journalism

29. Almudena Toral: Focusing My Energy by Elaine Sheldon

From left to right: Elaine Sheldon (She Does), Almudena Toral (Univision), Sarah Ginsburg (She Does), Maylin Colmenares (WOMANMAY) at Film Gate in Miami, Florida.   RELATED LINKS    Almudena's Website    Interview on ReportHers    Vimeo    Twitter

From left to right: Elaine Sheldon (She Does), Almudena Toral (Univision), Sarah Ginsburg (She Does), Maylin Colmenares (WOMANMAY) at Film Gate in Miami, Florida.

RELATED LINKS

Almudena's Website

Interview on ReportHers

Vimeo

Twitter

Almudena Toral is a Spanish visual journalist and the head of video at Univision News Digital in Miami. Prior to working for Univision, Almudena freelanced worldwide and worked at The New York Times and TIME. Her work has been published by The Guardian, VICE, AlJazeera, Huffington Post, El País, Canal+ and other outlets. She's the recipient of a 2013 Pictures of the Year International Award of Excellence – Multimedia Photographer of the Year. 

Her work has received accolades from the Emmys, National Press Photographers Association, the World Cup of Photography, and The Deadline Press Club. Almudena is passionate about multi-platform storytelling, human rights, health and gender issues, the global south and immigration policy, among others. 

In this episode, she talks about Univision News Digital’s goal to serve Hispanic and Latino communities in the U.S., the benefits of being a woman in journalism, covering heroin addiction in Tanzania, and her many lessons learned as a freelance video and photojournalist. 

Almudena gives great advice on pitching stories. Most importantly, she encourages artists and journalists to be flexible with the ability to do many things, but to really specialize in and master one thing.


MUSIC BY: WOMANMAY

WOMANMAY is the solo project of Maylin Colmenares. Venezuelan-bred and Miami-based guitarist and vocalist. We were lucky to have Maylin open the live show at Film Gate for us. Stick around at the end of this episode to hear a short interview with her. We’ve sprinkled songs from WOMANMAY'S latest album Ahi Ahi throughout this recording.

 

26. Charlotte Cook: Look on Behalf of the Audience by Elaine Sheldon

Charlotte Cook is a documentary film programmer, curator, producer and co-founder of Field of Vision. Charlotte was the Director of Programming at Hot Docs film festival for four years before she left in May of 2015 to start Field of Vision, a visual journalism film unit that aims to commission 40 to 50 original episodic and individual short non-fiction films each year. Charlotte co-founded Field of Vision with Academy Award-winning director of “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras, and filmmaker and founder of Cinema Eye Honors Aj Schnack. In this episode, we talk about Charlotte’s journey to programming Hot Docs, including her time at The Times, BBC Storyville, and The Frontline Club. Charlotte also walks us through what Field of Vision is looking for and how you can be part of it.


I’ve always hated the term gatekeeper or tastemaker or anything like that. I always say the filmmakers drive everything and I think there’s this weird misconception about that. We are always at the mercy of the filmmakers. And that was something I really always tried to get through at HotDocs, ‘It’s not your honor to screen with us, it’s the other way around.’
— Charlotte Cook

RELATED LINKS

CLIPS USED IN SHOW

Name: Charlotte Cook

Current City: New York

Current Gig: Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Field of Vision

What are you listening to now? I find it impossible to pick favorites but the two songs that I listen to the most, because they soothe my soul, are "The Weight of My Words" a Four Tet Remix by Kings of Convenience and "Girlfriend" by Phoenix. And my favourite album of last year was Jamie xx, "In Colour."

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? One of my roommates at university was working on an art project and became obsessed with the documentaries "Party Monster: The Shockumentary" by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, and The Legend of Leigh Bowery by Charles Atlas. He would watch them everyday and I became sucked in by them while I was helping to photograph his work. They were not only my introduction to seeing how non-fiction could really speak to someone and mean so much to them, but also to documentaries that were outside of the more informative, issue films, and spoke to different subcultures and voices. It began my path of ferociously watching non-fiction.

"Fourteen Days in May" by Paul Hamann opened my eyes to the power of documentary and "Portrait of Jason" remains my favorite documentary of all time. The exploration of performance and representation of reality and storytelling is still very powerful to me.

I've always been a huge Steven Soderbergh fan. His use of color in "Out of Sight" was something that really made me fall in love with exploring how directors use visuals in storytelling. I will always pay attention to the work Kyle Cooper makes, I find it fascinating and inspiring.

