Category Archives: Film Festivals

Abu Dhabi 2014: Documentary Overview

abu_dhabi_international_film_festival_logoOne of the United Arab Emirates’ key film events, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, celebrates its 8th year starting tonight, Thursday, October 23, and running through Saturday, November 1. With programming that balances the regional debuts of films that have already garnered acclaim at key international events like Cannes and Sundance with new work from the Arab world, the festival offers scores of shorts and nearly 90 features, of which just over two dozen are nonfiction, many of which are noted below.

piratesAmong the Documentary Feature Competition entries with UAE production support presented are: Samir’s IRAQI ODYSSEY, a personal, 3D chronicle of five decades of family dislocation; Merieme Addou and Rosa Rogers’ PIRATES OF SALÉ (pictured), about a circus set in a Moroccan slum; Yasmin Fedda’s QUEENS OF SYRIA, in which Syrian refugee women perform an updated version of THE TROJAN WOMEN; Nujoom Al Ghanem’s SOUNDS OF THE SEA, following an old singer in his quest to sing folklore to local fishermen; and Nadine Salib’s MOTHER OF THE UNBORN, a portrait of an Egyptian woman stigmatized because of her inability to become pregnant.

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Jihlava 2014 Overview

jihlava logoOne of the largest nonfiction events in Europe, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, launches its 18th edition tonight, Thursday, October 23. More than 70 documentary features will screen through the end of the festival, next Tuesday, October 28. While I’ve never attended, the event has drawn praise from international fest organizers for its eclectic approach to nonfiction programming. Following are some highlights of new work from this year’s lineup. Continue reading

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Margaret Mead 2014 Overview

mead_2014_cover_final_formosaic_880x692_mosaic_fullThis year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, its 38th edition, opens tomorrow, Thursday, October 23, with THE LAST PATROL, Sebastian Junger’s study of the impact of war on soldiers and war correspondents. Before it wraps on Sunday, October 26, the festival – the longest-running doc event in the US – will present more than 30 features, in addition to shorts, panels, and interactive installations at the American Museum of Natural History. The following offers a spotlight on some of these: Continue reading

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In Theatres & On VOD: E-TEAM

e-teamComing to theatres today, Wednesday, October 22 and to Netflix this Friday, October 24: E-TEAM

Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s profile of intrepid human rights abuses investigators had its world premiere at Sundance this January, where the film claimed the US Documentary Excellence in Cinematography Award. The film has gone on to screen at Nantucket, True/False, Full Frame, Hot Docs, Dokufest Kosovo, Sheffield, Montclair, the upcoming CPH:DOX, and DOC NYC as part of the Short List.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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On DVD: RUNNING FROM CRAZY

running from crazyComing to DVD today, Tuesday, October 21: RUNNING FROM CRAZY

Barbara Kopple’s exploration of mental illness in a famous family debuted at Sundance last year. It also screened at Sundance London, Tribeca, Nantucket, Hamptons, Cleveland, Camden, Full Frame, and Sarasota, among others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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On Cable: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

private violenceComing to HBO tonight, Monday, October 20: PRIVATE VIOLENCE

Cynthia Hill’s illuminating exploration of the impact of domestic violence debuted at Sundance this year. Other festival berths have included True/False, New Orleans, Full Frame, Dallas, Hot Docs, Heartland, Seattle, Human Rights Watch, and DOXA, among others.

I profiled the doc before Sundance here.

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In Theatres: WATCHERS OF THE SKY

watchers of skyComing to theatres today, Friday, October 17: WATCHERS OF THE SKY

Edet Belzberg’s exploration of genocide’s past and present debuted at Sundance this year, winning two awards. Other fest berths have included Nantucket, Cleveland, Hot Docs, Melbourne, Sydney, and Human Rights Watch, among others.

My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.

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