The search for the next great documentary and documentary filmmaker continued this week on Pursuit of the Truth. This week, the judges headed to Dallas, TX and New York City to find out if any of the applicants had the concept and the skills to make their dream a reality.
Kelvin Owens kicked things off with his idea for An American Intervention, which takes aim at the untold causes of America’s economic turmoil and The Federal Reserve. Craig and Peter were impressed by his concept and character, but Daniel couldn’t disagree more. He felt that he was going in with a thesis and an agenda, but without any real story behind his documentary.
Up next was Drew McCullough, whose film A Life of Fulfillment would seek to use the culture of snowboarding to show the wonders of capitalism. He wants to bring a group of young, anti-establishment snowboarders to South America in order to celebrate the values of liberty and capitalism. Craig thought the pitch was genius, but again Daniel was a voice of dissent. He believed there were too many tangential storylines and didn’t know if a group of friends going to hang out in Argentina would cut it as the next great documentary.
Texas-native Hilary Kitzman pitched her idea for Fight Like a Girl, a documentary that would show one woman overcoming her fear of guns and how she came to see it as a tool to protect herself in a violent world. For the first time in the episode, Daniel was really supportive of the contestant’s pitch and saw it as an opportunity for a strong female voice to be a part of the gun debate. Hilary promised to interview other women who have used guns in self-defense, bringing an oft-ignored perspective to the forefront. While the concept got the judges talking, all three judges questioned her filmmaking skillset and ability to successfully create the documentary.
Check out Hilary’s pitch below:
The quirkiest idea of the night, A Beautiful Mine, came from Maggie Nelson, whose submission video was heavily influenced by indie hits like Juno and Moonrise Kingdom. She promised to deliver an adventure-quest that will follow a man named Myron back to his hometown in search of an ancient Native American mine that he first heard about as a young boy. This was another hit with the usually critical Daniel Chalfen who loved the storytelling and marketing potential, and Peter Billingsley loved the amount of structure already in place in her pitch. Craig Hatkoff, on the other hand, wasn’t impressed. He questioned Maggie’s ability to really deliver on any of the elements of the pitch.
David Rufful came to the table with a topic that will be sure to please TheBlaze audience members. In The Dartmouth Review Pleads Innocent, Rufful wants to tell a story that would be Animal House meets Newsroom, where a group of young conservatives used some pretty crazy antics (bringing live animals on campus to form the “Student Club for Bestiality” to challenge the college’s decision to fund groups based on sexuality) in order to express their political viewpoints. The judges all loved the concept, and thought it had the potential to be a fun and irreverent entry into the mix. But like most of the first time filmmakers, they questioned his ability to get the job done.
The entry that will likely raise the most eyebrows came from Dan Quigley and his idea for the film The Journey of Mina, starring a transgender rock star who for a long time was known as heavy metal rockstar Keith, but is now Mina. Despite encountering opposition from her fans, Mina is preparing to release a new album and Quigley wants to follow her journey. Will it be an agenda-driven film? Or will it be a solid story that could end up being a great film? The judges were torn, but clearly were impressed by his unique and compelling concept.
Watch Quigley’s pitch below:
Next week: Six contestants are picked to move on as semi-finalists, who then set out to produce a two-minute teaser for their documentary feature!