In the Media

DecisionUpdate on Seavey v. Department of Justice

July 24, 2017

Judge Kessler rendered the second half of her decision in Seavey v. Department of Justice. It was a resounding victory for the My Fugitive (read more press here) project and all journalists as she called the FBI's arguments "without merit" and "untenable." She ordered the FBI to release over 100,000 pages of documents within the next 36 months instead of 17 years. No longer can the Bureau argue "administrative convenience" in limiting the access to documents in Freedom of Information requests.

The FBI "declined to comment". 

Read: Judge Intervenes After FBI Stonewalls Documentary Film Maker


My FugitiveSpotlight on Nina Gilden Seavey's new film and court victory

June 17, 2017

“This is not about antiquities,” Seavey said. “This is about who we are as a country.”

Documentary Center director Nina Gilden Seavey talks with the St. Louis Dispatch about her new film My Fugitive, the federal Freedom of Information Act case around it and her personal experiences at the heart of the documentary. 

Seavey hopes to complete My Fugitive by 2019 and release it in 2020, the 50th anniversary of the burning of an Air Force ROTC building on the Washington University campus during anti-war protests - an event which kicked off a decades-long ripple effect. 

Read: Spotlight: Former STLer wins federal case over Vietnam protests


NinaJudge rules in favor of Documentary Center Director in FBI FOIA case 

May 23, 2017

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the FBI must provide hundreds of thousands of documents free of charge to Nina Gilden Seavey in a Freedom of Information Act case. The Documentary Center Director requested the documents pertaining to U.S. government surveillance of civil rights protesters in St. Louis in the 1960s and 1970s. Judge Kessler ordered the FBI to speed up its release of the documents from its initial proposed timeline of 60 years (that is not a typo) and set a May 31 deadline for the revised schedule. 

Read: Federal Judge rules in favor of documentary filmmaker in FBI Freedom of Information Act case


NPRNina Gilden Seavey talks documentaries on All Things Considered 

February 26, 2017

Listen in to Doc Center director Nina Seavey in conversation with Michel Martin on NPR's All Things Considered as they discuss the state of documentary today and the 2017 Oscar contenders for Best Documentary.

"We keep saying and we have been saying since the Civil War with Ken Burns that this is the golden era of documentary. And it's not getting any less golden. In fact, I think people are just consumed by wanting to know real stories. It's not to say that somehow dramatic filmmaking is falling off because it's not. But I think our hunger for stories has gotten so intense that it has driven this industry."

Listen: 2017 Oscars: Nominations For Documentary Category Upends Genre


Berning LoveThe GW Hatchet profiles the filmmakers who made Berning Love

February 27, 2017

The 2016 Institute for Documentary Filmmaking film Berning Love is starting to make waves on the festival circuit with screenings in Berlin, Vermont, Puerto Rico and San Francisco. 

Originally inspired by the emergence of politically-focused dating websites such as, Berning Love is a short documentary that highlights the parallel ways in which people search for love in their political and personal lives. 

Read: Politics, romance intersect in grad students’ documentary