Emmy-nominated director John Wilson to culminate his European presence with a Masterclass at the 2024 DocsBarcelona

The North American filmmaker will reveal the secrets behind his unique, captivating vision and his striking HBO-backed show 'How To with John Wilson'


Beyond having a deep sense of humor and irony as leitmotifs, John Wilson's work expresses his most honest desire to understand the world from a humanist point of view. In the Masterclass, aimed at DocsBarcelona Industry professionals, the director will deconstruct his work, share his methodology and unveil the creative process behind a three-season series on everyday life that has garnered worldwide success on the streaming giant HBO Max.

“It is a pleasure to welcome to Barcelona one of the documentary directors with a more humane and empathetic approach to the mundane, with such a capacity to appreciate the details of life and to relish what we can only see when we actively look”, says the DocsBarcelona Head of Industry, Èric Motjer.

How To with John Wilson has earned nominations to some of the biggest industry awards such as the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Writers Guild of America and the Television Critics Association Awards and has won a Critics’ Choice Real TV Award for Best Structured Series, among others. In recent years, John Wilson has become one of the boldest, most unique, refreshing voices in the world of documentary and, with his hit series concluded, he has left everyone in expectation of what will come next.

John Wilson will be joining the DocsBarcelona Industry program (6–10 May) as part of the The International Documentary Film Festival of Barcelona DocsBarcelona (12–12 May), after attending in April the Visions du Réel International Film Festival (Switzerland). The full DocsBarcelona Industry program will be revealed in early April 2024 and the early bird accreditations for professionals are already available and can be purchased until March 3rd.

About John Wilson

Originally from New York, John Wilson’s interest in film sparked when his father gave him a movie camera. It did not take him long to put it to use: just after graduating high school, he completed his first feature film, Jingle Berry. He then studied film at Binghamton University, where he discovered the potential of nonfiction film and learned, he says, to ask himself about the reasons behind his creations before thinking of the form they were to take. In Binghamton, he became inspired by the characters and spaces of the city, and shot the short film Looner about a balloon fetish community.

His artistic vision was broadly influenced by his first job after graduating college, where he worked for a private investigator in Boston. In 2015, he was asked to make an original film about the performance of David Byrne. The result was the short Temporary Color, which has been described as a "true crime concert doc about David Byrne and a pair of violent criminals". This piece, along with a documentary Wilson made for Vimeo about the Sundance Film Festival, caught the attention of comedian and writer Nathan Fielder, with whom Wilson started collaborating in 2018.

In 2020, the first season of How To with John Wilson premiered on HBO, produced by Fielder, Michael Koman and Clark Reinking. The series was received with acclaim among audiences and critics alike, and positioned Wilson in the TIME100 Next list of 2021. Having released the third and final season of the show in 2023, Wilson has captivated audiences worldwide with his both original and relatable perspective, and a unique capacity to find poignancy and comedy where others usually find plain, everyday reality.