Category Archives: Film Festivals

On TV: THE TRADE

Coming to Showtime tomorrow, Friday, February 2:
THE TRADE

Director:
Matthew Heineman

Premiere:
Sundance 2018

About:
A gripping docuseries examining America’s opioid epidemic through multiple perspectives in the chain, from growers to users to law enforcement.

I profiled the series before Sundance here.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Releases, Sundance

SXSW 2018: Features Lineup Announced

SXSW announced their feature film line-up yeaterday. 132 features will screen in total, which will include some future announcements of additional titles. Following is the list of documentary features so far, broken down by section:

Documentary Feature Competition:
Ten world premieres selected from 1050 submissions.

THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA

CHI-TOWN

Director: Nick Budabin

An underdog basketball player from Chicago goes on a meteoric rise to become one of the best college point guards in the nation. While he pursues dreams of the NBA, his success contrasts with the effects of gun violence on his friends back home.

GARRY WINOGRAND: ALL THINGS ARE PHOTOGRAPHABLE

Director: Sasha Waters Freyer

Artist. Iconoclast. Man of his time. A revealing documentary portrait of the life and work of the acclaimed photographer – an epic storyteller in pictures of America across three turbulent decades.

THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA

Directors: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher

Faith, love, and civil rights collide on voting day in a small Southern town that hosts a famous performance of the last days of Christ and an infamous gospel drag show.

¡LAS SANDINISTAS!

Director: Jenny Murray

Uncovering the disappearing stories of women who shattered barriers to lead combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and who continue to lead Nicaragua’s current struggle for democracy and equality.

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE

Director: Hao Wu

In China’s popular live-streaming showrooms, three millennials – a karaoke singer, a migrant worker, and a rags-to-riches comedian – seek fame, fortune, and human connection, ultimately finding the same promises and perils online as in their real lives.

SOCIAL ANIMALS

Director: Jonathan Green

A daredevil photographer, an aspiring swimsuit model, and a midwest girl next door are all looking for the same things from their Instagram accounts – a little love, acceptance, and, of course, fame – and they’ll do just about anything to get it.

THIS ONE’S FOR THE LADIES

Director: Gene Graham

An exploration of the sexual and social identity of contemporary black America through intimate, eye opening and often hilarious accounts from women and men who find love and community in the underground world of exotic dancing.

TRANSMILITARY

Directors: Gabriel Silverman, Fiona Dawson

At a time when transgender people are banned from serving in the US military, four of the thousands of transgender troops risking discharge fight to attain the freedom they so fiercely protect.

WEED THE PEOPLE

Director: Abby Epstein

Capturing the uplifting and heart-wrenching struggles of families who treat their cancer-stricken children with marijuana, some with astonishing results.

THE WORLD BEFORE YOUR FEET

Director: Jeremy Workman

For over six years, Matt Green, 37, has been walking every street in New York City – a total of more than 8000 miles. The story of one man’s unusual quest and the journey of discovery, humanity, and wonder that ensues.

Documentary Spotlight:
Non-competitive nonfiction section.

ALT-RIGHT: AGE OF RAGE


AGAVE: THE SPIRIT OF A NATION

Directors: Nicholas Kovacic, Matthew Riggieri

In Mexico, families have passed down the tradition of distilling agave for generations. Now, this once obscure Mexican drink is everywhere. Discover how one delicate plant has carried the weight of a nation and the people trying to protect it.

ALI & CAVETT: THE TALE OF THE TAPES

Director: Robert Bader

The life and times of Muhammed Ali shown through the lens of his numerous appearances on THE DICK CAVETT SHOW. The film features new interviews with Dick Cavett, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Larry Merchant, as well as archival material from the show.

ALT-RIGHT: AGE OF RAGE

Director: Adam Bhala Lough

In the first year of Trump’s presidency, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, an Antifa activist, combats the rise of the Alt-Right movement, while Richard Spencer, an Alt-Right leader, fights to gain ground, culminating in a tragic showdown in Charlottesville.

