Monday Memo: Independent Lens Names Winter/Spring 2014 Season

The PBS documentary show Independent Lens announced its Winter/Spring lineup this week.

The PBS show Independent Lens this week announced the lineup for its Winter/Spring 2014 season. At Indiewire, Alison Willmore had coverage of the program’s schedule, which includes AT BERKELEY from Frederick Wiseman, MEDORA from Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn, LET THE FIRE BURN from Jason Osder and THE NEW BLACK from Yoruba Richen, among others. At the Independent Lens blog, Craig Phillips interviewed JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI director David Gelb.

Year-end lists continued to roll in from all quarters of the internet this week.’s Christopher Campbell rounded up a whole slew of critics picks, while Jose F. Rodriguez of the Tribeca Film Institute wrote up a list of the year’s 10 best docs. The POV blog also updated its list of the top docs of 2013, while Paste Magazine’s Michael Dunaway had his picks for the year’s top 15 films at Paste Magazine. At Indiewire’s Women and Hollywood blog, writers Melissa Silverstein and Inkoo Kang listed the year’s best female-helmed docs. Filmmaker Caveh Zahedi penned a list of his top 10 docs at Fandor. And Indiewire’s Peter Knegt updated the site’s list of the top grossing indie docs for 2013 as of December 17.

CNN doubled down on docs this week, announcing that it would begin acquiring and airing documentaries that were not first on television premieres. Adam Benzine covered the move for Realscreen, with Tony Maglio doing the same at The Wrap and Hilary Lewis pulling duty at The Hollywood Reporter.. Lisa de Moraes of Deadline also reported that CNN chief Jeff Zucker had other changes for CNN in the works intended to help the network compete with channels such as Discovery and National Geographic.

Continue reading…

Monday Memo: TIFF Lineup Announced

Errol Morris' new film on Donald Rumsfeld, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, is among the work that will be screening in Toronto this year.

This week the big news was the announcement of the doc films to be featured at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Coverage of the news came from all corners of the web. Jennie Punter of Variety had the news, as did Nick Dawson of Filmmaker Magazine. Adam Benzine wrote up the lineup for Realscreen, and later rounded up some trailers of the films screening in Toronto. Jordan M. Smith covered the news for Ion Cinema, while Nigel M. Smith did the same for Indiewire. Etan Vlessing wrote up the announcement for The Hollywood Reporter. STF’s Thom Powers also spoke with David Poland of Movie City News in his capacity as TIFF doc programmer.

Penny Lane’s OUR NIXON hit CNN this week, marking the first documentary to be screened under its CNN Films banner. Alison Willmore reviewed the film for Indiewire, while her colleague Sam Adams wondered if critics held the film to a different standard because it aired on television. David Teich of Indiewood/Hollywoodn’t also interviewed Lane.

In distro news, Kartemquin Films announced that Kino Lorber had acquired US rights for the upcoming THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI from director Bill Siegel. Realscreen’s Adam Benzine reported that Sundance Selects had snagged U.S. rights for FINDING VIVIAN MAIER from directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel. Benzine also had the news that Sony Picture Classics had gained worldwide rights for the film TIM’S VERMEER directed by one-name magician Teller. (Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times also reported on the film this week.) Benzine also reported that CNN Films had acquired SOLE SURVIVOR by director Kyle Dickens to be aired in 2014.

Continue reading…