Pure Nonfiction: Inside Documentary Film

107 EpisodesProduced by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)

If you love documentary films, hear from the top storytellers on Pure Nonfiction. Host Thom Powers is well-connected in this world as a documentary curator for the Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and SundanceNow Doc Club. He leads conversations that are frank, funny and revealing. List… read more

episodes iconAll Episodes

105: Sam Green & David Harrington on Kronos Quartet

April 18th, 2019


Kronos Quartet performs live for the documentary “A Thousand Thoughts” about the group’s history. The film is directed by Sam Green, who narrates the live performances, and Joe Bini.

Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers …

104: Penny Lane on “Hail Satan?”

April 11th, 2019


“Hail Satan?” looks at the Satanic Temple that started six years ago as political provocation and grew into an international movement. Director …

103: Alison Klayman on Steve Bannon in “The Brink”

April 4th, 2019


Director Alison Klayman (“Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry”) spent a year on the road with Steve Bannon as he met with European right wing leaders to spread …

102: Baseball on Drugs in “Screwball”

March 28th, 2019


“Cocaine Cowboys” director Billy Corben and producer Alfred Spellman talk to Pure Nonfiction  host Thom Powers about their new comic documentary “Screwball” covering  the baseball drug scandal that disgraced Yankee …

101: Alex Gibney on how Theranos fooled Silicon Valley

March 21st, 2019


HBO’s documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” looks at the case of Elizabeth Holmes who created the company Theranos promising …

100: Inside “The Case Against Adnan Syed” on HBO

March 9th, 2019


Serial, the podcast, won millions of listeners to the story of the 1999 Baltimore murder of Hae Min Lee that sent her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed to prison. Now the case is re-opened by private investigators in a new …

98: Tim Wardle, Sandi Tan & RaMell Ross on “Pushing Boundaries”

February 21st, 2019


“Three Identical Strangers,” “Shirkers” and the Oscar-nominated “Hale Country This Morning, This Evening” are the focus of this conversation about pushing stylistic boundaries in documentary. Pure Nonfiction host Thom …

97: “United Skates” with Tina Brown & Reggie Brown

February 14th, 2019


Tribeca Audience Prize winner “United Skates” treats you to a dazzling display of roller skating styles in black communities across America. For …

96: Talal Derki on filming in Syria

February 7th, 2019


Syrian director Talal Derki has twice won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Best Documentary Award for “Return to Homs” and “Of Fathers and Sons.”

That first film traced the early years of Syria’s civil war. …

95: Free Solo, Minding The Gap & Getting Personal

January 31st, 2019


“Free Solo,” “Minding the Gap,” “On Her Shoulders” and “The Sentence” are four outstanding documentaries from the past year that test the boundaries …

94: Sundance 2019 Preview

January 22nd, 2019


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Steve Bannon, Miles Davis & Toni Morrison are among the prominent documentary subjects at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers got an early look at many of the …

93: Astra Taylor on “What is Democracy?”

January 17th, 2019


Cornel West, Wendy Brown and Rev William Barber are among the thinkers and activists captured in the new film “What is Democracy?”. Filmmaker Astra Taylor previously made two other documentaries on philosophers …

92: Aretha Franklin in “Amazing Grace,” Lost and Found

December 6th, 2018


In 1972, Aretha Franklin recorded her biggest selling album “Amazing Grace” as a live gospel performance over two nights at a Los Angeles church, under the direction of Reverend James Cleveland. The event was recorded …

91: Mr. Rogers, Quincy Jones, Jane Fonda & Pope Francis Walk Into a Bar

November 29th, 2018


The art of portrait documentaries is discussed with five filmmakers: Wim Wenders (“Pope Francis: A Man of His Word”), Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks (“Quincy”), Morgan Neville (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) and Susan Lacy (“

89: Opal H. Bennett on Short Documentaries

November 8th, 2018


Short documentaries are thriving on platforms like Netflix, HBO and New York Times Op-Docs. This year, the DOC NYC festival picked 12 short docs for its first ever Short List: Shorts. Programmer Opal H. Bennett talks to …

88: DOC NYC Preview 2018

November 1st, 2018


Wim Wenders, Rashida Jones, and Michael Moore are among the hundreds of documentary filmmakers coming to New York City for the DOC NYC festival from November 8 to 15.

