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Endangered Documentary by Rachel Grady

We Are Upstate NY With Filmmaker Rachel Grady To Discuss her HBO Documentary “ENDANGERED”

August 15, 2022

Inside+Out is excited to present an exclusive interview with Hudson Valley filmmaker, Rachel Grady, about her latest project, the HBO Documentary Film, ENDANGERED. An official selection of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, ENDANGERED chronicles a year in the life of four journalists living and working in democratic countries where freedom of the press has historically been considered a “given.” Yet, as online misinformation proliferates and world leaders brazenly denigrate the press, distrust of traditional media is on the rise, and journalists are increasingly facing situations more typically encountered in war zones or autocratic states. The film was executive produced by Ronan Farrow.

Endangered filmmaker Rachel Grady

Where are you originally from and what is your connection to the Hudson Valley?

I live in Brooklyn, NY but have always dreamed of having a home in the Hudson Valley. After looking for years, in 2019 I bought a house in the Village of Saugerties. It is all I have always imagined!

What inspired you to choose a career in film and what was your journey?

I thought I wanted to be a print journalist, but by the end of my undergraduate degree at NYU I knew it wasn’t a perfect match. After experimenting in different careers for a few years post-college, becoming a documentary filmmaker made perfect sense to me. All the research and interviewing of journalism but the art and craft of a filmmaker. Perfect!

Tell us about your latest documentary–Endangered, which airs on HBO. What inspired you to work on this project?

I have a personal connection to journalism and journalists and there has been a disturbing back slide of facts-based information and unbiased reporting that is rearing its head in democracies around the world and we thought focusing on a few reporters from different countries could help us tell that story in an intimate way.

Can you put your finger on what makes a director a great documentary filmmaker?

I think a passion for understanding what makes humans tick and a deep well of empathy. Curiosity will take you to the end of what is often a very slow and complicated process of finishing and sharing a feature-length documentary.

What was the most rewarding or the most challenging project to date?

They all have their special rewards and challenges which is why it’s fascinating to keep making them. The biggest challenge in our latest film, Endangered, was to follow people in 2020 who were reporting on the covid pandemic. It made it hard to travel, get into people’s homes, and foster the intimacy you need for a great film. The best reward with this film though is it seems to be really motivating young people to go into the field of journalism. This is incredibly exciting to me.

What is one question you’re constantly asked or what’s the biggest misconception about what you do?

People always ask me to make a film about them! So far, this has not been the way for me to find new stories but it is funny and I get a kick out of it.

What are you currently working on that you’re excited about?

I’m working on a film about exonerations in the prison system and it’s turning into a big project that hopefully gets a lot of attention.

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movie poster for documentary - Endangered


About the Filmmakers: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are the co-directors of JESUS CAMP (Academy Award nominee), THE BOYS OF BARAK (Emmy nominee), 12TH & DELAWARE (Peabody Award winner), DETROPIA (Emmy winner), NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU (2016 Sundance), ONE OF US (2017 Toronto International Film Festival), and LOVE FRAUD (2020 Sundance). Heidi Ewing’s feature narrative directorial debut I CARRY YOU WITH ME (TE LLEVO CONMIGO) premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2020. ENDANGERED (HBO) is Ewing and Grady’s 6th feature documentary collaboration.


About the Woodstock Film Festival: Founded in 2000, the Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that nurtures and supports emerging and established filmmakers, sharing their creative voices through an annual festival and year-round programming to promote culture, diversity, community, educational opportunities and economic growth. WFF provides innovative mentoring and inspired educational programs benefitting filmmakers, students and diverse audiences while serving as a powerful cultural and economic engine for New York’s Hudson Valley and beyond. Such efforts have consistently resulted in the festival being hailed as one of the top regional film festivals worldwide. The Woodstock Film Festival is an Oscar®-qualifying festival in the short film categories – Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, and Documentary Short Film.

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