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Here Are the Comedy Contenders In the 2016 Emmys Race — Screen Talk, Emmys Edition

22 June 2016 4:15 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Everyone has a different definition of funny, but there must be some consensus in the 2016 Emmy race for Outstanding Comedy Series. In this special Emmys edition of Screen Talk, Anne Thompson and Michael Schneider discuss some of the big contenders as well as the possibility of a few surprises.

Listen to the full episode above.

Screen Talk is available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of Indiewire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Festivals newsletter here. Related storiesHow 'Mr. Robot »

- Indiewire Staff

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How ‘Mr. Robot’ Achieved Its Splintered Psychology (Emmy Watch)

22 June 2016 2:18 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Mr. Robot,” the psychological thriller created by Sam Esmail, captures the social anxiety disorder of vigilante hacker Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) in a way that makes him both scary and empathetic.

“It’s channeling something going on in the world… it’s like ‘Catcher in the Rye,'” said Philip Harrison, who edited three episodes including the finale.

Alderson is recruited by mysterious fsociety founder, Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) to help bring down corporate America, including the company he’s paid to protect as cybersecurity engineer.

“Sam has slowed down the pace so we can trust the story,” continued Harrison (who previously cut the more conventional “Glee”). “And that’s been a real adjustment for me. It definitely puts you in the brain space as Elliot. I have to trust that I have the skills to construct it as an overall episode. Looking at it again through Sam’s eyes, »

- Bill Desowitz

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‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series

22 June 2016 8:48 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, “The New Yorker Presents,” which Amazon revealed in weekly installments starting in February, is unlike anything else. Each of the 10 half-hour episodes is a uniquely curated set of documentary and fiction shorts, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons drawn from the rich content of The New Yorker. Both unexpected and hugely entertaining, the series is up for Emmy consideration in the informational program category.

Look at the range of the first two shows. They include Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) on bull riding, Edwidge Danticat on the connection between Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” and outbreaks of racist violence in America, Nick Paumgarten on closing the $2.4 billion Revel casino, cartoons by Roz Chast, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liana Finck, a look at The New Yorker’s archive library and fact-checking department, a beekeeper and a man who raises pigeons who work atop tall buildings, and »

- Anne Thompson

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‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series

22 June 2016 8:48 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, “The New Yorker Presents,” which Amazon revealed in weekly installments starting in February, is unlike anything else. Each of the 10 half-hour episodes is a uniquely curated set of documentary and fiction shorts, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons drawn from the rich content of The New Yorker. Both unexpected and hugely entertaining, the series is up for Emmy consideration in the informational program category.

Look at the range of the first two shows. They include Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) on bull riding, Edwidge Danticat on the connection between Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” and outbreaks of racist violence in America, Nick Paumgarten on closing the $2.4 billion Revel casino, cartoons by Roz Chast, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liana Finck, a look at The New Yorker’s archive library and fact-checking department, a beekeeper and a man who raises pigeons who work atop tall buildings, and »

- Anne Thompson

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2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

21 June 2016 4:24 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Quick Hits

Last Year’s Winner: “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” Was It an Upset? Nope. Still Eligible? Nope. Hot Streak: “American Masters” has been nominated three years in a row – every year the category has existed. Fun Fact: Though only around for the past three years, four trophies have been handed out in this category. In 2014, “American Masters” and “Years of Living Dangerously” tied.

For a young category, there sure is a lot of competition. The Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series got a boost last year after “The Jinx” turned into a national phenomenon. HBO’s docu-series on Robert Durst won the pay cable giant another golden statue, but this year the heart of the competition stems from new networks.

Netflix has the hottest horse in the race with “Making a Murderer,” but it will also try (again) to get “Chef’s Table” into the race. »

- Ben Travers

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Rob Lowe on Grinding On After ‘The Grinder,’ and Why It Still Deserves Awards Love (Consider This)

20 June 2016 12:09 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

The funny thing about the Emmys is how long the campaign season actually runs. Even though the first round of voting takes place in June (with nominations announced on July 14), the PR machines kick in as early as February – for awards that aren’t announced until September 18. That means some Emmy “For Your Consideration” interviews are conducted long before stars and producers learn the fate of their shows.

Such was the case of Rob Lowe and his exquisite experiment, “The Grinder.” Indiewire spoke with the talented thespian a month before Fox axed the critically-hailed comedy, and — while we spoke again for the season finale — what he had to say at the time is relevant to what happened to “The Grinder.” We talked to him again after news of the cancellation hit, and the below interview represents a lightly edited transcript of those two conversations.

