About us

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 beyond. Our films have played in festivals around the world, including winning multiple Special Jury Awards at Sundance and an Emmy.

Our Work

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Premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Our New President

The story of Donald Trump's election told entirely through Russian propaganda. By turns horrifying and hilarious, Our New President is a satirical portrait of Russian meddling in the 2016 election that reveals an empire of fake news and the tactics of modern day information warfare.

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The Candidates

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?

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The Town that Shot the Sheriff

Directed by Victoria Kupchinetsky

Co-directed by Joe Bender

Produced by Misha Gutkin & Maxim Pozdorovkin

Director of Photography Joe Bender

When the construction of a gas pipeline threatens the rural communities of Upstate New York, 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.

In the sleepy Catskills mountains, farmers and residents have lived close to the land for generations. That way of life 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 private land and cut 700,000 trees, violating property owners’ rights in the process. One local landowner puts it in no uncertain terms: “They’re destroying the American dream.”

As the pipeline fight heats up and local residents plan their resistance, they 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 to protect their identities, wore grotesque leather masks and robes of calico. Armed with pitchforks and rifles, they descended from the hills in menacing costumed gangs to harass the authorities in what they called the Second American Revolution. Their flamboyant uprising resulted in one dead sheriff, land reform across America, and the creation of the Republican Party.

The Town that Shot the Sheriff tells a story of modern-day resistance and weaves together vérité scenes, interviews, archive, and animation. It looks beyond media stereotypes to creates a portrait of rural America rooted in history and explores how far people are prepared to go to fight for their home, their land, their heritage, and for justice.

The film could not be more timely. New York State has emerged as a major obstacle for President Trump’s plan to unleash America’s fossil-fuel resources. Through the story of the Calico Indians, rebellious American history becomes a resonant backdrop for the modern shale energy boom, with its stories of prosperity, loss, and economic disparity. At a time of deep division and misunderstanding, this story from Upstate New York celebrates the American spirit and proves that grassroots democracy can win against entrenched economic interests.

A co-production with World to World Productions

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Asimov's Law

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.

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HOW TO ROB BANKS FOR DUMMIES - Trailer from Third Party Fllms on Vimeo.

How to Rob Banks for Dummies

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.

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— 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.

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Clínica de Migrantes

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.

Full Frame Laurels Mountainfilm Laurels Palm Springs ShortFest Laurels

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.

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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.

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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.

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Capital, a film by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Joe Bender — Trailer from Joe Bender on Vimeo.


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.

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Budos Mayhem

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.

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Pussy Riot: I Can't Breathe

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.


OUR NEW PRESIDENT to premiere at Sundance

The documentary feature OUR NEW PRESIDENT will premiere in the World Documentary Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. Slated to premiere on opening day of the festival, the film has already been noted as one of "Six Films to Know" at Sundance 2018 by the New York Times!

Idris Elba’s Jamaica-set directorial debut, as well as a documentary on the women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred and an examination of President Trump’s election entirely through Russian propaganda will be among more than 100 movies shown at the next Sundance Film Festival in January.
"Our New President," a comic documentary from Maxim Pozdorovkin, dives into Mr. Trump’s elevation to the White House through the lens of fake news and Russian propaganda.

Read more here.

Clínica wins the Jury award at Palm Springs

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 wins the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at Telluride Mountainfilm

Clínica de Migrantes: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness received the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award. Read more about the award here.

Clínica de Migrantes wins Best Documentary Short at Full Frame Film Festival

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.”

Production Services

We offer a full range of production services for independent filmmakers and content producers, including:

  • Branded content
  • Story development and consultation
  • Preproduction and production management
  • Equipment rental: camera, sound and lighting
  • DIT services: footage handling, backup and dailies
  • Workflow consulting and post supervision
  • Editing suites
  • Conform, color correction and mastering
  • LTO archive

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.

Our Team

Maxim Pozdorovkin


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

Producer & Cinematographer

Joe Bender is a producer, 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 sample of Joe's work as Director of Photography here.

Jenny Lim


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.

Contact us about past and present work:



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