Thu 2 Jun 2005
Hello, I'm a professor at Northern Illinois University. About six
years ago I decided to stop theorizing about documentaries and start
making them. I've made four low-budget history documentaries sort of
in the Ken Burns style. In universities we are always worried about
adjudicating what is scholarly and what is not. So recently I talked
a Dean into giving me $1000 to submit my latest doc, "Lincoln and
Black Hawk," to film festivals. I stumbled in here while reading the
forums at Without a Box, where I've now submitted to about ten
The festival business gives me a headache. My guess is they are
looking for more cutting edge material than what I am doing, although
I really believe my work has its own "edge." Do any of you know
festivals where "History Channel" is not a dirty word? I did win
some awards at the Silver State Documentary Festival a few years
back, but they don't seem to be running any more.
If you're interested, "Lincoln and Black Hawk" examines Lincoln's
participation in the Black Hawk War, which was the final step in
Indian removal in Illinois. Black Hawk was an interesting Sauk
warrior who led a resistance movement that ended in a massacre of his
people in Wisconsin. Lincoln used his militia service as a spring
board towards his political career.
I've enjoyed reading around on your site so far and am looking
forward to participating in the future.