Who is your career role model? I've always really admired how Ben Hammersley has navigated his career. From the diversity of ways he works, in different mediums, and being someone who is very multi-faceted. But really my role models are those who are committed to supporting, and advancing the medium or field they work in. Whether it's helping to give other people opportunities, creating discussion or building new avenues or outlets for those in their field.

What is a tool you can't live without? Notebook and Pen. I write by hand, every day, for various reasons. I still find nothing more useful, productive or cathartic.

How do you take your coffee/tea? Milky, two sugars in both, which is sacrilegious for most of my fellow British people.


CREDITS:

  • Produced by Sarah Ginsburg & Elaine Sheldon
  • Sound design by Billy Wirasnik
  • Illustration by Christine Cover

MUSIC: in this episode is by Alexandria Hall of tooth ache. Listen and purchase her music on bandcamp

 

Featured songs: Skin, Lazarus, Sediment, Guilt, Wild Horses, Not Even The Moon, Body Heat

Featured songs: Skin, Lazarus, Sediment, Guilt, Wild Horses, Not Even The Moon, Body Heat

24. Molly Crabapple: What Pretty Guts by Elaine Sheldon

Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer who combines illustration, art and journalism to document societal and political issues. Her work is influenced by her own personal experiences and radical encounters with injustice around the world, and aims to shed light on marginalized communities. She’s written and illustrated stories about Guantanamo Bay, issues sex workers face, the prison system, among many other topics, for Vice, Fusion, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian and Newsweek. Molly’s captivating paintings, and pen and ink illustrations can be seen on book covers, canvases, backdrops, and have accompanied articles written by both herself and by others; her art is featured in MoMA’s permanent collection. She’s the recipient of the Yale Poynter Fellowship, a Front Page Award, and a 2014 Gold Rush award. She was shortlisted for a 2013 Frontline Print Journalism Award for her internationally-acclaimed reportage on Guantanamo Bay.


In Dec. 2015, Molly released “Drawing Blood,” a memoir that details her life as a high school outcast, traveler of the world, Internet model, political activist, illustrator and many moments in between. In this episode, we dive into Molly’s intricate work, discussing the vampiric nature of being an illustrator, the inside of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, beauty as capital, her abortion, underground nightclubs, and using art to fight injustice.

Molly's memoir, Drawing Blood, is out now. Visit Indiebound to find a copy at a bookstore near you, or purchase it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon

 
 
When you take a photo, you’re at the mercy of what’s in front of you. When you draw, you have all of your memory. You have all all your imagination. You have everything to go from.
 

MUSIC in this episode is by french composer and musician, Cécile Schott who makes work under the name COLLEEN! Join us next Wednesday (12/9/2015) to learn more about her! In the meantime, listen to her music on Spotify and Soundcloud and check out her website

Photo by Thomas Guionnet

Photo by Thomas Guionnet

SONGS you heard: Holding Horses, I'm Kin, Salina Stars, Lighthouse, Captain of Dub from the album Captain of None (Japanese Version) // Break Away, Ursa Major Find from The Weighing Of The Heart //  What Is a Componium, Pt. 1, Your Heart Is So Loud, I'll Read You a Story from  // Ritournelle, Goodbye Sunshine, Everyone Alive Wants Answers, Your Heart on Your Sleeve, Nice and Simple from Everyone Alive Wants Answers // The Happy Sea from The Golden Morning Breaks // Pista 10 from Les Ondes Silencieuses

 

RELATED LINKS:


CLIPS USED IN SHOW:


CREDITS

  • Produced by Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg
  • Sound design by Billy Wirasnik
  • Illustration by Christine Cover
  • Production Assistance by Alijah Case

21. Ann Friedman: Successful, Whatever That Means by Elaine Sheldon

Ann Friedman is a freelance journalist who lives in Los Angeles. She writes a weekly column about politics, culture and gender for New York Magazine. She also contributes to the Columbia Journalism Review, ELLE, The Guardian, Los Angeles Magazine, The Gentlewoman, among other publications. She’s the co-host of popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend and reviews books for New Republic and Bookforum. Ann understands the importance of developing your own voice. She understands how our shifting landscape has changed the way people consume media, and how having a personal connection and point of view as an author, allows readers an entry point to trust your voice. Those who trust Ann’s voice look forward to her beloved newsletter, The Ann Friedman Weekly, where she sums up everything she’s written, read, listened to and watched that week. Ann has a broad view of how to tell a story, embracing all sorts of methods from longform, to GIFS, to pie chart, to DIY publishing, she's inventive and knows how to turn it into a paycheck.