DOC NYC artistic director and Pure Nonfiction host …

87: Sandi Tan on “Shirkers”

October 25th, 2018


Winner of the 2018 Sundance Directing Award for World Documentary, Sandi Tan makes her debut with “Shirkers,” now on Netflix. She grew up in Singapore. As a teenager in the 1980s, she had an outsider’s sensibility, …

86: Alex Gibney & Trevor Birney, Wanted in Belfast

October 18th, 2018


Alex Gibney’s “No Stone Unturned” uses leaked police documents to investigate an unsolved mass murder in Northern Ireland. Now the police are pushing …

85: Maxim Pozdorovkin on Trump, Putin & Pussy Riot

August 2nd, 2018


During the 2016 US election, Russia Today offered a steady stream of English-language reports that disseminated to American audiences via YouTube and Facebook. Filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin digs into those reports and …

84: Matt Tyrnauer on “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood”

July 26th, 2018


Gore Vidal played a key role behind the scenes in helping Scotty Bowers tell his secret history of Hollywood. Starting in the 1940s, Scotty operated …

83: Jason Kohn on “Love Means Zero”

July 19th, 2018


Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier and Kathleen Horvath are only a few of the champions who came out of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy. …

82: Kevin MacDonald on Whitney Houston

July 12th, 2018


Whitney Houston had an angelic voice, but fought demons in her personal life. The new documentary “Whitney” explores her talents and tribulations. …

81: Tim Wardle on “Three Identical Strangers”

July 5th, 2018


Separated at birth, the triplets Bobby, Eddy and David discovered each other by accident at age 19 in 1980. They became media sensations. Madonna cast them in a movie and they opened a Manhattan restaurant called …

80: Jonathan Safran Foer & Christopher Quinn on “Eating Animals”

June 28th, 2018


Relax, “Eating Animals” isn’t proselytizing for vegetarianism. But author Jonathan Safran Foer and filmmaker Christopher Quinn are asking you to think more seriously about factory farming. Pure Nonfiction host Thom …

79: Judd Apatow on Garry Shandling

June 14th, 2018


Comedian Garry Shandling is remembered for creating two ground-breaking TV shows: “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” He was …

78: Liz Garbus on The New York Times in “The Fourth Estate”

May 31st, 2018

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus (“What Happened Miss Simone?”) follows The New York Times team of reporters and editors covering the first year …

77: Wim Wenders on Pope Francis

May 24th, 2018

Buena Vista Social Club, Pina Bausch and Sebastiao Selgado are among Wim Wenders past documentary subjects. Now he profiles the head of the Catholic …

76: Filming Ruth Bader Ginsburg

May 10th, 2018


Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is profiled in the new documentary “RBG.” Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews the directing duo of …

75: Dawn Porter on “Bobby Kennedy for President”

May 3rd, 2018

“Bobby Kennedy for President” is a four-part Netflix series that traces the politician’s career with an emphasis on issues of racial justice. The …

74: Joe Berlinger from “Brother’s Keeper” to “Intent to Destroy”

April 26th, 2018


Joe Berlinger has been making documentaries for over 25 years. He started out at Maysles Films where he met Bruce Sinofsky. In 1992, they made “Brother’s Keeper”, a story of a murder trial in upstate New York, that …

73: Sophie Fiennes on Grace Jones

April 19th, 2018


Grace Jones has been commanding attention for decades as a singer, actress and icon. Now filmmaker Sophie Fiennes crafts a documentary as unconventional as its subject in “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami.” The film …

72: Jed Rothstein on “The China Hustle”

April 5th, 2018

Could China be responsible for the next Wall Street crash? Filmmaker Jed Rothstein explores that question in “The China Hustle.” After the 2008 …

71: Amanda Micheli on “Vegas Baby” & IVF Treatment

March 22nd, 2018

In “Vegas Baby,” filmmaker Amanda Micheli follows several wannabe parents who enter a contest for free IVF treatment at a Las Vegas fertility clinic …

70: Mark Duplass, Chapman & Maclain Way on “Wild Wild Country”

March 15th, 2018

Netflix’s new true crime series “Wild Wild Country” explores the 1980s case of the so-called sex guru Bhagwan Rajneesh whose followers established a …

