Am I wrong, or have most of us read something in the newspaper, or come up with an inspiration, and thought to ourselves, “Wow, that would make a great documentary!” In honor of the POV series that starts this week — an incredibly diverse slate that covers everything from a performance artist in Belarus (Belarusian Waltz) to the creation of the Three Gorges Dam in China (Up the Yangtze) to the story of the daughter of a Nazi camp commandant (Inheritance) — I’d like to suggest we open a dialogue about the documentaries that should be made.

I’d love to hear from you if you have a documentary that you wish could be made. Of course, I imagine if you are a filmmaker, you might not want to spill the beans because you wouldn’t want someone else to take your idea, so I imagine this little experiment may not go too far. But, who knows, maybe a wealthy financier is reading this blog, will love your idea and write you a check for a million dollars! Or, maybe you’re just feeling generous. (I know that even the venerable Albert Maysles has a doc that he wishes could be made, but hasn’t. He’s been talking about it for years, and I believe he has even shot some of it. It has to do with people traveling on trains. He wants to make a sort of epic tale about humanity by telling a series of real-life stories of people from different cultures on trains.)

So, to get things started, I’ll be the first to toss my pitch into the ring. Here’s my idea for a documentary that I think would be great:

Deceitful Above All Things: The JT Leroy Story

You’ve probably heard about JT Leroy, the supposed son of a truck stop hooker, who went on to become a prostitute, and then became a celebrated writer of short stories and novels. Leroy was revealed to be a hoax, actually “played” by a woman, Savannah Knoop, when in public; while his/her writing was done by another woman, Laura Albert. The house of cards fell apart in 2005-2006, but they had a long run of it — for more than five years of increasing celebrity. I was one of the many suckers who spoke with JT a few times and believed he was legit. I even interviewed him in person in Toronto (Knoop was wearing her trademark sunglasses and wig). I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s already a movie of some sort in the works, but that’s fine with me if someone else gets there first: I’d love to see a stylish doc made, one about truth, celebrity and trust, focusing on the JT Leroy hoax.

Do you have a subject/idea you’d love made into a doc?

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Tom Roston
Tom Roston is a guest columnist for POV's documentary blog. He is a former Premiere magazine senior editor, who graduated from Brown University and started his career in journalism at The Nation and then Vanity Fair. Tom's freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Hollywood Reporter and other publications. He has written several Kindle Singles, including the bestselling Kindle Singles Interview: Ken Burns. Tom's current list of favorite documentaries are: 1. Koyanisqaatsi by Godfrey Reggio; 2. Hoop Dreams by Steve James; 3.Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley; 4.Crumb by Terry Zwigoff; 5. Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen