“Reason” wins top prize at IDFA

“Reason” wins top prize at IDFA

Source:  Deadline

Anand Patwardhan’s “Reason” won the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary at the 31st International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Nov. 14 – 25).

The film, told in eight parts, charts the rise of religious and nationalist fundamentalism in Indian society.

Dogs-in-a-skatepark doc, “Los Reyes,” was awarded the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary.

See the complete list of winners at the IDFA website. 

Read the story at Deadline.

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DOC NYC: “A Little Wisdom”, “Short in the Absence” Among Winners

DOC NYC: “A Little Wisdom”, “Short in the Absence” Among Winners

Source:  Deadline

DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival, unveiled the winners of their ninth annual festival last night in Manhattan.

“A Little Wisdom,” “Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground,” and “Short In the Absence” won grand jury prizes while “Out of Omaha” nabbed the Audience Award.

This year’s DOC NYC kicked off November 8 and concludes tomorrow.

See the complete list of winners at Deadline.

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Real life takes center stage at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival

Real life takes center stage at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival

Source:  CBS News

Non-fiction is the star attraction on screens in New York City beginning today with the start of DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival.

The week-long festival includes more than 250 features and short films (including many world, US and NYC premieres), as well as special events, including panel discussions, appearances by noted documentary directors, and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.

Among the highlights of this year’s festival is the Opening Night feature, The Biggest Little Farm,” the sweet story of a young couple who decide to chuck their lives in the city and start a 200-acre farm north of Los Angeles.

Over seven years, filmmaker John Chester and his culinary writer-wife Molly Chester transformed an arid plot of land that had long ago seen any productivity into the lush, verdant Apricot Lane Farms, home of sustainable agriculture and a panoply of livestock.

Another highlight is “Of Fathers and Sons.” Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema – Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film is Syrian-born director Talal Derki’s deep dive into the personal lives of radical Islamist fighters – men, he says, “who long for war.”

Posing as a journalist sympathetic to their cause, Derki was able to gain incredible access to the homes of members of the Al-Nusra Front (one of the competing Islamist groups fighting Syrian government forces). Over the course of two years Derki followed these fathers as they shape their young children into prospective warriors.

The disconnect between parental tenderness and cold-blooded training in military-style camps is jarring, while scenes of the kids playing amid the ordnance and ruins of battle are crushing.

Read the story at CBS News.

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Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival founder Marek Hovorka talks about the journey to major player status

Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival founder Marek Hovorka talks about the journey to major player status

Source:  Variety

Marek Hovorka, a native of the city of Jihlava in the Czech Republic, founded its biggest cultural event some 22 years ago at a time when films were submitted on VHS cassettes in bubble wrap and invitations sent out via fax machine.

Today the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival is a nexus for work from around the world and a key player in the influential European documentary film industry.

Hovorka reflects on the festival’s humble start, and the unexpected turns it has taken on its road to major player status.

Read the story at Variety.

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DOC NYC announces its 2018 lineup

DOC NYC announces its 2018 lineup

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

DOC NYC, the documentary film festival set to run Nov. 8 -15 in New York City, will open with the New York premiere of John Chester’s “The Biggest Little Farm,” which recounts efforts to establish a biodynamic farm and will close with the world premiere of “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists,” a portrait of journalists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill directed by Jonathan Alter, John Block, and Steve McCarthy.

The festival’s centerpiece presentation will be the world premiere of “Original Cast Album: Co-op,” an episode of IFC’s Documentary Now! series that parodies D.A. Pennebaker’s classic doc “Original Cast Album: Company,” followed by a conversation with creators Seth Meyers and Rhys Thomas, director Alex Buono, writer-star John Mulaney, and star Renee Elise Goldsberry.

The upcoming festival will screen 135 feature-length documentaries among more than 300 films and events overall, organizers announced Thursday as it revealed its lineup.

The complete lineup and schedule can be found at DOC NYC.

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Meet the Press Film Festival will focus on midterm election issues

Meet the Press Film Festival will focus on midterm election issues

Source:  American Film Institute

The 2018 Meet the Press Film Festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute will feature 23 short-length documentaries spotlighting critical issues ahead of the U.S. midterm elections.

The festival will be held on October 7 & 8 in Washington, DC.

The films — three of which will make their world premieres — will focus on issues affecting millions of Americans as they prepare to cast their ballots in November, such as immigration, voting rights, and gun control.

Selected films include those from HBO, Netflix, The New York Times, and filmmakers from across the country.

Each screening will include a Q&A with the filmmaker, moderated by NBC News correspondents and anchors, including Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Craig Melvin, Jacob Soboroff, Hallie Jackson, Kasie Hunt, Kristen Welker, and Harry Smith.

During its inaugural year in 2017, the Meet the Press Film Festival showcased 16 short documentaries exploring wide-ranging issues. Three of the films were nominated for Academy Awards.

Read the story at the American Film Institute. 

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