With both the New York Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival having just recently concluded on either side of the Atlantic, it seemed only fitting that DOC NYC and the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival announce their complete line-ups this week to help keep our fall festival sugar rush going. Closing out the BFI London Film Festival, Jennifer Peedom took home the Grierson Award for Best Documentary for her mountain climbing doc SHERPA, while Daniel Walber wrote a rundown of the best docs at this year’s NYFF at Nonfics.
A few weeks back DOC NYC announced that Kim Longinotto would be among this year’s Visionaries Tribute honorees, receiving the Robert and Anne Drew Award for observational filmmaking. This week Realscreen’s Kevin Ritchie reported that Longinotto would also be the recipient of this year’s BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award. The International Documentary Association also released the names of the honorees for the 31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards, including Career Achievement Award winner Gordon Quinn, Founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films, Pioneer Award honoree Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer at Netflix, Amicus Award winners Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation, and the much deserving Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award winners Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe for their work on (T)ERROR.
In other festival news, DOC NYC’s Director of Programming, Basil Tsiokos previewed the non-fiction fare on offer at the upcoming New Orleans Film Festival, DocsDF: The International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City, and the Chicago International Film Festival at What (not) To Doc.
This week Stranger Than Fiction continues with the New York premiere of THE WANTED 18, Palestine’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award! Director Amer Shomali in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Tickets are still available here.
Among the deluge of festival reports and theatrical reviews that came in this past week, the most interesting tidbit may be the announcement that docu legend Frederick Wisemen has taken to Kickstarter in hopes of raising funds to complete his 40th feature film, IN JACKSON HEIGHTS. The campaign page features a short video of the director himself pitching his project, as well as the first trailer for the film. Manori Ravindran reported on Wiseman’s first foray into the crowdfunding over at Realscreen, as did Sarah Salovaara for Filmmaker Magazine.
Though the Sheffield Doc/Fest having wrapped a couple weeks back, both Cineuropa’s Naman Ramachandran and Realscreen’s Manori Ravindran reported early this past week that Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE took home the festival’s Audience Award, while Sean MacAllister’s A SYRIAN LOVE STORY, reviewed by Camillo De Macro at Cineuropa, took home the Grand Jury Prize. De Marco also wrote a piece on the awards handed out at this year’s Bologna Biografilm Festival, including the Unipol Award for Best Film which was given to Patricio Guzman for THE PEARL BUTTON. Back stateside, as reported by Kevin Ritchie at Realscreen, Mo-Young Jin’s MY LOVE, DON’T CROSS THAT RIVER won the LA Film Fest Documentary prize. Ritchie also covered the 10 films shortlisted for next year’s Cinema Eye Awards for television projects, which include Alex Gibney’s GOING CLEAR, Alex Winter’s DEEP WEB and Jose Antonio Vargas’ DOCUMENTED.
AFI Docs kicked off Wednesday and wrapped up last night in Washington, DC. In The Washington Post, Ann Hornaday wrote a substantial preview of the festival that was marked by its truthful, but accusatory headline, “In the Golden Age of documentaries, the medium could use more artistry”. At Keyframe, David Hudson kept a substantial round-up of the festival’s press coverage, while Chad Gracia’s Sundance prize winner THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER received some attention from Manori Ravindran in Realscreen and Camillo De Marco at Cineuropa. Prior the fest, Basil Tsiokos previewed the non-fiction offerings at not just AFI Docs, but BAMcinemaFest, Frameline and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, each at What (not) to Doc.