51 – The Imposter Syndrome + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo

December 8, 2017

The Imposter Syndrome

Do you consider yourself a documentary filmmaker or is that a term that you are hesitant to give yourself?  Is there something that is holding you back from your first documentary film? Perhaps what’s keeping you from being a doc filmmaker, or making your doc film, or living your doc life, is something called imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is a concept that basically describes the inability of an individual to internalize one’s accomplishments as well as having a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.  And I’m confused that so many of us doc filmmakers experience at some point in time in our own doc lives.  Which is what we’ll take a look at in our opening segment of today’s podcast. We’ll discuss:

  • Definition of imposter syndrome and how it applies to us #doclifers
  • why you are already a filmmaker qualified to make a documentary
  • how you can overcome the fear that you are under-qualified to make your doc film


Podcast Conversation

In our shared conversation with a doc industry guest segment, I sat down with Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominated doc filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo.  On the eve of her being awarded the prestigious International Documentary Association (IDA)’s Career Achievement Award, we have a frank and open conversation about the state of documentary: what it has meant for her in her life as well as what it might mean for future doc filmmakers and..

  • how she became an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker with her first film without ever having any prior filmmaking experience
  • how aspiring filmmakers today make the mistake of concentrating on all of the shiny and latest camera gear and forget the most important element to a documentary: story
  • advice for writing your first grants for your first projects
  • what it means to be awarded an IDA Career Achievement Award


Related Resources


Trailer for Lourdes Portillo’s brilliant personal documentary The Devil Never Sleeps – as discussed in the episode – can be seen here:




Top Resources



Learn how to plan, fund and share your documentary film




#DocLand The Documentary Life‘s very own flagship filmmaking community which offers you step-by-step tutorials, industry expert webinars, private Facebook group, industry-standard templates and extensive resources, to assist you in the planning, funding and sharing of your documentary film.

Visit #Docland to learn more.




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Documentary Life © 2017
Ready To Take Your Documentary Filmmaking To The Next Level?
Want to know who'll be on the show before anyone else? Plus receive helpful & inspiring doc filmmaking info? Learn how to lead your best #DocLife. Join the tribe today.
Thanks for signing up! Please take a quick moment and confirm your email address before we add you. To do so, simply follow instructions within your email.
We will never spam you or sell your info. Never.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup