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.
Over the last 11 days, North America’s largest documentary film festival and doc conference, Toronto’s beloved Hot Docs, hosted 452 public screenings of 210 films on 17 screens throughout the city. Today they announced that directors Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker were awarded the 2015 Filmmaker-to-Filmmaker Award for their Sundance preemed white supremacist portrait WELCOME TO LEITH, while the Phillip Baribeau’s UNBRANDED took home this year’s Audience Award. Reflecting on the offerings of this year’s Hot Docs, Indiewire’s Anthony Kaufman wrote a piece explaining exactly what makes Hot Docs such a spotlight for under-appreciated films, as well as an outline of his favorite eight discoveries from the festival. At Doc Soup, Tom Roston also wrote up his discoveries of the past week – both writers making note of Kristof Bilsen’s THE ELEPHANT’S DREAM and Andreas Koefoed’s THE ARMS DROP.
While the public and much of the press take in as many films as is humanly possible in the 11 day stretch (I think the most I’ve manage to see is 45?!), hundreds of people in the industry descend upon the famed Hot Docs Forum to watch filmmakers pitch their projects in hopes of securing funds for production. Extending his coverage of Hot Docs, Anthony Kaufman wrote up a feature on his top eight pitches from the forum as well as tips for first time filmmakers at Indiewire, while Realscreen’s Manori Ravindran covered the forum over the course of three days – the highlight possibly being doc legend Frederick Wiseman’s first ever pitch for his new film IN JACKSON HEIGHTS, which, from the sounds of it was more like public performance than pleading pitch. While Wiseman was there in hopes of funding, he was also on hand to take part in a live discussion along with his long-time producer and distributor Karen Konicek and CBC journalist Piya Chattopadhyay. Kevin Ritchie recounted the various lessons learned from the live chat over at Realscreen.
Back in 2012, we here at Stranger Than Fiction showed Andrew Berend’s DELTA BOYS. So, we are extremely pleased to welcome back Berend with his latest film MADINA’S DREAM, which tells the story of rebels and refugees fighting to survive in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and will screen tomorrow at 8pm at the IFC Center as part of our Spring Season of Stranger Than Fiction. Berends will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. Ticketing information and more details on the screening can be found at the link.
Director Errol Morris speaks at the DOC NYC screening of his new film, The Unknown Known.
This week the DOC NYC Festival officially kicked off its fourth year in New York City with a screening of Errol Morris’ new Donald Rumsfeld film THE UNKNOWN KNOWN. Writing for the POV blog, Tom Roston recapped the screening. At his Docutopia post for the SundanceNOW, Anthony Kaufman wrote on some of the films screening at DOC NYC, including THE PUNK SINGER and PATROLMAN P. Director Jeremy Xido penned a guest post on his film DEATH METAL ANGOLA, which screened at DOC NYC, for Filmmaker Magazine. Also at Filmmaker Magazine, Scott Macaulay named his 10 favorite picks for the festival, as did Lauren Wissot at the same publication. The folks at Indiewire also shared 10 of their top choices. And Daniel Walber reviewed DOC NYC film THE FINAL MEMBER for Nonfics.com.
The Women and Hollywood blog on Indiewire played host to a series of interviews with female filmmakers screening work at the DOC NYC. Inkoo Kang spoke with Dori Berinstein, Sarah McCarthy and Ky Dickens. Melissa Silverstein chatted up Sini Anderson, Suzan Beraza, Samantha Grant, Gitte Peng, Dawn Porter, Therese Shechter, Linda Hoaglund, Lucy Kostelanetz, Merete Mueller, Beth B, Sierra Pettengill and Jamila Wignot. And at Filmmaker Magazine, Randy Astle spoke with WEB director Michael Kleiman.
Earlier this morning, Canadian documentary filmmaker Peter Wintonick passed away from a rare form of liver cancer. Adam Benzine had the details in a piece at Realscreen, while Peter Knegt reported the news for Indiewire. Wintonick was in the midst of making the film BE HERE NOW when he passed. For those interested in helping the film reach its completion, please go here.
BRITDOC named THE ACT OF KILLING the winner of this year’s PUMA Impact Award, handed out to the film determined to have had the most substantial positive impact over the past year. Sarah Salovaara covered the event for Filmmaker Magazine, while Christopher Campbell did the same for Nonfics.com. Bryce J. Renninger looked at some of the metrics turned out b BRITDOC on the award nominees.