Doc Shorts Stand Tall at Double Exposure Film Festival

(Washington, D.C.) –Themes ranging from the aftermath of war to citizen-led protests and police violence ran through the second slate of shorts at Double Exposure’s ninth edition. The films featured included, 23, The Smallest Power, Suddenly TV, The Night Doctrine and Incident.

Directed by Milan M.A. Gonzales, 23 follows war correspondents’ journey into Ukraine to report on the Russian invasion. The 10-minute film used a composition of photos and narration based on the poem 23, which was also written by Gonzales.

The Smallest Power, recorded in secret in the midst of the women-led uprising in Iran, follows an Iranian medical student who risked it all to protect a fellow doctor from the country’s secret police. The six-minute film, directed by Andy Sarjanani, was animated in order to grant anonymity to the subject who could be arrested if her identity was revealed.

In the short Suddenly TV, director Roopa Gogineni followed the sit-in protests that occupied Sudan’s military headquarters in Sudan in 2019. After 30 years of a dictatorial regime led by Omar al-Bashir, protesters called for a citizen-led government. Gogineni describes the film as “meta” in the sense that she documented a group of young men — equipped with their own “film equipment” fashioned of cardboard boxes and plastic water bottles — as they interviewed fellow protestors.

“The audience was live,” Gogineni said. “It was this performance, people and crowds were crowded together speaking their truth there, and everyone was witnessing it.” Their intimate contextual and nuanced understanding of the situation in Sudan allowed them to get a different level of interviews, Gogineni said.

The Night Doctrine, directed by Mauricio Rodriguez-Pons and Almudena Toral of ProPublica, tells the story of an Afghan journalist as she investigates the murder of her family 30 years ago. As she digs deeper, a CIA-backed program that launched hundreds of military night raids in Afghanistan comes to the surface in this 16-minute animated short.

Told through a montage of images and surveillance, Incident uses Chicago Police Department and public CCTV footage to recreate a tragic and criminal instance of police violence in 2018. After a man is killed by police on the street, director Bill Morrison highlights the consequences, vain justifications, and attempts to divert blame and accountability.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE is America’s first and only film festival dedicated to the burgeoning intersection between investigative reporting and visual storytelling. It pairs the finest, new investigative films with an immersive professional symposium that brings together watchdog journalists and narrative/documentary filmmakers for one purpose; to elevate stories anchored in the search for truth.



The film follows Nobel Prize-winning Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov as he tries to keep the country’s last independent newspaper in operation.

October 30, 2023

Aboard a train leaving Moscow in April 2022, Nobel Prize-winning Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov was doused in red paint laced with acetone, damaging his eyesight.

As the editor-in-chief of Russia’s last independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, Muratov is no stranger to the consequences of printing the truth in Vladimir Putin’s autocratic Russia: his paper has seen six journalists murdered since its inception in 1993. The Price of Truth, a documentary directed by Patrick Forbes, follows Muratov as he endeavored to keep the paper in operation after Russia invaded Ukraine. The newspaper suspended operations in Russia in March 2022, citing “military censorship,” and was ultimately stripped of its Russian media license in September 2022.

ICIJ interviewed Forbes about press freedom and Muratov’s fight to print the truth in a country where journalists are constantly under threat. The film is part of the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, a forum dedicated to highlighting investigative journalism through a visual lens. Continue reading..

Sorry/Not Sorry Uses the Fall and Rise of Louis C.K. to Prove Cancel Culture Isn’t Real

The New York Times-produced documentary, screening this weekend at Double Exposure Film Fest, rightly focuses on the women C.K. violated, and comedy’s inability to hold him accountable If you’re looking for an unbiased telling of comedian and self-confessed sexual harasser Louis C.K.’s fall from grace and rebirth into a men’s rights monarch, Sorry/Not Sorry is not the documentary for you. While the 90-minute film, which premieres locally at this weekend’s Double Exposure Film Festival, features interviews with C.K. enablers, supporters, and fans, it rightly focuses on the people most affected by his actions—the women he violated—and comedy’s inability to hold him accountable.

