I Was There: The Filmmaker as Witness 2006

Eduardo Coutinho

Filmmaker Eduardo Coutinho, on location in the sertão.

The documentary as a genre is predicated on the presence of the filmmaker, somewhere, as witness to an event, even if only to the elementary event of the encounter between camera and documentary subject in an interview.The truth claims of objectivity may have fallen into disarray, but if documentaries are claiming increasing public attention it is due to the credibility of the filmmaker, who is able to tell the story and say, “I was there”. 

The Princeton Documentary Festival was created to bring attention to the current creative explosion of documentary filmmaking in Latin America and Spain.  Through public screenings, commentary and discussions, the festival provides its audience with exceptional, cutting-edge films that would not be otherwise available.  The aim is to contribute to a more comprehensive vision of the cultures from which this work springs, while encouraging a more informed debate on the specific topic addressed in each series and on the current state of documentary production.