Tweet your doc on Twitter with the hashtag #tweetmydoc

Last week, I asked filmmakers to tweet me the most original and compelling descriptions of their documentaries on Twitter with the hashtag #tweetmydoc so I can choose the best one to feature here on the POV website.

In looking at the tweets so far, I am getting a better understanding of what makes a documentary stand out.

First, there’s the simple power of an idea that can be explained in just a couple of sentences or less. The economy of using just a few well-appointed words can be a beautiful thing. For example, check out @SpottedFrogDocs‘s gripping question: If I had two legs, what else could I do? It sure makes me want to know more about that film.

I am actually surprised humor hasn’t been used more in the pitches, although I got a good chuckle out of @tenbuckben‘s Three Brits are following a ten dollar bill across america to see where it goes! Good luck!

Of course, anyone who’s ever been in a pitch meeting of any sort knows that drama is king; so props go to the @thebicyclecity, who tweeted How the Bicycle Brought a War-Torn City Back to Life… That has everything — a narrative arc, a sense of pathos, a promise of hope and even a touch of irony — how could the lowly bicycle be a hero? — in one clean line. There is also the rather chilling, What if the worst thing that ever happened to you, kept happening to you? from @BenSelkow. Sounds like Ben could get a job in the Lions Gate marketing department. I’m hooked.

But maybe it just comes down to a compelling idea. Here’s one from @AshantiBPCinema: how many people have never traveled beyond where their from? D’oh, well, let’s forgive the misuse of “their” for “they’re,” because it is a great question. But, let’s not get sloppy, people!

You know, I don’t have to do this alone. Which pitches interest you the most? Look for the tweets I already mentioned and others at <a href="#tweetmydoc and let me know which you think deserves more notice.

Let’s find the most tweeterific documentary that’s out there! Submissions and suggestions will be considered through Monday (October 17, 2011) at 6 PM Eastern Time. Tweet your doc now! or read more about #tweetmydoc.

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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