There’s no need to put “alleged” before C.K.’s crimes: He’s admitted, publically, to them—masturbating in front of (or on the phone with) young women comedians whom he’d led to believe he was mentoring.

There’s no need to put “alleged” before C.K.’s crimes: He’s admitted, publically, to them—masturbating in front of (or on the phone with) young women comedians whom he’d led to believe he was mentoring.

Co-directed by Caroline Suh and Cara Mones, the New York Times-produced documentary is told in chapters. Viewers are quickly introduced to C.K. via clips from his original, self-deprecating standup about women and pitiful men. As Variety’s Alison Herman notes, C.K.’s comedy, often critical of himself and men in general, helped endear him to women audiences. Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur, who cast C.K. in the sitcom and admits to bringing him back to the show despite knowing the rumors circulating about C.K.’s behavior, speaks of C.K.’s brilliance, as do a handful of other comedians and critics.

But, before 10 minutes pass, viewers are confronted with the accusations made by various women, C.K.’s statement—“These stories are true”—and hordes of mostly men defending his actions and declaring C.K. didn’t really do anything wrong. A clip of Matt Damon (one has to wonder why Damon was ever asked to meditate on C.K. in the first place) captures the actor saying “well, we can work with that,” in response to C.K.’s admission. “Like what the hell else are we supposed to do?” Continue reading….

At Double Exposure Film Festival, Stripped for Parts Uncovers How American Journalists Fought a Private Hedge Fund Takeover

A Q&A with filmmaker Rick Goldsmith

The documentary Stripped for Parts: American Journalism on the Brink tells the story of a secretive hedge fund’s takeover of America’s local news industry through the eyes of journalists who worked at the papers Alden acquired. Alden Global Capital gradually bought out local newspapers across the United States, laying off journalists to reap a profit with little concern for the news industry’s role as a public service. From the Bay Area, to Denver, to Baltimore, journalists fought back. We sat down with producer and director Rick Goldsmith to go behind the film and discuss the future of local journalism.

730: How did you go about identifying the sources that you highlighted in Stripped for Parts?

RG: I was actually engaged with Bill Moyers, maybe one of the top journalists in our country, and we were discussing films that we might do together. Then one day I got an email from him, and he said, “I’m sitting here in the barber’s chair and reading this article, and this looks like a film that has to be made, and Goldsmith’s the one to make it.” I was a little bit floored. But the link that he put in the email drew me to an article which you see at the beginning of this film, the headline being something like: “Alden Global Capital is making so much money wrecking local journalism, they might not stop anytime soon.” So that’s what got me into it. All you had to do was read the article, and it was about this kind of Denver rebellion that had happened, and then you start looking up who’s involved. There were articles in The New York Times already about it and articles in the local Denver papers about it. So I just followed the leads, and they drew me to the people in Denver and Boulder who were directly involved. It also took me to Julie Reynolds, who ended up being really, if anybody, the central character in the film, because she was doing the investigation of Alden Global Capital two years before I got into it and for several years after. I tried to stick as much as I could to people who were directly involved in the story as opposed to might have been writing about it or focusing on it second or third hand. Continue reading…




Our #DXIFF partners play an instrumental role in the  success in of the  festival & symposium year after year, and 2023 is no different. Thank you for locking arms in this celebration of investigative storytelling. This year’s partners include:

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Fund for Investigative Journalism, Video Consortium, Docs in Progress, D-Word, International Women’s Media Foundation, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, International Documentary Association, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Documentary Producers Alliance, DCEFF Environmental Film Festival, SIMA, Women in Film & Video Washington DC, Southern Documentary Fund, Asian Documentary Network, Documentary Organization of Canada, ICIJ, Media Impact Funders, SVA NYC, Rory Peck Trust, and IRE.