PN 69: Remembering Chris Hondros

March 8th, 2018


The documentary “Hondros” tells the story of war photographer Chris Hondros who was killed alongside Tim Hetherington in Libya in 2011. Hondros is known for iconic photos that were published all over the world: a …

PN 68: Policing in “Flint Town”

March 2nd, 2018


Netflix’s new 8-part series “Flint Town”  follows the city’s police department as they cope with a depressed economy, high crime and a water crisis …

PN 67: “Control Room” Revisited with Josh Rushing

February 23rd, 2018


Fifteen years ago as America prepared to make war on Iraq, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim embedded herself at the U.S. military’s CENTCOM media headquarters in Doha, Qatar. She and cinematographer Hani Salama focused on how …

PN 66: Attorney Gloria Allred on “Seeing Allred”

February 15th, 2018


The lawsuit “Summer Zervos v. Donald Trump” is among the high profile cases handled by attorney Gloria Allred. The Netflix film “Seeing Allred,” directed by Sophie Sartain and Roberta Grossman, explores the history of …

PN 65: Sam Pollard on Sammy Davis Jr, Spike Lee & St. Clair Bourne

February 8th, 2018


Sam Pollard reflects on collaborating with Spike Lee, Henry Hampton and St. Claire Bourne; and on directing his latest film “Sammy Davis Jr: I Gotta …

PN 64: First Person Documentary with Yance Ford, Bryan Fogel & Jeff Orlowski

February 1st, 2018


Directors Yance Ford (“Strong Island”), Bryan Fogel (“Icarus”) and Jeff Orlowski (“Chasing Coral”) each put themselves on camera in different ways. The three filmmakers sat down with Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers at …

PN 63: Tabitha Jackson + 2018 Sundance Preview

January 16th, 2018

The Sundance Film Festival is always a great place for documentary discoveries. This year features new films about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fred Rogers, Imagine Dragons, Kronos Quartet and more. Pure Nonfiction founders …

PN 62: Errol Morris, Brett Morgen & Ceyda Torun on Documentary Style

January 11th, 2018

From “Wormwood” to “Jane” to “Kedi,” documentary directors are making bold stylistic choices. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers led a discussion …

PN 61: Jennifer Brea on “Unrest”

December 21st, 2017

The Oscar Documentary Feature Short List of 15 films includes the underdog entry “Unrest” by first time director Jennifer Brea. Her film explores the disease commonly known as “chronic fatigue syndrome” – a name many …

PN 60: Alex Gibney & Blair Foster on “Rolling Stone”

December 15th, 2017


John Lennon, Tina Turner, Hunter Thomspon and Annie Leibovitz are among the many figures covered in the new 2-part HBO documentary “Rolling Stone: …

PN 59: Yance Ford on “Strong Island”

November 30th, 2017


Winner of the Gotham Awards for Best Documentary, “Strong Island” investigates the 1992 killing of filmmaker Yance Ford’s brother William in Long Island. With a black victim and a white shooter, race was a key factor in …

PN 58: Brett Morgen on Jane Goodall

November 6th, 2017


Jane Goodall is the subject of the new documentary “Jane” that draws upon rediscovered footage from the 1960s capturing her early work with chimpanzees. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers talks to “Jane” director Brett …

PN 57: DOC NYC Preview

October 26th, 2017

Eric Clapton, Susan Sarandon, Dan Rather are among over 300 special guests coming to the 8th annual DOC NYC festival, running from November 9-16. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers is the festival’s artistic director. On …

PN 56: Agnès Varda & JR on “Faces Places”

October 19th, 2017


Winner of the Cannes Golden Eye Documentary Award, “Faces Places” is a wondrous collaboration between the 89-year-old Agnès Varda and the 34-year-old …

PN 55: Frederick Wiseman – From “Titicut Follies” to “Ex Libris”

September 6th, 2017


“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library” is that latest film from documentary master Frederick Wiseman. This year also marks the 50th anniversary …

PN 54: TIFF 2017 Documentary Preview Part 2 of 2

September 1st, 2017


Agnes Varda, Drake, and Cary Grant all get name-checked as Thom Powers and Dorota Lech continue their discussion of documentaries at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). They preview film clips being …

PN 53: TIFF 2017 Documentary Preview Part 1 of 2

August 30th, 2017


The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place September 7-17, 2017. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers is the festival’s documentary …

PN 52: Playwright Dominique Morisseau on “Detroit ’67,” “Pipeline,” “Shameless” & more

July 27th, 2017

While Detroit is in the headlines for the 50th anniversary of its darkest days, we focus on one of its brightest new storytellers, playwright Dominique Morisseau. Pure Nonfiction host (and Detroit native) Thom Powers …

PN 51: Errol Morris & Elsa Dorfman on “The B-Side”

July 13th, 2017


Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman has worked for several decades on Polaroid’s rare 20″ x 24” format camera. She had a loyal clientele in Cambridge, …

PN 50: D.A. Pennebaker on “Monterey Pop” at 50

June 22nd, 2017


Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who are among the classic acts captured by D.A. Pennebaker in “Monterey Pop.” Now for the 50th anniversary of the concert, the film is being released in a new 4k …

PN 49: Steve James From “Hoop Dreams” to “Abacus”

May 18th, 2017


New York’s Chinatown is the backdrop for Steve James’ latest documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” He follows a David vs Goliath legal tale …

PN 48: HBO’s Sheila Nevins on Seductions, Heartbreaks & Her New Book

May 11th, 2017


Meryl Streep, Audra McDonald and Glenn Close are among many esteemed performers who read stories on the audio version of Sheila Nevins’ new quasi-memoir “You Don’t Look Your Age…And Other Fairy Tales.” Nevins has served …

PN 47: Jonathan Demme & Renée Shafransky on Spalding Gray

May 4th, 2017


“Swimming to Cambodia,” the 1987 film directed by Jonathan Demme, had a rippling influence. It laid the path for a kind of first person storytelling that today is widespread from “This American Life” to “The Moth.” The …

PN 46: Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus on “Hot Girls Wanted”

April 27th, 2017


Sex and technology are the focus of the new Netflix series “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers interviews the series’ …

PN 45: Matt Tyrnauer on “Citizen Jane”

April 20th, 2017


Jane Jacobs, author of “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” changed the way we think of urban planning. Matt Tyrnauer’s new documentary “Citizen Jane” tells the story of her epic battles with New York power …

PN 44: From Indiana Jones to Guatemala’s Civil War – Frank Marshall & Ryan Suffern

April 13th, 2017


“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic World” and “Sully” are among Frank Marshall’s stellar producing credits. Now his company Kennedy/Marshall has a …

PN 43: Laurent Bouzereau & Mark Harris on “Five Came Back”

April 6th, 2017


Steven Spielberg is the executive producer for the new 3-part Netflix series “Five Came Back” about the Hollywood directors who put their fiction …

PN 42: Made in Miami – Billy Corben & Alfred Spellman on “Cocaine Cowboys”

March 30th, 2017


“Cocaine Cowboys” is a cult classic exploring the 1980s drug trade in Miami. Packaged like a gangster film, the documentary links the criminal …

PN 41: Danae Elon on “P.S. Jerusalem”

March 23rd, 2017


Danae Elon’s latest film “P.S. Jerusalem” is a first person account of moving back to the city of her childhood after living abroad for 17 years. A key presence in the film is her late father Amos Elon who was a widely …

PN 40: “True South” – Jon Else on Henry Hampton & “Eyes on the Prize”

March 16th, 2017


“Eyes on the Prize” is a landmark documentary series chronicling the history of the civil rights movement. Debuting on public television in 1987, it remains just as riveting 30 years later. Now the making of the series …

PN 39: Marina Zenovich on Roman Polanski & California’s water crisis

March 2nd, 2017


“Chinatown” created a mythology out of California’s water politics. Now Marina Zenovich investigates a modern version of that story in her …

PN 38: Clay Tweel on “Gleason”

February 23rd, 2017


New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason became a sports hero one year after Hurricane Katrina when he blocked a kick that became a symbol of …

PN 37: Oscar Nominees for Documentary Feature

February 16th, 2017


Hear the five Oscar nominated directors for Documentary Feature. We present highlights from our past interviews with filmmakers Roger Ross Williams (“Life, Animated”), Gianfranco Rosi (“Fire at Sea”), Ava DuVernay …

PN 36: John Heilemann on “Trumped”

February 9th, 2017


John Heilemann, the veteran political reporter, is one of three creators – along with Mark Halperin and Mark McKinnon – of the new Showtime …

PN 35: Syrian Filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia In Exile

February 2nd, 2017


Before Trump’s travel ban for Syrians, we sat down with Orwa Nyrabia at the Sundance Film Festival where he was attending workshops. Three years ago, he produced “Return to Homs,” directed by Talal Derki, about the …

PN 34: Island President Mohamed Nasheed in Exile

January 26th, 2017


The Sundance Film Festival is always full of surprises. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers begins this episode with reflections on the 2017 festival …

PN 33: Inside Sundance with Josh Braun

January 18th, 2017


The Sundance Film Festival remains a hot spot for launching documentary films. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers got an early look at several films premiering at the festival.

