James Longley (filmmaker)

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James Longley
Born James Bertrand Longley
Occupation Documentary filmmaker, producer,
Years active 2002–present

James Bertrand Longley is an American filmmaker.


His work includes the documentary, Gaza Strip, released in 2002. His production, Iraq in Fragments, presents a view of Iraq and Iraqis during the first two years of Iraq war.[1] It was awarded three jury awards at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature, but lost to An Inconvenient Truth.[2][3] His short film Sari's Mother premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short but lost to Freeheld.[4]

In 2009, Longley was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Grant."[5]

Between 2007 and 2009 Longley was working on a film in Iran. The film was cut short during the time of the elections and ensuing protests in June, 2009. On Sunday, June 14, The New York Times Lede blog reported he "was arrested with his translator while interviewing people on a street in Tehran, near the Interior Ministry," and later interviewed him about his and his translator's experiences.[6] This film is currently on hold indefinitely.[7]

He is the founder of Daylight Factory, a production company committed to creating documentary films about international subjects with international appeal.

Longley is an active contributor to The D-Word, a worldwide online community of documentary filmmakers. Currently Longley is making a documentary film in Pakistan. He is working with Project Kashmir producer and director Susain.

Personal life[edit]

Longley's middle name is a tribute to philosopher Bertrand Russell. He studied "film and Russian at Wesleyan University and the All-Russian Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) at Moscow."[8] Longley is fluent in Russian.[citation needed]


Year Title Notes
2002 Gaza Strip
2006 Iraq in Fragments Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
2007-2009 Untitled Iran Project On hold
2018 Angels Are Made of Light
Short Films
Year Title Notes
1994 Portrait of Boy with Dog
2007 Sari's Mother Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject)
2012 Ejaz's Story : UNICEF Pakistan

Honors and awards[9][edit]


  1. ^ Cole, Williams (November 2006). "Iraq in Fragments: James Longley in conversation with Williams Cole". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  2. ^ 2006 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners, Wikipedia.
  3. ^ 79th Academy Award Nominees, Wikipedia.
  4. ^ 80th Academy Award Nominees, Wikipedia.
  5. ^ Maugh II, Thomas H. (September 22, 2009). "Artist Mark Bradford, USC's Elyn Saks win MacArthur grants". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ "Updates on Iran’s Disputed Election: Update|3:17 p.m." by Robert Mackey, The New York Times Lede News Blog, June 15, 2009. Retrieved 6/15/09.
  7. ^ Longley's Vimeo page
  8. ^ MacArthur Fellows Program, MacArthur Fellows, James Longley, MacArthur Foundation. By Staff. Published January 26, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  9. ^ James Longley Archived 2013-05-30 at the Wayback Machine., Institute Artists. By Staff. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  10. ^ James Longley, USA Fellows. Media 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2012.

External links[edit]