As with most holiday weekends, Monday has come too soon, but hopefully you’ve stuffed yourself silly, enjoyed the company of family and friends and maybe even watched a doc or two (possibly the final film of our fall season, DANNY SAYS?)! Over at the POV Blog, Tom Roston gave thanks for a variety of doc film related goodness, while I gave thanks to The Criterion Collection for releasing D.A. Pennebaker’s doc classic DON’T LOOK BACK by hitting up their bi-annual half sale at Barnes & Noble which wraps up today. Celebrating the release, Criterion posted a series of outtakes from the film, an interview with Patti Smith about the film’s influence on her life, and an in depth essay on the film by Robert Polito. How could one not be thankful for that?
DOC NYC concluded this year’s edition over a week ago now and coverage of the festival’s riches continue to hit the net, including Daniel Walber‘s top five festival favorites found at Nonfics and a pair of indieWIRE articles from Aubrey Page and Ryan Anielski covering DOC NYC PRO’s Pitch Day and Show Me The Money sessions, respectively. Similarly, on behalf of the New York Film Festival, Alex Hunter posted a video this week of a live conversation with Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook about their ongoing journalistic doc short development and distro project, Field of Vision. And following the conclusion of this year’s edition of CPH:DOX, the festival announced that the 2017 edition of the fest would be permanently shifting to March.
Having concluded yesterday, IDFA announced its award winners, honoring Jerzy Sladkowski’s DON JUAN with the VPRO IDFA Award for best feature-length documentary and Roman Bondarchuk’s UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS with the Special Jury Award, reports Barry Walsh for Realscreen and Damon Wise for Variety. Also at Variety, Damon Wise has published a piece on how IDFA’s DOK Incubator helps doc filmmakers raise their game. Meanwhile, Realscreen’s Manori Ravindran covered the project pitches at the IDFA Forum in painstaking detail in a pair of posts, with another forthcoming.
The film POINT AND SHOOT from director Marshall Curry was among those nominated for an IDA award this week.
This week the International Documentary Association (IDA) announced the nominees for its documentary awards. Kevin Ritchie covered the announcement for Realscreen, while Anne Thompson did the same on her Thompson on Hollywood blog at Indiewire.
The Macarthur Foundation this week announced that 15 documentary projects had received grants from the institution. Realscreen’s Kevin Ritchie covered the announcement. And at the POV blog Tom Roston interviewed grant recipient Yance Ford.
This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting two screenings at the IFC Center. On Tuesday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. STF presents THE WAR ROOM from directors Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, a film that follows the inner workings of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Following the screening Hegedus and Pennebaker will be in attendance for a Q&A. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
The short film HACKED CIRCUIT from filmmaker Deborah Stratman was among the short films nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors award this year.
This week the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking released the list of nonfiction short films nominated for an award this year. Kevin Ritchie covered the news for Realscreen, while Daniel Walber did the same at Nonfics.com, as did Jake Folsom of Indiewire.
At Indiewire, Peter Knegt updated the staff’s Oscar prediction for best doc. In a separate piece at Indiewire, Steve Greene reported on the docs topping the critics’ lists thus far in 2014. Over at Nonfics.com, Christopher Campbell contemplated which fall festival docs had a shot at winning the Oscar.
At the POV blog, staff interviewed Christopher Allen of Uniondocs about the interactive short project 89 STEPS: A CHAPTER OF LIVING LOS SURES. The blog also hosted an interview with Theo Rigby, creator of interactive doc IMMIGRANT NATION.
This week Stranger Than Fiction continues its fall season devoted to the works of Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker with a screening of JANE, along with the shorts DAYBREAK EXPRESS and BABY, on Tuesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. JANE is a rarely seen film following actress Jane Fonda as she prepares for a recurring role in the Broadway show “The Fun Couple.” Pennebaker will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
The interactive documentary project EMPIRE from directors Eline Jongsma and Kel O'Neill was among those posted to the POV website this week.
