Telluride 2021: Documentary Overview

Festival:
The 48th Telluride Film Festival

Dates:
September 2-6

About:
More than 60% of the new feature offerings of this celebrated Colorado cinephile event are represented by nonfiction.

Among the offerings:
Show
:

THE AUTOMAT
Director: Lisa Hurwitz
The history of the titular vending machine, weaving together interviews with engineers, collectors, admirers, former employees, and an eclectic cast of its utmost enthusiasts.

BECOMING COUSTEAU
Director: Liz Garbus
A portrait of the visionary explorer, activist and TV host.

BITTERBRUSH
Director: Emelie Mahdavian
Two women set up camp at a tiny cabin and begin their season of work, to feed their dreams: to own their own livestock, to have true independence, and to start a family. 

CITIZEN ASHE
Director: Sam Pollard, Rex Miller
A portrait of the trailblazing tennis player, the first and only Black man to win Wimbledon and the US and Australian Opens, and the first Black player on the US Davis Cup team.

FAUCI
Director: John Hoffman, Janet Tobias
A surprisingly emotional biography of the immunologist who has advised every President since Ronald Reagan, America’s most visible public health expert.

JULIA
Director: Julie Cohen, Betsy West
A portrait of the trailblazing, exuberant chef who filled TV screens for decades. 

MUHAMMAD ALI
Director: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
A docuseries exploring the icon’s rise in the public eye as he challenges and fights the limits of black personhood in face of the white gaze. 

NUCLEAR FAMILY
Director: Ry Russo-Young
A deeply personal doc series, 20 years in the making, in which the director comes to terms with the emotional tumult of her childhood, when the sperm donor who helped make her, gay civil rights lawyer Tom Steel, sued her lesbian moms for paternity and visitation rights.

PROCESSION
Director: Robert Greene
Six men, each abused by Catholic priests and, decades later, still in search of peace collaborate with the director and a team of therapists to create short films confronting their pasts.

THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Director: James Spinney, Peter Middleton
The definitive story of cinema’s most iconic figure, from an impoverished childhood in London through a spectacular rise to fame, and onto the Hollywood limelight and a self-imposed exile. 

THE RESCUE
Director: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
The harrowing tale of the rescue attempts of a group of 12 teenage athletes and their coach, who became stranded deep underground, as rapidly rising water filled a labyrinthine network of caves they were exploring. 

RIVER
Director: Jennifer Peedom
A travelogue that examines humanity’s increasingly aggressive interventions in the natural flow of rivers.

TORN
Director: Max Lowe
Seventeen years after his death, the body of the director’s famed mountain climber father is discovered, and the family sets out to recover it. 

Backlot:

DARK FRAMES
Director: Tom Thurman
Pulling stills from the archives of the Library of Congress, and featuring clips from noir classics, a poetic, darkly humorous journey through the underbelly of American culture.

JOYCE CAROL OATES: A BODY IN THE SERVICE OF MIND
Director: Stig Björkman
Through a long-standing friendship, and persistent inquiry, the director is granted unprecedented access to document the world of the intensely private writer.

LAND OF GOLD
Director: Peter Sellars
Documenting the rehearsals leading up to director/librettist Peter Sellars and composer John Adams 2017 premiere of The Girls of the Golden West, about the settling of California, detonating the myth of Western expansion. 

STAY PRAYED UP
Director: DL Anderson, Matt Durning
The gospel trio The Branchettes prepare to record their live album in the modest congregation of their youth, in this passionate yet humble portrait of an artist. 

Special Screenings:

EL GRAN FELLOVE
Director: Matt Dillon
Living in Mexico and forgotten, a Cuban scat singer is enlisted by a Los Angeles producer to make one last album.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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