THE BILL MURRAY STORIES: LIFE LESSONS LEARNED FROM A MYTHICAL MAN

Director: Tommy Avallone

One man’s journey to find meaning in Bill Murray’s many unexpected adventures with everyday people, rare and never-before seen footage of the comedic icon participating in stories previously presumed to be urban legend.

BREWMASTER

Director: Douglas Tirola

Following a young, ambitious New York lawyer who struggles to chase his American dream of becoming a brewmaster and a Milwaukee-based professional beer educator as he attempts to become a Master Cicerone.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS

Director: Dana Adam Shapiro

The never-before-told story of Suzanne Mitchell, the fiercely-loyal den mother of the original Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

THE DAWN WALL

Directors: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer

Legendary free climber Tommy Caldwell tries to get over heartbreak by scaling 3000 feett of an impossible rock face: the Dawn Wall of El Capitan.

FROM ALL CORNERS

Director: Ryusuke Okajima

Fuyuki Shimazu, the cardboard picker and artist, creates wallets made from used cardboard which he picks up from 25 countries. His wallets travel around the world to advocate the concept of “upcycling” going beyond recycling or re-use.

GETTING OVER

Director: Jason Charnick

A man discovers a box of interviews with his father, a lifelong heroin addict who died of AIDS in 1997, uncovering generations of family secrets and forcing him to redefine his own past, doubt his present, and question his future.

NOSSA CHAPE

Directors: Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist

Tracking the rebuilding of the Chapecoense football club in Brazil after an airplane carrying the team crashed on November 28th, 2016, and left all but three of the players dead.

OPERATION ODESSA

Director: Tiller Russell

The stranger-than-fiction true story of a Russian mobster, a Miami playboy, and a Cuban spy who teamed up in the early 1990’s to sell a Soviet submarine to the Cali Cartel.

TAKE YOUR PILLS

Director: Alison Klayman

Every era gets the drug it deserves. In America today, where competition is ceaseless from school to the workforce and everyone wants a performance edge, Adderall and other prescription stimulants are the defining drugs of this generation.

TIME TRIAL

Director: Finlay Pretsell

Taking us into the final races of cyclist David Millar’s career, leading to his last encounter with the Tour de France, the film reveals how the human spirit is driven by forces deeper than success and glory.

Visions:
The festival’s risk-taking, innovative section.

MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN

MEOW WOLF: ORIGIN STORY

Directors: Morgan Capps, Jilann Spitzmiller

A group of artists, punks, and weirdos create a subversive DIY collective to disrupt the art establishment in Santa Fe, NM, which in the face of internal turmoil evolves into a cultural phenomenon on the path to becoming a global creative empire.

MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN

Directors: Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting

An exploration of what it means to live in the age of intelligent machines. During this quest, the filmmaker finds out how much of his creativity and human values are at stake as he builds his own robot to replace himself as a filmmaker.

RUKUS

Director: Brett Hanove
r
A hybrid of documentary and fiction, a queer coming-of-age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds.

24 Beats Per Second:
The fest’s music focused strand.

MAKING THE GRADE

ELVIS PRESLEY THE SEARCHER

Director: Thom Zimny

A focus on Elvis Presley as a musical artist, exploring how he accumulated his influences, deconstructing why his sound and his style were so revolutionary, and examining the creative and personal struggles that preceded his death.

IF I LEAVE HERE TOMORROW: A FILM ABOUT LYNYRD SKYNYRD

Director: Stephen Kijak

The story of the greatest American rock band ever. Flying beyond “Free Bird” to celebrate the life and times of leader Ronnie Van Zant, from boogie-woogie beginnings in Jacksonville’s Shantytown to a tragic end in a Mississippi swamp.

MAKING THE GRADE

Director: Ken Wardrop

A feel-good musical journey of piano playing from absolute beginner through to accomplished pianist.

MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS

Director: Jake Meginsky, Co-Director: Neil Young

Weaving blistering performance footage from Europe, Japan, and the US with a sublimely restrained, intimate glimpse into a world-renowned jazz percussionist’s singular voice and complex cosmology.

