On this most lovely Memorial Day, I’m sitting in my local coffee shop here in Buffalo, the windows open, sun beaming in, thankful for the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful morning. As THE JOURNEY, Matthew Cassel’s new six-part series detailing the European refugee crisis, reminds with crystalline clarity, not everyone has the freedom to enjoy this simple pleasure. Cassel’s series had its first public screening as part of Stranger Than Fiction last week and was subsequently released as six short episodes over at The New Yorker in collaboration with Field of Vision. As Chris O’Falt has noted in a report on how Field of Vision is changing the way docs are made and seen for indieWIRE, THE JOURNEY, perfectly fits Field of Vision’s mission to bring cinematic journalism to important news stories as they unfold. And while not a Field of Vision project, the first episode of AJ Schnack‘s First Look Media series NOMINATION (or NomiNation) was also released this week via Vanity Fair, where Schnack was interviewed about his new ten episode series that follows in the footsteps of his previous campaign projects, CAUCUS and MIDTERMS.
When it comes to film festivals, this week was pretty quiet outside of Docaviv 2016‘s announcement of their competition winners. In the International competition, Karolina Bielawska’s CALL ME MARIANNA took home the Best International Film Award, while the IDFA award winner DON JUAN directed by Jerzy Sladkowski received a Special Jury Mention. The Israeli Competition was topped by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry’s DEATH IN THE TERMINAL, while Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky’s CHILD MOTHER received a Special Jury Mention and Shimon Dotan’s THE SETTLERS, featured in The New York Times this week by James Glanz, picked up a Special Honorable Mention.
Our 2016 Spring Season, co-presented by New York Film Academy, will close out with a screening of James Solomon’s THE WITNESS, tomorrow at 7:30 pm at IFC Center. The film follows Bill Genovese as he investigates the 1964 murder of his sister Kitty Genovese, a New York woman who was attacked while 38 people allegedly did nothing to help her. Director James Solomon will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A. Tickets for closing night can be purchased here.