Most importantly, Lowe’s impeccable, daring »

- Ben Travers

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‘The Leftovers’: An Oral History of the Finale’s Karaoke Scene, from Damon Lindelof & Justin Theroux

20 June 2016 12:04 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

“One of the things I’m most proud of is the sequence with Kevin Garvey singing “Homeward Bound.” — Mimi Leder

“The karaoke scene was probably the most deeply uncomfortable scene I had to shoot.” — Justin Theroux

“If you try to explain to someone, ‘Here’s what happened in the finale of “The Leftovers,”‘ you sound insane.” — Damon Lindelof

[Spoilers for “The Leftovers” Season 2 are below.]

The second season of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta’s magnificent exploration of belief, faith and family included its fair share of bold moments. Its opening sequence tracked a cave woman giving birth in rural Texas. Its first episode barely featured its main stars, shifting instead to a whole new family in a brand new location. And then came “International Assassin,” the season’s eighth episode that tracked Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) into the afterlife; an afterlife set in a hotel where he donned a suit, became an assassin and had to »

- Ben Travers

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AFI Docs Film Festival Showcases Unique Perspectives

16 June 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Last year, Michael Lumpkin arrived as director of Washington, D.C.’s, five-day AFI Docs Film Festival a mere six short months before his inaugural fest. For his second go-round, he has had the whole year to prepare and promises a festival that is more international and “diverse, in terms of the types of films, where they come from, and who’s making them.”

The festival, previously known as SilverDocs, also continues its gradual move from its first home in Silver Spring, Md., to a centralized hub in the heart of D.C. The vast majority of screenings will be held at the Newseum and the nearby Landmark E Street, opening with Alex Gibney’s “Zero Days” on June 22, and closing with Rachel Grady’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” on June 26.

All told, the fest will screen 94 films from 30 countries, including Robert Kenner’s nuclear warhead expose “Command and Control,” Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s baseball doc “Doc and Darryl,” Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor’s “Check It,” and Nicole Opper’s “Visitors Day.” Werner Herzog will be on hand for a panel as the Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree, followed by a screening of his internet-history film “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World,” with additional panels scheduled to discuss diversity in documentary filmmaking, shortform docs and virtual reality.

As always, the festival boasts an unusual character thanks to its brief duration — less than half the allotment for its biggest counterparts, such as Amsterdam’s Idfa and Toronto’s Hot Docs — but the five-day span allows Lumpkin and his team to program with a mind toward thematic coherence.

“You have to say ‘no’ to films that you really, really love,” Lumpkin says. “So that forces you to really think about it and consider the entire program you’re presenting. Yes, all the films are great, but how do they fit in together as a festival?”

Despite taking place in the nation’s capital shortly before the two party conventions, Lumpkin says that the political atmosphere didn’t play an outsize role in programming. But as one would expect from a documentary festival, hot-button current events will rarely be far from the minds of those attending. (Speaking of which, the fest’s attendance rose from 11,000 to 15,000 from 2014 to ’15, and Lumpkin expects a “significant increase” this year.)

In particular, Lumpkin calls attention to the Newseum screenings of Kim A. Snyder’s “Newtown,” about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and the Netflix-bound sexual assault documentary “Audrie and Daisy” (pictured above), directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.

“They’re both very important films in terms of those issues, but they both approach the issues in very unique and different ways,” Lumpkin says. “This happened with a number of films this year, where you see the title and the short description, and you think, ‘Oh I’ve seen this film before.’ But you go in and watch it and say, ‘No, I haven’t seen this film, this is something I was not expecting at all.’ And that points to very good filmmaking.”

Lumpkin is also high on Vitaly Mansky’s “Under the Sun,” filmed in North Korea with the oversight of the country’s government, but which, he says, “plays with the format, and uses the actual frame of the image” to give a subtle but revealing glimpse of life in the inhospitable country.

“They were able to really uncover a truth about the culture and the people who live there that, if they had gone in and said, ‘this is what we’re doing,’ they never could have done. So it’s all in the filmmaking, about what they’re choosing to show you or not show you.”

