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
"A towering achievement, and a volume I know I'll be consulting on a regular basis." -- Leonard Maltin
“ . . . A valuable resource for cinephiles, among readers less well-versed in the genre.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A history of nonfiction films in America . . . This 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 , encyclopedic history of nonfiction film . . . .” ―Kirkus Reviews
“ . . . Wilkman consistently cycles back to . Our supposedly posttruth era and the pitfalls and ease with which we augment reality are threads through the narrative . . . .” ―Library Journal
“ for anyone who wants to write about the history of documentaries and documentarians, with ” ―Peter Davis, Academy Award-winning director of HEARTS AND MINDS; author of GIRL OF MY DREAMS
A thoughtful and dispassionate five-part exploration the modern America debate about immigration, drawing upon the best available facts and information.
An investigation of the events surrounding the prison uprising of 1971. Sponsored by the American Bar Association and the Ford Foundation, PBS (co-Producer/Director, JW)
A video about the effects or war on children, and efforts to create new pre-schools to help them. Narrated by Kevin Costner. Produced for the Save the Children Foundation.
A documentary about the history of Chicano rock 'n' roll, from the legendary Lalo Guerrero to Ritchie Valens, Los Lobos and beyond, Underwritten in part by a grants from Latino Public Broadcasting, the California Council for the Humanities and the Skirball Foundation. Winner of the 2009 Best Documentary at the Reel Rasquache Festival of the U.S. Latino Experience in Film and Art.
Buy it on Amazon
An Emmy Award-winning program documenting contract negotiations between hospital workers and hospitals in New York.
72 half-hour episodes of a weekly series devoted to exploring life in the City of New York. Produced for WCBS in New York.
Video about the implications of adoption for all involved. Sponsored by the Stephen S. Wise Adoption Center.
A documentary exploring the lives of children around the world who are in need. Produced for the Save the Children Foundation.
A documentary explaining and examining a program of the Skirball Institute for American Values, bringing people together from various walks of life for open conversation.
A documentary concerning social conditions in Los Angeles and what local foundations are doing to improve life in America's second largest city. Produced for the Southern California Association for Philanthropy.
A video documenting the structure and activities of a Los Angeles consortium of foundations and funders who are dealing with the city's social and economic problems. Produced for the Los Angeles Urban Funders.
A video about the need for free legal aid. Sponsored by Bet Tzedek. a Los Angeles-based legal aid organization.
Six part series on the issues and technology of modern mass transit. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency. Shown on KABC, Los Angeles
A series of six one-hour television specials featuring people in the process of major changes in their lives. Hosted by Robert Foxworth. Produced in association with KCET, Los Angeles.
A documentary about a ten-year $70 million effort to understand and prevent youth violence in California. Sponsored by the California Wellness Foundation.
(available on DVD)
Eight half-hour documentaries, exploring life in various regions of America, as illustrated and described by those who live there. Produced for McGraw-Hill Films.
Profiles of distinguished women. Produced for the Los Angeles YWCA
(available on DVD)
Half-hour documentary profiling the lives of three representative Americans, a cross-country truck driver, a ballet dancer and a country doctor. Produced for the USIA.
The story of the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster that took the lives of more than 400 people and ending the celebrated career of William Mulholland, the man who build the 1913 aqueduct that made modern Los Angeles possible. A 2016 Amazon Nonfiction Book of the Year and winner of the Historical Society of Southern California's Martin Ridge Award for the Best Book about California History after 1848.
A book about the history of American documentary filmmaking. Published by Bloomsbury Publishing (2020)