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Max Duncan

(he/him/his)
Director / Director of Photography / Video journalist, Max Duncan Ltd
Madrid, Madrid ES
Available for Freelance
Open To Mentoring
Documentary filmmaker, director of photography and journalist working internationally

About

Max Duncan is a documentary filmmaker, director of photography and journalist. His work has appeared on media including the BBC, PBS, VICE, The Guardian, The New York Times and Al Jazeera. Based in Madrid, he previously lived and worked in China for a decade, first as a video journalist for Reuters agency and then as an independent filmmaker. His work has received recognition including a World Press Photo award, funding from Pulitzer and Ford Foundation, and been exhibited at galleries including London’s Tate Modern. He is directing his first feature documentary on Chinese investment in Ethiopia, which has appeared at markets including Sheffield Doc/Fest, IDFA, and Hot Docs. He speaks fluent Mandarin and Spanish.

Featured Work

Showreel 2021

A showreel of documentary and news work up to 2021. All images filmed by me

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Down from the Mountains - PBS/The Atlantic

A World Press Photo Award-winning documentary follows the lives of three children from the Yi ethnic group left behind in the mountains of southwest China by parents seeking work over 1,000 miles away. The film was made with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and is featured on PBS, The Atlantic., Aeon and ChinaFile

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Frozen Out: The Abandoned US Interpreters on Europe’s Border - The Guardian

A short documentary for the Guardian on two friends who served the US military as interpreters during the war in Afghanistan, but like many, weren't been granted visas to emigrate to the US. With their lives threatened by the Taliban, they joined the migrants heading for western Europe, only to find themselves trapped in Serbia on the wrong side of impenetrable borders, living in squalor with hundreds of others. Ahmad's (not his real name) face was obscured for his safety over 6 months after the original film was released as he was forced to return to Afghanistan)

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DIVIDED CITIES: Melilla

Everyone in Melilla has some connection to the city’s most visible and controversial feature: a huge barbed-wire fence, which separates this Spanish port city from the rest of north Africa. Asylum seekers like Aboubacar wait for months in hidden forest camps to scale the fence, populist politicians like Jesús want to strengthen it, and both the Moroccan and Melillan economy depend on the 30,000 Moroccans like Youssra who cross through it every day to work. Will Melilla embrace its fate as a city embedded in Africa – or will it succumb to populist Trump-style demands to build a wall? One episode of Divided Cities, a five-part documentary series I directed for the Guardian exploring five cities split by major global divisions.

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