Louis Alvarez & Andrew Kolker
Many of Louis and Andy's films look at American politics in a fresh way, avoiding horserace coverage and focusing on the human side. Postcards from the Great Divide, nine short films that look at underexamined political stories from around the country, was a remarkably prescient look into the politics of the 2016 elections. Their deep dive into New Orleans racial politics, Getting Back to Abnormal, was shown on P.O.V. in 2014.
Previous standout films include the acclaimed People Like Us: Social Class in America (2001), the first American documentary explicitly about the American class system — a work that continues to resonate with audiences around the world; Vote for Me — Politics in America (1996), a four-hour examination of politics, politicians and voters that the Chicago Tribune called "the standout in a season of documentaries"; and American Tongues, a celebratory and provocative look at America via the way Americans speak; the film was the very first presentation on P.O.V. in 1988.
Alvarez and Kolker began their careers as VISTA volunteers in the 1970s with a series of hard-hitting documentaries about social problems facing New Orleans, Being Poor in New Orleans. They went on to produce a series of fondly-rememberd classics of Louisiana culture: Yeah You Rite! (1985), about New Orleans accents; Louisiana Boys — Raised on Politics (1992), a rollicking look at Bayou State politics; The Ends of the Earth (1982), about the haunted past of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana; and Mosquitoes and High Water (1982), a look at the folkways of bayou-dwelling Isleno fishermen.
Other work includes L.A. Is It with John Gregory Dunne (1990), a meditation on the culture of Los Angeles featuring the author of True Confessions; and The Japanese Version (1991), an exploration of what happens when American popular culture gets to Japan.
Louis and Andy have created commissioned TV work for clients like the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration in New York, the Savannah Music Festival, and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.