Monday Memo: Distribber & IDA Launch New Distro Grant, THE WITNESS Receives Warm Reception

Last Thursday, Realscreen’s Daniele Alcinii broke the news that the “GoDigital-owned digital distributor has partnered with the International Documentary Association (IDA) to launch a quarterly grant program that will allow filmmakers the opportunity to distribute their content to major online platforms and retain rights and revenue.” No Film School’s Emily Buder followed up, “The catch? You can’t apply cold. The program is only open to a film already receiving fiscal sponsorship from the IDA, Pare Lorentz grant recipients, or films nominated for the IDA Annual Documentary Awards.” Josh Fox‘s HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD (AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE), which debuted at Sundance earlier this year and is set to be shown on HBO on June 27, has been selected as the first film to receive the grant.

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival celebrated ten years of its Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant with a special presentation at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center this past week featuring  Ian Olds, Esther Robinson, Rachael Rakes and Thom Powers who helped establish the grant. Graham Winfrey of indieWIRE reported on the event.

While you may have thought our screening of THE WITNESS was our final screening of our Spring Season, we made a surprise addition with a very special Wednesday evening screening of Jonathan Demme’s 1992 documentary COUSIN BOBBY to take place on June 15th. Demme himself will be on hand to discuss his film centering around his cousin Robert Castle, an Episcopalian priest known for his work in the black communities of Jersey City and Harlem. Tickets now on sale to the public here, while STF Spring Season passholders get in for free.

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Monday Memo: Memorial Day Edition

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.

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