Monday Memo: Emmy Noms Revealed as CHASING CORAL Hits Netflix


In a week in which scientists successfully actualized teleportation and Trump found himself mired in a Russian influenced campaign scandal, it may have been difficult to wade through the news stories to find the notable documentary related stories (light as they may be this week). Most noteworthy are the 2017 Emmy Awards nominations, which include AMANDA KNOX, THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS and 13TH among those in the running for Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special, and O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA, OKLAHOMA CITY and THE WHITE HELMETS up for an award for Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking.

Looking at the festival circuit, Basil Tsiokos noted that the 34th Jerusalem Film Festival is now in full swing (with a fascinating selection of docs in competition), while both the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Locarno Festival have announced their programs. More immediately relevant, today PBS is launching its 6th Annual PBS Online Film Festival where 25 films, including POV’s OUR VOICES ARE RARELY HEARD are available to stream through July 28th.

Though festival lineup announcements bring new feature length titles to the fore, PBS’s newly revealed fall lineup includes Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 18-hour, 10-part series, THE VIETNAM WAR, which will have its world premiere on Sundays through Thursdays beginning September 17th. Other notable fall inclusions are Michael Collins’ ALMOST SUNRISE (which Glenn Kenny warmly wrote about at RogerEbert.com this week) and John Scheinfeld’s CHASING TRANE.

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Monday Memo: Ava DuVernay Returns to Nonfiction for NYFF & Netflix


In the wake of SELMA’s incredible critical and popular success, director Ava DuVernay has taken up the fight for women and minority filmmakers with a podcast, keynote speeches, social media movements, and now a return to documentary filmmaking with THE 13TH, “about the United States’ sky-high incarceration rate,” according to Cara Buckley of The New York Times. DuVernay’s last nonfiction project was VENUS VS., the first episode of ESPN’s Nine for IX series which celebrated women in sports with female filmmakers at the helm of each episode. The Film Society of Lincoln Center broke the news that DuVernay’s film will be the first documentary to ever kick off the New York Film Festival and will then head to select theaters and Netflix, while Jen Chung of Gothamist and Vikram Murthi of IndieWire each reported the break. This week DuVernay appeared alongside Jamal Joseph on The Close-up to talk about her new film and more.

In other festival news, the Toronto International Film Festival released details about its annual Doc Conference, including a keynote by Steve James reports Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen. More notably at IndieWire, Anne Thompson broke the news that Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival has boldly programmed its entire competition with 32 films, every single one directed by, or co-directed by women, while male directors have been relegated to a small 5 film side bar titled “Men Make Movies —The Struggle Continues.” While Basil Tsiokos previewed the doc offerings at NYC’s Asian American International Film Festival over at What (not) To Doc, Michael Rosser reported that the Sarajevo Film Fest has revealed its documentary competition titles at Screen Daily. Meanwhile over at Sight & Sound, Nick James reflected on this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, singling out CHICAGO BOYS, LOST IN FRANCE and THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT as intriguing highlights, as Alissa Simon listed her favorites from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, noting Miroslav Janek’s NORMAL AUTISTIC FILM and DOOMED BEAUTY from Helena Třeštíková and Jakub Hejna as standouts. And at Little White Lies, Matt Turner celebrated “the young female directors leading Mexico’s cinema revolution” that made their appearance at Karlovy Vary.

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Monday Memo: Emmy Nominees Announced, Locarno Lineup Released


It’s been a light week on the nonfiction front with the biggest news being that the 2016 Emmy nominations were released on Thursday. The Los Angeles Times’ Dave Lewis reported the nominees, as did The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times, while IndieWire already has the predictions posted. Among the heavy hitters up for awards are MAKING A MURDERER, which is favored to take home Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Series, and WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?, which is up for Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special.

