Anne Makepeace

Season 1 - Episode 23

A life of making documentary films takes moxie, and Anne is proof of that. She has sought out stories of people with moxie who do what they can to make lives better for themselves, their families, and their communities. Her films put real faces to issues such as social justice and marginalization, human rights, and the intersections of cultures. Native American history and contemporary life have also fascinated Anne.

In this episode, Anne explores the quest for a good story but knows the story can take an arc she didn’t expect, and she needs to bend with it. She is also profoundly grateful to her subjects. Allowing her and her lens into their lives is an honor she does not take for granted.

Anne immerses herself in every aspect of her award-winning documentaries–from conceiving ideas, finding collaborators and funders, building trust with her subjects, filming, writing, editing, and distributing the finished product. For over three decades, she has shown grit and determination in the lengthy and tenuous process of bringing an idea to life on screen.

She has received fellowships supporting her work from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and residencies at MacDowell, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, and the Blue Mountain Center.

Anne’s films have been broadcast nationally on PBS, HBO, and Showtime and internationally on the BBC, Channel 4 (UK), ZDF in Germany, Arte France, and Australian, Norwegian, Dutch, and Swedish public television; they have screened at Sundance, the Whitney Biennial, and festivals worldwide, winning many awards, including a national primetime Emmy.  Most of her films have a strong presence in the educational market and are available for streaming on her website,

Her most recent feature documentary, Tribal Justice, aired nationally on POV/PBS and screened at more than 30 festivals. It won Best Documentary Feature at the American Indian Film Festival and the Charlotte Film Festival, the Rigoberta Menchu Grand Prix at the Montreal First People’s Film Festival, and the Directing Award at Cinetopia.

Anne’s documentary We Still Live Here was broadcast on Independent Lens/PBS and won the Moving Mountains Award at Telluride MountainFilm and the Inspiration Award at Full Frame. Other films and awards include:

  • Rain in a Dry Land was nominated for an Emmy, broadcast on POV/PBS, and won the Working Films Award at Full Frame.
  • Robert Capa in Love and War, an American Masters documentary, premiered at Sundance and won a national prime-time Emmy.
  • Coming to Light premiered at Sundance, was short-listed for an Oscar, broadcast on American Masters, and won many prizes, including Best Documentary at Telluride MountainFilm.
  • Baby, It’s You, her first documentary, premiered at Sundance, was the lead show on POV, screened at the Whitney Biennial, and was broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK.

She has also written many screenplays, including the feature film Thousand Pieces of Gold.


Anne Makepeace Productions Website

Anne Makepeace Filmography

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