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Notable Filmmakers Who Work In Both Documentary & Fiction Features

by The Playlist Staff.

Truth may or may not be stranger than fiction, but both impulses certainly exert a powerful pull on the filmmaking instinct. With so many established narrative directors over the years turning their hand to documentaries, whether it’s “making of,” band documentaries, or passion projects that they use to create greater awareness of the issues that are closest to their hearts, it’s a well-trodden path. And while they’re treading that path, they get to wave at the men and women coming in the opposite direction: documentarians make the crossover into narrative just as frequently.

This week’s release of “How I Live Now” (our review is here) from Kevin Macdonald is another example of how, for some directors, the dividing line between fiction and non-fiction is one they can criss-cross time and again throughout their careers—it’s a fiction film, but Macdonald’s been alternating between the formats evenly for the last decade or so.

Of course the storytelling instinct may be the same, even if the approach is necessarily different, but not every talent is as suited to the bigger budgets (mo’ money, mo’ problems) and more rigid production of features, as it is to the unpredictability and other frustrations of documentary filmmaking.

Still others attempt to blur or eradicate that division altogether, knitting fictional elements like dramatic reconstructions or overtly manipulated imagery into their documentaries, and bringing realist elements of shooting style or even casting to their fictions. We’re taking this opportunity to examine ten directors who work or have worked in both formats to see what they bring to each, and how each impacts on the other.

Read the rest of this article from Indie Wire.

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