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- Andrew Barker

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Top Women Cinematographers Reveal 7 Best Tips for Career Success

5 June 2016 6:33 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

What does it take to succeed in a man’s world? A Los Angeles Film Festival panel of women cinematographers ivealed what it took to make it to the top of a competitive industry.

1. A shot of LSD. Cinema verite shooter Joan Churchill (“Last Days in Vietnam”) started out by recovering from an eight-hour acid trip, she admitted, to shoot some of the most iconic images from the Rolling Stones Altamont doc, “Gimme Shelter.” That led to the assignment of shooting the Louds in PBS’s “An American Family.” A documentary cameraperson, often working with a hand-held camera and natural light, has to have “people skills,” she said. “You have to be interested in your subjects.” When she moved to London, she couldn’t get work until she joined the Asc—and became its first woman member. Her membership card read: “Lady Cameraman.”

2. Read and reread the script. French-born Maryse Alberti »

- Anne Thompson

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Showtime Boss David Nevins on HBO, ‘Homeland’s’ Future & ‘Twin Peaks’

1 June 2016 12:42 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The talk of the industry might be Peak TV, but Showtime president and CEO David Nevins says his network has never been in a better place to take on the competition.

“Showtime is in the best competitive position we’ve ever been in,” said Nevins, during a conference call with reporters. “A lot of things are going right for us right now.”

Nevins pointed to the cabler’s lineup of series, including “Homeland,” “The Affair,” and “Billions,” adding, “It’s fair to say nobody else has the consistent strength of shows that we have.”

He also credited the network’s roster of talent, saying Showtime has become the “premier destination for top actors and producers around the world.”

“There’s a number of reasons they’re choosing to come to Showtime now,” he said. “Talent knows when we put their shows on the air they’re going to get noticed. »

- Debra Birnbaum

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Best of the Week: from Cannes Awards to Weekend Box Office

29 May 2016 11:32 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Arthouse Audit: Openers Struggle as ‘Love & Friendship’ and ‘The Lobster’ Flourish

Box Office Preview: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Set to Crush ‘Alice’ Sequel

Screen Talk: How the Cannes Festival Will Impact the Rest of the Year

Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, and More Maligned Auteurs: Should We Forgive Them? 

Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’ and Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Get Oscar-Friendly Release Dates

The 12 Hottest Box Office Prospects Coming Out of Cannes

How Miranda Otto Dug Into the Juiciest Women’s Role on Television 

How George Miller’s Competition Jury Picked the Cannes Winners —and Losers

Related stories'Street Heroines' Profiles Female Graffiti Artists Around the World'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' Finally Gets An Official Soundtrack, 30 Years After Film's Release'The New Yorker Presents': How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series »

- Anne Thompson

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Zero Days Trailer: “Welcome To The Next Global War”

24 May 2016 2:30 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney‘s (Taxi to the Dark Side) new movie Zero Days premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and has been playing the film festival tour before it hits theaters this July. The film is about the world of cyberwar. The title is a reference to the concept of a zero […]

The post Zero Days Trailer: “Welcome To The Next Global War” appeared first on /Film. »

- Peter Sciretta

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Watch: New Trailer For Alex Gibney’s Cyberwar Documentary ‘Zero Days’

24 May 2016 10:22 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

“Going Clear: Scientology and the Process of Belief” is one of the more powerful documentaries on the subject of Scientology to see a major release in years, though we all know the film’s release didn’t lack for controversy. Alex Gibney, the film’s director, is a good documentarian in that he has a keen nose for […]

The post Watch: New Trailer For Alex Gibney’s Cyberwar Documentary ‘Zero Days’ appeared first on The Playlist. »

- Nicholas Laskin

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Peabody Awards Live Blog: ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘Black-ish,’ ‘Transparent,’ David Letterman Receive Honors

21 May 2016 4:12 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The 75th annual Peabody Awards are underway in New York, with stars and showrunners of “Mr. Robot,” “Unreal,” “Transparent,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and other programs on hand to accept their kudos. David Letterman and Jon Stewart are also in the house to receive special achievement honors.

Follow Variety‘s live coverage from Cipriani Wall Street here as the winners take the stage.

7:14 p.m.: Host Keagan-Michael Key takes the stage following a goofy video featuring him consulting Fred Armisen and Stephen Colbert on hosting the ceremony.

7:17: Key notes the high level of diversity among the honorees. He calls out Jada Pinkett-Smith as being in the crowd, noting her vocal protest regarding the Oscar nominees this year. When he’s told that she’s not here, he exclaims: “This would have been the one for Jada to come to!”

