Immy Humes’ films and videos tell engaging real stories in a distinctive voice, recognizable for its intelligence, irony, and humor. Her works treat serious underlying social and political themes in a variety of formats and styles. Her subjects have ranged widely, from madness to Bill Clinton to murder to dogs. She is currently making The Army of the Unemployed, about our national jobs crisis, and Windfall, about apple growing in the US and France in a globalizing economy.
Immy’s independent feature, Doc, opened at NYC’s Film Forum (2008) and aired nationally on PBS' Independent Lens (2009). About her late father, HL “Doc” Humes, the film is a stylistically original take on a literary “beautiful mind,” a political, personal, and cultural tale of mental illness, politics, and creativity. Thanks to the film, Random House republished HL Humes’ two acclaimed novels, which had been out of print for 50 years.
Immy has received honors including
an Academy Award nomination, screenings at Film Forum and MOMA in NYC;
festivals in Amsterdam (IDFA), Leningrad, Mannheim, Los Angeles (AFI), Florida,
and Arkansas (Hot Springs); and INPUT, the annual public TV conference. Her
films have aired on POV (PBS), and many other TV channels here and abroad. She has won grants and fellowships
from the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain, the NEA, NYSCA, Jerome, Robeson,
Soros (now Sundance Fund), ITVS, NEH, CPB and other funders.
Lizzie Borden Hash & Rehash (1997), about America’s favorite “self-made orphan,” features 28 “Bordenites:” scientists, poets, historians, a Gertrude Stein expert—and three artists who adopted the name themselves. A plain-style study of the virtues of talking heads, the film explores obsession, projection, how Americans relate to history, and the cumulative effect of multiple points of view. Newsday found it “swift, sharp, incisive and curiously, unexpectedly funny.” The New York Press liked its “elegant black humor.”Immy’s TV documentaries are often portraits of unusual people, from Wade Davis, ethnobotanist and indigenous culture activist (Nat Geo, 2002, to Dorothy Lewis, a psychiatrist with a compelling theory about violence (A&E, 2001) and Joseph Paul Franklin, a racist serial killer on death row (CourtTV, 1999). For Michael Moore’s TV Nation (NBC, 1994) she created Pets on Prozac and The Boy from Bubbles (about Bill Clinton’s real hometown, Hot Springs, Arkansas). She has made many segments, for Dateline NBC, USA, and f/x.
A major educational website about Design called 3d&i that Immy created with her company, The Doc Tank, for CPB won the Webby for Best Youth Site in 2003.
Immy is a
consultant and grantwriter for other filmmakers, and a teacher of documentary. She has taught practice and theory at The New
School, NYU/Poly, and City College; and given
presentations and master classes at the University of Chicago; University of Texas, Austin; and
Connecticut College among others.
She graduated from Harvard with honors in Social Studies, and started out in TV on such programs as an Emmy-winning media criticism program with Hodding Carter; an early environmental news service; an investigative unit of ABC News; Declarations for PBS; and A Life Apart (1997), a feature about Hasidic Judaism. She is a proud native and lifelong resident of New York City.