This post is a pointer to the second of four lineup announcements for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. This year’s selections in Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, and brand new section Sundance Kids may be found here, while New Frontier info may be found here.
The remaining non-competition feature sections, Premieres and Documentary Premieres, as well as Shorts, will be revealed in two further announcements next week.
If you missed yesterday’s announcement, the US and World Cinema Documentary and Dramatic Competitions, plus NEXT, click here.
The Dubai International Film Festival celebrates its first decade this month, with its tenth edition starting this Friday, December 6 and running through Saturday, December 14. The eldest of several high-profile Gulf State fests that began last decade, the Emirati event showcases work from the region, while also shining a spotlight on Asian and African work, and annually awards more than half a million dollars in prize money to competition winners. This year’s lineup consists of 174 films representing 57 countries. Among their number are 25 documentary features, a mix of new titles noted below and a number of familiar festival favorites that are just making their regional bows at the event.
Six films compete in the Muhr Arab Documentary Competition, including: Mohamed Amine Boukhris’ WAR REPORTER (pictured), following journalists of the Arab Spring; Ahmed Nour’s WAVES, a personal exploration of the young generation of Egyptians that enabled the revolution to take place; Sarah Francis’ BIRDS OF SEPTEMBER, in which a roving van serves as a confessional for the people of Beirut; and Philippe Aractingi’s HERITAGES, a meditation on the Lebanese director’s ancestral roots.
An additional eight titles are part of the Muhr Asia Africa Documentary Competition, including: Hafiz Rancajale’s BEHIND THE FLICKERING LIGHT (THE ARCHIVE), on Indonesia’s first film archivist; Surabhi Sharma’s BIDESIA IN BAMBAI, a celebration of the underrepresented migrant workforce in Mumbai; and Kazuhiro Sôda’s CAMPAIGN 2 (pictured), about a Fukushima-inspired anti-nuclear political campaign in Japan.
The fest’s non-competitive Arabian Nights section also features several new documentaries, among them Darin Al Baw’s OUR HOME WE CAN NOT WALK TO, about sisters caught in a war in a Lebanese Palestinian refugee camp; Mahmoud Kaabour’s CHAMP OF THE CAMP (pictured), on a Bollywood competition among migrant laborers in Dubai; and Nasredine Ben Maati’s A DOOMED GENERATION, a look at cyber-resistance to Tunisian repression prior to the revolution.
Here’s a quick pointer to the initial lineup announcement for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The US and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions, plus the NEXT section, are here. Announcements for other sections will follow later this week and next.
The Best Documentary Feature Oscar shortlist was just announced, narrowing the nearly 150 qualifiers to just fifteen contenders. Congratulations go to all the filmmakers for making it on to this list, especially the eleven Sundance alums and the nine DOC NYC Short List alums!
It’s now a waiting game until the five final nominees are revealed on Thursday, January 16. In the meantime, here is the official shortlist, with links to my previous coverage for each of the films:
THE ACT OF KILLING
THE ARMSTRONG LIE
THE CRASH REEL
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED
GOD LOVES UGANDA
LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM
PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER
STORIES WE TELL
20 FEET FROM STARDOM
WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE?
New York’s African Diaspora International Film Festival, one of the oldest events focusing on filmmaking by and about the people of Africa and the African Diaspora, enters its third decade beginning this Friday, November 29 and continuing through Sunday, December 15. The 21st edition of the fest brings over 70 films to audiences, including more than thirty documentary features made up of both new films and little seen retrospective programming. Special programming strands explore Afro-Brazilian, Haitian, Jamaican, and other Caribbean themes, with films representing 35 countries on offer.
The Gala nonfiction presentations include: Pratibha Parmar’s ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH, an insightful portrait of the acclaimed author/activist; Centerpiece YOUTHS OF SHASHA, Emanuele Cicconi’s look at the musically talented but unsupported youths in an Ethiopian village; Joel Zito Araújo and Megan Mylan’s RACE (RAÇA), showcasing three black Brazilians who make a stand for equal rights and representation; and Closing Night film SPIES OF MISSISSIPPI (pictured), Dawn Porter’s intriguing tale of a state-funded covert spy agency fighting integration during the height of the Civil Rights struggle.