Even the festival circuit was fairly quiet this week, with the notable exception being that the upcoming Locarno Film Festival released it’s full lineup, including among its ranks a sprinkling of nonfiction films, including the first feature work of Yuri Ancarani, THE CHALLENGE, and more. Eric Kohn reported on the announcement for over at IndieWire. Looking back, Christopher Llewellyn Reed reported on this year’s AFI DOCS for Hammer to Nail, while Celluloid Liberation Front outlined the diverse nonfiction cinema that was on offer at Beldocs, the Belgrade International Documentary Film Festival for MUBI’s Notebook. Joseph Proimakis, on the other hand, reported on the future of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and its inaugural competition section for Cineuropa.

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Monday Memo: Field Of Vision Comes Into Focus, TIFF Fades Out Until Next Year


Phew. I’ve returned, a bit winded from another rather joyous outing in Toronto, having copiously feasted on the year’s biggest and best selection of films just about anywhere. And in my relative absence from the happenings of online cinema news, a tsunami of exciting announcements, festival coverage and more has hit the net – most essentially, The Intercept’s launch of Field of Vision, a new documentary unit co-created by filmmakers Laura Poitras, AJ Schnack and former Hot Docs Director of Programing Charlotte Cook. Variety’s Dave McNary had the exclusive on the arrival of the group, while Eric Hynes interviewed the creative trio about their intentions for Field of Vision at The Intercept itself. Paula Bernstein of indieWIRE also spoke with them about how the project hopes to impact documentary filmmaking, as did Manori Ravindran for Realscreen. According to Varun Nayar at Tech Times, “2015’s inaugural season is set to begin on Sept. 29, where Poitras will look at the man behind Wikileaks, Julian Assange, documenting his progress and his time spent in political asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.”

Still riding the waves of CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras won the Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, alongside Andrew Jarecki, who won the Emmy for Outstanding documentary or nonfiction series award for THE JINX, and Alex Gibney, who took home the prize for Outstanding documentary or nonfiction special for GOING CLEAR, reports Stephanie Merry in The Washington Post. Last week also saw the release of the European Film Awards’ first doc shortlist, which includes Asif Kapadia’s AMY, THE LOOK OF SILENCE from director Joshua Oppenheimer and Sean McAllister’s A SYRIAN LOVE STORY, according to Scott Roxborough of The Hollywood Reporter. Similarly, Manori Ravindran of Realscreen reports that Cinema Eye Honors also announced their doc shorts finalists, naming David Darg’s BODY TEAM 12 and Kitty Green’s THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL amongst others.

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Monday Memo: Emmy Nominees Announced, WHITE PEOPLE & A GAY GIRL IN DAMASCUS Hit The Net


It’s now midway through the year and awards season is already looming large. On Wednesday of last week, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced their nominations for the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, calling attention to the fact that nontraditional production outlets like The New York Times and Netflix continue to garner critical attention. Among many others, Daniele Alcinii reported on the nominations for Realscreen. While the Emmy noms have already been announced, the Cinema Eye Honors are still taking regular submissions until this coming Friday.

Each year the Toronto International Film Festival is always a big part of the awards season kick off and this past week Realscreen’s Manori Ravindran reported that doc directors Asif Kapadia and Avi Lewis, actor Bill Hader and author Naomi Klein will be among the featured guests of this year’s Doc Conference taking place during Toronto’s premiere festival in September. In other festival news, Basil Tsiokos wrote up a preview of the non-fiction fare on offer at the upcoming Asian American International Film Festival at What (not) To Doc, while Jorn Rossing Jensen of Cineuropa listed the contenders at this year’s Nordisk Panorama Film Festival in Malmö, Sweden. In addition, Cineuropa’s Vitor Pinto spoke with EDN director Paul Pauwels about Lisbon Docs’ new preliminary development labs, THE LAB. While it was announced that, among many others notable films, Ben Rivers’ THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT will premiere at this year’s Locarno Film Festival, MUBI’s Tom Stevenson comprehensively previewed Rivers’ upcoming form blending BBC Drama Block installation THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS.

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