Category Archives: documentary

What is a “docuphile”?

A “docuphile” is the lover of all thing documentary.  A lover of reality.  In essence, a lover of the world that surrounds us.  I believe knowing more about the world around us makes us better human beings.

I’ve been working as a programmer and consultant specializing in non-fiction film and video for almost twenty years.  When I started my company, Docuphile Media, I was inspired by the excitement I felt when landing in another person’s shoes, or being allowed the opportunity to glimpse into another life.  Documentaries (in all forms) teach us so much about the world landscape, both on a global level and a personal level.   It’s amazing what we’re able to experience visually, sonically and emotionally through the documentary form.

(This idea can in some ways become dangerous, when we start assigning “worth” to documentary films or feeling like they need to teach us something.  I think this is going backwards for both makers and viewers alike, but I’ll be exploring this idea in more detail going forward.  It’s a question that artists have long been grappling with, and one that is maintaining a strong presence in the documentary field presently.)

But I also think we can learn just as much through other forms of creative practices.  How many times have we learned about a political situation in another country or gone behind the curtain into a private culture through a novel or a fiction film – where fictitious characters take us on a journey that exposes us to things we might not find in the newspaper (or find difficult to follow in a more journalistic way).  In university, I studied American Social and Cultural Studies – looking at American history not only through the traditional history and politics lens, but also through literature, sociology, cinema and arts.

I believe there’s incredible opportunity for learning and understanding at the intersection of media, arts and cultures (as in “the beliefs, customs, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time,” not “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively”).

Exposure only gives us more opportunity to contemplate and analyze what is not directly in our sphere of being. I believe this fuels creativity and growth potential. Technology has opened the world to us, and while it can keep us from fully experiencing life, it also has the capacity to make the world smaller.  I’m interested in how all these things – media, storytelling, technology, art, societies – can influence positive social transformation.

– Karen Cirillo