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In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm

In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm
It’s never easy being green, but if you’re a documentary filmmaker it can have its advantages. Especially come Oscar season.

In the past two decades, 12 directors have taken home the Academy Award for their very first documentary theatrical feature. They include Ezra Edelman (“O.J.: Made in America”), Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove”) and Malik Bendjelloul (“Searching for Sugarman”). Those films beat out docus made by veteran nonfiction helmers like Kirby Dick (“The Invisible War”), Wim Wenders (“Pina”) and Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated”).

When it comes to receiving a nomination in the documentary feature category, the odds are even better. In the last decade more than 20 first time feature docu helmers have nabbed an Oscar nod. They include Ellen Kuras (“The Betrayal — Nerakhoon”), Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington (“Restrepo”), Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”) and John Maloof and Charlie Siskel (“Finding Vivian Maier”).

Comparatively, in the last 10 years,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Reina Gossett Says “Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” Director Stole Her Work

Gossett: Janet Mock’s Instagram account

The director of the new Netflix doc “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” David France, has come under fire for allegedly stealing ideas and research from Reina Gossett. Gossett, a filmmaker and activist, took to Instagram to accuse France of pilfering the concept for “Marsha P. Johnson” after seeing the grant application video she and Sasha Wortzel sent for their short narrative film, “Happy Birthday, Marsha!”

Both Gossett and Wortzel and France’s projects center of Marsha P. Johnson, an Lgbt activist, Stonewall vet, and trans woman. “Happy Birthday” reimagines Johnson and fellow activist Sylvia Rivera’s lives in the hours leading up to the Stonewall Riots. As its title suggests, France’s documentary explores Johnson’s life as well as the mysterious circumstances surrounding her 1992 death, which was originally deemed a suicide before being investigated as a possible homicide 20 years later.

According to Gossett, France saw the video she and Wortzel sent to the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College and decided to claim the project for himself. “He told the people who worked there — I shit you not — that he should be the one to do this film,” Gossett said on Instagram. She says that France then received a grant from Sundance/Arcus, stole her research, asked Wortzel for their creative contacts, and hired “Happy Birthday, Marsha!” advisor Kimberly Reed as a producer.

Gossett, who is a black trans woman, added: “This kind of extraction/excavation of black life, disabled life, poor life, trans life is so old and so deeply connected to the violence Marsha had to deal with throughout her life.”

https://medium.com/media/764dc91dced561bdca10242d747bfd7f/href

Janet Mock, a trans activist and writer, voiced her support of Gossett on Instagram. “Reina is a black trans woman who reintroduced our generation to ourselves by uncovering and recentering trans women of color revolutionaries…This brilliant black trans girl went about researching, archiving, and digitizing content that was previously inaccessible for decades. She interviewed Marsha and Sylvia’s peers. She did this work without pay. Today, this black trans woman’s work about a black trans woman was used to make a film helmed by a credentialed white cis man aided by Netflix’s millions,” she wrote. “These are our stories, our lives and we will not be erased or silenced.”

France, who previously helmed the AIDS crisis doc “How to Survive a Plague,” denied appropriating Gossett’s work on Twitter. “I learned of [‘Happy Birthday, Marsha’] well into our work and reached out, worried we were duplicating efforts. We were not.” He continued: “Marsha’s and Sylvia’s inspiring stories have been told before and must be told again with many voices, especially by trans women who have an even harder time raising funds than we did. That’s why we fully support Reina and Sasha’s beautiful film.”

We’ll have to see how the situation plays out, but Gossett’s voice needs to be heard. Non-white trans stories are seldom told and when they are, they are usually shared from a white cis perspective. Even if the research and concepts of “Happy Birthday” and “Marsha P. Johnson” are completely distinct, it’s worth remembering that France’s film is the one receiving the attention, accolades, and money.

Reina Gossett Says “Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” Director Stole Her Work was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Doc Corner: 'The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson'

by Glenn Dunks

It is sadly just a matter of fact that women of colour rarely get documentaries made about them without tragedy informing their very existence. “Death” is even right there at the start of the title for David France’s new film about one such pioneering person. And indeed, the mystery surrounding Marsha P. Johnson’s death is what acts as the central spine of his The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson as one activist, Victoria Cruz, sets about solving the mystery of the death of another activist 25 years ago.

