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By Anjelica Oswald
Voting ends today for the Academy’s documentary branch who must narrow the list of 134 documentaries vying for a spot in the Oscar race to a shortlist of 15 films, which will be released in December. Of the 15 films, five Oscar nominees will be chosen in January.
Though a number of film festivals, such as the Savannah Film Fest, are becoming documentary hotspots, a number of Oscar-nominated documentaries premiere at the Sundance Film Festival each year. In the 21st century, seven of the Oscar winners have debuted in Utah: Born into Brothels (2004), March of the Penguins (2005), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Man on Wire (2008), The Cove (2009), Searching for Sugar Man (2012) and 20 Feet from Stardom (2013).
The rest of the documentary winners were unveiled in the states (2000’s Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport and 2001’s Murder on Sunday Morning) and at the Cannes, (2002’s Bowling for Columbine, »
- Anjelica Oswald
Copenhagen – “The Look of Silence,” U.S. docmaker Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated critical favorite “The Act of Killing,” continues to look a likely awards magnet after taking top honors at the Cph:dox documentary film festival in Copenhagen.
The film, which continues its predecessor’s examination of the Indonesian communist genocide of the 1960s, was named the best film of the headlining Dox:Award section at the fest’s awards ceremony on Friday evening. It beat out a heavyweight field of 13 other pics, including Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour.” Before presenting the award, jury representative David Wilson declared that while the decision hadn’t been unanimous, such disagreement was “fitting for a film that melds provocation with aesthetic brilliance.”
A visibly moved Oppenheimer, himself a Copenhagen resident, expressed his delight at winning on home turf, and thanked the festival for initially introducing him to his Danish producer Signe Byrge Sorenson.
- Guy Lodge
Winners also include E-Team and Olmo & The Seagull.
The winners were announced at Cph:dox tonight in Copenhagen’s lavish Hotel D’Angleterre hotel, followed by a party at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
They said in a statement: “This film is an act of research, digging into recent but clouded history, a philosophical meditation on memory and crime. We honor this work of art that, above all else, manages to break the silence.”
The other prizes were:
Special Mention to: In the country by Anders Jedenfors
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
While Doc NYC's opening night screening of David Thorpe's Do I Sound Gay was going on downtown, Barbara Kopple (Running From Crazy and Harlan County U.S.A.) was hosting a conversation with E-Team directors Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman uptown at the Core Club. D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, who are receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards together with Albert Maysles, were among those attending the reception and screening.
Last month, I spoke with the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo about his role in pursuing justice. The E-Team is another important force in collecting evidence to bring to light ongoing violations of human rights.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Further reminding us that the Academy Awards are irrelevant in year-end discussions for the best in documentary film, according to the experts at the Cinema Eye Honors’ voting committee, Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour, Steve James’ Life Itself and Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth would be among the best docu films of the year, leading the pack in almost all categories. Not to be overlooked, Jesse Moss’ The Overnighters and Robert Greene’s Actress received kudos in Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Direction while the major surprise of the noms belongs to Orlando von Einsiedel’s Virunga (presented at the Tribeca and Hot Docs Film Fests) grabbing a total of three. Left completely off the scorecard, Manakamana failed to produce a single nom. The Cinema Eye Honors winners will be announced on Wednesday, January 7 at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image. »
- Eric Lavallee
Many of the year’s best political documentaries took a microcosmic perspective into the lives of those who were facing something much larger than themselves. Whether it was offering a first-hand look at organized activism in “The Case Against 8”; tackling the Nsa scandal with Edward Snowden himself in “Citizenfour”; following a North Dakota pastor on his journey of helping others in “The Overnighters”; or “Red Army,” a story about the real Russian ice hockey stars who lost the gold medal to the U.S. in the famed 1980 Olympic match, each documentary provided a human face to tell what could have been a purely political story.
