Brooklyn’s Northside Festival kicks off today, Thursday, June 12, and runs through next Thursday, June 19, with film programming starting on Monday evening. As it has for the past several years, this mini-SXSW joins the worlds of music, cinema, and innovation together, and presents a healthy number of docs in its line-up – both new and recent work and an eclectic selection of retrospective classics or unseen gems. The following offers notable selections from this year’s film programming:
Northside’s feature DIY Film Competition largely consists of nonfiction or hybrids, including Jenny Cartwright’s YA WOOTO (pictured), a portrait of a young Burkina Faso man saving up to take driving lessons; Tirtza Even’s NATURAL LIFE, an experimental profile of five juveniles sentenced to life without parole; and Todd Chandler’s FLOOD TIDE, a hybrid project following the journey of a group of artists.
Newer docs in the main film slate include: Sam Feder’s KATE BORNSTEIN IS A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER, on the pioneering genderqueer author; Jason Miller’s THE PAST IS A GROTESQUE ANIMAL (pictured), about the frontman of indie band Montreal; and Craig Butta’s IF YOU TAKE THIS, a hybrid ethnography/road trip through Morocco.
Finally, Northside offers several retro docs: Manfred Kirchheimer’s SHORT CIRCUIT (pictured), a 1973 unclassifiable pseudo-doc about a NYC documentary filmmaker’s dawning consciousness around race and privilege; Rosa Von Praunheim’s TRANSEXUAL MENACE, a 1996 portrait of several American trans individuals; and Sacha Gervasi’s ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, the beloved real-life THIS IS SPINAL TAP about an obscure Canadian metal band.