Category Archives: Recommendations

Special Note: w(n)td & 2015 Sundance

ad_34504873_9f4e6961aeb34e6e_webThe 2015 Sundance Film Festival begins tonight, Thursday, January 22. My responsibilities as Programming Associate for the festival take priority for the duration of the festival, which runs through Sunday, February 1, so w(n)td will be on hiatus during this time, with normal, daily weekday posting resuming on Monday, February 2.

To keep up with goings on in Park City, follow me on Twitter, as well as my Sundance filmmaker class of 2015 Twitter list.

To catch up with Sundance programming, here are my 2015 Sundance documentary profiles, divided by festival section:

US Documentary Competition
wolfpack3 1/2 MINUTES

BEING EVEL

BEST OF ENEMIES

CALL ME LUCKY

CARTEL LAND

CITY OF GOLD

FINDERS KEEPERS

HOT GIRLS WANTED

HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO

LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER

MERU

RACING EXTINCTION

(T)ERROR

WELCOME TO LEITH

WESTERN

THE WOLFPACK (pictured)

World Cinema Documentary Competition
russian woodpeckerTHE AMINA PROFILE

CENSORED VOICES

THE CHINESE MAYOR

CHUCK NORRIS VS COMMUNISM

DARK HORSE

DREAMCATCHER

HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD

LISTEN TO ME MARLON

PERVERT PARK

THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER (pictured)

SEMBENE!

THE VISIT

Documentary Premieres
fresh dressedBEAVER TRILOGY PART IV

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON

FRESH DRESSED (pictured)

GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF

THE HUNTING GROUND

IN FOOTBALL WE TRUST

KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK

THE MASK YOU LIVE IN

MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED

PROPHET’S PREY

TIG

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?

Park City at Midnight
nightmareTHE NIGHTMARE

 

 

 

 

New Frontier
sam klemkeTHE ROYAL ROAD

SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE (pictured)

STATION TO STATION

 

 

Spotlight

6 desires6 DESIRES: DH LAWRENCE AND SARDINIA

 

 

 

 

Special Events

the jinxTHE JINX: THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST (pictured)

MISERY LOVES COMEDY

 

 

 

From the Collection

paris is burningPARIS IS BURNING

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On TV: GAUCHO DEL NORTE

gauchoComing to PBS’s America ReFramed this coming Tuesday, January 27: GAUCHO DEL NORTE

Sofian Khan and Andres Caballero’s study of Latin American shepherds in Idaho has its world premiere on PBS. Its first festival screening will follow next month at Big Sky.

A study in economic disparity in microcosm, Khan and Caballero’s observational portrait focuses on the personal sacrifices made by two shepherd guest workers, one from Chile, the other from Peru, as they seek better economic opportunities in the United States. As the film begins, Chilean Eraldo prepares to leave his Patagonian home to take on a three-year contract in Idaho to earn money for his children’s education, recognizing, with anxiety, that he may not see his aged parents again. In Salt Lake City UT, a younger worker, Jhonny, arrives with other migrants, sharing the same motivation for the family he left behind in Peru. Their labor – tending sheep, protecting them from predators – used to be done by Native American workers, but has in recent decades been the province of Latin Americans. With sensitivity, and aided by impressive lensing, Khan and Caballero capture the dilemma of family men forced to separate from their loved ones due to forces beyond their control. Isolated aside from their animal companions, and preoccupied with thoughts of family faraway, will each man be able to withstand the pressure?

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On VOD: SWEET DREAMS

sweet dreamsNew to VOD this week: SWEET DREAMS

Rob and Lisa Fruchtman’s look at a industrious group of Rwandan women made its debut at Silverdocs in 2012. Screenings followed at DOC NYC, Mill Valley, IDFA, Margaret Mead, DocPoint, Big Sky, Thessaloniki Doc, Ashland, and DOXA, among others. It now comes to VOD with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program.

I previously wrote about the film out of Thessaloniki Doc here.

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Special Screening & In Theatres: ABOVE AND BEYOND

1201-X-782-ABOVE-AND-BEYOND1-400x200Coming to the JCC in Manhattan’s CineMatters series next Tuesday, January 27 and to theatres next Friday, January 30: ABOVE AND BEYOND

Roberta Grossman’s chronicle of the secret history of the Israeli Air Force made its debut at Jerusalem last year. It went on to screen at DOC NYC, Palm Springs, Sedona, Heartland, and at Jewish fests in San Francisco, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Boston, Nashville, Hong Kong, Cleveland, and Vancouver, among several others.

The foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 was met with immediate anxiety. As the countdown to the British withdrawal from Palestine commenced, so too did the preparation for invasion from the fledgling, would-be nation’s neighboring Arab countries. In the absence of a military infrastructure – or trained pilots – Jewish leaders sought planes, ammunitions, and the expertise of war-tested veterans in the US, Canada, South Africa, and elsewhere. This unlikely, motley crew, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, formed a skeletal, but surprisingly effective, air squadron that, as argued in Grossman’s film, meant all the difference in ensuring the survival of the Zionist dream of statehood. A project initiated by producer Nancy Spielberg, the well-crafted film tracks down survivors to recount the untold and often electrifying story of the 101 squadron – so named as to suggest that Israel actually had 100 other squadrons at the ready – and the sacrifices they made to secretly fight for the Jewish people, risking citizenship in defiance of America’s Neutrality Act, and potential death in the sky.

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On VOD: CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO

charlie victor romeoNew to VOD this week: CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO

Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson’s experimental performance hybrid doc debuted at Sundance in 2013. It also went on to screen at the New York Film Festival, DocPoint, AFI Fest, CPH:DOX, and Hamptons, among others. It now comes to iTunes with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program, with more VOD platforms to follow.

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

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On DVD/VOD: THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS

1201x782-KEY-IMAGE-kingdom_1-©-2013-Dwango-copy-1160x652Coming to DVD/VOD next Tuesday, January 27: THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS

Mami Sunada’s exploration of the workings of a legendary animation studio premiered in Japanese theatres last year. It has screened at Toronto, DOC NYC, San Sebastian, Sydney, Rio, St Louis, and Melbourne, among others, and enjoyed a limited theatrical release this Winter.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On VOD: BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

before-you-know-it-documentary-620x350New to VOD this week: BEFORE YOU KNOW IT

PJ Raval’s look at the lives of senior gay men had its world premiere at SXSW in 2013. Other festival screenings included IFF Boston, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Lone Star, Cucalorus, Cleveland, Florida, and several LGBT fests, including Inside Out, Outfest, Image Out, Reeling, Image + Nation, and Polari. It now comes to several VOD platforms, including iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and more, with the assistance of the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program.

I previously wrote about the film upon its theatrical release here.

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