The Sundance Film Festival awards were handed out Jan. 25, with Adam Benzine of Realscreen reporting that the film RICH HILL from directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo took home the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary, and Talal Derki won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for RETURN TO HOMS. Sean P. Means of the Salt Lake Tribune had more coverage of all the award winners. Eric Eidelstein of Indiewire had an interview with RICH HILL cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo. And Manori Ravindran reported on the short doc films that won awards at Sundance.
In Sundance Distro news, Realscreen’s Adam Benzine reported that RADiUS-TWC had picked up FED UP from filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig. Benzine also had the news that Pivot and Univision had bought U.S. television rights to the Cesar Chavez doc CESAR’S LAST FAST from filmmakers Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee. Colleague Kevin Ritchie reported that BBC Storyville had nabbed U.K. television rights for WEB JUNKIE from filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia. Ritchie also reported that Dogwoof had grabbed international rights for DINOSAUR 13. And writing for the Los Angeles Times, Daniel Miller broke down the behind-the-scenes moves that led to DINOSAUR 13’s U.S. acquisition by Lionsgate and CNN Films.
Writing for POV, Tom Roston shared his five major takeaways from Sundance. And in his Docutopia post at SundanceNOW, Anthony Kaufman looked at five Sundance docs dealing with the legacy of colonialism and the exploitation of the developing world. At Deadline, Dominic Patton reported that the Open Society Foundations had given a $5 million grant to Sundance to help fund docs. At Nonfics.com, Daniel Walber interviewed CONCERNING VIOLENCE director Goran Hugo Olsson. Writing for Realscreen, Manori Ravindran took a look at some of the Sundance docs focused on the Arab Spring. Colleague Kelly Anderson spoke to Stanley Nelson on his film FREEDOM SUMMER.
This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting a screening of FINDING THE FUNK, a road trip in search of the past, present and future of funk music from director Nelson George. The film will be screened at the IFC Center in Manhattan on Tuesday, January 28 at 8pm, and will be followed by a Q&A with George and special guests. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here. Don’t forget that a season pass granting admission for nine films and free popcorn can be bought for $99.
Steve James’ latest film, the Roger Ebert biopic LIFE ITSELF, earned good reviews and a ton of press attention after premiering at Sundance this week. Scott Foundas reviewed the film for Variety, while Christopher Campbell did the same at Nonfics.com. Anthony Kaufman also penned a review for Screen Daily. Ramin Setoodah shared five surprising moments from the film in a piece at Variety.
Variety’s Geoff Berkshire reviewed THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY: THE STORY OF AARON SWARTZ from director Brian Knappenberger, as did John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter. Tim Wu of The New Yorker also took a look at the film.
David Self Newlin of the Salt Lake Tribune reviewed Alex Gibney’s new Fela Kuti doc, FINDING FELA. At Indiewire, Eric Kohn gave a shimmering review to THE OVERNIGHTERS from director Jesse Moss. Christopher Campbell handed SEPIDEH a five-star review at Nonfics.com, while Dan Schindel reviewed LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM for the site. Indiewire colleague Steve Greene had praise for Joe Berlinger’s new doc WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER. Kevin Ritchie wrote up LOVE CHILD for Realscreen, while Duane Byrge reviewed E-TEAM at The Hollywood Reporter.
In a piece for Movies.com, Christopher Campbell shared his picks for the best docs coming out of the Slamdance Film Festival. And at the International Documentary Association’s website Michael Galinsky interviewed SKANKS director David McMahon.
The International Documentary Association hosted a blog post from the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild website covering a Doc U event featuring documentary editors discussing their work.
At Realscreen, Kevin Ritchie reported that Jehane Noujaim had won a Directors Guild of America award for THE SQUARE.
Robert Greene this week reviewed the film AATSINKI: THE STORY OF ARCTIC COWBOYS from director Jessica Oreck in a piece for Hammer to Nail; shared editing lessons gleaned from MARY POPPINS in a post at Sight and Sound Magazine; and still had time to add GIMME SHELTER to his new canon of cinematic nonfiction.
PBS announced this week that Ken Burns would be making a multi-episode documentary on the history of country music for the channel. At Indiewire, Alison Willmore covered the news, as did Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen.
Realscreen kicked of it’s Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C., yesterday; you can find details on the event here. Realscreen also issued its first installment of interviews with 2013 Trailblazers in non-fiction content.
Over at the POV blog, Fernanda Rossi shared Film Anatomy details on DAVID BROMBERG: UNSUNG TREASURE.
The Scottish Doc Institute launched a new podcast, with the inaugural missive including directors Alan Berliner and Victor Kossakovsky.
Paula Bernstein of Indiewire reported that BLACKFISH’s filmmakers had thrown down a debate challenge to SeaWorld after the amusement park labeled their film propaganda.
U.K. distributor Dogwoof named names in its list of favorite cult docs.
And Oliver Lunn interviewed DARK DAYS director Marc Singer over at Grolsch Film Works.