THE POTENTIAL OF NOISE – CONNY PLANK

Directors: Stephan Plank, Reto Caduff
About the famous German music producer behind Kraftwerk, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Gianna Nannini, Ultravox, and the Eurythmics.

RAPTURE

Directors: Sacha Jenkins, Ben Selkow, Geeta Gandbhir, Steven Caple Jr, Marcus A Clarke, Gabriel Noble

Showcasing the definitive impact of hip hop on global culture. Episodes feature Nas, Dave East, TI, Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz, and Just Blaze.

RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME

Director: Abner Benaim

Portraying one of Latin America´s most beloved singer-songwriters in a journey across his 50-year career. In an intimate way, the film gives us a chance to get to know the artist, his music, and the stories behind them.

A TUBA TO CUBA

Directors: TG Herrington, Danny Clinch

A son seeking to fulfill his late father’s dream takes his band from the storied city of New Orleans to the shores of Cuba, where – through the universal language of music – dark and ancient connections between their peoples reveal the roots of jazz.

Global:
An international showcase.

A LITTLE WISDOM

A LITTLE WISDOM
Director: Yuqi Kang

See the world through the eyes of five-year-old Tibetan novice monk Hopakuli and share in his joys and sorrows as he endures the rigors of monastic life.

RUSH HOUR

Director: Luciana Kaplan

An intimate approach to personal stories of three commuters who spend hours of their lives going from home to work and back, reflecting a common reality shared by billions of people.

TEAM HURRICANE

Director: Annika Berg

A punk chick flick that mixes documentary material with highly stylized fiction.

THEATRE OF WAR

Director: Lola Arias

An essay on how to represent war, performed by former enemies. British and Argentinian veterans of the Falklands War come together to discuss, rehearse, and re-enact their memories 35 years after the conflict.

Festival Favorites:
Standouts from other festivals.

CHEF FLYNN


CHEF FLYNN

Director: Cameron Yates

Capturing the coming of age of a prodigy chef, as he navigates a sea of sudden fame, bullying, and his mother’s camera.

CONSTRUCTING ALBERT

Directors: Laura Collado, Jim Loomis

In the world of haute cuisine, the name Adrià is synonymous with creativity. A portrait of younger brother Albert as he strives to establish his own reputation in the world of international haute cuisine after el Bulli.

GENERATION WEALTH

Director: Lauren Greenfield

Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, Lauren Greenfield’s latest documentary bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream, and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism, and greed.

HALF THE PICTURE

Director: Amy Adrion

About the dismal number of women directors working in Hollywood, featuring top female directors sharing their experiences in the industry.

NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER

Director: Narcissister

This hybrid performance/documentary explores how the artist’s complex family history, in particular her relationship with her mother, compelled her to create the masked, erotic performance character Narcissister.

ON HER SHOULDERS

Director: Alexandria Bombach

Nadia Murad is a 23-year-old Yazidi survivor of genocide and sexual slavery by ISIS. Repeating her horrific story to politicians, the media, and the United Nations, she must navigate bureaucracy, politics, and sudden fame to get the world to listen.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Director: Morgan Neville

A look at children’s television host Mr. Rogers’ hard-fought campaign to influence generations of kids and adults in the ways of kindness.

Special Events:
Unique one-off film events.

THE ATOMIC CAFÉ


THE ATOMIC CAFÉ

Directors: Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader, Pierce Rafferty

A 4K digital restoration of the cult classic 1982 documentary.

Episodic:
A focus on work for the small screen.

WARRIORS OF LIBERTY CITY


WARRIORS OF LIBERTY CITY

Directors: Evan Rosenfeld, Andrew Cohn

Following a season with the Liberty City Warriors, a youth football program founded by an unlikely mentor: Luther Campbell, better known as Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew.