But like the literal meaning behind the title of France’s last film, the Oscar-nominated masterwork How to Survive a Plague, this new film is also about “life” and surviving and ultimately acts as a testament to Johnson’s tenacity and pure force-of-nature attitude in the face of adversity – a tired cliché of a phrase that is nonetheless truly warranted here.
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Mindhunter’ Trailer: New David Fincher Netflix Series Offers a First Look at ‘The Co-Ed Killer’

  • Indiewire
‘Mindhunter’ Trailer: New David Fincher Netflix Series Offers a First Look at ‘The Co-Ed Killer’
We’re just days away from the release of “Mindhunter,” and while our multiple previous glimpses at the new Netflix series have been downright Fincherian, they’ve been more atmospheric than plot-driven. With the premiere on the horizon, the latest official trailer is finally ready to introduce audiences to a new character.

Mindhunter” follows the based-on-true tales of 1970s FBI agents who enlisted help from serial killers to catch similar criminals on the loose. In the series, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) make their way to federal institutions for some eerie, special assistance.

Read More:‘Mindhunter’: Why David Fincher’s Return to Netflix Could Be More Significant Than ‘House of Cards

Enter “The Co-Ed Killer,” a real-life figure in true crime and California history who’s still in state prison at the California Medical Facility. (As someone who spent his entire childhood in Northern California,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Patton Oswalt: Annihilation’: Trailer For New Stand-Up Special Brings Humor With Hope — Watch

  • Indiewire
‘Patton Oswalt: Annihilation’: Trailer For New Stand-Up Special Brings Humor With Hope — Watch
Patton Oswalt is coping with a tumultuous year the only way he knows how — through humor. His new hour-long comedy special, “Patton Oswalt: Annihilation,” is set to debut on Netflix October 17. The Emmy-winning comedian will be talking about overcoming grief during what he described, in a March Facebook post, as “easily the most horrific 12 months I’ve had to wade through in my 48 years on the planet.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the special was filmed at Chicago’s Athenaeum Theatre and will address the devastating loss of his wife, Michelle McNamara, who died suddenly last April. Enjoying Oswalt’s award-winning 2016 special “Talking For Clapping” wasn’t easy for fans of the comedian, considering the news of his wife’s passing hit the day before its release. But a year later, fans can expect closure, hope, and many, many jokes about the president.

Read More:Patton Oswalt Talks Privacy in the Social Media Age,
See full article at Indiewire »

Netflix Doc ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’: Did Director David France Steal a Filmmaker’s Research?

  • Indiewire
Netflix Doc ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’: Did Director David France Steal a Filmmaker’s Research?
Netflix debuted “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” on Oct. 6, but filmmaker Reina Gossett claims that the documentary’s director, David France, appropriated her idea and research for the project.

“David got inspired to make this film from a grant application video that Sasha [Wortzel] and I made and sent to Kalamazoo/Arcus Foundation social justice center while he was visiting,” Gossett wrote in a statement, shared today on Twitter by author and activist Janet Mock. “He told the people who worked there — I shit you not — that he should be the one to do this film.”

She then alleged that to make his film and secure a grant from the Sundance Institute and the Arcus Foundation, France pilfered her contacts as well as her work on advocacy group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries. Additionally, Gossett wrote that France convinced Vimeo to take down a video she’d uploaded of
See full article at Indiewire »

'The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson' Is Necessary Netflix Viewing for Oft-Forgotten Lgbt History

'The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson' Is Necessary Netflix Viewing for Oft-Forgotten Lgbt History
"If you were in New York -- in gay New York, in queer New York -- during her lifetime, you knew Marsha," documentarian David France says of his latest film's subject, Marsha P. Johnson. "She would call out your name or she would call out, "Hi, doll" and she was dispensing this kind of joy. Her joy was her form of resistance…When '69 happened and the mindset changed within the community and there was an agreement across the board to advocate for liberty, for freedom, nobody really knew what that looked like and Marsha modeled it. She just put it on. She said, 'This is what it's going to be like.' She threw off all convention and she said, 'Freedom is going to be truly free.'"

Marsha "Pay 'Em No Mind" Johnson has been called "the Rosa Parks of the Lgbtq movement," because of the pivotal role she played in the Stonewall riots of 1969. (Some
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

‘Suburra’ Review: Netflix’s Italian Answer to ‘Narcos’ Is a Stylish Mix of Violence, the Vatican, and at Least One Orgy

‘Suburra’ Review: Netflix’s Italian Answer to ‘Narcos’ Is a Stylish Mix of Violence, the Vatican, and at Least One Orgy
Suburra” begins with two haunting and indelible images: the deserted St. Peter’s Basilica, as the camera backs slowly and forebodingly away from it, and then two minutes later, a frenetic, writhing, and illicit drug-fueled orgy. It’s this juxtaposition of the public veneer of Rome and its seedy underbelly that combine and form one sprawling world of corruption.

