Monday Memo: Sundance Names Doc Labs Participants

Former POV staffer Yance Ford was among those named to Sundance's documentary story and edit labs.

The Sundance Institute this week named the nine projects selected to participate in its documentary story and edit labs for the year. Among those selected were director Yance Ford and editor Shannon Kennedy for the project STRONG ISLAND, and director Andrew James and editor Jason Tippet for the film STREET FIGHTING MAN. Ben Travers of Indiewire covered the announcement, as did Kelly Anderson of Realscreen.

The public television showcase POV kicks off its latest season today with a screening of the film HOMEGOINGS, a look at the traditions of African American funerals from director Isaiah Owens. At the Wall Street Journal Nancy Dewolf Smith previewed the film (after clicking scroll down to the second review).

The U.S. Tennis Association likely raised the hackles of fair use advocates after filing suit against filmmakers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, directors of the film VENUS AND SERENA, which uses footage from the 2011 U.S. Open. Richard Sandomir covered the development for the New York Times blog Straight Sets. David Lieberman of Deadline reported that executive producer Alex Gibney termed the lawsuit an overstep by the USTA.

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Monday Memo: IDA Launches New Screening Series

The International Documentary Association has revamped its DocuWeeks screening program.

The International Documentary Association (IDA) this week announced that it was scrapping its DocuWeeks program in favor of a new Screening Series in response to recent changes in the rules regarding how doc films could qualify for an Oscar nomination. As Steve Pond of The Wrap reported, the new series will take place between September and January. The organization was still working out the details of how it would select films for the new series.

The Silverdocs Documentary Festival is also no more, having been rechristened the AFI Docs Film Festival, and will expand its screening locations from Silver Spring, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post had the details.

Mike Thomas of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Illinois Department of Revenue had denied storied doc film production organization Kartemquin Films exemption from sales tax, based on the rationale that the organization was guilty of “making and selling propaganda DVDs.” The ruling led to some understandable head scratching by Dana Harris of Indiewire, as well as a writer at The Documentary Site.

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