This episode highlights a session from last summer’s Lockdown Film School with Penny Lane and Carol Nguyen. Lane and Nguyen discuss their approaches to creative nonfiction.
This episode was recorded as a conversation between Lane, Nguyen, Editor-In-Chief Alex Heeney and Executive Editor Orla Smith in May 2020 as part of our Lockdown Film School series.
On This Episode
- Why this episode and the origins of creative nonfiction (1:17)
- Intro with Penny Lane and Carol Nguyen (4:18)
- Why creative nonfiction (7:03)
- Inspirations (17:03)
- Documentary vs creative nonfiction as a label (20:49)
- Editing and pre-screening (26:01)
- Animation in documentary (33:02)
- Audience questions (41:31)
Penny Lane is a creative nonfiction filmmaker whose work has gained prominence in recent years with works such as Nuts! and Hail Satan? She has a knack for approaching outlandish subject matter (The Satanic Temple, the strange and possibly psychosomatic illness Morgellons) in a humane and sincere manner. Her work is discussed in Seventh Row’s ebook on modern documentary cinema, In their own words: Documentary masters.
You can find many of Penny Lane’s films on her personal website.
Hail Satan? is streaming on Netflix in Canada and Hulu in the US
Carol Nguyen is a young, emerging Canadian filmmaker. Her latest short film, No Crying at the Dinner Table, premiered at TIFF in 2019 and recently won the prize for Best Documentary Short at the SXSW Film Festival. The film is an intimate, personal documentary in which Nguyen interviews her parents and her sister about their own family trauma. Read Alex’s 2019 interview with Carol Nguyen on making No Crying at the Dinner Table.
You can find most of Nguyen’s films, including No Crying at the Dinner Table, on her personal website.
- Read Orla’s article “What is creative nonfiction?”
- Read Alex’s review of Penny Lane’s Nuts!.
- Watch Watching the Pain of Others, Chloé Galibert-Laîné’s excellent and artful video essay on Penny Lane’s films, focusing on the emotional impact that Lane’s The Pain of Others had on her and the way the film’s editing creates and shapes audience empathy.
- View the other Lockdown Film School sessions
- Ep. 95: Reclaiming history in documentary: No Ordinary Man and John Ware Reclaimed
- Ep. 46: Mina Shum and Philippe Falardeau
- Ep. 12: Hail Satan? featuring director Penny Lane
Explore the spectrum between fiction and nonfiction
Subjective realities: The art of creative nonfiction is a tour through contemporary creative nonfiction, aka hybrid or experimental documentaries. Discover films that push the boundaries of the documentary form.