DOC NYC has announced that it will screen director Greg Barker’s “The Final Year” as its 2017 opening night film.
The documentary feature follows key members of Barack Obama’s administration during his last year in office.
After the doc screens, there will be a conversation with Barker along with one of the film’s subjects, Ben Rhodes, who served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and other senior Obama administration officials.
Agnes Varda, Errol Morris, Steve James, and Laura Poitras are among the documentary filmmakers whose films have been placed on DOC NYC’s 2017 Short List of the year.
The annual list typically serves as an accurate predictor of documentaries that will receive Oscar attention.
The list includes Varda and JR’s wry travelogue, “Faces Places,” Morris’ look at portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, “The B-Side,” James’ chronicle of a small family firm that became the only bank prosecuted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” and Poitras’ film about Julian Assange, “Risk.”
Ninety-nine feature films will dot the sparkling lineup at the 55th New York Film Festival, which kicked off last night with Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying.”
The festival’s documentaries as a whole are a vibrant, varied bunch, teaming with big personalities like Joan Didion, Steven Spielberg and Jane Goodall.
Alex Gibney’s inquiry into the past in “No Stone Unturned” is more journalistic. He calls it “a hardcore criminal investigation.” The documentary peers into the 1994 Loughinisland massacre in Northern Ireland, where six men were gunned down in a pub.
Initially scheduled to premiere at April’s Tribeca Film Festival, the film was postponed at the last minute due to legal concerns around naming the suspects. “We won the argument,” Gibney said after a recent screening, saying his film was little changed.
Two Chinese independent films—Wang Bing’s Golden Leopard-winning “Mrs. Fang” and Xu Bing’s “Dragonfly Eyes”— competed for the Golden Leopard at this year’s Locarno International Film Festival. Wang and Xu are established names whose works speak to the intersection between cinema and contemporary art.
Both of their films belong in the category of experimental/conceptual documentary, and together they provide distinctive windows into contemporary Chinese society.
The selection of documentaries that played at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival consisted of several titles delving into the lives and legacies of influential black and African-American public figures, including “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart.”
Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, the film looks at the impact of Chicago-born playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry who is best known for her landmark play, “A Raisin In The Sun.”
“Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” will air on PBS series American Masters in February.