In a writing for the Huffington Post, director Charles Ferguson announced that he was withdrawing from a planned documentary on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for CNN Films, citing indirect pressure from the Clintons and stonewalling among potential interviewees and others. James Hiler covered the development for Indiewire, while Christopher Campbell did the same for Nonfics.com. Adam Benzine had the news at Realscreen, and Daniel Goldblatt was on the story for Variety. Amy Chozick and Bill Carter reported on the story for the New York Times.
The International Documentary Association (IDA) this week announced that it would be giving awards to filmmakers Alex Gibney, Laura Poitras and Geralyn Dreyfous. Christopher Campbell had coverage at Nonfics.com, while Steve Pond had the same at The Wrap. Adam Benzine of Realscreen and Rebecca Keegan of the Los Angeles Times also penned pieces on the awards.
Canadian documentarian Michel Brault passed away this week. Catherine Perreault remembered the filmmaker at the National Film Board of Canada’s site, as did Christopher Campbell at Nonfics.com. Ray Pride of Movie City News took note of Brault’s work on wrestling, LA LUTTE.
The Cinema Eye Honors announced its list of 15 finalists for its nonfiction short film award. Kevin Ritchie covered the news for Realscreen, and Christopher Campbell rounded up some trailers–and the full film in some cases–at nonfics.com.
This week Stranger Than Fiction plays host to BIG MEN, director Rachel Boynton’s look at the involvement of U.S. oil companies in Africa. The screening takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan, and will be followed by a Q&A with Boynton. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.
The film AFTER TILLER, which takes a look at the four late-term abortion doctors in the U.S. left after the 2009 slaying of Dr. George Tiller, was released in theaters this week. At the POV blog, Tom Roston spoke with directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson about the film, while Christopher Campbell interviewed them in a post at RogerEbert.com. Darianna Cardilli also interviewed the pair at the International Documentary Association’s Documentary site. A.O. Scott reviewed the film for The New York Times, as did Joëlle Pouliot at the DocGeeks blog. At Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard wrote about AFTER TILLER’s relationship to Chicken & Egg Pictures. And Daniel Walber reviewed the film for Nonfics.com.
News came out of Egypt this week that filmmaker John Greyson and doctor Tarek Loubani had begun a hunger strike in a Cairo jail; the pair have been held there since August 16 without charge. Friends and family announced the hunger strike in a post on website created to secure the pair’s release, and Alex Ballingall reported on the development for the Toronto Star.
Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen reported that Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of the “American Masters” doc show on PBS, was leaving affiliate WNET for a job directing and producing docs at HBO. The Deadline site also reported on the news, as did Bill Carter at the Times and AJ Marechal at Variety.
This week Stranger Than Fiction is kicking off its fall season with a screening of Evan Jackson’s film LINSANITY, which follows professional basketball phenomenon Jeremy Lin. Jackson and producer Brian Yang will be in attendance for a screening following the screening. You can find more information and purchase tickets by going here.
Canadian filmmaker John Greyson, along with doctor and potential film subject Tarek Loubani, were arrested in Egypt this week while considering beginning work on a documentary film about Loubani’s work. Adam Benzine of Realscreen had details of his arrest, as did Sean Tepper of the Toronto Star. The Documentary Organization of Canada called on its government to aid in winning the release of the pair.
Director Bill Siegel talked with WYNC interviewer Leonard Lopate this week about his new film THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI, which hit theaters this week. Noel Murray of The Dissolve and Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times turned in reviews of the film.
At the Tribeca Institute website Ron Mwangaguhunga wondered if documentaries could save newsweeklies, noting the recent launch of Time Magazine’s new doc unit, Red Border Films. In a piece for the POV blog, Heather McIntosh provided a rationale for new interest in docs from CNN, Time and Al Jazeera America.