Participant Media's Elise Pearlstein on the documentary boom

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Elise Pearlstein, Participant Media Senior Vice President, Documentary Film and Television. Photo credit: Amy Ta/KCRW

For the past twenty years, Elise Pearlstein has dedicated her life to documentaries--first as an award-winning writer-producer, and since 2013--as the Senior Vice President of Documentary at socially-minded production company Participant Media. Her career in docs wasn’t always a foregone conclusion--she used to keep lists of other jobs she could do--but now says there's no place she'd rather be. As documentaries are having a moment, Elise Pearlstein gives us her view from the middle of it all. She tells us what Participant is looking for in new projects, and how she views the big streamers now that they’ve become both powerful distribution partners and production competitors.



Matt Holzman


Kaitlin Parker