Oscar-nominated “Edge of Democracy” director Petra Costa embarks on coronavirus documentary project

Oscar-nominated “Edge of Democracy” director Petra Costa embarks on coronavirus documentary project

Source:  Variety

Oscar-nominated director Petra Costa is turning her attention to the COVID-19 pandemic for her next project, “Dystopia.”

The director of Netflix documentary “The Edge of Democracy” fired off a series of tweets last month calling for the public to collaborate on the project by submitting video footage of their lives during the pandemic.

The project aims to reveal the societal problems and inequalities that the coronavirus crisis has put in sharp relief.

“We want to document this urgent moment in which the COVID-19 pandemic brings to surface our deepest structural problems and the inequality that defines our societies,” said Costa on her Twitter feed.

“We want to know what’s going on with your family, your community, your neighborhood and your city.  Film horizontally what you see, think, live and feel today.  We are not asking or encouraging anyone to leave the house!  But, if you really have to leave, please film.”

Costa added: “We want to make a mosaic with different views of the world, to try to make sense of this pandemic.”

Read the story at Variety.


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“The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir on the side of Michael Jordan that few get to see

“The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir on the side of Michael Jordan that few get to see

Source:  IndieWire

There’s likely a significant group of people tuning into “The Last Dance” hoping for a glimpse of the real Michael Jordan.

In some ways, the ten-part documentary series from ESPN and director Jason Hehir shows how that distinction may be difficult to make.

Try as Jordan may have during the height of his cultural ascension to put forward a version of himself to a hungry public, “The Last Dance” shows many of the ways that the idea of Michael Jordan was cultivated beyond his control.

Still, as Hehir told IndieWire earlier this month, the hours he spent with Jordan over the course of three separate interview sessions helped shine a light on a side of the global superstar that few others get the chance to see.

Read the story at IndieWire.


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“Tomboy” filmmakers on the power of female drummers, SXSW cancellation

“Tomboy” filmmakers on the power of female drummers, SXSW cancellation

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Tomboy was one of the many independent documentary features scheduled to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this month, but the event’s abrupt cancellation because of the coronavirus pandemic led the filmmakers to scramble to figure out new plans to get their film onto screens.

Lindsay Lindenbaum’s documentary, an in-depth look at the experience of four professional female drummers, was slated to debut in the film festival’s 24 Beats Per Second category, which spotlights work about music and musicians.

With the traditional avenues taken by independent filmmakers no longer available amid the pandemic, Lindebaum and “Tomboy” producer Eleanor Emptage are working to figure out what comes next.

The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with the filmmakers about the making of “Tomboy” and their hopes for the project.

Read the interview at The Hollywood Reporter.


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An interview with “The Social Dilemma” director Jeff Orlowski

An interview with “The Social Dilemma” director Jeff Orlowski

Source:  FirstShowing

We’re all addicted to technology – the internet, social media, messaging, news.

Jeff Orlowski’s “The Social Dilemma” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, is the latest to make a film about this dilemma.

For the past ten years, Orlowski has been making extraordinary films about climate change’s effects about the planet.  His feature documentary, “Chasing Ice,” landed him an Oscar nomination.  He then followed that up with “Chasing Coral.”

Orlowski’s new film isn’t about climate change this time.  Instead, it’s about how and why climate deniers still exist.  What’s fueling their belief and is technology helping spread misinformation that encourages more denialism?

FirstShowing caught up with Orlowski at the Sundance Film Festival and talked with him about his latest film.

Read the interview at FirstShowing.


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Why Ron Howard had to tell the story of “Rebuilding Paradise”

Why Ron Howard had to tell the story of “Rebuilding Paradise”

Source:  The Source

In the fall of 2018, the Camp Fire wreaked havoc on the Northern California town of Paradise, destroying more than 14,000 homes, taking 85 lives, displacing tens of thousands of residents, and earning its place in history as the most destructive wildfire in California history.

The fire served as a political flashpoint, drawing attention to the issues of global warming, environmental preservation, and government disaster management.

For legendary filmmaker Ron Howard, the fire was personal as his mother-in-law had been a Paradise resident and he counted a number of friends amongst those affected.

As the city began to recover and rebuild, Howard and his team began to document it for what would eventually become “Rebuilding Paradise,” a National Geographic feature documentary that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Read the interview at The Source.


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Why Victor Kossakovsky made a nearly wordless doc about the beauty and danger of water

Why Victor Kossakovsky made a nearly wordless doc about the beauty and danger of water

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Victor Kossakovsky’s Oscar-shortlisted feature documentary “Aquarela” is a stark reminder of where human beings stand in the grand scheme of things.

The film travels to seven locations around the world and chronicles how water enchants and endangers each of them.

“Aqualera” opens in Siberia, where cameras capture locals in an SUV chancing their way across a frozen Russian lake to tragic results.  From there, Kossakovsky’s footage of a 100-year storm in the Atlantic Ocean, plus a Miami hurricane, make it apparent that mankind is only a guest of Mother Nature.

The Russian filmmaker, 58, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about what drove him to document the beauty and danger of water and why he decided to forgo a narrator in his nearly wordless film.

Read the interview at The Hollywood Reporter.


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