Doc, a film about Harold Louis "Doc" Humes by filmmaker Immy Humes

Doc, a film about Harold Louis "Doc" Humes by filmmaker Immy Humes

In Doc filmmaker Immy Humes presents a portrait of her father, the legendary forgotten novelist and counterculture icon Harold Louis "Doc" Humes. Doc’s friends and family—including Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Timothy Leary, William Stryon, Peter Matthiessen, Paul Auster, and Jonas Mekas—weave together a story of politics, literature, protest and mental illness, shedding light on an original mind as well as the cultural history of postwar America. 

This film won the International Literary Film Festival award in 2011 for a documentary film about literature (for films longer than 60 minutes). The film was screened at the International Literary Film Festival in NYC, November 2011. 

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Immy Humes

Immy Humes, filmmaker, director, producer
Immy Humes has been making documentaries for over 20 years. Her films and videos range over a variety of subjects and formats, but have a distinctive, recognizable voice. They treat social and political themes relating to justice, class, gender, and race, but often take an indirect approach or use a semi-comical tone.

Immy’s most recent film, DOC, is about her late father, Harold Louis Humes, who was known as HL Humes in his books, and usually as "Doc" Humes in life. The film is a stylistically original take on a literary “beautiful mind,” a political, personal, and cultural tale of mental illness, drugs, and creativity. Thanks to interest sparked by the film, Random House republished HL Humes’ two novels after almost 50 years out of print: The Underground City (1958); and Men Die (1959). 

The honors Immy has received include 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 in the U.S. and abroad. She has won grants from the NEA, NYSCA, Jerome, Robeson, Soros Fund (now the Sundance fund), ITVS, NEH, and CPB.

Her first independent documentary, A LITTLE VICIOUS, about a dog “with ties to the pit bull family” was nominated for an Oscar in 1992.

Immy Humes, filmmaker, director, producer
LIZZIE BORDEN HASH & REHASH (1997), about America’s favorite “self-made orphan,” features tightly intercut interviews with 28 “Bordenites”: scientists, poets, historians, a Gertrude Stein expert — and three artists who adopted her name themselves. The film explores obsession, projection, and how Americans relate to history, while experimenting with the cumulative effect of multiple points of view. It is also a plain-style study of the virtues of talking heads.

Immy’s other films include three portraits of unusual people: Wade Davis, ethno-botanist and indigenous culture activist (Nat Geo, 2002); 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 produced the cult classic “Pets on Prozac” and “The Boy from Bubbles” (about Bill Clinton’s real hometown, Hot Springs, Arkansas).

Immy graduated from Harvard with honors in Social Studies. She has taught documentary at the Center for Worker Education at City College, and spoken and given master classes at the University of Texas, Austin; the New School; and Connecticut College.

She is a proud native New Yorker, and co-founder of Filmwitches, a group of NYC filmmakers.