Associate Professor Brent E. Huffman, IDFA2015 Honorary Award Recipient, was a Featured Speaker at The Asian Conference on Media & Mass Communication 2015 (MediAsia2015) in Kobe, Japan.

In our modern age of vanishing journalism outlets, documentary filmmakers are filling the void by doing the investigative journalism traditionally done by print reporters and photojournalists. In this golden age of documentary filmmaking, documentary films now dominate the narrative landscape on television and online bringing in millions of viewers. Documentaries are the centerpiece of programming on major outlets like HBO, CNN, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Showtime, PBS and Al Jazeera America/Al Jazeera English as well as network television, online outlets like The New York Times and digital outlets like Netflix and Amazon. CNN Films, HBO Documentaries and The NewYorkTimes Op Docs have premiered cutting edge documentaries that reach large audiences.

Documentary journalists are using this popular medium of documentary to enrich viewers and better our world by exposing corruption, protecting human rights and saving cultural heritage through the following examples: E Team (2014), Citizen Four (2014), Depth of Field (2015), Virunga (2014) and Saving Mes Aynak (2015). These documentary films distill complex issues by telling insider character-based emotional stories. These films have wide ranging positive impact on audiences around the globe, on policy and on the subjects of the films themselves.

Brent E. Huffman is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Medill as well as a working documentary filmmaker and director of long-form television programs. At Medill, Huffman teaches documentary theory and production as well as long-form video storytelling on the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also advises on local and international documentary and long-form video projects. He specializes in international documentary filmmaking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He is passionate about international issues involving human rights and social justice.

Posted by Shawn Mahler

Los Angeles native Shawn Mahler has a wealth of experience working on film, video, and theater productions in the United States and Japan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Theory and Production from the University of California, Irvine. Shawn has spent over ten years in Japan where he has worked with numerous industry professionals to develop television shows, movies, and theatrical productions.