In Part One of the podcast, he previews …

PN 32: Laura Poitras & Henrik Moltke on Project X

January 12th, 2017


What mystery lies behind the windowless building in Manhattan at 33 Thomas Street? In the short documentary “Project X,” Oscar-winning filmmaker …

PN 31: Race, History, Trump & Documentary

December 2nd, 2016


Bryan Stevenson, Raoul Peck & Ezra Edelman took part in a panel titled “American Histories,” moderated by Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers. It …

PN 30: Madam President: Sheila Nevins on HBO Documentary Films

November 9th, 2016


Sheila Nevins is a lover and a fighter. When she joined HBO in its early years, the label “documentary” evoked something educational. She turned it into something entertaining with her passion and tenacity. In this wide …

PN 29: Werner Herzog on “Into the Inferno”

November 3rd, 2016


Volcanoes are the focus of Werner Herzog’s new film “Into the Inferno,” now playing on Netflix. He teams with volcanologist Dr. Clive Oppenheimer …

PN 28: Gianfranco Rosi on “Fire at Sea”

October 27th, 2016


Winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s top jury prize in 2016, “Fire at Sea” takes place on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Located near the African coast, Lampedusa is a prime destination for refugees traveling by boat. …

PN 27: Morgan Spurlock & Jeremy Chilnick on “Rats”

October 20th, 2016


After “Super Size Me,” director Morgan Spurlock teamed with producer Jeremy Chilnick to form the production company Warrior Poets. Their latest film …

PN 26: Ava DuVernay on 13th

October 13th, 2016


Selma director Ava DuVernay has a new documentary on Netflix called 13th. The title comes from the Constitution’s 13th amendment that abolished …

PN 25: Directing “Amanda Knox”

October 6th, 2016


Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, the directors of “Amanda Knox,” discuss their five-year effort to bring the story to Netflix.

Knox was a Seattle …

PN 24: Kirsten Johnson on “Cameraperson”

September 29th, 2016


Laura Poitras and Michael Moore are only two of many filmmakers who have turned to the skills of cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Now Johnson has directed her own film “Cameraperson.” It’s a kind of memoir of her past …

PN 23: Demme on Talking Heads, Neil Young & Justin Timberlake

September 23rd, 2016


Jonathan Demme is receiving a retrospective this fall at the Stranger Than Fiction screening series at New York’s IFC Center. Pure Nonfiction host Thom Powers leads this conversation with Demme about his concert films …

PN 22: Nanette Burstein Investigates John McAfee

September 22nd, 2016


“Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee” explores the murky history of the anti-virus software pioneer who moved to the jungle of Belize and …

PN 21: Raoul Peck on James Baldwin

September 15th, 2016


“I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck and based on the writings of James Baldwin, made the list of Rolling Stone’s “25 Movies We Can’t Wait …

PN 20: Women Directors at #TIFF16

September 9th, 2016


“Girl Unbound” and “Karl Marx City” are among the documentaries directed by women making their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Pure Nonfiction host and TIFF documentary programmer Thom …

PN 19: New Docs on True Crime

September 8th, 2016


“The Skyjacker’s Tale” and “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” are two new docs on crime and justice making their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Pure Nonfiction host and TIFF documentary …

PN 18: Jazz Legends on Screen

September 1st, 2016


Trumpet player Lee Morgan was murdered at age 33. Saxophonist John Coltrane died of cancer at age 40. Now both these jazz greats are the subjects of …

Season Two Preview

August 25th, 2016


The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is just two weeks away. Pure Nonfiction will have extensive coverage of documentaries premiering at the festival. In this preview of the podcast’s Season Two, host Thom …

PN 17: Barbara Kopple – From Harlan County to Sharon Jones

July 28th, 2016


Two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple is back with a new film about soul singer Sharon Jones in a year when she battles cancer and prepares for her …

