Watch: 1-Hour Directors Roundtable Discussion with Damien Chazelle, Mel Gibson, and More

     January 17, 2017


While the Oscar nominations are poised to be announced in just over a week, THR is now unveiling its longform awards season roundtable discussions for all to see. Granted, some of these will be somewhat outdated by the time the nominations roll around—not all of these folks are landing nods—but it’s fascinating to see some of 2016’s best filmmakers discuss their films, their artform, and their perspectives in lengthy discussions. We’ve already shared the cinematographers roundtable, and today it’s time to dig into the one for the directors.

The participants of this one-hour discussion are as follows: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe), Oliver Stone (Snowden), and Denzel Washington (Fences). That’s one hell of an eclectic group of individuals, and if you guessed that would result in fruitful discussion, you’re right.

In this hourlong roundtable, these directors from very different backgrounds discuss how they first fell in love with filmmaking, the various challenges they faced in making their respective films, and much more. The discussion navigates controversial territory as they also touch on the response to Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation and whether a filmmaker’s work should be judged by his or her personal actions. It’s an interesting roundtable to be sure, and many curious nuggets are found within—like the fact that when Jenkins decided he wanted to become a director, he set about immersing himself only in foreign films because he couldn’t see himself in the films of the directors everyone else was trying to emulate, like Steven Spielberg.

So carve out some time during your lunch break to give this a watch—it’s worth it.

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