Category Archives: In Brief

Tribeca 2013: Docs in Brief, Part One: Competition & Viewpoints

large_let_the_fire_burn_pubsThe twelfth edition of NYC’s Tribeca Film Festival came to a close just over two weeks ago, but my back-to-back travel schedule has delayed my roundup until now – as it is, I’m writing this from my Reykjavik hotel room with spotty Internet. While readers have likely already noted Tribeca’s awards, for the sake of comprehensiveness, the doc winners included: Best Documentary to THE KILL TEAM, with a Special Mention to OXYANA, which also received the jury award for Best New Documentary Director; Best Editing to LET THE FIRE BURN (pictured); Tribeca (Online) Best Feature to LIL BUB & FRIENDZ; and Documentary Audience Award to BRIDEGROOM. I managed to miss the two bookending award winners, but cover OXYANA and LET THE FIRE BURN below, which covers docs from the Competition and Viewpoints categories, with LIL BUB in a follow up post that includes the Gala, Spotlight, and Special Screenings sections. Continue reading

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Hot Docs Forum 2013 in Brief

Nonfiction insiders got a sneak peek at a number of upcoming projects during the Hot Docs Forum, running alongside the public festival. My article on the pitches that made a roomful of international commissioning editors take notice is up at Indiewire here.

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Hot Docs 2013 In Brief, Part One

hot+docs+logoDue to back-to-back travel, I’m woefully behind in my festival roundups – Tribeca is still in the queue and Hot Docs has now joined the to-do list. I plan to catch up over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I contributed to a brief roundup of ten notable Hot Docs selections for Indiewire last week here.

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Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2013 in Brief, Part Three

to the wolfThis post wraps up my coverage of this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – previous postings may be found here (a pointer to my Indiewire coverage of several Greek titles and works-in-progress) and here (highlights from three fest sections). Below are thoughts on a number of the remaining sections, “Recordings of Memory,” “Habitat,” and “Human Rights.” Continue reading

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Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2013 in Brief, Part Two

bella vistaEarlier this week, I posted a pointer to my Indiewire article on different aspects of this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, including the Docs in Progress selections, several of the Greek films, and the awards. In this and one additional post later this week, I’ll cover a number of other titles screened in the TDF’s various sections. First up, highlights from “Views of the World,” “Stories to Tell,” and “Portraits – Human Journeys.” Continue reading

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Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2013 in Brief, Part One

grocerI just returned from the mother(and father)land last night, having spent five days in Greece for the 15th anniversary Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. It was my second year attending the event for Indiewire, and my article is now up here, covering the awards, the Docs in Progress section, and several of the Greek films – THE GROCER, pictured, represents all three. I plan on posting here later this week with thoughts on additional films screened.

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SXSW 2013: Docs in Brief, Part Three: Other Sections

our nixonMy coverage of non-fiction films from the just completed SXSW wraps up with this look at a few films each from four of the non-competitive sections of the festival, Visions, Special Events, SXGlobal, and 24 Beats Per Second – I previously wrote about Competition and Documentary Spotlight titles. Once again, I didn’t have the opportunity to see all the films in these sections that I was hoping to, and would single out a few that were also on my list – THE GREAT HIP HOP HOAX, THE PUNK SINGER, and BAYOU MAHARAJAH – that I’d like to catch elsewhere. Continue reading

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SXSW 2013: Docs in Brief, Part Two: Documentary Spotlight

fredaContinuing my roundup of SXSW documentary (I wrote about Competition films last week here), today’s post looks at the festival’s non-competitive Documentary Spotlight section. Of the nineteen films in this category, I sadly only got to see seven. I’m especially sad to have missed I AM DIVINE, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, TINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL, REWIND THIS!, THE NETWORK, MEDORA, and this section’s Audience Award winner, AN UNREAL DREAM, but I’ll hopefully get to catch up with those elsewhere on the circuit soon. I’ll cover the remaining sections in a post tomorrow. Continue reading

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SXSW 2013: Docs in Brief, Part One: Competition

windmillEver since my first time there in 2009, SXSW has been one of my favorite stops on my annual festival circuit. There’s a casualness to everything in Austin that makes it feel often less like work and more like fun. Add in good barbecue and Mexican food, fun traditions like seeing films at the Alamo Drafthouse, and catching up with farflung friends, and the event serves as a great transition to Spring spent away from still-too-cold New York City. Of course, this isn’t to discount the films themselves, still the main reason to attend. Even though I missed quite a few titles I’d been hoping to see, I still saw enough of this year’s lineup to devote three posts. Today’s will look at the Competition, while upcoming ones will offer brief thoughts on the Documentary Spotlight, Visions, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal, and Special Events. Continue reading

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True/False 2013 in Brief

expeditionI returned from the 10th anniversary True/False late Sunday night, sadly skipping out on the final day of the festival due to other obligations, and it’s telling as to how much fun I had in Columbia MO that I’ve spent a fairly large chunk of time since then catching up on sleep. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating – this event knows how to stand out in the crowded festival landscape by embracing a sense of celebration and whimsy. From its participatory March March through the center of the small college town, to its truly enjoyable game show event, Gimme Truth, True/False leaves an impression. Throw in genuinely friendly locals, a wildly eclectic group of buskers performing before each screening, and the low-key involvement of a seemingly evergrowing and unexpected assortment of industry colleagues as filmmaker mentors (“swamis”) or film moderators (“ringleaders”), and this festival becomes one that anyone who’s ever attended wants to return to immediately. What follows are brief thoughts on a handful of the films I haven’t previously written about that screened at the festival, all of which notably have an especial concern with their settings. Absent from the list are reactions to the hush hush “Secret Screenings” – you’ll just have to go to Columbia to experience next year’s crop yourself. Continue reading

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