Category Archives: Overviews

San Francisco 2015: Documentary Overview

imagesThe oldest film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival, opens its 58th edition this Thursday, April 23, kicking things off with Alex Gibney’s latest, STEVE JOBS: THE MAN IN THE MACHINE, a critical re-evaluation of the late Apple visionary. The event closes two weeks later on Thursday, May 7, after screening nearly 100 features, among them more than 30 documentaries. The following offers some highlights from the latter: Continue reading

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Hot Docs 2015 Overview

imagesNorth America’s largest documentary event, Hot Docs, returns this Thursday, April 23, and runs through Sunday, May 3. Toronto’s festival will unspool 210 documentaries during its 22nd edition, among them more than 160 new and recent nonfiction features. I’ve been attending the festival since 2009, and always look forward to checking out the latest work that Charlotte Cook and her programming team have curated. What follows is a section-by-section spotlight of the films I’m hoping to screen when I arrive for the second half of the fest: Continue reading

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Visions du Réel 2015 Overview

visionsThe long-running Swiss nonfiction event, Visions du Réel, begins tomorrow, Friday, April 17, and concludes next Saturday, April 25. More than 100 features will screen during the 46th event, which takes place annually in Nyon, with highlights noted below: Continue reading

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Tribeca 2015: Documentary Overview

tribecaTomorrow, Wednesday, April 15 sees the opening of the 14th Tribeca Film Festival, which this year will present over fifty feature documentaries before it closes on Sunday, April 26. The event’s nonfiction programming has consistently proven to be noteworthy, and organizers have recognized that in recent years, presenting documentaries as the event’s opening selection, such as this year’s LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, Bao Nguyen’s look at the history and enduring popularity of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. What follows are some highlights of this year’s nonfiction slate: Continue reading

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Sarasota 2015: Documentary Overview

imgresFlorida’s Sarasota Film Festival opens its 17th edition today, Friday, April 10, and runs through Sunday, April 19. While the festival lost longtime director Tom Hall to Montclair this year, the event has maintained its scope, presenting nearly 150 features, with about a third of those nonfiction, including Centerpiece selection BRAND: A SECOND COMING, Ondi Timoner’s portrait of UK comedian/provocateur Russell Brand which recently opened SXSW. What follows are highlights of some of the event’s other documentary programming, reflecting newer or less familiar work not previously covered on this site. Continue reading

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Art of the Real 2015 Overview

royal roadThe second edition of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Art of the Real series begins tomorrow, Friday, April 10, and runs through Sunday, April 26. Dennis Lim and Rachael Rakes’ program continues its mission to broaden standard conceptions of nonfiction, giving viewers the opportunity to sample an eclectic, and sometimes, esoteric, assemblage of offerings. This year’s event opens with a shorts program and closes with Jenni Olson’s Sundance essay, THE ROYAL ROAD (pictured), with other special programming including an Agnès Varda tribute and a spotlight on the use of reenactment in film.

novaThe remaining main program consists of sixteen new and retrospective feature films, as well as some additional short form programming. Some of the highlights among the newer feature work include the North American premieres of: Gustavo Vinagre’s NOVA DUBAI (pictured), a rumination on gay desire in an urban landscape; Alain Cavalier’s LE PARADIS, an essay film about encroaching mortality; and Luisa Homem and Pedro Pinho’s TRADING CITIES, an observational profile of the impact of development on Cape Verde.

dangerSome of the US premieres screening during the two week series are: Daniel Hui’s speculative portrait of Singapore, SNAKESKIN; René Frölke’s experimental biography of an exiled Romanian writer, LE BEAU DANGER (pictured); and Ion de Sosa’s hybrid, future-set exploration of Spain, ANDROIDS DREAM.

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It’s All True 2015 Overview

imgres-3Brazil’s It’s All True International Documentary Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary beginning tomorrow, Thursday, April 9 with a screening of the late Eduardo Coutinho’s LAST CONVERSATIONS. The festival will run through Sunday, April 19 in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, while tours will continue in other cities into May and June. More than 40 new features will screen, with shorts and retrospectives bringing the total lineup to over 100 films. Continue reading

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