6 items from 2015
50 fabulous documentary films, covering hard politics through to music, money and films that never were...
Thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, we’ve never had better access to documentaries. A whole new audience can discover that these real life stories are just as thrilling, entertaining, and incredible as the latest big-budget blockbuster. What’s more, they’re all true too. But with a new found glut of them comes the ever more impossible choice, what’s worth your time? Below is my pick of the 50 best modern feature length documentaries.
I’ve defined modern as being from 2000 onwards, which means some of the greatest documentaries ever made will not feature here. I’m looking at you Hoop Dreams.
50. McConkey (2013)
Shane McConkey was an extreme skier and Base jumper who lived life on the edge, and very much to the full. »
Read More: The Top 8 Pitches at the Hot Docs Forum: What Worked and What Didn't The Tribeca Film Institute, in partnership with A&E IndieFilms, has just announced the projects selected for the third annual StoryLab for documentary filmmakers, which helps five filmmaking teams in various stages of production through one on one mentorship as well as master classes, industry discussions and networking opportunities. This year the workshops will be led by notable filmmakers including A&E IndieFilms Svp Molly Thompson ("The Tillman Story," "The September Issue"), film director/producer Rachel Boynton ("Big Men," "Our Brand is Crisis"), film editor/producer Kurt Engfehr ("Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11"), film editor Sloane Klevin ("Taxi to The Dark Side") as well as film producer John Battsek ("Searching for Sugarman," "The Imposter") and film director Amir Bar Lev »
- Wil Barlow
Nancy is a psychological drama about a female imposter, who lies to gain emotional intimacy and love. The genesis for this script started with my fascination with imposter stories (the literary hoax of Jt LeRoy, Clark Rockefeller, Frédéric Bourdin in The Imposter, Gay Girl in Damascus fake blogger, etc). It’s only now that I’ve come to realize that my obsession with the fine line between truth/fiction, performance/reality and storytelling/confession, is something that started long before my intrigue with imposters. After a stint editing in the documentary world, I decided to try my hand at writing a screenplay. I had no idea what I was […] »
- Christina Choe
In terms of support, they got a taste for what the Sundance Institute had to offer in concretizing aspects of their respective screenplays and in terms of scenery, they’ll need to pack significantly less heavier suitcases. Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), Olivia Newman (First Match), Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (pictured above) (Mustang) & Yung Chang (Eggplant), Christopher Makoto Yogi (I Was A Simple Man), Mark Kindred (Rogue) and trio Brent Green, Michael McGinley and Thyra Heder‘s untitled project are technically moving onto the next round working on the directing portion of their projects at the June Directors and Screenwriters Labs. they’ll be joined by The Imposter helmer Bart Layton‘s narrative debut, American Animals. The Screenwriters Lab attendees are Dan Krauss‘ docu-to-feature adaptation of The Kill Team, Boots Riley‘s Sorry to Bother You, Frances Bodomo, Mariam Bakacho Khatchvani and Irakli Solomanashvili‘s Afronauts, and finally Fernando Coimbra‘s The »
Snow in Paradise, 2014.
Directed by Andrew Hulme.
Dave’s a petty criminal living on drugs and violence in East London. When his actions kill his best friend, he’s propelled into feelings of shame and remorse. Discovering Islam, he begins to find peace but his old life comes back to test him.
Focusing its attention on gangland London interspersed with the lead’s gradual and sympathetic conversion to Islam, Snow in Paradise is a film with its sights set firmly on the bigger picture of many socially significant topics. Featuring a powerfully gripping central performance from first time actor Frederick Schmidt, the film was largely ignored by British investment and mostly relied on French and German finances. This comes as something of a surprise, for as well as being a strongly written, »
- Robert W Monk
By Anjelica Oswald
After narrowing the Oscar documentary feature shortlist to five at the 87th Academy Award nominations Jan. 15, a number of notable exclusions were featured, particularly Al Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, which documents the mentorship and friendship of a jazz legend and a blind piano prodigy, and Steve James‘ Life Itself, about the life and career of famed film critic Roger Ebert. (James is no stranger to snubs and the exclusion of his 1994 film Hoop Dreams led to rule reform within the documentary category.) Both films hold 97 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some films surprised when they didn’t even land a spot on the shortlist, such as Red Army, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s hockey team from the perspective of its coach. That film holds a 100 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In light of these best documentary feature snubs, »
- Anjelica Oswald
6 items from 2015
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