For “The Case Against 8” filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White, it was plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami who quickly became the stars of their film, as well as the stars of the high-profile case that fought to »
- Nikara Johns
During the intense fall season, the International Documentary Association screens a series of the year's best documentaries with Q & As to follow. I sat down recently with doc vets Ross Kaufman (Oscar-winner "Born Into Brothels') and Katy Chevigny ("Deadline," "Election Day"), co-directors of "The E-Team" (theaters October 22, Netflix October 24), an extraordinary doc that follows four intrepid Humans Rights Watchers as they go deep into dangerous territory to establish-- in a way some journalists do not-- exactly what human rights abuses are happening in countries like Libya and Syria. When they share their results, their fearless work has a huge impact on how the rest of the world reacts to these horrific situations. This should be a strong awards contender. Here's a slightly edited version of the Q & A which is also viewable, along with the trailer, in the videos below. Anne Thompson: You premiered “The E-Team” at Sundance, where »
- Anne Thompson
Well-known both for its political activities and for its long-running film festival, Human Rights Watch becomes the subject of a documentary itself in E-Team. Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman's film isn't a broad portrait of the organization. Instead, it focuses on four Europe-based case workers on the Hrw emergency team: Anna Neistat; her husband, Ole Solvang; Peter Bouckaert; and Fred Abrahams. Starting in 2011, they investigated human rights abuses in Syria and Libya. Initially, these are presented almost as if E-Team were a fictional adventure film and Neistat a female Indiana Jones. The emphasis on the team's daring amid mass chaos seems a bit off: This threatens to become yet another film about white Americans and Europeans telling the stories of Thi »
Jean-Marc Vallée’s awards contender Wild will receive its East Coast Premiere as the opening night screening at the festival, set to run from October 9-13.
Organisers announced that Laura Dern will be the focus of an on-stage conversation on October 11.
As previously announced, the East Coast premiere of The Homesman is the Sunday Centerpiece on October 12.
“Bennett Miller and Jean-Marc Vallée are two of the most exciting filmmakers working today, each of whose last films were nominated for the Academy Award for best picture,” said Hiff artistic director David Nugent. “Their latest films continue their evolution as artists and we are so proud to share their work with our audiences.”
The 15th year of Films of Conflict & Resolution programme comprises four documentaries and a narrative film, one of which »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The 2014 Hamptons Intl. Film Festival has added two high profile festival-circuit titles to its 2014 slate, with Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” set for the Saturday Centerpiece screening and Jean-Marc Valee’s “Wild” on tap to open the Southhampton leg of Hiff, which screens movies at venues throughout the Hamptons.
Buzzy awards-season contender “Foxcatcher,” which stars Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum in a story about a mulitmillionaire’s obsession with a wrestler and his brother, will play the Hamptons Oct. 11, the day after the pic plays the 2014 New York Film Festival and about a month ahead of Sony Pictures Classics’ Nov. 14 release.
Reese Witherspoon starrer “Wild,” meanwhile, will play Hiff’s Southampton cinema Oct. 10. The movie, about a woman who embarks on a 1,100-mile walk to help recover from a difficult time in her life, is lined up for a Dec. 5 release from Fox Searchlight.
Mark Ruffalo, who stars alongside Carell and Tatum, »
- Gordon Cox
Netflix plans to debut three original documentaries over the next few months. First up is The Battered Bastards Of Baseball. It chronicles how in 1973 Bonanza actor Bing Russell formed what at the time was America’s sole independent baseball team. Seen as a real-life version of the Bad News Bears, the Mavericks lasted three years before they were pushed out of Portland by the return of the major-league-backed Portland Beavers. The pic was co-directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, produced by Juliana Lembi, exec produced by Nancy Schafer and includes cast members Kurt Russell (Bing Russell’s son) and Todd Fields. It’s set to premiere July 11 on Netflix. Also on the slate is Mission Blue. It tells the story of legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and her impassioned campaign to save the world’s oceans from modern threats like climate change, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Netflix has another Oscar hopeful in its quiver.
The streaming-video service has acquired worldwide rights to “E-Team,” a documentary about four Human Rights Watch workers who are the first-responders on the scene investigating abuse allegations in Syria and Libya, one of five docus Netflix has recently picked up.
“E-Team” is directed by two notable documentary filmmakers, Katy Chevigny (“Deadline,” “Election Day”) and Ross Kauffman (Academy Award winner for “Born into Brothels”). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the cinematography award in the docu category.
The documentary is expected to debut on Netflix in the fall of 2014. The streamer also will show “E-Team” in theaters in select U.S. cities, in order to qualify for Academy Awards consideration.
The filmmakers went into Sundance without a distribution deal. “I was frightened to go to Sundance without a deal,” Kauffman told Variety in an exclusive interview. “You never »
- Todd Spangler
The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 films to be featured in this year.s event (June 4-15) in advance of the full program launch on May 7.
The line-up includes the world premiere of The Redfern Story, 19 Australian premieres, 13 features, 11 documentaries and an eight-film retrospective on maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman. Altman.s son, filmmaker Michael Altman, will attend festival and introduce several of the Altman screenings.
