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Meet the 2014 Sundance Filmmakers #4 : Jeremiah Zagar Goes Deeper to Reveal the Real Story in 'CAPTIVATED: The Trials of Pamela Smart'

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 11, 2014 at 11:18AM

Jeremiah Zagar fell in love with film at age eight while watching "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." "I sat in the theater for three screenings straight that day and in the years that followed, became religiously devoted to my local video store and movie house." His first feature-length documentary "In A Dream" screened theatrically across the US and in film festivals around the world, and received multiple Emmy nominations including Best Documentary. Other works include the Emmy-nominated "Starved for Attention"—a series of seven short films about global childhood malnutrition for Doctors Without Borders. Zagar returns to Sundance after his short documentary "Heart Stop Beating" premiered in 2012.
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Jeremiah Zagar

Jeremiah Zagar fell in love with film at age eight while watching "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." "I sat in the theater for three screenings straight that day and in the years that followed, became religiously devoted to my local video store and movie house." His first feature-length documentary "In A Dream" screened theatrically across the US and in film festivals around the world, and received multiple Emmy nominations including Best Documentary. Other works include the Emmy-nominated "Starved for Attention"—a series of seven short films about global childhood malnutrition for Doctors Without Borders. Zagar returns to Sundance after his short documentary "Heart Stop Beating" premiered in 2012. 

What it's about: "In an extraordinary and tragic American story, a small town murder becomes one of the highest profile cases of all time. From its historic role as the first trial televised gavel to gavel, to the many books and movies made, the film looks at the media’s enduring impact on the case."

What it's really about: "Storytelling, Justice, Television and Pamela Smart."

Biggest challenge: "Telling a story that the people think they know in a new way."

Any films inspire you? "'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,' 'Ratcatcher,' 'Mr Death,' 'Children of Paradise,' '35 Shots of Rum,' 'Lightness Dark Lightness,' 'Kes,' 'My Name is Joe,' 'Life Is Sweet,' 'When My Father Was Away on Business,' 'The Forgiveness of Blood,' 'When the Levees Broke,' 'Tim Hetheringtons's Diary,' 'The Square,' 'Let The Fire Burn,' 'Life Stinks,' 'Working Man's Death,' 'Tarnation,' 'Man on Wire,' 'Bad Boy Bubbly,' 'Tampopo,' 'The Dreamlife of Angles,' 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Dr Zhivago,' 'Marnie,' 'Funny Girl,' 'The Best of Youth,' 'Grisly Man,' 'Nobody's Business,' 'Millers Crossing,' 'Fresh,' 'Brother From Another Planet,' 'The Pawnbroker,' 'The Two of Us,' 'Born into Brothels,' 'Hopscotch,' 'Cooley High,' '400 Blows.'

Cameras used: "16mm, Super 8, Red, 5D, and 7D."


Did you crowdfund? Nope. We needed to keep it a secret. 

Hopes for audience take-away: "We want people to realize how this story relates to their own lives, that simply by watching this film they become part of these past and future events."

What's next? "I'm currently directing a new documentary called 'The Adventures of Miguel Littin'  about the legendary Chilean filmmaker. I’m also working on a Narrative feature called 'We The Animals' based on Justin Torres' brilliant novel. And I’m working on numerous other projects through our production company Public Record (thepublicrecord.tv). We’re a very busy family with films, TV shows, commercials and branded content in all stages of development and production.


Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2014 festival. For profiles go HERE.

This article is related to: Meet the 2014 Sundance Filmmakers, Sundance Film Festival





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