Among the other recent documentary offerings are: Ada M Babino’s I DON’ BEEN THROUGH THE SNAKE’S SKIN & COME OUT CLEAN (pictured), about the perspective and knowledge passed down by a long-lived Louisiana couple to their children and grandchildren; Nevline Nnaji’s REFLECTIONS UNHEARD: BLACK WOMEN IN CIVIL RIGHTS, a reclamation of the unheralded influence of women within the black power and feminist movements; James Brown’s RED, WHITE, BLACK & BLUE, which follows a South Central Los Angeles rugby team to a competition in New Zealand; Tukufu Zuberi’s AFRICAN INDEPENDENCE, a wide-ranging look at the history and struggles of post-colonial governance in Africa; Jaime Otero’s A COMMON ENEMY, about the first free elections after Tunisia’s Arab Spring; Joseph Hillel’s AYITI TOMA, THE LAND OF THE LIVING, a complex consideration of Haiti’s demonized voudou culture and historical exploitation by outsiders; and Valerie Scoon’s GRENADA: COLONIALISM AND CONFLICT, on the dark legacy of the Caribbean island nation’s colonial past.
Coming to theatres today, Friday, November 22: NARCO CULTURA
Shaul Schwarz’s look at the music subculture engendered by Mexico’s drug cartels made its debut at Sundance earlier this year. The doc has also screened at Berlin, Hot Docs, Fantastic Fest, Sydney, Stockholm, and San Sebastian among others.
My pre-Sundance profile may be found here.
With IDFA kicking off tonight, this second of two posts wraps up my list of titles I’d be checking out if I were headed to the Netherlands. Yesterday’s post covered the competitions, while the following runs down the fest’s various non-competitive strands. Continue reading
Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 20 sees the opening of the 26th edition of the largest documentary event in the world, The Netherlands’ IDFA. Screening approximately 150 new feature documentaries, plus additional retrospective programming, shorts, and transmedia projects through Sunday, December 1, Amsterdam’s fest will play host to hundreds of the nonfiction world’s top buyers, broadcasters, and programmers, not to mention its over 120,000 general attendees. While I’ve attended the event for the past four years, I’m very sadly missing this one. Still, I’ve diligently (and wistfully) scoured through the lineup to construct my wishlist, if I were attending, broken down by section. As in the past, the fest’s sheer size necessitates breaking this down into two posts – today’s looks at IDFA’s competitions, while tomorrow’s will look at the non-competitive line-up. Continue reading
Released on DVD last week: BLACKFISH
Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s exploration of the consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity debuted at Sundance at the beginning of the year. Other screenings have included DOC NYC, Nantucket, Seattle, Sarasota, Vancouver, Provincetown, AFI Docs, Miami, Moscow, Melbourne, and Sydney, among others. The film has enjoyed a limited theatrical release and has been broadcast on CNN.
My pre-Sundance profile of the doc may be found here.
The sixth and last of this year’s DOC NYC shorts programs explores a yearning for the past, often wrapped up in places.
DOC NYC Program Description:
THEN & NOW:
Thursday, November 21 at 9:30pm
Nostalgia and changing times. THE PHOTO MAN (USA, 7 min., Ben Kitnick) trades in old photographs. An antique store owner welcomes visitors in NOT FOR SALE (USA, 10 min., Matthew C. Levy). THE FINAL NOTE (USA, 16 min., Mayeta Clark) profiles a South Bronx piano warehouse. A young couple takes over THE MERCANTILE (USA, 16 min., Brian Bolster), a general store in remote Montana. LAST DAYS OF THE VIDEO STORE (USA, 7 min., Quin O’Brien) shows the struggle of a once-thriving business. Remembrances of a swiftly changing Brooklyn come to animated life in OF MEMORY & LOS SURES (USA, 15 min., Laurie Sumiye & Andrew Parsons). CAMP STORY (USA, 26 min., David B. Levy) reveals the impact of getting away from the city as a kid. (97 min. total)
Why You Should Attend:
The pull of the past is strong in these shorts, from lost photos to vanishing businesses, summer memories to transforming neighborhoods.
To purchase tickets, follow the link from the program page by clicking on the program title above.