WFTV Q&A: In Conversation with Director, Kirsten Johnson and the Producers behind Dick Johnson is Dead

Join WFTV for an exclusive interview with the director, Kirsten Johnson and the film’s producers; Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness, and co-producer, Maureen A. Ryan, to discuss the critically acclaimed documentary feature, Dick Johnson is Dead.

In this event, our host, Briony Hanson, Director of Film at the British Council, will be talking to the director, producer and cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson, about why she chose to make a film about her father and the prospect of his dying in the not too distant future, and the film processes she and her women-led producer team undertook, to create an irreverent, poignant and cinematic film about the ageing process.

A lifetime of making documentaries has convinced award-winning filmmaker Kirsten Johnson of the power of the real. But now she’s ready to use every escapist movie-making trick in the book – staging inventive and fantastical ways for her 86-year-old psychiatrist father to die while hoping that cinema might help her bend time, laugh at pain and keep her father alive forever. The darkly humorous, love letter from a daughter to a father, creatively blending fact and fiction to create a celebratory exploration of how movies give us the tools to grapple with life’s big questions.

SPEAKERS

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Director of Film, British Council

Briony Hanson

Briony Hanson is the British Council’s Director of Film, responsible for promoting UK film internationally. Previously she directed training organisation The Script Factory, headed Tyneside Cinema and the BFI Programme Unit and co-programmed London’s LGBT Film Festival (now BFI Flare). She is also a frequent film critic for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, The Film Programme and Saturday Review show and a regular onstage interview host for BAFTA and others.

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Director | Producer | Cinematographer

Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson is a cinematographer and director interested in addressing the changing dimensions and urgent ethical challenges of documentary camerawork. Her most recent film, Cameraperson, premiered at Sundance 2016 and was shortlisted for an Academy Award®.

Kirsten’s camerawork credits include; the Academy Award-winning Citizen Four, Cannes winner Fahrenheit 9/11, and Emmy Award-winning, Ladies First. She and Katy Chevigny co-directed Deadline which won the Thurgood Marshall Award. She teaches “Visual Thinking” in the NYU Graduate Journalism Department, and was recently invited to be one of the 4% of ASC members who are women.

Katy Chevigny

Producer

Katy Chevigny is an award-winning filmmaker and a co-founder of Big Mouth Productions. She has produced and/or directed over a dozen documentary features. Her credits include; Dark Money and Charm City, and she co-directed (with Ross Kauffman) the Emmy-nominated documentary E-Team, and also co-directed (with Kirsten Jonson) Deadline. Her work has won multiple awards, been broadcast on networks including PBS, NBC, HBO, Netflix, Arte/ZDF and has played at festivals around the world.

Marilyn Ness

Producer

Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont Award-winning filmmaker, is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and works as a producer and a director.she directed Charm City which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Award® – Best Documentary Feature. Before that, she produced Cameraperson, Trapped (dir. Dawn Porter), and also produced Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s feature documentary E-Team, which was bought by Netflix Original, and later earned two Emmy nominations.

Maureen A. Ryan

Co-Producer

Maureen A. Ryan is a producer based in New York specialising in narrative and documentary feature films. She is the co-producer of James Marsh’s Man on Wire, a documentary that won the 2009 Academy Award® for Best Documentary and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Her other co-producer credits include Becoming which was nominated for four 2020 Emmy awards and Project Nim which won the Sundance Best Director of World Cinema Documentary and was shortlisted for the 2011 Academy Award® for Best Documentary. Ryan was co-executive producer of the USA Network television pilot Stanistan and the re-creations producer for Johanna Hamilton’s feature 1971 and Alex Gibney’s award-winning feature Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.

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