For The Record


Heather Courtney


Paul Stekler


Karen Skloss, Heather Courtney, Karl Stieg


Heather Courtney

In a small Texas Panhandle town, which has survived oil busts, devastating wildfires, and a diminishing population, a few things have remained constant – cowboys, high school football, conservative voters, and the family-owned weekly newspaper, The Canadian Record. Despite Editor Laurie Brown’s liberal editorials in one of the most conservative counties in the country, The Record is loved and relied on by the community. But now, an already bad economy made much worse by the global pandemic is bad news for a paper that gets 90% of its revenue from advertising. For The Record is a verite documentary following the life of Laurie, her town, and her newspaper, as she fights to keep it alive. “My parents started this paper in 1947. I don’t want to close the doors. But there have been weeks when I wasn’t sure we were gonna be able to keep going when I was publishing a newspaper that was costing me more than I was making.” With each day, The Canadian Record grows closer to being one of the 2,200 newspapers in the US that have closed since 2005. Out of the 3,000-plus US counties, only half have a local print newspaper.


Heather Courtney


Heather Courtney is an Emmy-winning filmmaker, and a Guggenheim, Sundance, and Fulbright fellow. Her film Where Soldiers Come From won an Emmy, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award. Her films have been broadcast nationally on PBS, including POV, Independent Lens, and America ReFramed, and streamed on Netflix and the Washington Post. Her short documentary For the Record recently premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Fest, and her co-directed ITVS, Ford, and IDA-funded feature Breaking the News is premiering at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her 14-year-old rescue dog Meeps.