Kirsten Johnson and the Art of Innovation

Keynote Join one of documentary's most dynamic and innovative filmmakers as she discusses the craft of creative risk-taking.

As a cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson has worked with documentary’s biggest directors, from Michael Moore to Alex Gibney and Laura Poitras. More recently, a turn to directing has seen her produce some of the most insightful and innovative documentaries of the last few years, the diaristic Cameraperson (2016) and the joyful and moving celebration of life, Dick Johnson is Dead (2020). In this dynamic session, Kirsten explores how experimenting with documentary’s form can open up new ways of making documentary with the participants as co-collaborators. Speaking through her recent films, Kirsten discusses how taking creative risks can rethink the possibilities of documentary in not only examining actuality but also speculating on ‘what if’?

This session is proudly presented by ACMI.


Image Credit: Dick Johnson is Dead, Kirsten Johnson, Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness, 2020

Image Credit: Dick Johnson is Dead, Kirsten Johnson, Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness, 2020

Image Credit: Cameraperson, Kirsten Johnson, Marilyn Ness, 2020


  • Date & Time

    9:30 – 10:30, Tuesday 2 March 2021

  • Venue

    ACMI Stage

  • Speaker

    Kirsten Johnson

  • Moderator

    Kim Munro

  • Session Producer

    Kim Munro