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Joshua Oppenheimer Gives Advice to Documentary Filmmakers | Louisiana Channel



“Don’t listen to anyone who tells you how it should be done.” The commended American director Joshua Oppenheimer – nominated twice for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature – here shares his powerful advice for aspiring filmmakers.

Oppenheimer continues by arguing that you should, however, take as much advice as you can from people, who understand your vision – don’t simply keep it to yourself: “You as a filmmaker need to communicate your vision to everyone you work with.” Dig deep into what it is that fascinates you, and explore that story – the element of exploration is what it’s all about: “If you know the story before you start, you shouldn’t make the film.”

Joshua Oppenheimer (b. 1974) is an American producer and director, who has studied at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as Central Saint Martins in London. Oppenheimer has been Oscar-nominated twice – for ‘The Act of Killing’ (2012) and ‘The Look of Silence’ (2014). For these two documentaries he has furthermore received several prestigious awards including a Panorama Audience Award, the European Film Award for Best Documentary, a Robert Award, a BAFTA for Best Documentary, the Grand Jury Prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival and the International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI). Other movies include ‘The Globalization Tapes’ (2003) and ‘The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase’ (1998). He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Joshua Oppenheimer was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærksen at Cinemateket in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 2016.

Camera: Simon Weyhe
Produced and edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

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