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DC/DOX Film Festival 2024

Reality Check Panel: Treasure Maps – Finding Story in the Archives

Friday, June 14
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Planet Word, Friedman Family Auditorium

925 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Reality Check Panel: Treasure Maps – Finding Story in the Archives

Debra McClutchy, Moderator; Filmmaker/Archival Producer

Rémi Grellety, Producer, Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat

Bill Mack, Co-director, Black Table

Rachel Elizabeth Seed, Director, A Photographic Memory


This panel delves into the invaluable nature, beauty, and power of archival materials in the storytelling process, featuring conversations with filmmakers who have centered the archive in their work in artistic and meaningful ways.

In Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat, director Johan Grimonprez and producer Rémi Grellety examine the intersection of jazz and geopolitics in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba by interweaving archival records, home movies, and newly discovered speeches by Lumumba.

In Black Table, co-directors John Antonio James and Bill Mack examine the personal, sociological, and political impact of affirmative action policies during a period now known as the Great American Divide: the unofficial beginning of today’s culture wars.

In A Photographic Memory, filmmaker and photographer Rachel Elizabeth Seed utilizes the archive to uncover the life of her late mother, Sheila Turner-Seed, a daring journalist who passed away suddenly from a brain aneurysm when Rachel was just 18 months old.

Moderated by Debra McClutchy, Academy-nominated co-director of The Martha Mitchell Effect and a representative of the newly formed Archival Producers Alliance, this discussion will delve into the archival production of their films. They’ll explore the process’s highs and lows and the opportunities and challenges encountered when creating films heavily reliant on archival materials.

Presented in partnership with the Archival Producers Alliance

Filmmaker/Archival Producer

Debra McClutchy is a Brooklyn, NY-based documentary filmmaker, archival producer, and consultant with experience that spans development to distribution. She co-originated and co-directed The Martha Mitchell Effect, nominated for a 2023 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film. Her 2024 archival credits include Swamp Dogg Gets His Pool Painted, Secret Mall Apartment, and Uncropped. In 2019, Debra co-produced the feature documentary The Booksellers. For nearly twelve years, she was a senior creator at Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film distributor in NYC founded by Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. She was also a producer and research director for the world-renowned distributor The Criterion Collection and began her career as an associate producer in documentary television. She is a member of the Archival Producers Alliance and serves on the advisory group for Missing Movies, an organization that works to preserve film as an art form.

Producer, Soundtrack to a Coup d'Etat

Rémi Grellety is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy, Peabody, César, and BAFTA-winning film producer. For 15 years, he produced Raoul Peck’s fiction and documentary films at Velvet Film (Paris, New York), including I Am Not Your Negro (2016, Audience awards at both Toronto and Berlin), The Young Karl Marx (2017, Berlin), the HBO miniseries, Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) as well as Silver Dollar Road (2023, TIFF) for Amazon Studios. Grellety also produced many debut documentary films. He founded Warboys Films. His last production, Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat by Johan Grimonprez, won a Special Jury Award at Sundance 2024.

Co-director, Black Table

Bill Mack started his entertainment career on Sesame Street at three years of age. As a child actor, he became a regular on the soap opera All My Children and appeared in numerous TV commercials. Bill studied film at NYU and majored in Psychology and Film Studies at Yale. He produced and starred in the Student Academy Award-winning film Short Change in 1996. In the late ’90s, Bill started a multimedia production company based in Harlem. For the next ten years, he produced films, developed websites, and managed ad campaigns for numerous startups, artists, NGOs and large corporations such as Urban Box Office, Ralph Lemon, MacKenzie-Childs, American Express, the Schomburg Center, and AT&T. Bill runs his own production company, Cinomadic, producing independent films and supporting the artist community. Bill produced and starred in The Obituary of Jasper James, which won awards at various international festivals, including Best Short and Best Actor.

Director, A Photographic Memory

Originally from London, Rachel Elizabeth Seed is a Los Angeles and Brooklyn-based nonfiction storyteller working in film, photography and writing. Her work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Chicken + Egg Pictures, NYFA, Field of Vision, the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, the Maine Media Workshops, the Roy W. Dean grant, the Jewish Film Institute, Jewish Story Partners, and IFP/Gotham Labs, among others. Formerly a photo editor at New York Magazine, her photography has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography. She was a cameraperson on several award-winning feature documentaries, including Sacred by Academy-Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Lennon. Rachel’s writing has been published by No Film School, the Sundance Institute, and Talkhouse and she is co-founder of the Brooklyn Documentary Club, a thriving film collective with more than 300 members.