7:24: Jill Soloway accepts for “Transparent. »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Alex Gibney Takes on Cyber Warfare in Trailer For ‘Zero Days’

21 May 2016 12:00 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

With an output so rapid, we don’t blame you if you’ve missed the last few documentaries from Alex Gibney (Going Clear, Taxi to the Dark Side). His next one, however, you’ll certainly want to pay attention to. Zero Days, which premiered to acclaim at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, tackles cyberwarfare and the the U.S. government’s tactics in the field. We were major fans of it, as our quote in the first trailer will attest to, which Magnolia Pictures has debuted ahead of a release in July.

We said in our review, “With its focus on the U.S. government’s covert advances into the field of cyberwarfare, Zero Days resembles Gibney’s Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, an equally searing indictment of the U.S. military’s government-sanctioned use of torture during the Iraq War. Although his scope is much more ambitious this time around, »

- Jordan Raup

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New Trailer for Alex Gibney's Terrifying Cyber Warfare Doc 'Zero Days'

20 May 2016 5:56 PM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

"Something as simple and innocuous as this becomes a challenge for all of us to maintain accountability control..." Magnolia has debuted a second trailer (see the first one here) for the documentary Zero Days, the latest from Alex Gibney, profiling the "Stuxnet" virus. The documentary premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (read my review) and it's actually about the beginning of the cyber warfare era that we've quietly entered. This trailer barely scratches the surface of what they get into with this doc, though it does feature some of the really chilling lines and moments where you start to realize this is a global issue. This doc is terrifying in the way it makes you feel out of control with what's happening in this world. Enjoy. Here's the second official trailer for Alex Gibney's documentary Zero Days, direct from YouTube: Alex Gibney's Zero Days is »

- Alex Billington

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Cannes 2016: Risk review

19 May 2016 3:25 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★☆ Following the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour, which recorded Edward Snowden blowing the loudest of whistles, Laura Poitras arrives in Cannes' Quinzaine sidebar with Risk, a superb character study of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The divisive and controversial figure is a hero of free speech to some, a reckless egomaniac with predatory sexual practices to others, and both to many more. The prior cinematic treatments of Assange - Alex Gibney's conventional documentary We Steal Secrets and Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate - both came out in 2013 and treated Assange with a largely critical eye. An organisation that is all about anonymity is headed by the largest of personalities; a campaigner against state surveillance uses surveillance to defeat his enemies

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- CineVue UK

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Risk’

19 May 2016 3:13 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In what is essentially a prequel to her Oscar-winning portrait of Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” director Laura Poitras leverages incredible access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange into an intimate and somewhat unwieldy portrait of the world’s single most controversial media personality. Some five years in the making, “Risk” ironically feels like a bit of a rush job, presumably back-burnered in 2013 when her subject presumably handed her an even bigger scoop. Though one can imagine Assange impatiently wasting away under political asylum at London’s Ecuadorian embassy for years while Poitras went off to focus on that story, her long-overdue Assange portrait is all the more essential now that “Citizenfour” has validated much of what WikiLeaks stands for. Even so, the American public seems to have an allergic reaction to Assange, making this a far riskier prospect for any distributor hoping to repeat that film’s $3.5 million success.

Whereas »

- Peter Debruge

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The 2016 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival: New World Disorder

11 May 2016 3:00 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

As the main topic of this year’s festival, Docaviv will feature a select group of thought-provoking films about a world that is changing with the collapse of physical and social boundaries, growing economic disparities, the waves of refugees and immigrants, civil wars, international terrorism, and the ultimate undoing of social solidarity.

Within the framework of this theme the program does not only include documentaries about terror and refugees, but also about a fragmented society which is losing its solidarity. Both in Israel and elsewhere the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, and so are the frustrations and the unrest. Israeli and international titles correlating to these themes can be found throughout the entire festival program: 

“Death in the terminal” - Directors Tali Shemesh (“The Cemetery Club”) and Assaf Surd

A tense, minute-by-minute, Rashomon-style account of a tragic day. On October 18, 2015, a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife entered Beersheba’s bus terminal. Within 18 minutes Omri Levy, a soldier was killed and Abtum Zarhum, Eritrean immigrant asylum seeker, was lynched after being mistaken for a terrorist.  

The Settlers” - Premiered in Sundance, Director Shimon Dotan.

