On TV: THE WITNESS

witnessComing to PBS’s Independent Lens next Monday, June 23:
THE WITNESS

Director:
James Solomon

Premiere:
New York Film Festival 2015

Select Festivals:
Palm Springs, Big Sky, Boulder, Hong Kong, Sarasota, Atlanta

Notable Recognition:
The doc has been shortlisted for the Academy Awards.

About:
Kitty Genovese’s brother searches for the truth behind her notorious 1964 murder.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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On TV: BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN

beware_of_slendermanComing to HBO this coming Monday, June 23:
BEWARE THE SLENDERMAN

Director:
Irene Taylor Brodsky

Premiere:
SXSW 2016

Select Festivals:
DOC NYC, Nantucket, IDFA, Hot Docs, Montclair, Seattle, Docuwest, Fantasia, New Zealand, Melbourne

About:
An insidious Internet meme inspires a shocking murder attempt.

I previously wrote about the doc for Nantucket, saying:
Offering a sensitive investigation of a disturbing true-life crime, Irene Taylor Brodsky chronicles the 2014 case of a pair of 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who attempted to murder their friend to appease the Slenderman, an Internet bogeyman they were convinced otherwise would harm their families. In the wake of this strange crime, the girls’ parents and authorities try to make sense of this Web legend and how quickly and firmly it became cemented in the minds of impressionable young people. Eschewing sensationalism and facile answers, Brodsky tells a complex cautionary tale that questions how much parents truly know about what their kids do online.

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On VOD: HUNTWATCH

huntwatchComing to VOD today, Tuesday, January 17:
HUNTWATCH

Director:
Brant Backlund

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2015

Select Festivals:
Santa Barbara, Sedona, Boulder, Newport Beach

About:
A man makes it his life’s work to save Arctic seals.

I previously wrote about the doc here.

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In Theatres & On VOD: THE SUNSHINE MAKERS

THESUNSHINEMAKERS-KEYComing to theatres this Friday, January 20 and to VOD next Friday, January 27:
THE SUNSHINE MAKERS

Director:
Cosmo Feilding Mellen

Premiere:
DOC NYC 2015

About:
A secret history of the popularization of LSD in 1960s America.

I previously wrote about the film for DOC NYC’s program, saying:
A real-life BREAKING BAD for the psychedelic set, Cosmo Feilding Mellen reveals the entertaining, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counterculture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid – including the gold standard for quality LSD, Orange Sunshine – as they tried to stay one step ahead of the feds.

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2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: HOT GIRLS WANTED: TURNED ON

hot girls wantedHOT GIRLS WANTED: TURNED ON
The online world of porn and its impact on real life is explored in this new Netflix docuseries.

Festival Section:
Special Events

Program:
Docuseries Showcase
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In Theatres: LEONARD COHEN: BIRD ON A WIRE

leonard_cohenComing to NYC’s Film Forum tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18:
LEONARD COHEN: BIRD ON A WIRE

Director:
Tony Palmer

Premiere:
London’s Rainbow Theatre (1974), Krakow’s Leonard Cohen Festival (2010)

Select Festivals:
Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival, In-Edit, Midnight Sun

About:
Life on tour with Leonard Cohen in 1972.

In the Spring of 1972, Palmer followed Leonard Cohen on his European (and Israeli) tour, capturing several performances often marred by poor sound equipment, backstage moments, press junkets, and interactions with fans. Cohen’s dissatisfaction with the concert film resulted in a re-edit and delay of its premiere until 1974, after which it more or less vanished aside from bootleg VHS copies. Thought lost, original footage was discovered in 2009 by the son of Cohen’s manager, prompting Palmer to reconstruct a version closer to his original intention. This new/old version debuted in 2010 but was not released theatrically in the US until now, in recognition of the performer’s death this past November. While offering a look at the young Cohen performing some of his best loved songs, the film is more of a candid chronicle of the singer’s life on tour and, especially, how he dealt with mishaps, than it is a standard concert doc, thankfully. Palmer is present for the performer’s insistent attempts to woo an attractive groupie, while also witnessing a gaggle of annoying, entitled fans demanding refunds after a technically-plagued gig, and, in its emotional climax, Cohen quitting the stage in Jerusalem when he’s not feeling the music, only to finally make a poignant return after much backstage discussion.

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2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE HISTORY OF COMEDY

the history of comedyTHE HISTORY OF COMEDY
A sneak-preview of two episodes of a new CNN docuseries exploring the genre across historical, social, and political lines.

Festival Section:
Special Events
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