
Eight (or so) ways of looking at a baseball game
In 2013, a team of artists converged on the stadium of the legendary minor league team The Durham Bulls to document the home season. None had a specific assignment.
Leaving Traces chronicles their efforts. Features work by photographers Alex Harris, Frank Hunter, Kate Joyce, Leah Sobsey, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas, Hiroshi Watanabe, and Jeff Whetstone, and writer Adam Sobsey.