“DON’T BE AFRAID OF REALITY! We’ve devoted our lives to the art of non-fiction filmmaking.” Henry Corra, Filmmaker
Our company was founded in 1994 by filmmaker Henry Corra, a protégé of documentary pioneers the Maysles Brothers. Corra’s work has inspired a generation of non-fiction filmmakers. Under his direction, we are a passionate ensemble of New York’s most innovative talent.
Our films are seen by millions around the world: in theaters, on television, streaming video, and across the web. They provoke profound engagement and dialogue. We make groundbreaking and award-winning non-fiction features. We help the top global brands define themselves with real people tv commercials and digital content. We lead the charge on the most urgent advocacy campaigns. And, always, we help powerfully unique individuals leave lasting and timeless legacies.
Emmy-nominated filmmaker Henry Corra is best known for his unique brand of creative nonfiction and his deep connection to people and their stories on film.
Corra’s films have been exhibited worldwide in theatrical venues and broadcast and streaming outlets such as HBO, Showtime, LOGO, CBS, PBS, Arte, Channel 4, Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, Sundance and Fandor. His work has also been exhibited in museum and cultural venues internationally including MoMA, the Louvre, the National Gallery of Art, the Pacific Film Archive and the Smithsonian Institute, and is on permanent collection at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A Sundance and Tribeca Institute Fellow, he has also done episodic TV projects for broadcasters including MTV, VH1, Bravo, and the Sundance Channel. In addition to his film work, Corra has been singled out as one of the foremost directors of non-fiction commercials and advocacy advertising in America with groundbreaking campaigns for clients including the American Cancer Society, NYC Health, Mercedes Benz USA, Jet Blue, Starbucks and Google.
Corra’s work is characterized by a deep and intense relationship with his subjects, his painterly eye, and his novelist sensibility. His first feature, the award-winning “Umbrellas” (PBS/Arte, 1995), shows the deep passions of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on a world stage and the inherently dramatic and at times painful consequences of their work. With “George” (HBO, 2000), made with and about his autistic son, he created a unique cinematic language that dramatized their relationship and confronted preconceived notions of autism. “Same Sex America” (Showtime, 2005), captures a watershed moment in civil rights history through the eyes of seven gay couples trying to marry. “NY77: the Coolest Year in Hell” (vH1, 2007) was Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Arts & Cultural Programming. “Jack” (2009) is a road movie that’s a loving and poetic portrait of a full-blown alcoholic that challenges conventional ideas about addiction. “The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan” (short-listed for the Independent Spirit Award, 2010) follows the Nolan family from the cotton belt of Texas, to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, to the killing fields of Cambodia and unfolds as a mysterious fever dream. His latest genre-breaking work, “Farewell to Hollywood,” is a nonfiction fairytale about love, death, art, holding on and letting go.
Corra remains committed to creative nonfiction. Drawing on collaborations with New York’s most innovative filmmakers, photographers, artists, musicians, writers, performers and designers, he strives to collapse the boundaries between art and life and create films and campaigns that he hopes will be transformative – to the filmmakers, the subjects, and the audience.
We’re not afraid of reality.
We forge real relationships with our subjects and their stories, connecting in ways our audience can directly sense. We are on a mission to do work that transforms ourselves, our subjects, and our audience.
What could be more powerful than a Mercedes owner whose car saved their life?
What could be more moving than the pure laughter of an 8 year old cancer survivor?
What could be more powerful than a fifth-generation farmer who still delivers their produce to Safeway every week?
What could be a greater honor than the Dalai Lama asking us to collaborate with him on his visions?
What could be more compelling than the tear in the eye of a Fortune 500 CEO?
What could be more authentic than a JetBlue flight attendant’s delight in making a cranky customer smile?
- Exploratory Filming
- Creative Concepting
- Advertising Decks
- Pitch and Treatment Writing
- Transmedia Development
- Grant Writing
- Feature Films
- Episodic Television
- Global Advocacy
- Broadcast Advertising
- Branded Content
- Editing (Avid, Premiere, Final Cut)
- DaVinci Color Correction
- Pro Tools Sound Design and Mix
- Original Music Scoring & Record
- Motion Graphics, Titles & EFX
Marketing & Distribution
- Festival Planning, Strategy, & Execution
- Branding & Messaging
- Independent & Self Distribution
- Social Media
“Corra’s work is searingly brave and beautiful … he has an uncanny ability to connect with people – any kind of person – on film.”
