The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
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5 items from 2014

A Look at Female-directed Documentaries at the Oscars

16 December 2014 8:45 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

This year’s Oscar race could make history with two possible best picture nominees directed by women — Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If both women are nominated for best director, that would also be a historical moment. But though these accomplishments in the narrative field are possible, more women directors are breaking into the documentary categories. Four of the 15 shortlisted documentaries feature women at the helm: Jennifer Grausman (co-directed with Sam Cullman and Mark Becker) with Art and Craft, Tia Lessin (co-directed with Carl Deal) with Citizen Koch, Laura Poitras with Citizenfour and Rory Kennedy with Last Days in Vietnam. Additionally, three of the eight shortlisted documentary shorts feature female directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent with Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Aneta Kopacz with Joanna and Lucy Walker with The Lion’s Mouth Opens. More often than not, women directors tend to »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Death, Illness, Art and Oil: 87th Academy Awards' Documentary Short Semi-Finalists

21 October 2014 5:33 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Best Documentary Short Films Oscar 2015: Illness and death are top subjects (photo: 'White Earth' by J. Christian Jensen) Eight films — most of them featuring illness and/or death as their focus — remain in the running for the 2015 Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Of those eight semi-finalists, three to five titles will be shortlisted for the 87th Academy Awards. (Scroll down to vote in our Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar 2015 poll.) The remaining eight Oscar 2015 contenders are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their directors and, in parentheses, their production companies: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent (Perry Films) Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz (Wajda Studio). Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, directed by Jeff Dupre (Show of Force) The Lion's Mouth Opens, directed by Lucy Walker (Tree Tree Tree) One Child, »

- Steve Montgomery

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Big Bear Lake International Film Festival to Honor Lucy Walker, Heitor Pereira

16 September 2014 11:32 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Big Bear Lake International Film Festival has announced that director Lucy Walker and composer Heitor Pereira are recipients of the festival’s 2014 Achievement Awards.

We choose our honorees based on significant contributions to the films they’ve been involved with, and we look at the impact of their work,” said Erica Tennyson, executive director of the festival, in a statement. “Both of our recipients have impressive film resumes, and we’re truly honored to have them as our award recipients.”

The twice Oscar-nominated Walker is best known for her documentaries “The Crash Reel,” “Waste Land,” “Countdown to Zero” and “Devil’s Playground,” as well as a number of shorts, including “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.”

Pereira  has collaborated with composer Hans Zimmer on numerous films, and has scored such films as “The Smurfs,” “Despicable Me,” “It’s Complicated” and, most recently, “If I Stay.”

The awards for directing »

- Shelli Weinstein

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The Tsunami And The Cherry Blossom – The Review

12 March 2014 7:15 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Three short years ago, a devastating earthquake shook Japan and a massive tsunami followed, wiping out all signs of civilization in its path. Lives were lost and property was destroyed. As with any natural disaster, the damage is immense and recovery is a long, slow and emotional process. The Tsunami And The Cherry Blossom, directed by the talented young non-fiction filmmaker Lucy Walker, chronicles the efforts by survivors of the tsunami to rebuild what was taken from them as it coincides with the beginning of the cherry blossom season.

The opening four minutes of The Tsunami And The The Cherry Blossom consists of one, continuous shot of the massive wave bulldozing over the land, moving in closer and closer to onlookers as they watch from atop a nearby high hill. This footage, presumably taken on someone’s camera phone, offers an unflinching depiction of the destruction, as well as an »

- Travis Keune

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2014 Oscar Prediction: Best Documentary Short

27 February 2014 12:00 PM, PST | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

It’s a mediocre year for the Best Documentary – Short Subject category. It had been having a pretty good run, too. The Academy’s recent picks have included some remarkable little films, from simply told character profiles like Inocente and God Is the Bigger Elvis, to wise community portraits like Kings Point and Redemption, and formally intriguing works like The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom and Rabbit à la Berlin (a personal favorite). There’s a a bit of a stereotype that this category is always just an endless parade of blandly-directed films that exist only to tug at heartstrings, but it’s actually more complex than that. Unfortunately, the batch this time around has fallen short. The nominees for Best Documentary Short at the 86th Academy Awards include one decent film, two half-decent films, one mediocre film and one bad film. With that whining out of the way, here are the films and where they stand »


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2014 | 2013 | 2012

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