Long Story Short

A film by Natalie Bookchin

“I was hugely impressed by Long Story Short, its gripping detail and precision. It's a masterpiece of editing, very virtuosic. Great work!” —Yvonne Rainer

In Long Story Short, over 100 people at homeless shelters, food banks, adult literacy programs, and job training centers in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in California discuss their experiences of poverty – why they are poor, how it feels, and what they think should be done. Numerous interviews are stitched together to form a polyphonic account of poverty from the inside.More...

Long Story Short uses the tools and aesthetic forms of the sharing economy to amplify the voices of those most displaced and dispossessed by it. While individuals filmed in separate spaces appear in isolation, words flow across the screen like a musical ensemble, a imaginary collective yet to materialize.


“A surprising film, an incredible work of montage on the collective power of speech.” —Maria Bonsanti, Artistic Director, Cinéma du Réel

Awards & Official Selections

Cinema Du Reel 2016 - International Competition - Grand Prize Winner Athens International Film + Video Festival - Second Prize Winner for Documentary Feature Official Selection - Doc Fortnight 2016 - The Museum of Modern Art Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2016 - Programmer’s Award for Short Documentary L'ALTERNATIV 23 Festival de Cinema Independent de Barcelona Special Mention for Best International Short/ Medium-Length Film - RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Festival


April 2017

Doc in Tunis 2017, Tunis, Tunisia

April 13, 2017

Film Today, CalArts, Los Angeles, CA

April 5, 2017 7:00 PM

The Stoop Series, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY

March 14, 2017 12:15 PM

School of the Museum of Fine Arts | SMFA Boston
Anderson Auditorium

Jan 13 - March 4, 2017

Embodiment Abstracted: The Influence of Yvonne Rainer
Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dec 2016

Human Rights Film Festival 2016

November 2016

Rencontres Internationales Du Documentaire De
Montreal International Documentary Festival

November 2016

Festival de Cinema Independent
de Barcelona, CCCB (Centre de Cultura
Contemporània de Barcelona)

October 2016

16th DocBuenosAires
International Documentary Film Festival

May 2016

Union Docs, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

April 2016

Athens International Film and Video Festival

More past Screenings...

March 2016

Cinéma du Réel, Centre Pompidou, Paris

International Premiere

March 2016

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

Feb 2016

The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

World Premiere



Icarus Films

U.S. and Canada Distribution

For questions about rentals in the U.S. and Canada, please contact Icarus Films at (718) 488-8900 or rentals@icarusfilms.com.


Doc Alliance Films

Online distribution outside the US and Canada


Images en bibliothèques

France only

About the Filmmaker

Natalie Bookchin

Natalie Bookchin is an artist whose work explores some of the far‐reaching consequences of the digital on a range of spheres including aesthetics, labor, leisure, and political speech.

Her media works have received national and international acclaim and are exhibited and screened widely, including at LACMA, PS1, Mass MOCA, the Walker Art Center, the Pompidou Centre, MOCA Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum, the Tate, and Creative Time. More...

She has received numerous awards including from Creative Capital, California Arts Council, the Guggenheim, the Durfee Foundation, the Rockefeller, California Community Foundation, Daniel Langlois Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, a MacArthur Foundation Film Grant, and most recently a NYSCA Individual Artist award among others.

Bookchin was on the faculty of the Photography & Media Program at CalArts in Los Angeles from 1998–2015, chair and co-chair of the program for seven years. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is a professor of Media and Associate Chair in the Visual Arts Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.


Press Kit

Download Press Kit



  • Director / Producer / Editor: Natalie Bookchin
  • Sound Designer: Michael Kowalski
  • Production and Research Assistant: Kristine Tomaro
  • Additional Assistance: Shagha Ariannia, Sarah Simon, Marisa Williamson
  • Advisors: Robert Bullock, Michael Kowalski, Alexandra Juhasz, Montse Romaní
  • Website design and development: Yay Brigade


  • Vanella Alexander
  • Monica Allen
  • Shane Aspinall
  • Doray Atkins
  • Regina B
  • Julien Barnett
  • Shaneke Bragg
  • Zachery Bilsky
  • Reed Beeman
  • Joycelyn Belloff
  • Ricardo Berti
  • Shannon Bowerman
  • Chris Boyd
  • Lolita Brinson
  • Philandria Brown
  • Michael Carter
  • Maria Castellon
  • LuvLeighAn Clark
  • David Cody
  • Billy R. Counts
  • Janet Counts
  • Mary Cowles
  • Robert Cruz
  • Neil D’Alessio
  • Demetrius Dandridge
  • John Danish
  • Miayako Dennis
  • Hugo Diaz
  • Steve Diaz
  • General Dogon
  • Lennea Downing
  • Oona Edelen
  • Melinda Emilien
  • Monica Fandey
  • Steven Fletcher
  • Nebra Flewellen
  • Alfredo Garcia
  • Valerie Garcia
  • Janessa Gilbert
  • Stefanie Gilmore
  • Tashiyanna Graham
  • Antionette Goodwin
  • Tammy Goolsbery
  • Clark Green
  • Ford Gunther
  • Kelly Hanna
  • Cherelle Knight
  • Michael Leininger
  • Veronica Long
  • Jason Mahoney
  • Yunuen Maya
  • Hannah Martin
  • Natasha McCloud
  • Melvin McCullough
  • Tito McMillan
  • Christopher Miller
  • Kevin Miller
  • Christina Morales
  • Josh Morris III
  • Bernice Murphy
  • Booker Hayes
  • Wyline Haywood
  • Damien Henson
  • Laureen Hernandez
  • Marc Hicks
  • Sharon Ann Hickson
  • Nathen Holzl
  • Lynda West-Hutcherson
  • Kim Jackson
  • Suzanne Jastrumske
  • Gregory Johnson
  • Jimonté Johnson
  • Lorine Johnson
  • Zondee Johnson
  • Yolanda Johnson
  • Edward Jones
  • Julie/Jewelee Kenner
  • Isis Murray
  • Fallon O’Garro
  • Emmanuel Ortiz
  • Donald Payne
  • Alex Ponce
  • William Ramos-Ochoa
  • Anthony Rivera
  • Michael Russell
  • Ana S.
  • Sharron Sampson-Bryant
  • Suzette Shaw
  • Harlan Smith
  • Zari Smith
  • Bonnie Stillwater
  • Michael Stone
  • Sunshine
  • Cha-Shann Thomas
  • Debra Tinsley
  • Pamela Vaughns
  • Rosa Waitayakul
  • Tiffany Walker
  • Westley Walker
  • Jennifer Williams
  • Leslie Williams
  • Thadius Williams
  • Sherrie Wilson
  • Dominic Yanez
  • Manuel Zaragoza


  • Union Station Homeless Services, Pasadena, California
  • Year Up Bay Area, San Francisco
  • Social Services at Blessed Sacrament, Los Angeles
  • PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) Los Angeles
  • Next Step Learning Center, Oakland
  • Los Angeles Community Action Network
  • Downtown Women’s Center, Los Angeles
  • L.A. Family Housing, North Hollywood
  • The Bread Project, Emeryville

Funding provided from the Macarthur Foundation and NYSCA. Additional funding from CalArts and the Research Council of Rutgers University

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