In Production

Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America

A new book about the history of American nonfiction filmmaking, from Thomas Edison to the "Post Truth" era of President Donald Trump, and the yet-to-be-explored realm of virtual reality. 

"Authoritative, accessible, and elegantly written, Screening Reality is the history of American documentary film we have been waiting for." --Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic

Enthralling . . . A valuable resource for cinephiles, this sweeping history will ignite a new enthusiasm for the form among readers less well-versed in the genre.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A many-faceted, dynamic, and thought-provoking history of nonfiction films in America . . . This monumental exploration reminds us that 'evidential truth' is essential to liberty and justice . . . Let the real be real; let truth ring true.” ―Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

“An illuminating, encyclopedic history of nonfiction film . . . A capacious celebration of film's potential to show us the world.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Well-documented . . . Wilkman consistently cycles back to one important message: no matter how fuzzy the lines between fiction and fact, truth should be forefront in the minds of documentarians. Our supposedly posttruth era and the pitfalls and ease with which we augment reality are threads through the narrative . . . Wilkman makes a compelling case.” ―Library Journal

Fantastically well researched and written, Screening Reality raises the bar for anyone who wants to write about the history of documentaries and documentarians, with invaluable insights into today's truth-challenged times.” ―Peter Davis, Academy Award-winning director of HEARTS AND MINDS; author of GIRL OF MY DREAMS


Published by Bloomsbury Press on February 18, 2020.


 

The St. Francis Dam Disaster

(documentary in development)

Produced as a companion to the new book Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of 20th Century America and the Making of Modern Los Angeles, this ninety-minute documentary will include interviews with survivors, rare stills and footage, and 3-D computer graphics that recreate the collapse and aftermath.  Click here for a short preview.


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The War Behind the Screen: Hollywood vs. Hitler

(documentary in development)

A 90 minute documentary that explores the hidden history of America and the Hollywood film industry during the 1930s, the rise of Hitler and Germany, and the growth of Nazism in the United States.  The film will feature interviews with major historians, footage from Hollywood films, and the startling story of a secret spy operation to infiltrate and expose Nazi activities in  Los Angeles and America at large.

 
* All programs produced, directed and written by Jon Wilkman unless otherwise indicated.