“Few directors I’ve worked with are able to put such pure, uninhibited honesty down on film.”
“Corra’s work is natural, intelligent, artful and authentic.”
“Magic happens on camera with Corra Films.”
“The more you know, the more you care. The more you care, the more your heart will break.”
“Whether it’s a factory worker in Iowa or a Fortune 500 CEO, nobody gets performances out of real people the way Henry Corra does.”
“Our client actually sent us an email, saying it was the best shoot ever. The entire Corra Films team was amazing.”
“Henry Corra pans for gold and finds the nuggets.”
“Henry does great work, is easy to work with, and has a special talent for revealing the true humanity of the person.”
“Exquisite, unusual, great.”
“Corra’s work is the emotional crescendo of our brand.”
“Filmmaker Henry Corra followed me through one of the most important transitions of my life. Right from the start I trusted him and that trust is conveyed in the very moving film he created.”
“A serious talent…he tries it nine other ways and his way is always the one you fall in love with and end up airing.”
“We loved your work. It was better than we even expected!”
“A highly original and structurally flawless collaboration…An ambitious documentary about an ambitious environmentalist arts project, “Umbrellas“ unfolds as an increasingly suspenseful drama.”
“I’ve worked with a lot of creative people in my day, but none can match Henry Corra’s ability to capture the real essence of something or someone on film.”
“Instantly one of the most moving and utterly compelling documentaries of recent years.”
FAREWELL TO HOLLYWOOD (2015, 103 minutes, Henry Corra, Regina Nicholson) The life’s wish of the terminally ill 17-year-old Regina Diane Nicholson leads to a deep, loving, and controversial relationship with filmmaker Henry Corra. With mortality’s clock relentlessly ticking, Reggie risks everything to fight for the life, art and love she chooses. Filmmaker Magazine calls it “a searingly brave and beautiful film.”
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MCKINLEY NOLAN (2010, 77 minutes, Henry Corra) US Army Private McKinley Nolan vanished forty years ago in Vietnam on the Cambodian frontier. Some say he was captured, some say he was a traitor, others claim he was killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide, and some even say he was an American operative. In 2005 a Vietnam Vet sighted him alive near Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan follows one family’s journey into the heart of darkness to find the truth. Colin Parker of The New York Examiner called it “one of the most moving and utterly compelling documentaries of recent years.”
TRUE LIFE: I’M X-AMISH (2010, 56 minutes, Henry Corra) “The struggle between family and identity defined the life of the three twenty-something’s…all united in their quest to balance antiquated upbringings and their real world dreams.” – Gawker
JACK (2009, 87 minutes, Henry Corra, Eben Bull) This highly original documentary is an authentic portrait of an advanced alcoholic on what could be his final run. Never judging or proclaiming, the film is a wild ride you can’t get off. “Henry Corra, best known for his highly personal and affecting work has made one of his most honest, poetic and “intoxicating” films yet.”
NY77: THE COOLEST YEAR IN HELL (2007, 120 minutes, Henry Corra) The Emmy nominated documentary examines everything from the birth of hip-hop, the burgeoning disco movement, the famed New York blackout, the Son of Sam murders, the sexual revolution and the city’s ongoing financial and political problems. The list of people interviewed by Corra includes Mayor Ed Koch, Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein, porn actress Annie Sprinkle, hip-hop pioneers KRS One, Afrika Bambaataa and D.J. Kool Herc, punk’s Richard Hell, Blondie’s Christ Stein, Studio 54 co-owner Ian Schrager and disco diva Gloria Gaynor.
WILD BLUE YONDER (2007, 80 minutes, Henry Corra, EP) Director, Celia Maysles examines the life and work of her father, filmmaker David Maysles. Variety Magazine says the film raises a deeply fundamental question, “Who owns the life of somebody?”
