Third Party Films is an award-winning production company based in New York City. We produce dynamic, creative documentaries and innovative media platforms for cinema, television, and the web. Our films have played in festivals around the world, including winning a Special Jury Award at Sundance and an Emmy.
Third Party Films offers a full range of production services from story development to post-production and media management. We work with artists and commercial clients and offer production support at every step of the creative process. We look forward to helping you realize your vision.
The Daily Beast
Sundance’s Best Documentary: ‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’
Pussy Riot is "One of the most important documentaries of the year."
Tom Huddleston, Time Out
The story is powerful, the people and battlelines perfectly drawn.
This engaging documentary challenges the hazy moral distinction between state-sanctioned arms dealers and their black-market counterparts.
Impressive: a disturbing and darkly funny portrait of a complex, frightening individual.
Our New President is an archival documentary that explores the cult of Donald Trump through fake news and other methods of destabilized perception. Compiled from state-controlled political programming in Russia alongside congratulatory addresses to Trump from average Russians, the film shows Russia's fawning over Trump as a carefully manufactured ideological project. Coming soon to Field of Vision.
Directed by Alexandra Stergiou & Lexi Henigman
Produced by Alexandra Stergiou & Maxim Pozdorovkin
Director of Photography Joe Bender
For the past 20 years, a high school in Queens has conducted an extrordinary political experiment. But were they ready for 2016?
Directed by Victoria Kupichinetsky
Co-director Joe Bender
Produced by Misha Gutkin & Maxim Pozdorovkin
Director of Photography Joe Bender
When the construction of a gas pipeline threatens the small town of Andes, NY, the residents look to their rebellious ancestors, rise up against corporate power, and score a victory for democracy. The Town that Shot the Sheriff tells the story of modern-day crusaders who resist the corporate forces that threaten their environment.
Life as Andes residents know it is shattered overnight when a natural gas company announces plans for a pipeline to carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania to the coast. To make room for the pipeline, they will seize hundreds of acres of land and cut 700,000 trees, violating property owners’ rights in the process.
As the pipeline fight heats up, colorful calico costumes begin appearing on the streets of Andes. In planning the resistance, the residents draw inspiration from the Anti-Rent War, a rebellion led by their ancestors in the 1840s. Back then, New York State farmers revolted against aristocratic landlords who held them in indentured servitude. The farmers called themselves “Calico Indians”, invented wild disguises, wore grotesque leather masks and robes of calico. Their flamboyant uprising resulted in one dead sheriff, land reform across America, and the creation of the Republican Party.
The film tells a story of modern-day resistance and weaves together vérité scenes, interviews, archive, and animation. Alongside the struggle against the gas company, the film offers an oral history of the original Calico rebellion. Built from hundreds of hours of footage — filming is 80% complete — the film looks beyond media stereotypes and creates a portrait of rural America rooted in history.
The Town that Shot the Sheriff could not be more timely. Both the present-day and historical storylines present little known chapters of American history. At a time of deep division and misunderstanding, the story of Andes celebrates the American spirit and proves that grassroots democracy can win against entrenched economic interests.
Documentary, In Production
Asimov’s Law is a new HBO documentary about the real and imagined histories of human-robot interaction. As robotics and AI technology become ubiquitous, automating increasingly diverse sectors of the labor market, the film dramatizes encounters between man and machine. The film is a snapshot of the labor market at a moment of transition: from auto workers, booth girls, and prep cooks who suddenly find themselves working alongside robots, to roboticists, economists and truck drivers grappling with the shifting terrains of their professions. Integrating science fiction and archival footage with present-day footage and interviews, the film explores the hope and the anxiety augured by the increasing presence of robots in modern life.
Along the way, Asimov’s Law depicts the ways in which different cultures adjust to life alongside robots. In Japan, the opening of a hotel entirely staffed by robots combines technological novelty with radical efficiency, while the integration of robots in hospice care reveals the ways in which robots help relieve labor shortages due to a declining birth rate. On the other side of the world in Pittsburgh, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University make breakthroughs that allow teams of robots to work independently in large swarms. Not far from campus, a fleet of driverless cars is released into the world. Meanwhile, at a truck stop 50 miles west, long-haul drivers lament the loss of freedom and respect brought on by autopilot overrides and insurance-mandated surveillance. At a Silicon Valley robot pizza startup, automation allows a small team to take on fast food corporate behemoths, offering better ingredients and faster delivery. In Kunshan, a migrant worker hub in China, more than half of a factory’s work force is let go following a modernisation initiative by Apple. Taken together, the stories reflect the give-and-take between opportunity, efficiency, and innovation on the one hand and the elusive human cost of technological progress on the other.
Documentary, In Production
After several bank robberies carried out in the name of art (and money), video artist and former MIT professor Joseph Gibbons leaves prison, re-enters the art world, and tries to go straight for the very first time.
— An Artificially Intelligent Program —
Confessional is a social experiment that uses real people to teach a computer program what it means to be human. Find more information about Confessional at www.popupconfessional.com.
Clínica de Migrantes investigates the intersection between immigration and health care through the work of Puentes de Salud, a volunteer-run network of clinics providing preventive care to the Latino community of South Philadelphia.
