Episode 139

Published on:

18th Sep 2020

Winning an Oscar for Your Documentary Film

Imagine stepping up to the podium to accept your award for Best Documentary Feature for the film that you have put your heart, soul, blood sweat tears into. What would you say? Who would thank? Where would you even start?

Well, Steven Bognar, of this year's American Factory knows precisely what this feels like. And he details the story of he and his partner, Julia Reichert's walk to that Oscar podium.

And he details a heckuva lot more about what it means to live the life of a documentary filmmaker in Dayton, OH, far from the neon lights of New York, London, or L.A. And what it means to make meaningful documentaries that impact a lot of people and win a lot of awards.

What it means to live and lead a documentary life.

Topics Discussed

  • host Chris G. Parkhurst gives some History 101 of documentaries and the Academy Awards
  • why its beneficial to the world that documentary filmmakers make films from where they are at
  • how American Factory came from turning down what was initially meant to be a corporate video for the Fuyao factory
  • play-by-play of Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert's walk to the podium to accept their award for Best Documentary Feature
  • unique sound approaches that were brought to American Factory


Additional Resources


Trailer for American Factory



American Factory wins Best Documentary Feature



Sponsors & Thank Yous


° Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artists’ music by going to Free Music Archive today!



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About the Podcast

The Documentary Life
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.
Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

About your host

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Christopher Parkhurst