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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 »

Paris When It Sizzles: Us in Progress

Paris When It Sizzles: Us in Progress
The heart of Paris beats for film industry in June. Industry Week is the professional part of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival.

The submissions for Us in Progress are now open till August 15th here.

This label includes the Us in Progress (USiP) and Les Arc Film Fesstival’s team presenting the Paris Coproduction Village and La Residence de la Cinefondation which welcomes a dozen young directors who come to Paris to work on their first or second fiction feature project for 4 and 1/2 months. All together, they offer 24 film projects at different stages, from development to post production. More than 200 professionals from the industry, producers, international sellers, distributors, etc. are welcomed.

This year Us in Progress broke out. It has become a top event for discovering American independent cinema not only for the Europeans invited to attend, but for Americans who find themselves in Paris for the event or who even
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

The Best Movies About the End of the World, From ‘Melancholia’ to ‘Dr. Strangelove’

  • Indiewire
The Best Movies About the End of the World, From ‘Melancholia’ to ‘Dr. Strangelove’
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: Apropos of absolutely nothing (and definitely not in response to a certain world leader taking disastrous steps towards dooming the environment of the only inhabitable planet we have), what is the best film about the end of the world?

Erin Whitney (@Cinemabite), ScreenCrush

It’s a hard tie between “Melancholia” and “Take Shelter.” One is a devastating meditation on depression, isolation and death, and the other is a dramatic masterpiece that evokes the dread and anxiety of a looming end. They’re very different films (and coincidentally opened within months of each other), but both end on final shots that left me breathless.
See full article at Indiewire »

Watergate: History Orders Documentary Series from Academy Award Winner

History is on the case. Today, the network announced they've ordered a new TV series called Watergate.From Academy Award-winner Charles Ferguson, the docuseries will explore "the full story of the conspiracy led by Nixon and his White House staff, and how they were brought to justice." The series will combine archival material and new interviews with "journalists, senior Nixon Administration officials, members of Congress, and prosecutors."Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

TV News Roundup: Nickelodeon Orders ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Season 12

TV News Roundup: Nickelodeon Orders ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Season 12
In today’s roundup, Nickelodeon has ordered a 12th season of “SpongeBob SqaurePants,” The History Channel has commissioned a one-hour Watergate special, Investigation Discovery is airing a documentary special about Bill Cosby’s downfall, and production has begun on Cartoon Network’s “DC Super Hero Girls.”

Renewals

Nickeloden has ordered Season 12 of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” the number-one animated series across all TV with kids. The 26-episode pick up will further the nautical adventures of SpongeBob and his Bikini Bottom friends Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, Plankton and Squidward, and is scheduled to premiere in 2019, the series’ 20th anniversary year. Season 11 debuts later this summer. Nickelodeon has also greenlit a third SpongeBob film for release in 2019 as well. “Spongebob Squarepants” is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg.

Casting

Richard Kind has been cast in the guest starring role of Benny Konopka in Electric Entertainment’s series “The Librarians,” which will run for a fourth season on TNT this winter. “The
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Watergate’: History Sets Documentary Series On That Other Presidential Scandal

As political journalists take a bit of a breather with President Trump on foreign soil, History has seized on the opportunity to make a headline of its own. The cable channel has ordered Watergate, what it calls the “definitive” documentary series about the scandal and cover-up that forced President Richard Nixon out of office. Produced and directed by Oscar winner Charles Ferguson (Inside Job), the series will look into the granddaddy of American disgraces that started…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Oscar Political Moments: A Timeline of the Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout The Telecast’s History

  • Indiewire
Oscar Political Moments: A Timeline of the Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout The Telecast’s History
Filmmakers and stars have often taken a political stance by choosing which projects to make. But when the Academy Awards ceremony began in 1929 to honor the best in film, this created a more public way to demonstrate opinions about the state of the world, the government or a cause.

Read More: Meryl Streep Fires Back at Donald Trump in Blistering Speech: ‘We Have the Right to Live Our Lives’

Not everyone has taken this opportunity though, except for maybe wearing the odd ribbon to support awareness or using their attendance (or lack thereof) to show solidarity. Those blessed by winning a coveted statuette, however, can use their actual acceptance speech as a platform to speak out. Although the awards started being televised in 1953, it took until the 1970s until winners began to really take advantage of having a massive audience for their views. And at times, even the Academy itself got political.
See full article at Indiewire »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Legion of Brothers’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Legion of Brothers’
An intense depiction of the risks undertaken by two of the first U.S. Army Special Forces units deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11, and the long-term personal impact of such experiences on those who fought, “Legion of Brothers” has surviving soldiers relate their harrowing missions, 15 years later. Those memories are still fresh wounds to many, who believed, at least, that their sacrifices had a quick, decisive effect. Implicit in the documentary is the veterans’ dismay that a series of disastrous subsequent American tactical decisions would create ensuing “quagmires” in the region years after. The film would make a striking double bill with Charles Ferguson’s 2007 “No End in Sight,” which depicted the cumulative failures of judgment which undid the progress made by successful initial actions.

Greg Barker’s feature doc sidesteps any overt political agenda, making this the rare nonpartisan documentary that might tap some of the wide, largely conservative audience that embraced “American Sniper.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Espn’s ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Goes Long as Unconventional Oscar Frontrunner

Espn’s ‘O.J.: Made in America’ Goes Long as Unconventional Oscar Frontrunner
The Oscar best documentary feature nominee “O.J.: Made in America” is a staggering achievement, a film magisterial in its scope, riveting in its detail. It lets you feel like you’ve finally taken the full haunting measure of the O.J. Simpson saga — cultural, biographical, sociological, legal, forensic. Yet it still seems fair to ask: Why has Ezra Edelman’s five-part epic swept the year-end film critics’ awards, and why is it now the frontrunner to win the Oscar for best documentary? The movie, which is seven hours and 47 minutes long, was first presented as part of Espn’s “30 for 30” series, (and it now has the distinction of being the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award). It was conceived, and made, to be shown on television.

That may sound like a quibble. “O.J.: Made in America” has been racking up film honors, and is now in the thick of the Academy Awards race,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ Review: Al Gore Drops the Mic (Again) On Climate Change

  • Indiewire
‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’ Review: Al Gore Drops the Mic (Again) On Climate Change
In 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth” propelled Al Gore’s climate change activism to a new level of awareness, proving that distilling a PowerPoint to a feature-length format doesn’t have to make great cinema to achieve its goals. A decade later, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” does it all over again, with somewhat more engaging filmmaking and a far greater sense of urgency.

Co-directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (taking the reigns from “Truth” director Davis Guggenheim), the filmmakers manage to improve on the limitations of the original by showing more of Gore’s resilience in the field. He’s grayer, wrinkled and a little wider around the midsection, but the former Vice President continues to wage a seemingly effective crusade to widen environmental awareness.

See MoreAs ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Debuts on Sundance Opening Night, Al Gore Vows ‘We Are Going to Win This’

Although it opens with
See full article at Indiewire »

‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Filmmakers on Al Gore and Fighting Climate Change in the Trump Era — Sundance 2017

  • Indiewire
‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ Filmmakers on Al Gore and Fighting Climate Change in the Trump Era — Sundance 2017
It’s hard to imagine “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” having a happy ending. The follow-up to 2006’s Oscar-winning climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” includes Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election, a result that some environmentalists view as disastrous for the future of the planet.

Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts

But 10 years after former U.S. vice president Al Gore frightened audiences with his slideshow of photos, charts and reams of data bluntly displaying the impacts of the global climate crisis, “An Inconvenient Sequel” finds a surprisingly optimistic Gore working tirelessly on his mission of spreading awareness about both the impacts of global warming and the concrete solutions humans can take to avert disaster.

“It’s just astounding how both absolutely devastating it is in terms of where we are with the environment,
See full article at Indiewire »

Sundance 2017: Al Gore’s Documentary Officially Titled ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’

  • Indiewire
Sundance 2017: Al Gore’s Documentary Officially Titled ‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’
Al Gore’s follow-up to 2006’s “An Inconvenient Truth” now has an official title: “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” Participant Media had yet to settle on a final title upon announcing the movie’s inclusion in the Sundance Film Festival line up last month.

Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts

An Inconvenient Sequel” is one of the very first screenings at Sundance this year, showing at 5:30 on Thursday, January 19 with the former Vice President scheduled to attend.

Like the original film, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary and was directed by Davis Guggenhiem, the documentary will focus on the climate crisis, but instead of relying heavily on Gore’s slide presentation, the film follows Gore as he travels the world to discuss climate change. Paramount Pictures is distributing the film.

The sequel is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk,
See full article at Indiewire »

Bertrand Tavernier: ‘My Journey’ Has Made Me Proud to be French’

Bertrand Tavernier: ‘My Journey’ Has Made Me Proud to be French’
Bertrand Tavernier’s ambitious documentary, “My Journey through French Cinema,” explores Gallic cinema from the 1930s through to the early 1970s, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s “Personal Journey through American Movies” (1995) and “My Voyage to Italian Cinema” (1999).

Tavernier’s love affair with French cinema first began when he suffered from tuberculosis in post-World War II Lyon. He says that cinema gave him his inner strength to recover. With a great twist of irony, while making “Journey” he underwent an operation to remove a tumor, and says that his love for cinema was once again his savior.

“Journey” had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, followed by screenings at Cannes Classics, Telluride, New York and San Sebastian. It will have its first French screening since Cannes on Oct. 9 at the Lumière Festival in Lyon. It will be released theatrically in France on Oct. 12, and in America in March-April 2017, distributed by Cohen Media.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

13th review – fiercely intelligent prison documentary

Ava DuVernay’s lucid study of the links between slavery and the Us penal system is packed with ideas and information

There is something bracing, even exciting, about the intellectual rigour that Ava DuVernay brings to this documentary about the prison system and the economic forces behind racism in America. The film takes its title from the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery but left a significant loophole. This clause, which allowed that involuntary servitude could be used as a punishment for crime, was exploited immediately in the aftermath of the civil war and, DuVernay argues, continues to be abused to this day.