For updates on screenings and events, visit the film's Facebook page.
Winner of the Jury Award for Best Short at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Winner of the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at Telluride Mountainfilm.
Winner of the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at Palm Springs Shortfest.
A film by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Mike Lerner
Filmed over the course of six months, this film tells the incredible story of three young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia. As members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, they performed a 40-second 'punk prayer' inside Russia's main cathedral. This performance led to their arrest on charges of religious hatred and culminated in a trial that has reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society forever.
With unparalleled access and exclusive footage, this film looks at the real people behind their now famous colorful balaclavas.
From their family and friends we learn what transformed these women from political activists into modern-day icons. As Nadia, Masha and Katia defend their convictions from a cage inside the courtroom, those Pussy Riot members still at liberty plan new guerilla performances and cultivate a protest movement across the globe.
A film by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin
Sundance Film Festival 2014 World Cinema Documentary Competition
2014, 94 minutes, USA/Russia
Viktor Bout was a Russian entrepreneur, a war profiteer, an aviation magnate, an arms smuggler and, strangest of all, an amateur filmmaker. Until three days prior to his 2008 arrest on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, Bout kept the camera running, documenting a life spent in the gray areas of international law. Dubbed the "merchant of death" and portrayed by Nicolas Cage in LORD OF WAR, Viktor Bout can justifiably be called the world's most famous arms dealer. With unprecedented access to Bout's home movies and DEA surveillance material gathered during the sting operation to bring him down, THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT is a portrait of a life much mythologized but little understood.
For more information and upcoming screenings, connect with us on Facebook.
A film by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Joe Bender
What does it mean for a nation to start anew? For Kazakhstan, the answer is to build Astana, the world's youngest capital, a utopian city of the future where skyscrapers and cranes stretch as far as the eye can see. Construction workers, TV reporters, and official tour guides spend their lives in the service of this city-in-progress. Capital, a documentary film by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Joe Bender, tells the story of Kazakhstan's new capital as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. Military parades, monumental architecture, song competitions, and human pyramids are only one side of the story; the other tells of thousands of migrants arriving to take part in their nation's new experiment. They come to Astana to build its golden monuments, to keep its markets open long after dark, and to push the city's frontiers deeper into the empty plains. Longtime residents watch as a glistening new city rises up across the river and their dusty Soviet village turns into a "pearl of the steppe." As fear over the global financial climate spreads, leaving construction sites empty and the future of Kazakhstan's dream city uncertain, the residents find themselves caught between the official vision of Astana and the realities of life on utopia's outskirts.
Filmed on location in Astana, Kazakhstan, Capital offers a glimpse into the ongoing development of a metropolis and the symbol of a nation.
Dir. Joe Bender
On 10/18/2014 The Budos Band blazed a trail through Brooklyn on a bar crawl to promote the release of their latest record, Burnt Offering. Set to 'Shattered Winds'.
Shot, edited and released in 72 hours.
Filmed at the site of Eric Garner's murder in Staten Island, NY, the video captures a community in mourning. Members of Eric Garner's family appear throughout. They gather to build a memorial and stage a 'die-in' at the sight where Garner took his last breath. They hold candles and look back at us, continuing to bear witness to the tragedy of Eric Garner's last words.
The jury at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival's ShortFest awarded Clínica de Migrantes: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness Best Documentary Short. Read more here.
Clínica de Migrantes: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness received the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award. Read more about the award here.
Third Party Films premiered its latest documentary, Clínica de Migrantes: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina in April, where it received the Jury Award for Best Short.
Here's what the Jury said about Clínica de Migrantes:
“With extraordinary access and moving vérité footage, Clínica de Migrantes tells the powerful story of what happens when undocumented immigrants are denied basic human rights. The film takes us on an emotional journey with the staff and patients at a volunteer-run clinic where undocumented immigrants receive medical care, and addresses a critical issue in a way that is so human and real that we unanimously agreed it must be awarded this year’s Best Short Award.”
We offer a full range of production services for independent filmmakers and content producers, including:
Assembling your production, setting up a solid data management plan for contemporary 4K workflows, handling the ins and outs of conform/color/delivery - the devil's in the details, and we can help simplify your process so you can concentrate on creating.
Maxim Pozdorovkin is an award-winning director and producer based in New York City. He is the director of three feature-length documentaries and numerous short films, including The Notorious Mr. Bout, Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer, and Capital. Maxim holds a PhD from Harvard University and was a junior fellow at Harvard's Society of Fellows.
Joe Bender is a filmmaker, cinematographer and media artist. His award-winning documentaries have screened in festivals around the world, and his recent work as Director of Photography appears in documentary films and series for HBO, National Geographic, PBS and TED, among others. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. View a reel of Joe's recent work as Director of Photography here.
Jenny Lim is an award-winning filmmaker and producer based in New York City. Her first short film, “The Dance,” screened at the Tribeca Film Festival when she was in high school. Jenny graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from the Visual and Environmental Studies Department at Harvard University in 2012. She has worked with Third Party Films on a variety of documentary features, shorts and series.