This week, POV released several digital short documentaries online that had participated in its Hackathon program. Jess Linington of i-Docs covered the release of the online docs, as did Sarah Salovaara of Filmmaker Magazine. POV also hosted several interviews with project creators, including one with the directors of EMPIRE, one with Jake Price of FUKUSHIMA: THE ETERNAL SEASON, and one with the directors of THE MOST NORTHERN PLACE.
POV also announced a call for entries for the POV Hackathon 7, set to take place in New York City November 8-9.
Writing for Nonfics.com, Jason Gorber issued a list of the best docs gracing screens at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Canada’s POV Magazine also had a roundup of its TIFF coverage, which you can find here, and which included a review by Patrick Mullen of the new Joshua Oppenheimer film THE LOOK OF SILENCE, as well as a review by Adam Nayman of MONSOON. And Realscreens’ Adam Benzine covered the doc awards winners at the festival.
The Stranger Than Fiction fall season kicks off tomorrow with with a screening of TOWN BLOODY HALL from filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker on Tuesday, September 23 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. The film captures a 1971 discussion between Norman Mailer and a panel of feminists on the topic of Women’s Liberation. Following the screening, Hegedus and Pennebaker will be in attendance for a Q&A. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here. This season STF is dedicating itself to a retrospective of films from Hegedus and Pennebaker; you can find the full season lineup here.
The film SUNSHINE SUPERMAN about BASE jumping was picked up by distributors after screening at this year's TIFF.
This week TIFF dominated documentary news. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter wrote on the screening of THE LOOK OF SILENCE, director Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to THE ACT OF KILLING. Manori Ravindran of Realscreen had the news that Cinephil had inked a number of international distro deals for the film. And Variety shared a video interview with Oppenheimer. Director Michael Moore made waves by issuing a documentary filmmaker manifesto in a keynote speech that Indiewire reprinted in its entirety. Sam Adams also interviewed Moore in a piece for Biography. Indiewire’s Paula Bernstein reported that CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures had partnered to acquire SUNSHINE SUPERMAN from director Maria Strauch. The Hot Docs festival also used TIFF as a launching pad for its new report on learning from documentary audiences; Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen reported on its release.
Realscreen provided an astounding amount of coverage of the festival. Adam Benzine reported on Martin Scorsese’s Q&A following the screening of his documentary THE 50 YEAR ARGUMENT at TIFF. Nick Krewen spoke with THE PRICE WE PAY filmmaker Harold Crooks about his new film. Kevin Ritchie talked to Steven Markovitz, uncovering five tips for finding a coproduction partner. Manori Ravindran covered a panel talk from Marc Schiller of Bond Strategy and Influence. Kevin Ritchie covered the screening of the new Nick Broomfield film TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER. Adam Benzine also reported that HBO had purchased U.S. television rights for Broomfield’s film. Manori Ravindran spoke with directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan about their film THE WANTED 18. At Indiewire’s Thompson on Hollywood blog, John Anderson listed the best docs at the festival with about three days left.
Stranger Than Fiction announced its lineup this week, with the coming fall season dedicated to the works of filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. “This is the first time STF has ever devoted a full season to one filmmaking team,” said Artistic Director Thom Powers. “It spans over 50 years of time and traces the history of modern American documentary making.” The season officially kicks off on Sept 23 with TOWN BLOODY HALL (1979), the first collaboration between Pennebaker and Hegedus, about a raucous debate over women’s liberation moderated by Norman Mailer with Germaine Greer. For more information on the season, or to purchase tickets, please go here. Also, a reminder that Stranger Than Fiction will feature a pre-season special screening of the film BRONX OBAMA by filmmaker Ryan Murdock about a Barack Obama impersonator living in the Bronx on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
A special note this week that Ameena Matthews, one of the subjects from the film THE INTERRUPTERS, was recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. Matthews desperately needs an immediate bone marrow transplant. A community of friends has established a crowdfunding page to help Matthews, who lacks insurance, to pay for her lifesaving treatment. You can find out more about the campaign and donate here.