A far-reaching, comprehensive look at the Jewish settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It examines the origins of the settlement movement and the religious and ideological visions that propelled it, while providing an intimate look at the people at the center of the greatest geopolitical challenge now facing Israel and the international community. (Isa Contact: Cinephil)

“Town on a Wire” - premiered at Cph: Dox Dir: Uri Rosenwaks

While Tel Aviv is thriving, just ten minutes away lies the town of Lod, right in the backyard of Israel’s bustling urban center. Unlike its affluent neighbor, Lod is a city that suffers from the blight of racism, crime, and sheer desperation. Can it be saved? Is there some way to bring hope to Lod’s Arab and Jewish residents?

“Foucoammare”/ “Fire at Sea” -  by Gianfranco Rosi - winner of Golden Bear, Berlinale 2016  -every day the inhabitants of the Italian Island Lampedusa are confronted  with the flight of refugees to Europe . These people long for peace and freedom and often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. (Contact Isa: Doc & Film Int’l.  U.S.: Kino Lorber)

“Between fences” – by Avi Mograbi -. In an Israeli detention center asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan can’t be sent back to their own countries, but have no prospects in Israel either thanks to the country’s policies. Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, initiate a theatre workshop to give these people the opportunity to address their own experiences of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that views them as dangerous infiltrators.

A Syrian Love Story” – by Sean McAllister -You can’t be Che Guevara and a mother Amer tells Raghda, but maybe she can't do it any other way. After years of struggle, life without her homeland and the revolution has no meaning for her. It is hard to determine what is more demanding in this bold film: the revolution, or the search for inner peace. (Contact Isa: Cat & Docs)

Homo Sapiens” – by Nikolaus Geyrhalter - what does humanity leave behind when its gone? It sometimes seems as if the mark that humans leave on this planet will last forever. The truth is that the iron, bricks, cement, and steel – the human traces everywhere abandoned and forgotten – are erased by the forces of nature. This unusually beautiful film may lack people and words, but that leaves even more room for thought.(Contact Isa: Autlook) 

“Land of the Enlightened” – Premiered at Sundance Ff 2016. Shot over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation. As American soldiers prepare to leave, we follow De Pue deep into this hidden land where young boys form wild gangs to control trade routes, sell explosives from mines left over from war, making the new rules of war based on the harsh landscape left to them. (Contact Isa: Films Boutique)

“Flickering Truth”  - Premiered at Toronto Ff 2015. Director Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) directs this harrowing, compelling film about the power of cinema to preserve our history and in so doing potentially change our futures. (Contact Isa: Film Sales Company)

Requiem for the American Dream”  -  Directed by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott. In ten chilling but lucid chapters, Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals of our time, analyzes the “system,” which allows wealthy capitalists to seize the reins of government and turn those without wealth into a passive herd, willing to forego power, solidarity, and democracy itself. (U.S.: Gravitas. Contact Isa: Films Transit) 

The festival will open with a first film by Israeli director Roman Shumunov

“Babylon Dreamers” Directed by Roman Somonob.  An intimate report about a troupe of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, from one of Ashdod’s poorest neighborhoods; they struggle to survive facing harsh conditions - poverty, mental illness, and broken families. They channel their anger and cling to their dream of attending and winning the International Breakdance Championship.

Israeli Competition

Some 70 Israeli films produced over the last year were submitted out of which 13 films have been selected for the Israeli Competition. They will be competing for the largest cash prize for documentary filmmaking in Israel 70,000 Nis (Us$ 15,000). Other awards in the competition include the Mayor’s Prize for the Most Promising Filmmaker, the Prize for Editing, the Prize for Cinematography, the Prize for Research, and the Prize for Original Score.

"The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev,"  directors Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas  -Tajikistan’s answer to the Jackson Family. A modern-day Shakespearean tale about a famous Tajik musical family, controlled by their charismatic patriarch-grandfather - Papa Alaev.

"A Tale of Two Balloons" by Zohar Wagner  - The tale of a women who thought a pair of perfect breasts would help her find true love. But when that love came along, those perfect breasts had to go.

"Aida's Secrets," director Alon Schwarz  - At 68, Izak learns he has a brother he never knew about. As part of the discoveries about the family, the film uncovers the story of the Displaced Persons camps- the vibrant and often wild social life that flourished immediately after WW2.

