HBO has struck the first deal of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, acquiring the U.S. TV rights to director Dan Argott’s new documentary “Believer.”
The film follows Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons fame as he investigates the Mormon Church’s treatment of its LGBTQ members.
Reynolds also explores the policies of the Church that purposely ostracize the marginalized sector of its congregation and how those policies relate to the rapid increase in teenage suicide rates in Utah over the past decade.
“Believer” is likely to be a hot-button offering at Sundance which is held yearly in Park City, Utah.
Reynolds, who is Mormon, said his aim is to provoke meaningful gay rights discussions within Mormonism on a larger scale.
Days after filmmaker Morgan Spurlock posted his essay “I am part of the problem” on Twitter, his movie, “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!,” has been pulled from the Sundance Film Festival.
The decision to pull the documentaryfrom the festival came after YouTube Red said that it would not distribute “Super Size Me 2,” which it had bought the rights to for $3.5 million after this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“The Stranger” was awarded the top prize against eight finalists in the Viewfinders competition, chosen by the programmers for its distinct directorial vision. The film follows a 25-year-old single mother who meets the man of her dreams on Facebook, but soon discovers that the charming man has secrets.
“David Bowie: The Last Five Years,” which premiered Nov. 10 at the DOC NYC film festival, is a singular and haunting pop documentary.
It’s a companion piece to “David Bowie: Five Years,” the 2013 documentary in which director Francis Whately meditated on the pivotal period of Bowie’s fame, from 1970 to 1975. That movie dug deep into the heady fascination of the first rock star who was passionate and Warholian at the same time — an image junkie who kept rotating his look and aspect, and did it as casually as most of us change underwear.
“The Last Five Years,” also directed by Whately, was assembled under the shadow of Bowie’s death (he died on Jan. 10, 2016). It’s about a very different man: one who remained, to the end, a committed artist even as he was living as a retired pop star.
Bowie’s exit from the spotlight of celebrity happened quite suddenly on his 2004 Reality Tour. During that series of arena shows, he had never been more joyful or unironic on stage — an ageless satyr-prince, one who was now willing to just stand up and boogie, reveling in the glory of his golden years. But during one show, he collapsed and had to be helped off stage; it turned out he had suffered a minor heart attack. That’s when Bowie called it quits, withdrawing into a meditative New York existence with his wife, Iman.
“David Bowie: The Last Five Years” premieres on HBO in January.
Non-fiction — as in the joy, drama, and wonder of the real — is in the spotlight beginning today at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary film festival.
Held in New York City from November 9 to 16, DOC NYC includes more than 250 feature and short films — many of them local, U.S. or world premieres — as well as special events, including panel discussions and networking sessions for aspiring filmmakers.
The festival’s lineup of films is curated into several sections or themes, including science, performance art, design, domestic and international politics, family, activism, true crime, and New York City itself.