Read More: 7 New Netflix Shows to Binge in October, and The Best Episodes of Each

Set a few years before the events in the modern crime novel “Suburra” and its film adaptation of the same name, Netflix’s new series is the Italian answer to “Narcos” — but instead of drugs, a stretch of land is the coveted commodity. Also, very little law enforcement is present to keep the various criminals in check in this Italian-language thriller.

First, a warning, as the first episode requires time to digest what’s going on
See full article at Indiewire Television »

The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson review – trans icon inspires stirring documentary

How to Survive a Plague director David France explores the heroic life and tragic death of an often forgotten leader of the gay rights movement in this illuminating, if scattershot, film

One of the many awful decisions made in Roland Emmerich’s punishingly tone-deaf 2015 turkey Stonewall was the positioning of a fresh-faced “straight-acting” white twink as the face of the burgeoning gay rights movement in 1960s New York. In an attempt to make an unavoidably queer story more hetero-accessible, Emmerich became part of a tradition of covering up the vital groundwork done by the trans community for the rest of the Lgbtq population.

Related: Five Came Back review – riveting Netflix history of how Hollywood took on Hitler

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Archival Vérité: David France Talks about "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson"

  • MUBI
David France, an experienced and distinguished investigative reporter with a specific interest in issues relating to the Lgbt community, turned to documentary filmmaking in 2012 with his first feature How To Survive a Plague. Welding together vast amounts of archive and research sources in a style France describes as “archival verité” to compile a visual history of the AIDS activism he’d been writing about since the earliest days of the crisis, his film provided a comprehensive, compelling document of the epidemic and those fighting for recognition and a response to it. A similar style is used in France’s latest film, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, another intensely researched and deeply felt portrait that tells a similarly fraught and complex story. Marsha, a prominent personality in New York’s emergent late 60s transgender community and a key figure in the Stonewall Rebellion, died in 1992 in mysterious circumstances.
See full article at MUBI »

Was Lgbtq Icon Marsha P. Johnson Killed Because of Her Activism?

  • PEOPLE.com
Was Lgbtq Icon Marsha P. Johnson Killed Because of Her Activism?
Despite the years of adversity faced by self-described drag queen and activist Marsha P. Johnson — a participant in the Stonewall riots and an icon of New York City’s Lgbtq community — she is mostly remembered for her joy.

“She threw off all convention and re-invented life, really, around unhindered self-expression,” says filmmaker David France, who met Johnson soon after he moved from the Midwest to N.Y.C., where she was a “fixture” of the gay scene.

A familiar face along Manhattan’s Christopher Street, where she was often wreathed with flowers, Johnson is regarded as a key figure in
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in October

10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in October
Sure, there's a chewy Lgbtq true-crime doc, a stand-up comic's most personal special yet, another new anthology show, a late-night talkfest starring Sarah Silverman, a standout movie from Noah Baumbach and not one but two historical serial-killer dramas. But what you're waiting for is the return of Stranger Things, and rest assured, you're about to have your Reagan-era nostalgia itch oh-so-mightily scratched. Here's the lowdown on what you'll be streaming over the next month.

Acceptable Risk (Acorn, Oct. 16th)

Say a guy gets killed while on business in Berlin. Chances
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson’ Trailer: Docu Tells The Overlooked Story Of Trans Activist

  • Deadline
‘The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson’ Trailer: Docu Tells The Overlooked Story Of Trans Activist
The new trailer for the Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson from Academy Award-nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague) puts the spotlight on the titular Johnson, who has been dubbed as the Rosa Parks of the Lgbt movement. In 1992, Johnson was found dead and floating in the Hudson River. The NYPD chalked it up as a suicide, but the docu goes into why this might not be the case. Johnson’s friend and fellow activist Victoria Cruz
See full article at Deadline »

First Trailer for Netflix's 'The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson' Doc

"Don't play detective yourself..." Netflix has debuted an official trailer for a documentary titled The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, the latest film from the director of the Academy Award-nominated How to Survive a Plague. David France's new doc is about a civil rights activist named Marsha P. Johnson. She was found dead in the Hudson River in 1992, though there was no investigation because the NYPD ruled it a suicide. Johnson was the "beloved, self-described 'street queen' of NY's gay ghetto" who fought for many great human rights changes back in the 1970s. The doc re-examines her death and dives deeper into what might've happened, spending time with Marsha's old friend and fellow activist Victoria Cruz. After being blown away by How to Survive a Plague, I'll watch anything by David France. This looks very compelling. The trailer (+ poster) for David France's doc The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Who Killed Marsha P. Johnson? Netflix Highlights the Life and Mysterious Death of an Lgbt Icon