PN 16: Alex Gibney on Revealing Secrets

July 21st, 2016


Cyber warfare and the Stuxnet virus are the focus of Alex Gibney’s new film “Zero Days.” Once again, Gibney proves himself a master in getting people to talk. In the film, he speaks with high-ranking government …

PN 15: Muhammad Ali on Film

July 14th, 2016


Bill Siegel, director of “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” spent over two decades nurturing the idea to make his film about Ali’s religious beliefs and his opposition to the Vietnam War. On Pure Nonfiction episode #15, …

PN 14: TV’s King of Comedy

July 7th, 2016


“Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” explores the life of the television maverick behind hit shows such as “All in the Family,” “Maude,” and “The Jeffersons.” On Pure Nonfiction, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel …

PN 13: “Life, Animated” director Roger Ross Williams

June 30th, 2016


Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams talks about his career and his new film “Life, Animated” about an autistic boy who learns to communicate through Disney cartoons. Williams was the first African-American …

PN 12: Talking “Tickled” with David Farrier & Dylan Reeve

June 23rd, 2016


Fetish or sport? That’s what New Zealand TV journalist David Farrier wondered when he came across online videos of athletic young men in sports uniforms being tickled. The videos were billed as “Competitive Endurance …

PN 11: Yo-Yo Ma & Morgan Neville on “The Music of Strangers”

June 16th, 2016


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma talks to Pure Nonfiction about “The Music of Strangers” and lessons he’s learned since a mid-life crisis led him to create the Silk Road Ensemble. Host Thom Powers also speaks to director Morgan Neville …

PN 10: Why Revisit O.J. Simpson?

June 9th, 2016


Ezra Edelman explores the life of O.J. Simpson against the backdrop of race relations in Los Angeles in the five-part ESPN series “O.J.: Made in America.” On Pure Nonfiction, Edelman talks about re-opening a story that …

PN 09: Pennebaker & Hegedus on Clinton, Bowie & Animal Rights

June 2nd, 2016


DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus have been collaborating for 40 years. In this interview with Thom Powers, they talk about films throughout their …

PN 08: Who is Princess Shaw?

May 26th, 2016


“Presenting Princess Shaw” is one of the year’s most crowd-pleasing documentaries at festivals from TIFF to True/False to SXSW. Now it’s releasing in …

PN 07: Weiner Beyond the Headlines

May 19th, 2016


“Weiner” directors Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg take us behind the scenes of filming their documentary about Anthony Weiner. The film follows …

PN 06: Jonathan Demme’s Real Life Characters

May 12th, 2016


Jonathan Demme has directed a steady stream of documentaries in between his prominent output of fiction films. In this conversation with Thom Powers, …

PN 05: Who is Anderson Cooper’s Mother?

May 5th, 2016


Liz Garbus, the two-time Oscar nominated director of “The Farm: Angola, USA” and “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” has a new HBO documentary “Nothing …

PN 04: Going Deep With Mapplethorpe

April 28th, 2016


Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, directors of HBO’s “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” discuss their career from when they first met in the 1980s. Yes, this episode contains explicit language as we discuss the …

PN 03: “Making a Murderer” – Behind the Scenes

April 21st, 2016


“Making a Murderer” directors Laura Riccardi and Moira Demos discuss the ten-year process of creating their acclaimed Netflix series. This conversation with Thom Powers took place with a live audience at New York’s IFC …

PN 02: Inside the Supreme Court Case on Abortion

April 20th, 2016


Dawn Porter, director of “Trapped” and “Gideon’s Army,” discusses how she switched careers from being a lawyer to a documentary maker; and how she chose her topics. Her first film “Gideon’s Army” looked at public …

PN 01: From Maysles To The New Yorker Presents…

April 19th, 2016


Kahane Cooperman, the showrunner of “The New Yorker Presents,” discusses her eclectic jobs from working at Maysles Films to becoming co-executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to directing her new …

PN 00 – Introducing Pure Nonfiction!

April 13th, 2016


Documentary film makers span all kinds of storytellers: provocateurs, visionaries, investigators and more. Pure Nonfiction brings you candid interviews with leading documentary makers. Hear this preview as host Thom …

Loading ...

Download the RadioPublic app for
 FREE and never miss an episode.

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store