With Michael Moore preferring to incite ire on social media rather than in movie theaters, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are carving out a niche as contemporary documentary filmmaking's most reliable provocateurs, capable of planting their flag in an issue and generating emotion, debate, ire and, occasionally, tangible change.
For the past two films, the issue troubling Dick and Ziering -- He's the director, she's the intrepid producer -- has been institutional cover-up or denial of sexual abuse. "The Invisible War" earned Emmys and an Oscar nomination for its coverage of the sexual assault epidemic in the military.
Their latest documentary, "The Hunting Ground," is taking the issue to the even more sensitive terrain of college campuses, stirring up the hornet's nest on both a general level, but also in specific scandals like the one involving Florida State football star Jameis Winston.
Like "The Invisible War," "The Hunting Ground" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival" and as with "The Invisible War," the "Hunting Ground" premiere was attended by many of the documentary's subjects, leading to both tears and multiple standing ovations.
"Hunting Ground" arrived at Sundance with distribution already in place, courtesy of RADiUS and CNN Films. Its roll-out began in several markets last week and will continue, leading up to an airing several months in the future on CNN.
Last week, I sat down with Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering to discuss the film's swift turnaround from production to Sundance to release. We talked about the treatment of sensitive subjects surrounding future 1st Round NFL draft pick Winston, as well as the challenges of getting responses from the big universities mentioned in the documentary. And we also discussed the general state of the documentary marketplace, which has seemingly become robust in recent years with outlets like CNN, HBO, Showtime and PBS all offering exposure for documentaries.
Click through for the full Q&A and check your local listings to see when "The Hunting Ground" arrives in your market...