10 items from 2016
While Netflix produces and distributes a slew of indie dramas and comedies, it’s nice to see them make selections from the realm of reality. So comes the first trailer for Sky Ladder, a documentary focusing on Cai Guo-Qiang‘s explosive art installations that have rocked the world. Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), Sky Ladder charts Guo-Qiang’s rise to art world fame, and his attempts at crafting his biggest work yet: the titular art piece that is un unforgettable sight.
The trailer is an emotional, rousing look into Guo-Qiang’s process, family, and ideologies as he “explores a connection to an unseen place” through his pieces. We said in our review, “Using gunpowder and sky as his canvas, Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s extraordinary statements on environmentalism, capitalism and humanity do require a large screen to absorb. An intimate yet occasionally grand biography of Cai, »
- Mike Mazzanti
The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off this week, and with it, the rest of a very busy fall festival season. In preparation for the Canadian festival, we’ll be rolling out a series of previews to point you in the direction of all the movies you have to see (or at least, all the movies you have to start anticipating right now). Next up, a batch of new features we’ve yet to see…and can’t wait to check out in the coming days.
Oscar-winning director Terry George has been Mia from the big screen since 2011’s “Stand Off” (a little-seen Brendan Fraser vehicle that’s hardly worth mentioning) and the awards conversation since 2004’s “Hotel Rwanda” (though his subsequent film, the 2007 Mark Ruffalo-starring “Reservation Road” got a little love), but he seems poised to be back in a big way, thanks to a sweeping »
- Kate Erbland, Eric Kohn, Anne Thompson, David Ehrlich, Chris O'Falt, Graham Winfrey and Steve Greene
Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.
In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.
Logline: Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to the risk of chemical illness when the U.S. government and Bp sprayed millions of gallons of toxic dispersants in the Bp Horizon Disaster ‘clean-up’ operations.
An acclaimed filmmaker turns his lens to the frontlines of the Bp Horizon disaster and the large scale cover-up of the tragic health effects following the infamous spill in 2010, in an upcoming documentary called “The Rising.” The film exposes the true health effects for tens of thousands of people and the ramifications of unregulated corporate power and government collusion to our nation. »
- Steve Greene
Tickled is a very smart documentary investigating our collective failures at the macro level. The legal system, the school system and our community ecosystem have “leakages.” Our failure has been forgetting we are linked and responsible for each other’s well-being, as the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders teach. We haven’t tried hard enough nor succeeded enough, and we know this because individuals responsible for causing damage continue to hoodwink and exploit others and perpetuate cycles of violence. In other words, Tickled, debuting at Sundance this year, explores narratives that stain our global conscience today. At onset it might seem a film about tickling does not merit this mature provocation, but New Zealander documentarians David Farrier and Dylan Reeve, filming in New Zealand and the U.S., present the “tickling game” as an exposé of our failures in keeping each other safe.
The narrative is conveyed with Charlie »
- Dina Paulson
Dr Richard Leakey, Chair of the Kenya Wildlife Service and Turkana Basin Institute Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
The 2016 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, hosted by Perri Peltz and introduced by Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff (with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal), holds an impressive list of activists: Brent Stapelkamp, 14 Minutes from Earth's Alan Eustace (featured in the film by Jerry Kolber, Adam "Tex" Davis, Trey Nelson and Erich Sturm);The Birth Of A Nation director Nate Parker who was also an actor in Mia Hansen-Løve's Eden and Amy Berg's Every Secret Thing; The Suskind family in Roger Ross Williams' Life, Animated; Louie Psihoyos,director of Racing Extinction and The Cove; Jennifer Jacquet and Dr. Richard Leakey. From Foo Fighters Learn To Fly to a remembrance of Prince and David Bowie, and past honorees that include Twyla Tharp, David Lynch, Rick Rubin, Kanye West and Keith Richards - creativity, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The director, producer and star of Sundance sensation The Birth Of A Nation is among honourees at the pioneers showcase set for April 22.
The Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards are held in collaboration with Harvard professor and father of the theory of disruptive innovation Clay Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation.
Festival co-founder Craig Hatkoff is the chief curator of the awards, designed to honour pioneers whose work has had a significant impact on such areas as media, healthcare, social justice, education, politics, sports, and philanthropy.
The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards will go to British architect and designer of The Rolling Bridge, Thomas Heatherwick, and Kenya Wildlife Service chair and conservationist, Dr. Richard Leakey.
The 2016 honourees include: film-maker Nate Parker for the Theodore Parker Prize; Charity Water founder and CEO Scott Harrison; American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony D. Romero; The Cove director Louie Psihoyos; and environmental »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
A horror flick about the blundering of humanity on a scale so enormous that global warming is only a small part of it. But its monster is not unconquerable. I’m “biast” (pro): worried about what we’re doing to the planet
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The whole world is singing, but we’ve stopped listening.” So says a scientist who has deployed recording buoys across the oceans of planet Earth to record whalesong, while the whales are still there. And then we meet a guy who — in one of the most pitiable things you will ever see onscreen — introduces us to the last surviving individual of a bird species that mates for life, a male singing for a female who will never respond. Oh, and welcome to the sushi restaurant that sells the meat of endangered whales, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Glenn here bringing you some more trivia from this year’s best original song category. Obviously, I could be mistaken about some of these, but, well, in which case la la la, not listening, move along.
Trivia #1 – 2016 marks the first time in Oscar history that two documentaries have ever been nominated in a category outside of the non-fiction categories. While documentaries have been nominated in the original song category in the past – Mondo Cane in ’62 being the first, I believe – and Hoop Dreams scored a best editing nomination in 1995, this year both The Hunting Ground’s “Til It Happens to You” and Racing Extinction’s “Manta Ray” make for a first that two have been cited.
Trivia #2 – This year’s nomination for “Manta Ray” is the third nomination for an enviro-doc in this category in the last decade. While Melissa Etheridge’s “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth »
- Glenn Dunks
Lee Daniels will direct a new documentary, The Apollo Theater Film Project, that will chronicle the history of the famed Harlem concert hall.
To make the film, Daniels is seeking the help of the public, requesting any film footage, photographs, audio recordings or other memorabilia related to either Harlem or the Apollo. Details and a submission form are available on the documentary's website.
The Apollo Theater Film Project marks Daniels' first documentary. "I used to go to the Apollo Theater as a kid and never in a million years would »
The festival opens Jan. 21 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The winners will be announced Jan. 30 from the six juries along with five audience awards.
Filmmaker and Sundance Institute alum Taika Waititi, director of “What We Do in Shadows,” will host the awards ceremony. Waititi will be premiering his latest film “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” at the festival and will direct the upcoming “Thor 3.”
- Dave McNary
10 items from 2016
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