Documentaries

James Ault’s CV — Documentary film & video productions list

African Christianity RisingStories from Ghana (77:00) and Stories from Zimbabwe (73:30, Digibeta & DVCAM). A two-part series on Christianity’s explosive growth in Africa and the distinct forms it is taking as it becomes increasingly African, and its meaning for the world. Extensive shooting in the range of churches found in Ghana and Zimbabwe and following characters on “mission” to North America. Funded by Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation and sponsored by Hartford Seminary. Completion 2013 Producer/director, and additional camera.  (Samples at vimeo.com/channels/57182.) 

Building the New Community: Stories of Multicultural & Latino Ministry in the Episcopal Church (55:44, DVCAM). An exploration of the promise and challenges of Latino and multicultural ministries in building the “new community” of the Episcopal Church, a movement recently launched by the ethnic ministry leaders of that denomination. Shot in southern California, Las Vegas and New York City. Completed, in part, with funding from the Louisville Institute. 2012. Producer/director/camera. (Cf. vimeo.com/44067510.)

Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church (87:00,16mm). A feature-length film broadcast as a prime-time special on PBS, 1987. Premiers: Anthropos ’87: The Barbara Myerhoff Film Festival, Los Angeles (1987) and the Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York City (1987). Broadcasts in Great Britain, Australia, The Netherlands, and Sweden. Blue Ribbon American Film Festival; Cine Golden Eagle. Producer/director, original research and conception. Funded by the N.E.H. and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (Cf. vimeo.com/channels/206130.)

Latino/Hispanic Ministry: Transforming the Church in Nevada (27:25). A documentary report on building Latino congregations in Anglo churches for the office of Latino/Hispanic ministries of the Episcopal Church, USA. 2012 (Cf. vimeo.com/33761027.)

Africa Hall Video Exhibits.  An interactive video exhibit created for the Springfield Museum’s Africa Hall, consisting of five vignettes from Ghana and Zimbabwe and an Introduction. Completed in 2008 and currently on exhibit. (Cf. vimeo.com/album/1840032 .)

Kim Howes: Son of Florence. Part One of Northampton’s Living History Community Heritage Project, 2002-  A documentary project designed to build community life by crossing divisions and differences in one local community and creating films to portray the diversity at its heart. Funded by the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and the Northampton Council for the Arts. Producer/director/camera and sound. (See vimeo.com/13959185.)

Parish Portraits, 1999.  Portraits of four local Episcopal churches for the Zacchaeus Project and Trinity Institute’s national teleconference “Roots and Wings,” September 27-9, 1999.  (Video, 40:00). Footage from an Anglo/Latino congregation later used, with follow-up filming, for a film on multicultural and Latino ministries. Funded by the Episcopal Church Foundation.  Producer/director and DV camera. (See vimeo.com/channels/177621.)

Leading Out: A Profile of University Leadership, 1995.  An ethnographic portrait (video, 44:30) of the president of Emory University and his relation to trustees and other constituents.  For the Lilly Endowment’s programs in Leadership Education.  Producer/director. (See vimeo.com/15779361.)

Irwin Miller: Portrait of a Trustee, 1990.  A video profile (28:50) of an exemplary public servant and treatment of issues surrounding trusteeship.  Funded by the Lilly Endowment. Honorable Mention, American Film and Video Festival. Producer/director.

Earthen Vessels: Challenges for the Good Theological School, 1994.  A documentary (video, 33:30) for the Association of Theological Schools to provoke reflections on the future of theological education in the context of tumultuous change.  A conversation among denominationally and ethnically diverse leaders  Producer/director.

Exploring Worship Styles, 1994.  Video portraits of worship in contrasting congregations (small town, suburban, African-American) for research exploring different styles of worship and their relation to spiritual formation.  For Boston University’s School of Theology.  Producer/director and (with Linda Clark) research and conception.  Producer/director.  Published by the Alban Institute, 2001.

Religious Life Sampler, 1993.  A sketch (video, 17:31) of The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (Kentucky) for a documentary on the future of religious life in the Catholic Church. For the Center for Applied Social Research, DePaul University.  Producer/director. (See vimeo.com/20691912.)

Keep Goin’ Juice, 1992.  An ethnographic portrait (video, 56:40) of youthwork and a program to renew youth-serving organizations.  An experiment in one-man Hi-8 ethnographic documentary production. For the Lilly Endowment’s evaluation work. Producer/director, camera, sound.