Darlene Johnson.s The Redfern Story chronicles the volatile birth of the first all-Indigenous theatre company, the National Black Theatre. It features interviews with indigenous media pioneer Lester Bostock, writer Gerry Bostock, actor Lillian Crombie, activist-academic Gary Foley, academic Marcia Langton, actors Rachael Maza, Bryan Brown and Bindi Williams. .We are pleased to present this sneak preview of 32 of the 180-plus films in this year.s program,. said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. .We have gathered a selection of the best films from the »
- Staff writer
2014 is now in full swing, the Sundance Film Festival has closed its doors, and film festivals like South by Southwest and Tribeca are generating more buzz for the year’s noteworthy indie narratives and documentaries. In recent years, documentaries such as Restrepo, Gasland, and Searching For Sugarman went on to become heavyweights. This year’s contenders include topics taken from popular memoirs and biographies, along with subject matter pertaining to youths and youth culture. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of Sundance and non-Sundance documentaries to keep an eye out for this year, equipped with official synopsis and trailer when available. 2014 is shaping out to a versatile year in the documentary world, ranging from heavy-handed family dramas such as Tracy Droz Tragos’ and Andrew Droz Palermo’s Rich Hill, to baseball biographies such as Chapman and Maclain Way’s The Battered Bastards of Baseball and Jeff Radice’s No No A Dockumentary, »
- Christopher Clemente
Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at Sundance.org/Live.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was presented by Tracy Chapman to:
Rich Hill / U.S.A. (Directors: Andrew Droz Palermo, Tracy Droz Tragos) - In a rural, American town, kids face heartbreaking choices, find comfort in the most fragile of family bonds, and dream of a future of possibility.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic was presented by Leonard Maltin to: Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) - Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons.
The World Cinema »
Photo by Dvrosa
It was another great year at the Sundance Film Festival! There were so many fantastic movies shown, and I still have a couple more to go. I'm really happy to say that Miles Teller and J.K. Simmon's film Whiplash took home the top two prizes, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. This was my number one favorite film from the festival, and it seems like everyone else at the festival loved it too, so it doesn't surprise me that it won.
Here's the full list of winners:
Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www.sundance.org/live.
The U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary was »
- Joey Paur
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash was Day 1 feel good buzz title of the fest that ultimately served as a measuring stick for the other competing 15 titles in the section and as predicted below had a good chance at doing what last year’s Fruitvale did: when both major awards of its category. Now that I’ve completed a 15 hour nap, I can watch the ceremony below – and you can spoil the suspense by simply going over the other award winners in the multiple categories below. Next week we’ll be publishing our interviews with several of the filmmakers mentioned below. Congrats to the winners and non-winners.
Park City, Ut — Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www. »
- Eric Lavallee
The Sundance Film Festival has come to a close in snowy Park City, Utah, and the institute has announced its winners for 2014. The big winner on the night was a film called Whiplash starring Miles Teller. The film picked up the big Grand Jury prize as well as the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Whiplash sees Teller as a young musician who struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer (see main pic).
Dramatic effort The Skeleton Twins which stars comedy stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in serious roles, won the Waldo Salt Screening Award for writers Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman, while the big directing award, went to Cutter Hodierne and his drama Fishing Without Nets, which revolves around a young father who turns to pirating in Somalia to support his family.
Here’s the full release with the complete list of the 2014 winners:
Park City, »
- Paul Heath
Park City, Utah -- They arrive first on the scene during international atrocities, but they don't carry weaponry or possess Seal-like skills. They are the E-Team, or, The Emergencies Team. They charge to international crisis spots where human rights violations surely have been violated. This puts them smack dab in such places as Syria and Libya. They confront barbarism and vow to ferret out accountability. If discovered, they face torture and death. In this spellbinding story, filmmakers Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman thrust us into the red-alert lives of four E-Team members. It's a comprehensive portrayal of
- Duane Byrge
Rachel Beth Anderson, cinematographer of the documentary "E-Team," screening at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, told Indiewire about her experience shooting the film. Directed by Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman, "E-Team" follows a group of individuals selected by the Human Rights Watch to document war crimes around the world. Anderson has previously shot a variety of projects for PBS Frontline Films, Hrw features and CNN. What camera and lens did you use? I used a Canon 5D Mark II & III and Canon C300. I'm usually working by myself in areas where you have to be quick on your feet so I pack a small kit. I relied mainly on a range of Canon L series lenses (standards 24-105, 70-200, 24 1:4mm, 16-35), and I love the new Canon Cinema lenses. When possible I treat myself to renting Ziess cinema lenses! What was the most difficult shot on your movie, and how did you pull it off? »
- Eric Eidelstein
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