"Child Mother" by Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky - The story of elderly women born in Morocco and Yemen, who were married off when they were still little girls. Only now, as they enter the final chapter of their lives, do they openly face their past and the ways it still affects them and their families.

"The Last Shaman" directed by Raz Degan - Inspired by an article he read, James decides to travel to the Amazon rainforests, in search of a shaman whom he thinks can save him from a clinical depression that haunts him.

"The Patriarch's Room" by Danae Elon  -The bizarre imprisonment of the former head of the Greek Orthodox Church in a tiny monastic cell in Jerusalem’s Old City leads to a fascinating journey in search of the truth, penetrating the remote world of the priesthood. The complex and unfamiliar picture that emerges is revealed here, on camera, for the very first time. 

"Poetics of the Brain" by Nurith Aviv –weaving associative links between her personal biographical stories and neuroscientists’ accounts of their work. They discuss topics such as memory, bilingualism, reading, mirror neurons, smell, traces of experience. 

"Shalom Italia,"  by Tamar Tal Anati (winner of Docaviv for Life in Stills) -Three Italian Jewish brothers set off on a journey through Tuscany, in search of a cave where they hid as children to escape the Nazis. Their quest, full of humor, food and Tuscan landscapes, straddles the boundary between history and myth, both of which really, truly happened.

"Week 23" by Ohad Milstein - Rahel, the daughter of a Swiss bishop, is coping with a difficult pregnancy in Israel. One of the identical twins she is carrying has died in utero, and now poses an almost certain threat to its sibling. The doctors are unequivocal about it. They tell Rahel that she should abort the surviving fetus and end her pregnancy.

"The Settlers" by Shimon Dotan;  Town On A Wire directed by Uri Rosenwaksand  Eyal Blachson;  Death in the Terminal by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry, and  Babylon Dreamers  by Roman Shumunov.

The Members of the selection committee included Sinai Abt, artistic director of the Docaviv Film Festival; director Reuven Brodsky, winner of Docaviv in 2012 for his film Home Movie  and of Honorable Mention at Docaviv in 2015 and film editor Ayelet Ofarim.

Twelve films have been selected for the International Competition, which will open with the The Happy Film by Stefan Seigmeister. Also competing are Jerzy Sladkowski’s Don Juan, winner of the Idfa Award; Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story about the imaginary cult figure who became the darling of New York society and nightlife, picked up by Amazon at Sundance as its first doc title. Another festival favorite is A Flickering Truth and Sean McAllister's daring award winning documentary A Syrian Love Story.

The Depth of Field Competition will open with LoveTrue by director Alma Har’el, who will be a juror for the Israeli Film Competition. This is the Competition’s third year, held in conjunction with the Film Critics’ Forum that will award films for an outstanding and daring artistic vision. Other films that will be screened as part of the competition include Sundance winners Kate Plays Christine by Robert Greene, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened; other titles that will be shown are Hotel Dallas by wife and husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang, The Hong Kong Trilogy  by noted cinematographer Christopher Doyle , and the musical- turned into documentary London Road by Rufus Norris and Alecky Blythe.

The Masters Section, a new category in the festival, highlighting new films by world renowned directors will be opened by Fire at Sea by director Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale. Avi Mograbi’s  Between Fences will be accompanied by a play by the Holot Legislative Theater, with a cast of actors that includes Israelis and African asylum seekers.

Other films in this section include amongst others Junun, Paul Thomas Anderson’s portrayal of a musical project involving Shye Ben-Tzur and Jonny Greenwood, Homo Sapiens by director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine  by director Alex Gibney, To the Desert by director Judd Neeman, Unlocking the Cage by directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, De Palma by co-director Noah Baumbach and  He Named Me Malala by David Guggenheim.

The Panorama selection of films will include amongst others the moving Strike a Pose, by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan about the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her “Blond Ambition” tour, Roger Ross Williams ‘Life, Animated depicting the remarkable story of an autistic boy, who learned how to communicate with his surroundings through Disney films, Those Who Jump about an African refugee who films attempts by other refugees to jump the barbed wire border fence in North Africa and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Film.

This year’s Arts Section will include Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble by Academy Award winner Morgan Neville;  I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, which was produced shortly before her tragic death, Listen to Me, Marlon, which tells the story of Marlon Brando through the audio recordings he made throughout his life, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict,  the salacious story of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, Gilad Baram’s film about famous Czech photographer Josef Koudelka’s travels along the Separation Fence, and more.

