Sept 5 – 15, 2013
Thom Powers has served as a programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival since 2006. He oversees the documentary section where he’s hosted World and North American premieres by Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Kim Longinotto, Frederick Wiseman, Michael Moore, Lucy Walker, Jonathan Demme, Barbara Kopple and others. His selections at the 2012 festival include The Act of Killing; The Central Park Five; Venus and Serena; Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Artifact that won the People’s Choice Documentary Award.
His past selections include films that went on to become Academy Award winners Undefeated (2011) and Inside Job (2010); and nominees Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory; Food, Inc; The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers; and Encounters at the End of the World.
He has championed the work of first time directors with films such as No Place on Earth; Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story; Windfall; Valentino: The Last Emperor; and Ghosts of Cite Soleil.
In the genre of music documentaries, Powers has hosted the world premieres of titles such as U2′s From the Sky Down (the first time TIFF’s Opening Night film was a documentary); Pearl Jam Twenty; The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town; Soul Power; It Might Get Loud; and Shut Up and Sing!
Additionally, Powers programs TIFF’s Mavericks section where he’s conducted live conversations with David Geffen, Johnny Depp, Neil Young, Bill Gates, Steve Nash, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle, Bill Maher, Viggo Mortenson, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, Howard Zinn, and Marisa Tomei. He’s also organized talks with Bruce Springsteen, Slavoj Zizek, Michael Caine, and President Jimmy Carter.
November 14 – 21, 2013
Founded in 2010 under the leadership of executive director Raphaela Neihausen and artistic director Thom Powers, DOC NYC has “quickly become one of the city’s grandest events” (Wall Street Journal). In 2012, the festival showcased over 115 films and events. Special guests in the festival’s history include Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Michael Moore, Barbara Kopple, Russell Simmons, Charlotte Rampling, Jared Leto, Ken Burns and Rufus Wainwright. Highlights include the New York City premieres of THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE, INTO THE ABYSS and TABLOID.
March 7 – 16, 2014
Thom Powers has served as the documentary programmer of the Miami International Film Festival since 2011. He oversees the Knight Documentary Competition where 10 films vie for a jury prize of $10,000. Past winners include Gideon’s Army (2013), The Imposter (2012) and The Interrupters (2011). Other films that Powers has selected for MIFF include Blackfish; Valentine Road; The Crash Reel; Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry; Under African Skies; and About Face.
Spring 2014 dates TBA
“Cannes. Toronto. Park City, Utah. If these cities can each be the home of a great film festival, then why not Montclair, NJ?” –The New York Times
Under the leadership of executive director Raphaela Neihausen and artistic director Thom Powers, the Montclair Film Festival has quickly established itself as a significant regional festival. For its second year in 2013, the festival expanded to over 80 films and events featuring special guests such as Harry Belafonte, Ice-T, Michael Moore, and Lake Bell. See articles in The New York Times about MFF’s 2012 edition and Stephen Colbert’s connection.