SAME SEX AMERICA (2005, 90 minutes, Henry Corra, Charlene Rule) History was made when Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to sanction gay marriage. Filmmaker Henry Corra weaves the stories of seven gay and lesbian couples on their emotional journey to the altar with the dramatic showdown at Massachusetts’ constitutional convention, a vivid demonstration of democracy in action that changed the course of history. The film captures all the nuance of what is a defining chapter in the history of the gay and lesbian struggle for equal rights.
FRAMES (2004, 53 minutes, Henry Corra, Charlene Rule) In this film about legendary media artist Grahame Weinbren, Corra effectively captures the complexity, mystery, and excitement of the creative process. The film takes its lead from Weinbren’s work where spectators become characters and subjects, living participants as they interact with sound and story, image and screen. Frames had its world premier at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
GEORGE (2000, 88 minutes, Henry Corra, Grahame Weinbren) Described by Amy Taubin in The Village Voice, as “an exceptionally intelligent and moving documentary that explores Corra’s twelve year old autistic son George, who uses his own video camera to make a movie within the movie. In fact, the film is about how we define normalcy.” George had its American theatrical premiere at The Screening Room, New York and was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., The Gaga Film Festival, Berlin Germany. It aired on HBO in July 2000. “The more you know the more you care. The more you care, the more your heart will break.”– Ron Wertheimer, The New York Times.
UMBRELLAS (1994, 93 minutes, Henry Corra, Grahame Weinbren) The controversial story of the artist Christo’s grand-scale environmental art project in Japan and California that ended in the tragic death of two of its spectators. At its world premiere in 1994 at the Berlin International Film Festival, Howard Feinstein of Variety praised the film as, “highly original and structurally flawless . . . an ambitious documentary about an ambitious project.” Umbrellas won The Grand Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival. It was shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and The Louvre Museum, Paris and on the European network ARTE.
CHANGE OF HEART (1992, 57 minutes, Henry Corra, Kate Hirson) This documentary explores the reversal of heart disease through changes in lifestyle. It is an intimate portrait of four patients, four wives and one doctor. Change of Heart premiered nationally on PBS/NOVA in 1992 and was shown at: NY Film and TV Festival (1992), National Film and Video Festival (1992), Blakeslee Award for Medical Journalism (1992), Academy of Medical Films (1992).
DAYS IN THE VALLEY (Henry Corra, Jeremy Medoff) “A beautiful, one-of-a-kind film about the joys of being a child amid the anguish of adults.” Eric Miles Williamson, Author, “East Bay Grease” and “Welcome to Oakland”.
SPECIAL PROJECT FOR MICK JAGGER (Henry Corra) In the winter of 2012, Mick Jagger summoned Henry Corra to his penthouse hotel suite in Los Angeles to discuss a special project. Jagger calls the work-in-progress “highly provocative and original”.
FILM AS LITERATURE (Henry Corra, Jeremy Medoff) Originally commissioned in 2016 by Lorin Stein, Editor-in-Chief of The Paris Review, this anthology of shorts is made in collaboration with some of the world’s greatest fiction writers.
THE IDIOT (Henry Corra, Jeremy Medoff with Steven Charles) Inspired by Dostoevsky’s infamous novel of the same title– award-winning filmmaker Henry Corra with Jeremy Medoff and internationally acclaimed painter Steven Charles embark on an idiosyncratic quest for the modern-day “idiot” – a man whose simplicity leads the viewer to mistakenly assume that he lacks intelligence and insight.
WE WERE NOT ORPHANS (Henry Corra) Over 25 million children in The U.S are living in poverty today – more than during the great depression. Corra’s seminal feature doc uncovers the stories of dozens of what are known as “America’s Throwaway Kids”.
RARE ART (Henry Corra) This film is a deep exploration into the work and minds of some of the world’s greatest living contemporary artists including Ann Hamilton, Mark Dion and Matthew Ritchie.
10TopDOCS special event: McKinley Nolan screening & reception Picture House, Pelham NY at 7:00 PM Followed by conversation with Henry Corra & critic Michael Atkinson. Tickets available here, free admission for all college students with ID.
12McKinley Nolan screening Magic Lantern Theater in Spokane, WA at 1:00 PM More info & tickets via the theater site.
20McKinley Nolan screening Frontline Club, London UK at 4:00 PM Tickets available online, to be followed by a discussion film representative.