Category Archives: Overviews

New York Jewish Film Festival 2015: Documentary Overview

imagesBeginning tonight, Wednesday, January 14, and running through Thursday, January 29, the 24th edition of the New York Jewish Film Festival will unspool at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. A co-presentation of The Jewish Museum and the Film Society, this year’s festival will feature more than 30 new and retrospective feature films, as well as shorts and special programs, of which eleven are nonfiction, noted below: Continue reading

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2015 Sundance Docs in Focus

ad_34504873_9f4e6961aeb34e6e_webThe Sundance Film Festival will hold its 31st edition between January 22 and February 1, introducing audiences to many of the newest crop of films that will be making their way to theatres throughout 2015. Since 2011, I’ve profiled the feature documentaries in the lineup in advance of the festival to provide information about the films and their filmmakers and to share my excitement in their upcoming premieres. I’ll begin with the first few titles in the US Documentary Competition this coming Monday, and continue film-by-film, section-by-section, to cover the nearly 50 nonfiction offerings before the festival opens.

As a Documentary Programming Associate for Sundance, I want to make sure to note that these profiles are not reviews – instead, they simply include select background, noting past Sundance projects where applicable, and reasons why readers should seek the films out, either in Park City during the festival or at other upcoming festivals, in theatres, TV/cable, or on DVD/VOD. For a sample, check out last year’s, which began here.

I’ve also prepared a new Twitter list to give readers a look at the festival through the eyes of the Sundance filmmaking class of 2015.

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Sundance 2015: Additional Programming Announced

ad_34504873_9f4e6961aeb34e6e_webThe 2015 Sundance Film Festival has just announced a number of additional selections to the Premieres, Special Events, and New Frontier sections, while also revealing the lineups for Sundance Kids and this year’s From the Collection retrospective screening. The new programming may be found here.

Previously announced: US and World Cinema Documentary and Dramatic Competitions and NEXT; Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier; Premieres, Documentary Premieres, and Special Events; and Shorts.

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Sundance 2015: Shorts Announced

ad_34504873_9f4e6961aeb34e6e_webThis is the fourth pointer to the lineup announcements for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Just announced are the selections for Shorts programming, located here.

Previously announced: US and World Cinema Documentary and Dramatic Competitions and NEXT; Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier; and Premieres, Documentary Premieres, and Special Events.

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Dubai 2014: Documentary Overview

imgres-1The 11th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival, the oldest Gulf State event of its kind, begins tomorrow, Wednesday, December 10, and runs for a week. This year’s festival has seen some radical changes due to budget constraints, largely reflected in the elimination of its co-production platform, as well as other perennial programs such as the Muhr Asia/Africa Awards section. As a whole, the event showcases a tighter line-up in 2014, including slightly fewer documentary features – 21 to last year’s 25. About a third of these are familiar from other festivals’ programming, while the remaining largely represent new regional work.

our metropolisThe Arabian Nights section includes Wafa Jamil’s COFFEE FOR ALL NATIONS, about a Palestinian man who opens a small coffee shop accessible to Palestinians and Israelis alike; and Takeharu Watai’s PEACE ON THE TIGRIS – IRAQ WAR AND 10 YEARS OF LIFE IN BAGHDAD, which follows the Japanese filmmaker as he tries to reunite with the Baghdad residents he filmed at the onset of the war in 2003; while the Cinema of the World’s doc offerings include Gautam Sonti and Usha Rao’s OUR METROPOLIS (pictured), chronicling Bangalore’s residents’ struggle against the forced development of their city.

in this landSeveral nonfiction works are included in the Muhr Feature category: Reine Mitri’s IN THIS LAND LAY GRAVES OF MINE (pictured), an exploration of racial and religious territorialism in Lebanese land sales; Bassem Fayad’s DIARIES OF A FLYING DOG, about a Lebanese man and his dog, both with obsessive compulsive disorder; Hazem Alhamwi’s FROM MY SYRIAN ROOM, a personal reckoning with Syria’s 2011 civil war; Hind Shoufani’s TRIP ALONG EXODUS, about the filmmaker’s father, a 1970s Palestinian revolutionary; Salim Abu Jabal’s ROSHMIA, which follows the efforts of an elderly Palestinian couple to seek compensation for the forced relocation; and Nujoom Al Ghanem’s NEARBY SKY, the story of the struggle of the first female Emirati to enter her camel in the traditionally male-led camel beauty pageant.

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Sundance 2015: Competition & NEXT Lineups Announced

ad_34504873_9f4e6961aeb34e6e_webHere’s a quick pointer to the initial lineup announcement for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The US and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions, plus the NEXT section, are revealed here. Announcements for other sections will follow later this week and next.

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IDFA 2014: Overview, Part Two

idfa_logoI covered IDFA‘s competitions yesterday, while today’s looks at the fest’s non-competitive programs. The festival’s 27th edition begins tomorrow evening, and runs through Sunday, November 30. Continue reading

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