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Docpoint 2018 Overview

Festival:
The 17th Docpoint: Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Dates:
January 29-February 5

About:
Over 75 new and recent nonfiction features, in addition to retrospective programming and sorts, screen at this Finnish event. Continue reading

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2018 Sundance Awards

The Sundance Film Festival wraps up with a final full day of screenings on Sunday, January 28, including encores of several of the winning films announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday night. w(n)td will resume regular posting starting Monday, but for now, a list of the awards follows: Continue reading

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Special Note: w(n)td & 2018 Sundance

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival begins tonight, Thursday, January 18, and runs through Sunday, January 28. w(n)td will be on hiatus for the duration while I’m busy with my responsibilities as a Programming Associate for the festival. Aside from a post the morning of January 23 when the Oscar nominations are announced, regular daily weekday posting will not resume until Monday, January 29.

To catch up with Sundance doc programming, here are links to my series of 2018 Sundance documentary profiles, divided by festival section:

US Documentary Competition

BISBEE ’17 | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jarred Alterman/4th Row Films

CRIME + PUNISHMENT | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

DARK MONEY | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Eric Phillips-Horst

THE DEVIL WE KNOW | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

HAL | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by IDIOM Film/RaMell Ross

INVENTING TOMORROW | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by IQ 190 Productions

KAILASH | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

KUSAMA – INFINITY | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Harrie Verstappen

THE LAST RACE | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

MINDING THE GAP | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Bing Liu

ON HER SHOULDERS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alexandria Bombach

THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

SEEING ALLRED | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Alex Pollini

THE SENTENCE | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

 

World Cinema Documentary Competition

ANOTE’S ARK | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Matthieu Rytz

THE CLEANERS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by gebrueder beetz filmproduktion

GENESIS 2.0 | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Evgenia Arbugaeva

MATANGI/MAYA/MIA | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

OF FATHERS & SONS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Kahtan Hasson and Talal Derki

THE OSLO DIARIES | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Saar Yaacov

OUR NEW PRESIDENT | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

A POLAR YEAR | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

SHIRKERS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

THIS IS HOME | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Gidalya Pictures

WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Pierre Verdy

A WOMAN CAPTURED | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Bernadett Tuza Ritter

 

Documentary Premieres

AKICITA: THE BATTLE OF STANDING ROCK | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

BAD REPUTATION | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Kevin Kerslake

BELIEVER | Courtesy of Sundance Institute / photo by Dan Argott

CHEF FLYNN | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Will McGarry

THE GAME CHANGERS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by The Game Changers

GENERATION WEALTH | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lauren Greenfield

HALF THE PICTURE | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ashly Covington

JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo courtesy of Everett Collection

KING IN THE WILDERNESS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Flip Schulke Archives/Getty Images

QUIET HEROES | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Torben Bernhard

RBG | Courtesy of Sundance Institute and CNN Films

ROBIN WILLIAMS: COME INSIDE MY MIND | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Mark Sennet

STUDIO 54 | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jim Judkis

 

Next

306 HOLLYWOOD | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Elan Bogarín and Jonathan Bogarín

 

Kids

SCIENCE FAIR | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Pete Alton

 

New Frontier

NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by PJ Norman

A THOUSAND THOUGHTS | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

 

Special Events

THE KING | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by David Kuhn

THE TRADE | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

WILD WILD COUNTRY | Courtesy of Sundance Institute

 

Indie Episodic

AMERICA TO ME | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Participant Media

THE MORTIFIED GUIDE | Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival | photo by Rebecca Aranda

THE SHOW ABOUT THE SHOW | Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Stephen Melichar

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2018 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE SHOW ABOUT THE SHOW (Season 2)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Stephen Melichar

THE SHOW ABOUT THE SHOW (Season 2) (part of Indie Episodic Program 4)
Caveh Zahedi resumes his acclaimed hybrid series, in which each episode examines the preceding one.

Festival Section:
Indie Episodic
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2018 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE MORTIFIED GUIDE

Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival | photo by Rebecca Aranda

THE MORTIFIED GUIDE (part of Indie Episodic Program 2)
Storytellers share personal tales of growing up, reading from their old diaries.

Festival Section:
Indie Episodic
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