The Public Humanist

The Public Humanist contributor: Sara Archambault

Sara ArchambaultSara Archambault joined the LEF Foundation team in 2008 and brings with her an extensive professional history in production, programming, and foundation work. She was the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Managing Director/Producer for Ebb Pod Productions on the Emmy-award winning documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North, and worked as a producer with Christopher Lydon on his online radio show Open Source. Sara is a programmer and co-founder of the award-winning documentary film series at the Brattle Theatre, The DocYard. She is also currently producing the documentary film Street Fighting Man and creating an online audio map telling the stories of not-so-forgotten places in RI called Rhode Island Lost Landscapes: A People's History of Places That Used To Be.

At a Theater Near You: The Massachusetts Summer Film Fests

Summertime is upon us! While most New Englanders head to the Cape, the North Shore or other beach destinations, we cinephiles take our summer escapes via the indoor adventures offered up on the silver screen during the annual summer film festival season. As Program Director at the LEF Foundation, a Cambridge-based foundation that supports documentary filmmakers throughout New England, I’m fortunate to have good cause to travel to many of these events. The films I see at these festivals truly feel like discoveries.


Frederick Wiseman’s HOSPITAL at THE DOCYARD: Reality in the Raw

After many years of study, negotiation, and struggle, and over a year and a half of intense national debate landmark healthcare legislation was signed into law this past March. While the significant outcomes of this new plan are yet to be seen, it can’t be argued that this is the most sweeping healthcare legislation our country has seen since the creation of the Medicare program.


TV is dead. Long live TV.

To explain my perspective on the fate or future of television, I need to begin with a story. Several years ago now, I was on a blind date. He was a doctor, by my recollection; handsome, well-educated, funny, a catch by most standards. Things were going well. There was sushi, wine, all the get-to-know-you stories, and then at some point I asked if he had seen something on TV recently. He leaned away from me and said, with more than a hint of disdain, “I don’t watch TV.” “What?!” I exclaimed.


Doc Films and Social Impact: Outreach, Outreach, Outreach

Documentary films are changing the world. From the global warming warnings of An Inconvenient Truth to Supersize Me’s cautions about our fast food culture and Spike Lee’s study of Hurricane Katrina’s human cost When the Levees Broke, audiences are discovering hidden truths the headlines can’t reveal through the unique character studies and craftsmanship of non-fiction film.