Seven films produced by the top film schools in Israel were selected to compete in the annual Student Film Competition. The prize for the competition was donated by the Gottesman family in memory of Ruti Gottesman, a leading supporter of Docaviv and of documentary.

The Members of the selection committee included Karin Ryvind Segal, programming director for Docaviv, Hila Avraham, curator and expert on film and audiovisual media preservation and screenwriter Danny Rosenberg, whose work includes the films My Father’s House , Susia and the television series  Johnny and the Knights of the Galilee.

Special Guests attending the Festival:

Award winning Director Ondi Timoner, will be attending the Israeli premiere of her film Russell Brand: A Second Coming. Her Sundance-winning film Dig!  will be among the music documentaries screened at the Tel Aviv Port. In conjunction with the Film Department of Beit Berl College, Timoner will also be conducting a special master class for students, professionals, and amateurs.

This year’s festival will include a special tribute to acclaimed director Nikolaus Geyrhalter who will be attending the festival with his recent Homo Sapiens. This year’s festival will also include two previous films of his, Our Daily Bread and Abendland,.

International  jury members attending the festival include:

Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, Director of the Idfa industry office; Gary Kam, producer of Planet of Snail; film director Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach;  LoveTrue) ; Nilotpal, Director of Docedge Kolkata, Sascha Lara Bleuler, Director of the Human Rights Film Festival in Zurich, and film director Tatiana Brandrup.

The Israeli jurors include:

Director Dror Moreh, director and producer Barak Heymann, director Robby Elmaliah, producer Elinor Kowarsky,  photographer David Adika, and film editor Tal Rabiner.

Around town. A record number of twelve screening venues spread out across Tel Aviv will offer free screenings. These are: Habima Square, the Beit Danny Community Center, the Hatikvah neighborhood, the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, the rooftop of Tel Aviv City Hall, WeWork, Levinsky Park, Bar Kayma, Beit Romano, the Nalaga’at Center, Picnic Little Italy-Sarona Tel Aviv, and Artport.

Outdoors.  The Tel Aviv Port will continue to host the festival this year, with outdoor screenings of music films with guest deejays  from KZRadio. Films to be screened at the port include Janis: Little Girl Blue, The Reflektor Tapes  about the band Arcade Fire, P.T Andersoan’s  Junun about the musical collaboration between Shye Ben Tzur, ‎Jonny Greenwood, Nigel Godrich, and a dozen Indian musicians.

Festival Firsts. DocaviVR: a collaboration between Docaviv and Steamer, Israel’s first Interactive and Virtual Reality Film Festival, presents original documentary projects from Israel and around the world, created especially for viewing with Vr gear. The event will take place at Beit Romano. A cinema will pop up in one of Tel Aviv’s trendy hubs, with 25 stations equipped with Vr gear.

The Docommunity conference aims to promote dcomentary across the country by bringing  together cultural coordinators and artistic directors from across the country to introduce them to the latest documentary films from Israel and around the world.

The Platform for Alternative Documentation at Artport art space: A performative piece that brings together film artists, social activists, and researchers studying the various aesthetic, social, and philosophical aspects of documentation. Curated by Laliv Melamed and Gilad Reich.

Young audiences. For the first time, films from The Next Doc will be screened, a special initiative of Docaviv, the Second Channel, and the New Fund for Film and Television, which led to the production of three films created especially for a teenage audience.

Docaviv will also be hosting the final event of Docu Young, at which films by students in residential schools, who participated in film workshops , will be screened.

The Docyouth Competition will feature the best documentary films produced by students in high school film programs throughout the country. For the first time, voting for this year’s competition will be held online and open to high school students across the country.

Among the Screenings of docs for kids are Victor Kosakovsky’s “Varicella”, and “Landfilharmonic”.

 Over the course of the festival, 110 films will be screened.

  »

- Sydney Levine

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AFI Unveils Slate for AFI Docs 2016 – a Preview of Some of the Year’s Most Anticipated Documentaries

9 May 2016 1:42 PM, PDT | AwardsDaily.com | See recent AwardsDaily news »

There are several documentaries worth checking out when the AFI rolls out its docs program June 22, 2026, like Alex Gibney’s eagerly anticipated Zero Days. Shown at Berlin, Zero Days appears »

- Sasha Stone

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