By Ondi Timoner | March 21, 2013

Our SXSW Doc Specials kick off with The Network, Our Nixon and I Am Divine–and we feature footage from all the films as well as interviews with their makers. We also speak to SXSW Film Fest producer Janet Pierson about the process of putting the program together for the rocking celebration of film…

Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.

BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.

THE NETWORK: Unique, uplifting and heartbreaking, “The Network” is the story of Afghanistan’s first independent television network – TOLO TV – and the family behind it. TOLO TV has grown to be Afghanistan’s largest and most successful television network employing over 800 Afghans producing news, current affairs, drama, comedy, music, and lifestyle programs. But as the country faces the impending withdrawal of foreign troops, and with security rapidly deteriorating, the team behind TOLO TV are set to face their biggest challenge yet.

Eva Orner (born 1969) is an Australian film producer. Her works include Untold Desires (winner of Best Documentary at the Australian Film Institute Awards, the Logie Awards and the Australian Human Rights Awards), Strange Fits of Passion (nominated for the Critics’ Award at the Cannes Film Festival) and Taxi to the Dark Side (winner of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary).

OUR NIXON: Throughout Richard Nixon’s presidency, three of his top White House aides obsessively documented their experiences with Super 8 home movie cameras. Young, idealistic and dedicated, they had no idea that a few years later they’d all be in prison. This unique and personal visual record, created by H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin, was seized by the FBI during the Watergate investigation, then filed away and forgotten for almost 40 years. OUR NIXON is an all-archival documentary presenting those home movies for the first time, along with other rare footage, creating an intimate and complex portrait of the Nixon presidency as never seen before.

I AM DIVINE: Young, chubby Harris Glenn Milstead liked musicals, was drawn to feminine pursuits, and was bullied. He was privately playing “dress-up games” in his mother’s clothes. After meeting a crowd of gay hipsters and freaks. Glenn started camping it up, shoplifting, writing bad checks, and smoking grass. Glenn also met the man who was about to change his life – John Waters. Like Glenn, Waters was obsessed with movies and they bonded over the films of Russ Meyer and Jayne Mansfield. They began to forge a new character, one which mocked the conventional “pretty” drag queens that aspired to look as real as possible. With Waters’ encouragement, this character started to emerge. She was outrageous, outlandish and obviously overweight. Glenn’s wicked, rebellious side matched the sensibilities of Waters, and John christened his new star “Divine” and they started making films together.

The Producer of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival, Janet Pierson is responsible for the vision, programming, and execution of the annual event. Before joining SXSW in April 2008, Janet spent over 30 years championing independent films and filmmakers, in a variety of roles including distributor, exhibitor, producer’s rep, investor, workshop producer, executive producer, documentary subject, and as co-creator and segment director of the IFC cable TV series Split Screen. Much of this work was in partnership with her husband, the author, producer, professor, and co-president of Grainy Pictures, John Pierson. Janet has served on and taken part in several grant panels, festival juries, and advisory roles, including on behalf of the NEA, ITVS, and Creative Capital, as well as the Austin Film Society Board Member 2004-2010.


00:01 Welcome to SXSW Special Ep. 1
00:48 I AM DIVINE, with Jeffrey Schwarz and Lotti Pharris Knowles
21:30 SXSW Film Festival Producer
33:57 OUR NIXON, with Penny Lane and Brian L. Frye
49:35 THE NETWORK, with Eva Orner.

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