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Jan 25, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Documentary Disruption

With Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing and Ondi Timoner.

BYOD Live Taping

BYOD is hosted & produced by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films.  Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation.  BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.


In 2007 Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady were nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature for “Jesus Camp,” a candid look at Pentecostal children in America. The film received a wide theatrical release by Magnolia Pictures and was broadcast in over 40 countries worldwide, including the A&E Network.Heidi and Rachel recently completed “DETROPIA,” an arresting exploration of Detroit City and its struggle to transform itself into a new and innovative place. The film won the Editing Award for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2012, and enjoyed a successful theatrical release and was broadcast on the Independent Lens series on PBS.

In 2010 Ewing and Grady premiered “12th & Delaware” in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie, made for HBO, takes a quietly intense look at the raging abortion battle in America. The film won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2011. Ewing and Grady were also part of an all-star team of filmmakers adapting the bestselling book “Freakonomics” into a feature-length documentary, which recently enjoyed a wide theatrical release.Previously, the directing team was nominated for an Emmy for “The Boys of Baraka,” a film about preteens struggling to make it in Baltimore city. The film was winner of the NAACP Image Award and was distributed by ThinkFilm and broadcast on the prestigious POV series on PBS. In their previous television work LOKI has taken on a vivid array of subjects that include the inner workings of Scientology, the criminally insane, Saudi Arabian teenagers, the dissident movement in Cuba and the effort to rebuild New Orleans. Ewing and Grady have been featured in Time Magazine as innovators of the documentary craft. Both are members of the Directors Guild of America as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They are based in New York City.


The only filmmaker to win the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize twice, Ondi Timoner is one of the most celebrated documentarians working today. Through her web series and short films, she continues to put forth cutting edge content investigating the craft of documentary filmmaking as well as tech innovators. Timoner will give us an in-depth overview of her work the past two decades under her company Interloper Films by showing excerpts an answering questions. In addition to her more than 6 doc features and dozens of nonfiction shorts, she will also discuss the decision and challenges of developing her first fiction feature.

Timoner’s 2004 doc Dig! chronicles feuding bands the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. An exploration on the collision of art and commerce, this feature film was an instant classic and recently named the top music film of all time by The Guardian. She would follow this up with We Live in Public (2009), a riveting portrait of Internet pioneer Josh Harris who made and lost a fortune and explored humans willingness to give up their privacy in the virtual age. Her other features explore topics like women in the American justice system (The Nature of the Beast, 1994), what draws us to cults (Join Us, 2007) and global warming (Cool It, 2010).

She hosts the ongoing series Bring Your Own Doc (BYOD) for TheLip.tv, whose archive is a tremendous resource of interviews with filmmakers like Steve James, Lucy Walker, Eugene Jarecki, Kirby Dick, Lauren Greenfield, Joshua Oppenheimer and Les Blank to name a few. Her channel A TOTAL DISRUPTION has multiple series about innovators who are using technology to change our lives. Featuring guests like Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian and Jack Dorsey from Twitter, this project is also being developed into a feature length documentary. Timoner has also collaborated on short films that have succeeded in the festival circuit such as Library of Dust and Recycle. Having made dramatic documentaries with strong narrative arcs, she is gearing up to shoot her first fiction feature this year about photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.


Ondi loves to use her camera as a bridge to bring herself and the audience deep into worlds they may never otherwise enter. In 2000, Timoner created the original VH-1 series Sound Affects, about music’s effect at critical moments in people’s lives.  She has directed commercials and web series for McDonalds, State Farm, Ford, The Army, and others.  She has directed films for CNN Heroes, and helmed short films for Honda’s Dream the Impossible series, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  She directed the closeding film for President Clinton’s birthday/fundraiser concert featuring Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Jay-Z, and the President himself at the Hollywood Bowl.


The MFA Social Documentary Film Program at the School of VISUAL ARTS guides & supports emerging artists to explore fully the social documentary film form and, in so doing, to find innovative ways to examine and communicate the core experiences and events that define us.




Jan 25, 2014
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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