Monday Memo: First Look of a New Year

After two weeks off for the holidays and a relative lack of doc news, we return in 2018 to a rather slow stream of reportage outside of the lead-up to Sundance and a few more award season announcements. With Sundance scheduled to kick off next Thursday, the festival has been rolling out its annual YouTube series, Meet The Artists, in which we get a taste of what’s to come at this year in Park City. Meanwhile, Basil Tsiokos, the Documentary Programming Associate at Sundance, has been writing up his own thorough previews of each of the docs to have debuts at the festival over at What (not) To Doc. And at IndieWire, Anthony Kaufman put forth his well researched forecast of this year’s doc market, writing, “The bulk of this year’s nonfiction releases had a rough time in theaters, but hope is not lost.”

While we wait for Sundance to commence, the Museum of the Moving Image is currently in the midst of First Look 2018, “the Museum’s acclaimed festival of innovative new international cinema” that runs through January 15th. In Artforum, Tony Pipolo writes that “the strongest entries in both nonfiction and the avant-garde at this year’s First Look series overshadow the few narrative films included,” noting Anna Zamecka’s COMMUNION, which Caroline Madden also covered for Reverse Shot, and Ziad Kalthoum’s TASTE OF CEMENT, which Eric Hynes, Associate Curator of Film at the museum singled out in his overview of his favorite screenings of 2017 for Film Comment.

Authorities in Singapore have officially banned Jesse Roberts’ documentary RADIANCE OF RESISTANCE, which was scheduled to screen at the Singapore Palestinian Film Festival last Thursday, reports Variety’s Patrick Frater. “The Info-communications Media Development Authority gave the film a Not Allowed for All Ratings classification, which means it cannot be shown in any circumstances in Singapore. The IMDA said that the film had a “skewed narrative” and could cause disharmony among races and religions in Singapore.”

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