Showcasing the art of documentary filmmaking

Launched in the spring of 2011, The Economist Film Project was an initiative by The Economist magazine, in partnership with PBS NewsHour, to showcase independent documentary films from around the world. Selected films and the topics they explored served as the subject of news segments that aired regularly on PBS NewsHour.


  • UX
  • Visual design
  • Content strategy
  • CMS design and development oversight

Homepage and film detail page

Video segment showing the first airing on PBS Newshour

Connecting content to footage

One of the more interesting features of the site was the ability to link Economist articles to topics that were mentioned in the films. As the films would play, small images would appear revealing links to the Economist site giving viewers additional context and the opportunity to go deeper into the subject matter.


Wireframe prototype of content being triggered by video timestamp

A more dynamic display

The main content display area was subdivided into a 15px grid unit that allowed the images to be resized and displayed in random order. This helped facilitate discovery and was paired with search and filtering supported by topic tags.


Design prototype showing grid overlay and left side navigation


The Economist Film Project generated significant brand exposure and helped build important relationships among documentary filmmakers. Dozens of mini-docs were aired and the project ultimately led to the development of