In this episode, we talk about the changing role of journalism, getting fired, the importance of building your future network, the perils of aging in the media world, and the importance of self-driven projects. If you’re a freelancer, don’t miss this episode.

If you’re good you never stop building a network. It’s not a thing you do until you are ‘successful’ whatever that means. It’s a thing you do your whole career.
— Ann Friedman

Name: Ann Friedman

Current City: Los Angeles

What are you listening to now? This is going to make me sound so pretentious, but I have been listening to a lot of Ethiopian jazz lately. It's good working music.

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I read Susan Sontag's journals (the first collection) when I was in a state of both personal and professional transition, and something about reading her unedited thoughts was really inspiring to me. 

Who is your career role model? It's so hard to pick just one! I am a big fan of Rebecca Traister. She is a fantastic writer and original thinker who takes a long view and backs up her opinions with reporting-- without losing her voice. Also, she's kind to both her sources and to other journalists. It's hard to imagine her becoming embroiled in a petty Twitter fight, which is how you know she's really smart.

What is a tool you can't live without? This is so boring, but my iPhone. Of course.

How do you drink your coffee/tea? Coffee. Usually black.

What's your spirit animal? When I'm tired or hung over, I most identify with a baby giraffe that is still learning to walk.


MUSIC BY:

Our musicmaker is HINDS! Find them on Soundcloud, Bandcamp & Facebook.

Photo by  Aarón Serrano    

Photo by Aarón Serrano

 

CREDITS:

  • Produced by Sarah Ginsburg & Elaine Sheldon
  • Sound design by Billy Wirasnik
  • Illustration by Christine Cover
  • Production Assistance by Alijah Case

CLIPS used in show:

2. Lyric Cabral: You Gotta Have a Beat by Elaine Sheldon

Lyric Cabral is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker based in the Bronx. She, along with her co-director David Felix Sutcliffe, premiered her feature-length film (T)ERROR at Sundance this year in the US Documentary category. (T)ERROR is billed as “the first film to document on camera a covert counterterrorism sting,” but the documentary has been in the works for over a decade. Lyric came across the film’s subject, an FBI informant, when she was only 19, but knew she was too young to tackle the story then. Lyric talks about the uncomfortable situations she’s found herself in as a photojournalist, being inspired by Gordon Parks, spending over a decade covering national security issues, and returning to a story 12 years after discovering it.


Name: Lyric R. Cabral

Current City: New York City

DOB: 1982

What are you listening to? D'angelo and the Vanguard "Black Messiah"

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I really appreciate the silent film "Sidewalk Stories" by Charles Lane. I saw the film at a time when I was making the professional transition from still photography to moving images. The film is quite moving for me because each frame is beautifully photographed, and reflects an attention to detail that reveals the sensitivities and struggles of life in New York city.

Who is your career role model? Someone who I admire personally and professionally is filmmaker Shola Lynch. I value that her body of work critically examines the lives of Black women (Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis) in America, as these stories are typically lesser seen on screen. Shola is a meticulous archivist and historian, who researched "Free Angela" for 8 years. I am inspired by the tremendous commitment that motivates each of her films, and by the engaging narratives that she presents on screen.

What is a tool you can't live without? I really appreciate Twitter. I am able to access the perspectives of citizen journalists around the world, and research stories in a unique way.

How do you take your coffee?  One sugar and a little whole milk

What’s your spirit animal? A calico cat

 

LyricCabral-SheDoesPodcast
 

RELATED LINKS

I am the type of journalist that I’m never done. I don’t drop in and drop out. Whether they get a Christmas card from me, or I try to call, I just really try to stay in touch with people. I really don’t like the feeling of: I come in. I document you. I publish it. And then I just leave you alone with the consequences of whatever happens because you are now public. I’m never quite done.
— Lyric R. Cabral

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

 

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Blank Panther archival, (T)ERROR

Teaser by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

 

Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg introduce their new podcast, which launches on January 14th, 2015. Listen to soundbites from the first episodes of the series. Find us on on iTunes and Soundcloud. 

Thanks to our partner, Filmmaker Magazine, who will be running articles about each of our guests and co-hosting our bi-weekly Google Hangouts where YOU get to ask our guests your questions.

GUESTS FEATURED IN TEASER:
Bianca Giaever
Katie McKay
Anna Sale
Kara Oehler
Ingrid Kopp
Lyric Cabral
Lina Srivastava
Katja Blichfeld

MUSIC: 
"Kosmiche Slop" by Anenon 
"Proton Beat" by Gangi 
"Siesta" by Jahzzar
"Ascendant" by K. Laba Music