  • PEOPLE.com
Who Killed Marsha P. Johnson? Netflix Highlights the Life and Mysterious Death of an Lgbt Icon
Twenty-five years ago — and some 23 years after the start of the modern Lgbt rights movement she championed — Marsha P. Johnson was found floating, dead, in the Hudson River in New York City.

Authorities ruled her death a suicide, despite the objections and incredulity of those who knew her. But Johnson’s case was not forgotten, and the story of her life and death and the search for answers that came after are the subjects of an upcoming Netflix documentary about the transgender activist remembered as the “mayor of Christopher Street.”

Co-written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker David France, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

'City Of Ghosts' wins top prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

  • ScreenDaily
'City Of Ghosts' wins top prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017
Documentary festival announces winners.

Matthew Heineman’s City Of Ghosts has won the grand jury award at Sheffield Doc/Fest (June 9-14).

The award, supported by Screen International and Broadcast, comes with a cash prize of £2,000 ($2,800).

The film covers covert citizen journalist group Rbss (Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently), who are exposing the horrors of life under Isis rule via the media. Amazon have picked up worldwide rights to the film.

On behalf of the jury, Paul Mason said, “City of Ghosts is a passionate portrayal of people who took their lives in their hands to fight an evil that looms over the world. In our discussions we wanted the film makers to answer: who created Isis and who sustains it today? A compelling and vital film.”

The jury also included Andrea Arnold and Anand Pathwardan.

There was also special mentions for The Death And The Life of Marsha P. Johnson, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Netflix acquires 'The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson'

  • ScreenDaily
Netflix acquires 'The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson'
Film will screen at Outfest Los Angeles this summer.

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson, David France’s follow-up to How To Survive A Plague.

The film premiered at Tribeca and explores the murder of the transgender legend and ‘street queen’ of NYC’s gay ghetto, who played a pivotal role in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and established with fellow icon Sylvia Rivera the world’s first trans-rights organization, Star, in 1970.

When Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, police refused to investigate the case and presumed Johnson committed suicide. Twenty-five years after her death, activist Victoria Cruz picks up the case.

Netflix plans a global launch later this year on The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which is presented by Public Square Films. L.A. Teodosio produced and Joy A. Tomchin and Sara Ramirez served as executive producers.

“Almost single-handedly
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Netflix Buys Documentary ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’

Netflix Buys Documentary ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to David France’s documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The documentary is a look at the 1992 murder of a transgender legend, known as “the Rosa Parks of the Lgbt movement.” The film is France’s follow-up to his Academy Award-nominated “How to Survive a Plague.”

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” is presented by Public Square Films. L.A. Teodosio produced and Joy A. Tomchin and Sara Ramirez (“Grey’s Anatomy”) served as executive producers. The film will launch globally on Netflix later this year.

Marsha P. Johnson was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992 and the Nydp initially ruled Johnson’s death as a suicide. The film follows crime-victim advocate Victoria Cruz’s efforts to reexamine what happened and measure the challenges that still face the community.

Johnson played a pivotal
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Netflix And FilmRise Separately Acquire Transgender-Themed Documentary Films

Netflix And FilmRise Separately Acquire Transgender-Themed Documentary Films
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to David France's The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, about the murder of a transgender legend, known as "the Rosa Parks of the Lgbt movement." The film is France's follow-up to his Academy Award nominated How to Survive a Plague. The film will launch globally on Netflix later this year. Johnson was a self-described “street queen” of NYC’s gay ghetto. She was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992 and the NYPD deemed it a…
See full article at Deadline »

Netflix Nabs Doc About Transgender Activist Marsha P. Johnson

Netflix Nabs Doc About Transgender Activist Marsha P. Johnson
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, a documentary about the transgender activist from the director of the Oscar-nominated How to Survive a Plague.

Johnson took part in the historic 1969 Stonewall Riots and went on with fellow activist Sylvia Rivera to form the trans-rights organization Star, an acronym for Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, in 1970. When she was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, her death was attributed to suicide, although the circumstances surrounding it remained a mystery.

"Almost single-handedly, Marsha P. Johnson and her best friend Sylvia...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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