There is an understandable anger to this film-making, but DuVernay, who is best known as the director of Selma, but cut her teeth as a documentarian, never allows it to cloud the clarity of her message. It’s an approach that reminded me of the fierce intelligence of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

North American briefs: Andrea Calderwood to deliver Strategic partners keynote

  • ScreenDaily
Plus: Distribbber.com, Abramorama team up; and more…

The Last King Of Scotland producer Andrea Calderwood will deliver the opening keynote at the Strategic Partners market in Halifax, Canada, next month.

Calderwood, of Potboiler Productions, most recently produced Trespass Against Us starring Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, set to screen in Toronto and Strategic Partners’ sister event the Atlantic Film Festival.

Other keynote speakers include Marc Hustvedt, the founder and CEO of Peter Chernin-backed Supergravity Pictures, as well as Scandinavian TV producers Liselott Forsman and Lars Hermann.

“The programme this year is dynamic, progressive, and mindful of the issues and opportunities facing producers across the globe,” said programme manager Laura Mackenzie.

“Our speakers are able to provide a unique perspective because of their background and experience, but they are living and breathing the very same challenges facing producers daily.”

Strategic Partners runs from September 15-17. For the full line-up of panels and events click here.

GoDigital
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Distribber, Abramorama Team Up to Bring Indie Movies to VOD

  • The Wrap
Distribber, Abramorama Team Up to Bring Indie Movies to VOD
Distribber — a do-it-yourself distribution service that allows filmmakers to place movies on digital platforms such as iTunes, Netflix and Hulu — announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with independent distribution company Abramorama to provide video-on-demand distribution for Abramorama’s upcoming movies. “Time to Choose,” a climate change documentary directed by Charles Ferguson and narrated by Oscar Isaac, is the first film to benefit from the partnership. It will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting on September 9 and on select domestic digital platforms thereafter. Distribber, which was acquired by GoDigital.com last year, allows filmmakers without Hollywood connections to submit their movies.
See full article at The Wrap »

Abramorama Partners With Digital Distribution Company Distribber.com

  • Indiewire
Abramorama is now a one-stop shop for theatrical and digital film distribution.

The company has partnered with digital distribution platform Distribber.com to give Abramorama’s new U.S. theatrical titles a digital release. Rather than taking a percentage of a movie’s video-on-demand revenue, however, Distribber.com charges a one-time flat fee and annual fee, letting filmmakers keep 100 percent of revenue generated from subscription services like Amazon Prime and Netflix and from transactional platforms like iTunes. The arrangement prevents artists from having to give up ownership of their intellectual property.

Read More: How This Robert Redford-Narrated Doc Went From Self-Distribution to Finding a Home

“Something that has been our mandate from the beginning is to empower filmmakers so that they’re not signing their lives away,” Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz told IndieWire. Filmmakers whose movies have been released theatrically have traditionally had to give up control of their
See full article at Indiewire »

The Killing$ of Tony Blair review – sanctimonious documentary

George Galloway’s credibility gap fatally scuppers this attempt to broach a subject area that already boasts far superior films

The choice of George Galloway to front this crowdfunded character assassination of Tony Blair is a bit of an own goal. While there is no doubt that Blair should be called to account, Galloway’s lack of credibility and air of insufferable sanctimony have the unexpected result of making you want to side with Blair and the long list of despots who – apparently – now list him on their payroll. The definitive film on the Iraq war remains Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight; the disintegration of the Labour party is an ongoing story that moves too quickly for any documentary to capture.

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

Time To Choose Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Time To Choose Movie Review
Title: Time To Choose Director: Charles Ferguson Genre: Documentary Oscar-winning documentary director Charles Ferguson addresses global climate change in his third feature. He portrays the breadth of the environmental challenge, the power of solutions already available, and the remarkable people working to save our planet. Ferguson has a gift for dissecting, blatantly and concisely, the issues of our time, as he demonstrated with ‘No End in Sight,’ that examined the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and ‘Inside Job,’ which grasped the economic meltdown of 2008. In ‘Time To Choose’ we are presented with doomsday scenarios, as the narrative ponders on three main chapters that are the most detrimental drivers to climate [ Read More ]

The post Time To Choose Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com.
See full article at ShockYa »

Time To Choose – Review

Climate change is a topic many documentaries have covered and it is easy to feel hopeless or frustrated about it. Oscar-winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson, whose previous documentaries include Inside Job and No End In Sight, takes a different approach with Time To Choose, tying the problem to other global issues, ranging from jobs, poverty, war, pollution, and mass extinction, and pointing to solutions to all through individual choice and market forces.

Beautifully photographed, with polished production values and narrated by actor Oscar Isaac, Time To Choose is a different kind of climate change documentary. It does the near-impossible, crisply summarizing the problem and rationally presenting practical solutions that focus on the power of individual choice to move corporations, and wrapping all that up in a visually lush film that is as compelling to watch as any winning nature documentary.

This handsome, compelling documentary features intelligent, persuasive arguments for action, beautiful
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »
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