6 items from 2014
Emmy award-winner Lauren Sanchez, who is a frontrunner to join The View as a co-host, has formed Pursuit Productions with Dan Friedkin. Pursuit will focus on telling compelling real life stories from around the globe. The company already has its first documentary feature in the works, Found, and closed a deal with Mark Monroe (Sound City, The Tillman Story, The Cove) to write. Found follows the search for those pilots whose planes were lost in The Battle of Peleliu during World War II. Also joining the search for the missing pilots in the doc is former United States Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, whose memoir Lone Survivor […] »
Sundance 2014 is officially in the books, and while there wasn’t any kind of big $10 million distribution deal, films like Boyhood, Whiplash, and Frank had receptions warmer than the bizarre Utah weather over the past 10 days, guaranteeing we’ll be talking about them through the rest of the year.
But that’s the narrative side of things. When it comes to documentaries, Sundance is traditionally one of the most fruitful film festivals in the world. Here are ten of the most interesting and best received non-fiction titles to keep an eye on in 2014:
Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory
The subtitle says it all for this year’s U.S. Documentary Audience Award winner. In Alive Inside, a social worker brings iPods to elderly men and women suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and the sounds of their youth actually “awaken” them. As one might expect, »
- John Gilpatrick
The passion for college football in certain parts of our country almost resembles a cult in its intensity. And perhaps no team had a more devoted following than Joe Paterno’s Penn State program, which proudly won “the right way” on and off the field ever since he became head coach in 1966. His reputation was nonpareil in the sports world — until former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was indicted in Nov. 2011 for molesting young boys on the Penn State campus. Paterno, then 85 years old, was fired, along with three other top University administrators, rocking the Penn State community, a.k.a. »
- Jeff Labrecque
In his documentaries “My Kid Could Paint That” and “The Tillman Story,” Amir Bar-Lev zeroed in on the difference between the public perception of a scandal and the private truth of the matter — a theme that serves him no less effectively in “Happy Valley,” a gripping inquiry into the revelations of sexual abuse that shocked the U.S. and devastated Penn State’s storied football program. Rather than focusing primarily on Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, the film broadens in scope and complexity to examine the assumptions of an entire community, as well as the football-first culture that allowed evil to flourish in its midst. Distinguished by its measured, analytical approach and revelatory testimony from Sandusky’s adopted and abused son, Matt, this nuanced but quietly excoriating work merits widespread exposure, and could be especially well timed to coincide with the still-ongoing court proceedings against three former university administrators.
The acts »
- Justin Chang
State College, Pa. (AP) — The son of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky participated in a documentary about his father’s sexual-abuse case and hopes to become an advocate for child victims.
Matt Sandusky told the Centre Daily Times that he took part in “Happy Valley” because he has become strong enough to tell his story and wants to speak out to help other survivors. The 100-minute film, debuting this week at the Sundance Film Festival, explores whether it was an open secret that Sandusky was molesting boys.
“For me and all survivors it is important to have control over the timing and setting of (the) disclosure,” Matt Sandusky told the newspaper.
Sandusky had been listed as a defense witness at his father’s 2012 trial, but he instead disclosed through lawyers that he had also been abused and didn’t take the stand. Jerry Sandusky, convicted on 45 counts involving 10 boys, »
- Associated Press
Exclusive: A week before Sundance, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films is strengthening its film acquisition team by hiring Peter Lawson and giving him the newly created title of executive vice president of Productions and Acquisitions. Lawson is a top-flight acquisitions exec who served stints most recently at The Weinstein Company and before that Miramax. He left to get a taste of production experience in big-sized studio films by joining Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road as production president. After two years, I’m hearing that he has shaken up his career Gps and is taking the exit from Thunder Road onto Open Road. Before he left TWC, Lawson worked on such films as the John Hillcoat-directed Lawless, The Iron Lady, The Company Men, Blue Valentine, The Intouchables and the docus Undefeated, Bully and The Tillman Story. At Miramax, his acquisition deals included The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. Before that at First Look Pictures, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
6 items from 2014
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