Amazon acquires Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “One Child Nation”

Amazon acquires Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “One Child Nation”

Source:  Variety

Amazon has acquired the global rights to “One Child Nation,” a documentary about China’s policy of forcibly restricting family size that debuted to great acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  The deal is said to be in the high-six figures.

The sale comes on the heels of the film’s Grand Jury Prize win at Sundance on Saturday.  “One Child Nation” won the top award for filmmaking in the U.S. Documentary category.

Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang produced and directed the film, which looks at China’s state-enforced sterilizations, kidnappings, and other brutal means of preventing its citizens from having more than one child.

The policy lasted from 1979 to 2015, but the film makes it clear that the trauma to make it illegal for couples to have more than one child, endures.

Read the story at Variety.

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Academy announces 2019 Oscar nominees in documentary categories

Academy announces 2019 Oscar nominees in documentary categories

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday the 2019 Oscar nominees in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories.

Documentary Feature

Free Solo

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Minding the Gap

Of Fathers and Sons

RBG

Documentary Short Subject

Black Sheep

End Game

Lifeboat

A Night at the Garden

Period. End of Sentence.

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“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” wins top award at Cinema Eye Honors

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening” wins top award at Cinema Eye Honors

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

RaMell Ross’s “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” an impressionistic portrait of black lives in Alabama, won the top prize, outstanding achievement in nonfiction feature filmmaking, at Thursday’s 12th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.

At the ceremony, hosted by documentary filmmaker Steve James, both Bing Liu’s “Minding the Gap” and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s “Free Solo” won three trophies each.

“Minding the Gap,” which looks at three young skateboarders as they navigate adulthood, won awards for direction, editing, and outstanding debut.

“Free Solo,” which follows free climber Alex Honnold as he climbs the face of Yosemite’s El Capitan, was singled out for outstanding production and cinematography and also won the audience choice prize, voted by the general public.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter. 

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Oscar-shortlisted documentary feature films will screen in 13 cities in January

Oscar-shortlisted documentary feature films will screen in 13 cities in January

Source:  Variety

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, led by the organization’s Future of Film Committee, has announced a new program showcasing the 15 documentary feature films that remain in contention for the 91st Oscars.

“Oscars Spotlight: Documentary Feature Shortlist” will screen theatrically in 13 cities nationwide beginning on Dec. 31 and concluding on Jan. 21 — the day before Oscar nominations are to be announced.

See below for a list of locations (theaters and showtimes are subject to change):

Austin — Alamo Drafthouse Mueller
Boston — AMC Loews Boston Common 19
Chicago — Music Box Theatre
Dallas/Fort Worth — Alamo Drafthouse Lake Highlands
Denver — Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake
Los Angeles — AMC Sunset 5, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Laemmle Playhouse 7 (Pasadena)
New York — IFC Center, Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn
Phoenix — Harkins Shea 14
Raleigh — Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh
San Francisco — Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
Santa Barbara — Santa Barbara International Film Festival Riviera Theatre
Seattle — AMC Pacific Place 11
Washington, D.C. — Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Read the story at Variety.

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Oscars 2019: Academy unveils shortlists for documentary categories

Oscars 2019: Academy unveils shortlists for documentary categories

Source:  Variety

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday announced its shortlists in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories.

The shortlists pare down the list of Oscar hopefuls from which Academy members will choose nominees in each category.

Documentary Feature

“Charm City”
“Communion”
“Crime + Punishment”
“Dark Money”
“The Distant Barking of Dogs”
“Free Solo”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”
“On Her Shoulders”
“RBG”
“Shirkers”
“The Silence of Others”
“Three Identical Strangers”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Documentary – Short Subject

“Black Sheep”
“End Game”
“Lifeboat”
“Los Comandos”
“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes”
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End of Sentence.”
“’63 Boycott”
“Women of the Gulag”
“Zion”

The Oscar nominees will be announced Jan. 22, while the 91st Annual Academy Awards ceremony is set for Sunday, Feb. 24, and will air live on ABC.

Read the story at Variety.

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Five misconceptions about Errol Morris’s “American Dharma” and why it’s still without distribution

Five misconceptions about Errol Morris’s “American Dharma” and why it’s still without distribution

Source:  Filmmaker Magazine

This past fall, the stage was perfectly set for the release of Errol Morris’s latest documentary, “American Dharma.” An Oscar-winning director takes on Steve Bannon, perhaps the most controversial figure of the Trump presidency. The film nabs Oscar-season festival premieres at Venice and Toronto, and it’s an acquisition title launching during one of the hottest documentary markets in a decade.

On Twitter, excited fans declare, “Can’t wait!” while the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and several other major press outlets all publish interviews with Morris where he sets up the project as a portrait of Bannon’s “bullshit,” “incoherent” ideology.

Yet despite all the buzz, “American Dharma” remains without distribution three months after its premiere. After the film was warmly embraced at IDFA in the Netherlands, Morris told Filmmaker Magazine, “Still nothing, although there are a few post-midterm nibbles.”

While it sounds like a distribution deal will be announced by early next year, with both interest in the U.S. and especially in international markets, what happened to one of the season’s most anticipated documentaries?

Read the story at Filmmaker Magazine.

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