Monday Memo: Robert Drew, Credited as Progenitor of American Cinema Verite, Passes Away

This week the documentary community lost Robert Drew, one of the forces behind the American cinema verite movement.

This week saw the loss of Robert Drew, widely credited as one of the major creative forces behind the creation of the American Cinema Verite movement. At the New York Times, Bruce Weber penned an obituary of Drew; the Times also published an obit from the Associated Press. A statement from Drew’s family was released on the the International Documentary Association (IDA) website. Drew was also remembered by Richard Brody of the New Yorker, while Adam Benzine of Realscreen penned his own obit. At Fandor, a 2003 interview of Drew conducted by John Marlow was republished, while Filmmaker Magazine’s Vadim Rizov wrote about him. Film First shared some advice from Drew that was included in the book “Tell Me Something.” A 2001 piece from Drew about storytelling published by Nieman Reports also made the social media rounds.

Filmmaker Harun Farocki also passed away this week, with Alexander Forbes of Artnet marking the news. David Hudson of Fandor also remembered Farocki, while Margalit Fox wrote an obit at the New York Times.

The Toronto International Film Festival announced its doc lineup this week. At Indiewire, Anne Thompson provided a quick overview of the festival. Sarah Salovaraa of Indiewire fame was also able to provide a roundup of new additions to the festival.

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Monday Memo: Abortion Doc After Tiller Released in Theaters

The film AFTER TILLER, which takes a look at the four late-term abortion doctors in the U.S. left after the 2009 slaying of Dr. George Tiller, was released in theaters this week. At the POV blog, Tom Roston spoke with directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson about the film, while Christopher Campbell interviewed them in a post at Darianna Cardilli also interviewed the pair at the International Documentary Association’s Documentary site. A.O. Scott reviewed the film for The New York Times, as did Joëlle Pouliot at the DocGeeks blog. At Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard wrote about AFTER TILLER’s relationship to Chicken & Egg Pictures. And Daniel Walber reviewed the film for

News came out of Egypt this week that filmmaker John Greyson and doctor Tarek Loubani had begun a hunger strike in a Cairo jail; the pair have been held there since August 16 without charge. Friends and family announced the hunger strike in a post on website created to secure the pair’s release, and Alex Ballingall reported on the development for the Toronto Star.

Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen reported that Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of the “American Masters” doc show on PBS, was leaving affiliate WNET for a job directing and producing docs at HBO. The Deadline site also reported on the news, as did Bill Carter at the Times and AJ Marechal at Variety.

This week Stranger Than Fiction is kicking off its fall season with a screening of Evan Jackson’s film LINSANITY, which follows professional basketball phenomenon Jeremy Lin. Jackson and producer Brian Yang will be in attendance for a screening following the screening. You can find more information and purchase tickets by going here.

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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.

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