Rosemary Rotondi Archival Film Research

About Rosemary Rotondi

Rosemary Rotondi





Danny Says




CitizenFour poster





























Ms. Rotondi is an archival film, photo, network news,
headlines and articles researcher with 25+ years of experience. Ms. Rotondi believes at the heart of any successful documentary is solid research.

Rosemary works with local, nationwide and international archives. Her wide range of experience includes working for HBO’s documentary BAND OF BROTHERS: WE STAND ALONE TOGETHER (2001) to the documentaries OUR NIXON (2013), TEENAGE (2013), MAKING THE BOYS (2011), and Academy Award-nominated documentaries REGRET TO INFORM (1999), INSIDE JOB (2010) and CITIZENFOUR (2014) among others. INSIDE JOB by Charles Ferguson was awarded an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011. CITIZENFOUR by Laura Poitras was awarded an Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015.

The archival footage is the foundation of the film so before we even figured out what story we were going to tell, we started doing archival research and that process was led by an extraordinary researcher named Rosemary Rotondi and she worked with a team of researchers in Washington DC, Germany and England. And basically, we gave her a vast, expansive list of topics when we started working together and she returned an incredible amount of footage. From there, it gave us a sense of the scope of what we could cover - what periods we could cover, what storylines that were yielding results and then would refine that list and go further and get more material.”
Matt Wolf, director of TEENAGE,
Eye for Film, January 31, 2014 interview

The archival riches, as well, cannot be overestimated
(crack New York-based archival researcher,
Rosemary Rotondi, really outdoes herself).”

BERLINALE ‘10 WRAP-UP’, a 2010 festival review

"Assiduous research ... also unearths some
amazing archival material."

The Village Voice, March 9, 2011 issue

"I also worked very closely with our chief archival researcher, Rosemary Rotondi, who is first rate."
Crayton Robey, in an interview with
Nick Orlando's column,


Rosemary was on the DOC NYC 2016 panel "Mastering Your Craft Day II: Getting Creatve with Archives."

Rosemary served as researcher for director Brendan Toller on DANNY SAYS, a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and culture of the late 20th century. Opened September 30th, 2016, at The IFC Center.

Rosemary served as a researcher for MAVIS, by Jessica Edwards, that premiered on HBO in 2016.

Rosemary was on the DOC NYC 2015 panel with the multi-talented Penny Lane (OUR NIXON), Sam Cullam (ART AND CRAFT), ITN Archive's Nan Halperin and Lawyer Karen Shatzkin of Shatzkin and Mayer (Ms. Shatzkin is a regarded fair use lawyer).

Rosemary was a guest speaker for the 2015 workshop, Activate the Archives. Penny Lane (Our Nixon) led the three-day seminar for documentary artists on archival research at Union Docs.

Albert Maysles’ documentary IRIS premiered in the 52nd New York Film Festival, October 9-10, 2014. Rosemary served as researcher for this documentary on the life of 94-year old fashion icon and interior designer Iris Apfel. This film played at the Film Forum April 29 to May 28, 2015. IRIS then played at Cinema Village, NYC, through June 25, 2015.

On February 22, 2015 Laura Poitras’ new documentary about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, received an Academy Award for Best Documentary. CITIZENFOUR, premiered in the 52nd New York Film Festival, October 10-11, 2014. The documentary opened at The IFC Center on October 24th, 2014. The film opened nationwide on November 8, 2014. Rosemary served on the documentary’s research team, as network news and C-Span researcher for this critically acclaimed documentary. CITIZENFOUR is now being shown on HBO, starting on Monday, February 23rd.

Rosemary served as the lead researcher on Matt Wolf's documentary TEENAGE, which opened last spring at The Landmark Sunshine Theater, NYC. The film traveled throughout the USA and overseas. An excerpt of the movie was featured in The New York Times T-Magazine online on March 11, 2014. TEENAGE is now available on DVD, ITunes,, Netflix.

On January 27, 2014, Michael Steven's new film, HERBLOCK: THE BLACK AND WHITE, had its broadcast premiere on HBO at 9:00 pm EST.

Rosemary performed archival news and interview research for Penny Lane's documentary, OUR NIXON, that was produced with rediscovered Super 8 home movie footage filmed by the president’s closest aides. The film has been acquired by CNN FILMS and CINEDIGM and was broadcasted August 1, 2013, on CNN. The film screened at the IFC Center, August 30 thru September 25, 2013.

LET THE FIRE BURN was listed as No. 7 on POV's The Best Documentaries of 2013.

Three critically acclaimed documentaries on which Rosemary served as researcher premiere in The Tribeca Film Festival 2013: Matt Wolf's TEENAGE; The Stevens Company's HERBLOCK: THE BLACK AND WHITE; and LET THE FIRE BURN by Jason Osder.

On July 21, 2014, Rosemary was the featured interview subject by Mixed Media, an online magazine for professional archivists.

In the Summer 2013 issue of Documentary Magazine, Rosemary was interviewed in “The Past is Never Dead” article written by Ron Deutsch.


BEFORE THE FLOOD by Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio

MAVIS by Jessica Edwards

IRIS by Albert Maysles

by Doug Tirola and 4th Row Films


CITIZENFOUR by Laura Poitras, Praxis Films

IT'S ME HILARY: The Man Who Drew Eloise by Matt Wolf

DANNY SAYS by Brendan Toller


[ See Resume ] [ View Highlights of Credits ]

My Philosophy

Hiring an archival researcher is an
indispensable investment.

Experienced researchers add considerably to the quality of a documentary, film, commercial or video art tape. A skilled researcher is able to identify and evaluate imagery, better matching the visuals to your requirements. An adept, skilled researcher saves a client money and time.

An experienced researcher knows how to access sources more quickly. Just as important, researchers bring with them talents as visual assessors. Accurate research fleshes out a documentary, enriching it. One also avoids receiving prepackaged visual images, a system which accounts for the high incidence of documentaries sharing similar themes often utilizing the same archival footage.

Using an inexperienced intern or in-house assistant to do an experienced researcher's work can result in lower quality and less access to material due to lack of experience. This will have an impact on the entire production.The experienced archival researcher brings an individualized focus to your work in order to get you the best footage or photograph available, as quickly as possible, on deadline — and within your budget. Experienced researchers such as Ms. Rotondi also enjoy "preferred vendor" relationships with the archives with whom they work.

Be it for a historical or contemporary documentary, a skilled researcher is necessary and a worthy investment.

Contact Rosemary Rotondi
Archival Film, Photo and Network News Research