Times to socialize! Breakfasts, lunches & happy hour!

View our full schedule



Please join us in thanking all of the #DXIFF23 volunteers! Many come to us as students, recent grads, post-grads, aspiring documentary filmmakers, photographers, journalists, editors, artists, social media gurus, writers, and podcast hosts. When you see one wearing a DXIFF volunteer tee shirt – working tirelessly to help make the festival a success – please let them know they are appreciated. They are standing by to field any questions related to #DXIFF23. From A to X, maybe you’ll see one of these names featured at a future DX Fest:


Aletheia Couts, Amanda Dowd, Ananya Gondesi, Anaya Thomas, Andrew Powers, Anisa Pugh, Annie Xiao, Bonnie Rowan, Brian Micsky, Campbell Cook, Carrie Mcguinness, Colin Wagner, Courtney Kushnir, Danaeya Witherspoon, Daria Nastasia, David Soltz, Deepti Pradhan, Diamoni Patterson, DuWayne Portis, Dylan Ebs, Ella Mitchell, Elle Green, Giovanni Osorio, Heena Kausar, Izzy Wagener, Jamaica Kalika, Jelena Wells, Jerel Tait, Jhanae Hardy, Jina Zhao, Jordyn Rattler, Journey-Ade king, Kadin Smith, Kayla Skeete, Kendi McMilller, Kennedy Donnie, Kennedy Simpkins, Khali Terry, Kiara Hines, Kiara Taylor, Kristen-Lill Umegbolu, Leonardo Elie, Madison Fowlkes, Makenna Underwood, Mary Rose Hendricks, Matilda Mubiru, Myla Roundy, Nicholas Aguirre Zafiro, Nyle Paul, Olivia DiPalermo, Oliver Ni, Patty Nieberg, Peter chamoun, Ryan DeRosa, Samiya Amrani, Stephen Baranowski, Sydney Lewis, Teresa Varadan, Thea Belle Flanzer, Trae Mitchell, Tyler Giles, Vanessa Benonis, Xhep Xhep


World Premiere: The Price Of Truth, Director’s Cut

The extraordinary story of a man who risks everything to preserve freedom of speech in Russia. In December 2021, Dmitry Muratov is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the editor-in-chief of Russia’s only independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta. Six of his journalists have been murdered after their reports displeased the state. In February 2022, Russia invades Ukraine. In early March, Muratov secretly negotiates free passage for forty journalists with the Latvian government. Then he returns to Moscow to look after his paper and its remaining staff. To this day, he refuses to leave Moscow, whatever the pressure on him and his team. “Putin stands for death,” Muratov says. “I stand for life.”

With a pre-recorded message to the festival from Muratov, and audience talkback with director Patrick Forbes, moderated by David Herszenhorn of The Washington Post.

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DX Artists Shortlisted for the 94th Oscars

Congratulations to all DX artists and filmmakers who are shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards. Nominated feature documentaries include Attica, Flee, The First Wave, In the Same Breath, The Rescue, and Writing with Fire. Short docs include Águilas, Day of Rage, and The Facility. Announcement of the official nominees arrives tomorrow.

In anticipation, we interviewed co-director Malachy Browne to learn more about the behind-the-scenes making of Day of Rage, and the surprising recognition from the Academy of a short film that sprang from a newsroom investigation.  The 40-minute film is a meticulous reconstruction of the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the US Capitol, using cellphone pictures and videos, police radio recordings, court records, and other documents, by the Visual Investigations team at The New York Times. Check out the interview in this video.


Interview by Diana Jean Schemo, founder and co-director of Double Exposure, with Day of Rage co-director Malachy Browne.


Director: Malachy Browne, David Botti

Producer: Haley Willis, Evan Hill, Cora Engelbrecht, Christiaan Triebert, Stella Cooper

Editor: Dmitriy Khavin, Natalie Reneau