New Media Film Festival® metrics show that documentary filmmaking and films have become more relevant today because of the powerful stories being told. This approach opens the viewers’ eyes to the rest of the world.

Take Crownsville State Hospital in Maryland for example. It’s rundown and decaying architecture spoke to Director R. Todd Stevens in a sympathetic way for the patients that used to be there, felt connected to this place and felt obligated to tell its story. According to Stevens after digging around the Internet, he found that no other filmmaker had tackled this subject before. It was founded in 1911 to only house Black people, it was overcrowded in the 1950s and doctors performed experiments on patients without their knowledge or consent. However, not many knew the inside details of the institution, details from people who actually worked there, said Stevens. It took five years and over 50 interviews to finally get to the release of Crownsville Hospital: From Lunacy to Legacy with the help of New Media Film Festival®

Documentary filmmaking is much like a relationship, it goes up and down, said Stevens. It is a difficult process that requires lots of creativity and money, but it’s very rewarding as well. For creatives just getting started in filmmaking, Stevens advises to not give up and to work through the challenges.


Crownsville Hospital: From Lunacy to Legacy can be seen on Amazon Prime & TubiTV

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