The 2009 MacArthur genius grants have been awarded. Documentary filmmaker James Longley is a winner, as well as Miami novelist Edwidge Danticat.
The MacArthur Foundation has bestowed upon documentary filmmaker James Longley a cool half-million bucks and the title of "genius" for "deepening our understanding of the conflicts in the Middle East through intimate portraits of communities living under extremely challenging conditions."
Longley is best-known for his riveting, Oscar-nominated doc Iraq in Fragments and is currently working on a documentary in Iran. His blog posts from inside Iran during the recent disputed election can be found here.
Dig the interview posted above about the filming of Iraq in Fragments and check out the MacArthur site for a full list of the 2009 winners, including Haitian novelist and Miami resident Edwidge Danticat.