In this episode of The Ask filmmakers Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, and Suzanne Hillinger discuss their work on Totally Under Control.
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Our Episode Guests:
Filmmaker Alex Gibney
Filmmaker Alex Gibney won the Oscar in 2008 for Taxi to the Dark Side, an investigative documentary film that explored the American military’s use of torture in the War on Terror, by focusing on the unsolved murder of an Afghan taxi driver.
He was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, a documentary that explores the fall of the Enron Corporation, one of the most shocking examples of modern corporate corruption in America.
And he has gone on to win multiple awards for films he has both directed and produced under the label of his production company, Jigsaw Productions. He has been called “the most important documentarian of our time” by Esquire Magazine and “one of America’s most successful and prolific documentary filmmakers” by The New York Times.
Filmmaker Ophelia Harutyunyan
Ophelia Harutyunyan is an Armenian filmmaker and longtime veteran of Jigsaw Productions. She served as the associate producer on the Emmy-nominated documentary for HBO, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley – and Citizen K for Amazon.
This year, in addition to her directing contributions to Totally Under Control, Ophelia produced Crazy Not Insane, a documentary for HBO that explores the work of psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis, and her unique and controversial views on serial killers and the death penalty.
Filmmaker Suzanne Hillinger
Suzanne Hillinger is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on FX, Hulu, Discovery Channel, PBS, Viceland, CNN and MSNBC. Among her intensive credits is the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, which opened the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
More recently Suzanne directed episodes of the New York Times documentary series, The Weekly, for FX and Hulu, and her episode investigating the New York City taxi medallion bubble won a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy and was part of the series that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting.
Lastly, this episode would not have been possible without my neighbor here in Santa Fe, Baro Shalizi. Just prior to this interview, the internet went out in my area and Bero very generously invited me to conduct the interview from the dining room of his beautiful home. This interview would not have been possible without his help, I would like to thank Bero for his welcome assistance.
Lastly, I dedicate this episode, all past episodes and all future episodes to my mother, Khaleda Maiwand Azimi. This podcast would not have been possible without her love and encouragement and indeed, she never fails to comment on the YouTube uploads for this series – and I appreciate will forever treasure each of them.
This podcast series is for her. ❤