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Graphic design by Jackie Clark Mancuso




“Shoot from the Heart” is a short film centered around a rollicking evening with Haskell Wexler, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Nick Doob and Joan Churchill. We debate about cinematic representation, whether it’s possible to capture reality, how the camera affects a situation and whether or not there is such a thing as objectivity. 


We shot the dinner in a participatory manner, sometimes passing the camera from person to person.  This is not a traditional doc with an invisible director whose questions have been cut out.  Everyone present becomes a part of the film.


Penny, who was possibly the greatest vérité shooter of all time, states that when he’s shooting he doesn’t think, he’s “like a cat watching a room full of people.  And when people say, how do you decide?… I’m in there floating in that camera, watching what goes on.  Sometimes I feel a little guilty, like I don’t take responsibility, like the painter who doesn’t look at the canvas while he paints.”  Haskell defines what art is for him in a deeply emotional moment.


The film is an introduction to Haskell who Churchill and Alan Barker followed during the last ten years of his life.  He was not an easy film subject.  Haskell, the great cinematographer, was averse to being in front of the camera and he definitely did not want to be seen with a film crew tagging alongside.


“Shoot from the Heart” is the first act in a long form work which will consist of many encounters we filmed, each a free standing ‘chapter.’  We want audiences to share a moment in the rich lives of these two iconic filmmakers, Haskell and Penny - no longer with us.




Nov 11, 19:30 Cinépolis Chelsea

Joan Churchill in conversation with Kirsten Johnson

Screening: Shoot From The Heart

Q&A with Joan Churchill and Alan Barker

Camerimage - Torun Poland

Nov 17, 20:45 Horzyca Theatre

Q&A after with filmmakers

IDFA - Amsterdam

1: Nov 23, 21:00 Mundt Theater

   Q&A after with filmmakers

2: Nov 24, 20:30 Tuschinski 3

   Q&A after with filmmakers

3: Nov 26, 17:25 Tuschinski 6

4: Nov 27, 11:00 De Balie Grote

Hamptons Doc Fest

Dec 9, 18:00 Bay Street Theater

Q&A after  with Chris Hegedus

Press Inquiries: Adam Kersh, adam@fusion-entertainment

The Filmmakers
Joan Churchill and Alan Barker have each worked in film over fifty years.  Both Southern Californians, they attended film school at UCLA together in the ‘60s but really met in London in 1981.  They are married and have collaborated on documentaries as directors, producers and crew for thirty years. They love making films that throw the viewer into a present tense experience using a subjective camera style that actively participates in the story.  They had deep friendships with both Haskell and Penny.

The Filmmakers
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