Documentary Filmmaking in a New Political Climate

  • Directed By: Various
  • USA / 60 mins
  • Screening: Friday, March 3, 2017 at 11:00 AM
  • POWFest and NW Documentary Presents - Education Day
  • Tickets:

    Tickets available at the door. $5/panel or $10/day

  • Location: NW Documentary
  • Sponsored By: Tanji, NW Documentary

Documentary Filmmaking in a New Political Climate

As the platform of documentary storytelling has become more and more common, there’s an urgent need to protect the right to record. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of access to information are vital whether you’re a credentialed journalist, a documentary filmmaker or a bystander with a camera. And yet, in our new political climate, these rights are being called into question. Documentary storytellers recording political injustices are being threatened with prosecution by law enforcement and government agencies. These threats are pushing these storytellers into the new role of freedom fighter, with the duty of standing on the front lines in the battle to preserve these freedoms promised in our constitution.

Join in as our panel discusses what’s at stake, why it’s important the documentary filmmaker stay vigilant and what backups and platforms can be used to ensure protection of one’s media if confiscated by law enforcement.


Moderator Courtney Herman, Assistant Professor of Film at Portland State University
Courtney Hermann is an independent documentary filmmaker, documentary consultant, and an Assistant Professor of Film at Portland State University.  Her most recent independent films include CRYING EARTH RISE UP (2015), EXOTIC WORLD AND THE BURLESQUE REVIVAL (2012), and STANDING SILENT NATION (2007).  She is a co-owner of BOXCAR ASSEMBLY, a full service production company specializing in non-fiction work for organizations and businesses.




Lindsey Grayzel – Documentary Filmmaker

Lindsey Grayzel is currently fully immersed in making “The Reluctant Radical” a documentary that follows a climate activist as he takes on the fossil fuel industry through direct action civil disobedience. Lindsey began her career as an editor in 1994, then made the transition to producing and directing in 1999 with her first documentary, “Beyond the Bell Curve.” Since that time, her passion for documentary stories has led her to a successful freelance career producing documentary and educational videos for non-profit organizations, local and state governments, and museums. Recent clients include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Dougy Center, Kenai Fjords National Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Whether she is working for a client or pursuing an independent project, Lindsey is thrilled to be dedicating her storytelling talents on projects she feels make a positive impact in the world.

Jodi Darby – Documentary Filmmaker

Jodi Darby is a media artist, activist and educator specializing in experimental video and photography. Her projects deal with visionary rebellion and joy. She works to amplify stories that often go unheard while pushing back at the narratives of dominant culture.  Her most recent documentary Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon which she co-directed with Julie Perini and Erin Yanke, has won multiple awards and has been programmed internationally.



J. Ashlee Albies – Lawyer
J. Ashlee Albies has been practicing civil rights and employee-side employment law for over a decade, and recently started her own practice: Albies & Stark, LLC. She has devoted her legal career to providing zealous advocacy for clients who have been harmed by discrimination, retaliation, and unfair treatment by an employer or by the government. She believes in client-centered practice: providing her clients with the ability to make informed decisions about major life choices. She is immediate past Co-chair of the Portland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive bar association with nationwide membership. In 2010, Ashlee was a part of a legal team honored with the “Law for the People Award” by the NLG and has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a rising star. She is past chair of the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section, and has presented at many public forums and continuing legal education seminars about the First Amendment, free speech, creative uses of the law, trial advocacy, and civil rights litigation. Ashlee earned her undergraduate degree from Cook College at Rutgers University before moving to Oregon to earn her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.