The Subject Town Hall will be one of the first events of its kind that brings together documentary participants from some of our most beloved films. The speakers—all co-producers of Subject, a new documentary premiering at the Tribeca Festival—include Margie Ratliff (The Staircase), Jesse Friedman (Capturing the Friedmans), Arthur Agee (Hoop Dreams), Mukunda Angulo & Susanne Reisenbichler (The Wolfpack) and Ahmed Hassan (The Square). The conversation will be moderated by Sonya Childress, member of the Documentary Accountability Working Group. The discussion will focus on how to create a more equitable environment for documentary participants at a time when the genre is booming.
Watch the film before the Town Hall conversation. Screening times here.
Mukunda Angulo is a participant / co-producer of Subject and was in The Wolfpack, a documentary released in 2015 by Magnolia Pictures which told the story of how his family grew up shut inside a New York City apartment all their lives. The film depicts his family’s emancipatory journey from an unstable shut-in world towards a new one. Mukunda is a film fanatic and has been on film/TV sets in all over New York for the past few years. He plans to continue to pursue his own films.
Margie Ratliff is a co-producer of Subject and was a participant in The Staircase, a Netflix true-crime series released in 2018 that documented her father’s legal battle after he was accused and convicted of the murder of her mother. A shorter version of the series, which aired in 2004, was re-released on Netflix with three new episodes. Margie’s life has moved far beyond the series. She is now an independent Producer/Director of documentary films, a marathon runner and a passionate world traveler.
Jesse Friedman is a co-producer of Subject and was a collaborator on Capturing the Friedmans, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003. The film documented the trauma of the Friedman family after their father was convicted of child molestation. Evidence uncovered by the filmmakers was submitted to the courts in support of Jesse’s efforts towards exoneration. Today Friedman lives a quiet life, yet remains a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform.
Arthur Agee is a co-producer of Subject and was a participant in the coming-of-age basketball documentary, Hoop Dreams, released in 1994 by Fine Line Features. He has been a motivational speaker to youth across the world, teaching the Hoop Dreams Life Skills educational curriculum. He also owns a successful basketball clothing company inspired by Hoop Dreams called “Classic HD Basketball Clothing Co.”
Susanne Reisenbichler, featured in Subject, was a participant in The Wolfpack, a documentary released in 2015 by HBO which told the story of how she and her sons grew up shut inside a New York City apartment. She gained her freedom through the documentary, which allowed her to escape a violent and abusive relationship with her partner. She is now an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and is a best-selling author. In 2021, she was ordained advocate for New York City by the Mayor’s office.
Ahmed Hassan is a co-producer of Subject and is an Oscar-nominated cinematographer and filmmaker based in Istanbul. He was a participant in The Square documentary film, which depicted the Egyptian revolution during the Arab Spring. He runs programs to teach filmmaking to refugees in Turkey and is an educational speaker.
Sonya Childress co-directs the Color Congress, a new national collective of majority people of color-led and serving organizations with programming aimed at centering and strengthening nonfiction storytelling by, for and about people of color. She recently served as Senior Fellow with the Perspective Fund where she advanced initiatives to move the documentary field towards equity and transparency. She spent 20 years as an impact producer at Firelight Media and Active Voice. A frequent writer, speaker and trainer in the documentary impact and culture change space, Sonya also serves on the boards of the Center for Cultural Power and The Whitman Institute, is a member of the Documentary Accountability Working Group and Brown Girls Doc Mafia, and was an inaugural Rockwood JustFilms Fellow.