This week, Netflix acquired the first-run rights to the film THE SQUARE, strengthening their move into acquiring documentary content.

Netflix continued to grab newshole with the official announcement that it had acquired first-run rights for Jehane Noujaim’s film on the Egyptian revolution, THE SQUARE, as an “original documentary.” Alison Willmore of Indiewire had the news, as did Adam Benzine of Realscreen and Brian Stelter of the New York Times. At Filmmaker Magazine, Sarah Salovaara wondered what Netflix meant, exactly, by describing THE SQUARE as “original programming.” Shortly after announcing its acquisition of THE SQUARE, Netflix revealed that it had picked up another doc, THE SHORT GAME. Again, Alison Willmore reported the news for Indiewire, while Adam Benzine did the same at Realscreen. At the Los Angeles Times, Steven Zeitchik took the temperature of a handful of doc filmmakers on Netflix’s recent moves.

This week the Cinema Eye Honors announced the nominees for its awards; the honors are set to take place in January 2014. Christopher Campbell covered the announcement at, while Peter Knegt had the news for Indiewire and Adam Benzine did the same for Realscreen. The POV blog used the nominations to rejigger its list of the best documentaries of 2013 thus far.

The documentary filmmaker Ed Pincus, perhaps best known for his film DIARIES, passed away this week at the age of 75 from leukemia. William Yardley penned an obit of Pincus for the New York Times, while Paula Bernstein remembered Pincus in a post for Indiewire.

This week Stranger Than Fiction is playing host to SHOTGUN FREEWAY: DRIVES THROUGH LOST L.A., a film by Morgan Neville about the city of angels. The screening takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. at the IFC Center in Manhattan, and will be followed by a Q&A with Neville. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.

Frederick Wiseman’s latest film, AT BERKELEY hit theaters this week, earning a Critics’ Pick from Stephen Holden of the New York Times. Robert Greene also reviewed the film for Hammer to Nail. Anthony Kaufman had two pieces on the film, one at the Village Voice and the other at the SundanceNOW blog. And Rich Juzwiak interviewed the somewhat reticent Wiseman for Gawker.

AJ Schack’s new film CAUCUS, about the Iowa Republican primaries, also graced theaters this week. Brandon Harris interviewed Schnack in a piece at Filmmaker Magazine, while Miriam Bale bestowed a Critics’ Pick at the New York Times. At, Christopher Campbell had his own review, and dedicated his latest episode of The Realness podcast–along with Daniel Walber–to the film and the political doc THE WAR ROOM. Steve Dollar took a look at CAUCUS and another film, TOWN HALL, in a piece for the Wall Street Journal. And Alan Scherstuhl reviewed the film for the Village Voice.

Writing for New York Magazine’s Vulture blog, Josef Adalian interviewed CNN Senior Vice President Amy Entelis on the strategy surrounding the network’s CNN Fims doc initiative in the wake of stunning success with their screening of the film BLACKFISH. Simon Rogers of Twitter’s official blog also wrote a piece on the successful Twitter campaign surrounding BLACKFISH. And Alison Willmore of Indiewire reviewed PANDORA’S PROMISE, which aired on CNN recently.

Rachel Saltz of the New York Times profiled the the DOC NYC festival, which is set to begin Nov. 14.  At the What (Not) to Doc blog, Basil Tsiokos continued his coverage of the festival with posts on the Art + Design section; the Sonic Cinema section; the Midnight Docs section; the Shortlist section; and the People & Places section.

In a piece for the POV blog, Tom Roston considered the ethical implications of the role that director Steve Hoover’s Christian faith might have played in his film BLOOD BROTHER.

BRITDOC this week published a series of “impact reports” examining the impact that its PUMA Impact Awards finalists had had.

Writing for TechCrunch, Anthony Ha spoke with Peter Savodnik on his Stateless Media short online doc initiative.

Britain’s Grierson Awards announced its winners on its website. Alexandra Zeevalkink took on coverage duties at the DocGeeks blog, while James Hiler did the same for Indiewire.

The documentary nominations for the European Film Awards were also announced this week; Kelly Anderson wrote it up at Realscreen, as did Indiewire.

Randy Lewis took note of the new film MUSCLE SHOALS in a piece for the Los Angeles Times.

At Filmmaker Magazine, Michael Murie took note of the wave of new 4K technology hitting the streets. And Carl Mrozek had his own post on 4K cameras at Realscreen.

Writing for, Jess Linington profiled the Finnish web doc AUDIBLE.

In two posts, Peter Hamilton broke down the path to funding for filmmakers at Independent Lens. You can find the first post here, and the second post here.

At, Christopher Campbell had the details on this week’s documentary theatrical releases. He also shared info on his top home picks for the week, which included THIS IS NOT A FILM and BLACKFISH. Campbell also had news on the big doc box office winners from last week.

Also at, Daniel Walber profiled the works of Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler.

Tsiokos had an overview of the CPH: DOX festival in Copenhagen, as well as one on the Rome Film Festival at his What (Not) to Doc blog.

Back at Filmmaker Magazine, Sarah Salovaara recapped the Digital Discourse panel on the future of distribution.

At Indiewire, Eric Kohn made the case for why Lance Armstrong should watch Alex Gibney’s doc on the cyclist, THE ARMSTRONG LIE.

Chicagoist writer Chuck Sudo interviewed Bill Siegel on his film THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI from Kartemquin Films.

Back at, Christopher Campbell reached out to NUTS: THE BEST DAMN FANS IN THE LAND documentarian Mike Newman on the reasons that drove him to make his film.

The POV blog this week updated its useful list of engagement strategists, which you can find here. Also at the POV blog, Fernanda Rossi shared her experiences working on the film HOW TO LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY from director Therese Shechter.

At the Documentary Site, Heather McIntosh shared some recent documentary links of use.

In the latest episode of Adam Shartoff’s Filmwax podcast, he speaks with filmmaker Terence Nance on the distro strategy for his film AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY.

Peter Knegt of Indiewire published an updated tally of the 10 highest grossing docs of the year thus far, with 20 FEET FROM STARDOM leading the way with $4.7 million. Knegt also updated Indiewire’s prognostications for this year’s Oscar race.

At Filmmaker Magazine, documentarian Joanna Arnow wrote a piece on her motivations for agreeing to preview her film I HATE MYSELF :) for one day via VOD.

Robert Greene added to his nonfiction cinema canon at this week with Robert Flaherty’s MAN FROM ARAN.

Please send any tips or recommendations for the Memo via e-mail here, or by Twitter to @GuerrillaFace. Thanks and have a great week all!

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