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Doc NYC 2017: 13 Films We Can’t Wait to See At the Festival, From ‘EuroTrump’ to ‘David Bowie: The Last Five Years’

  • Indiewire
Doc NYC 2017: 13 Films We Can’t Wait to See At the Festival, From ‘EuroTrump’ to ‘David Bowie: The Last Five Years’
New York City’s annual Doc NYC festival kicks off this week, including a full-to-bursting slate of some of this year’s most remarkable documentaries. If you’ve been looking to beef up on your documentary consumption, Doc NYC is the perfect chance to check out a wide variety of some of the year’s best fact-based features. Ahead, we pick out 14 of our most anticipated films from the fest, including some awards contenders, a handful of buzzy debuts, and a number of festival favorites. Take a look and start filling up your schedule now.

Doc NYC runs November 9 – 16 in New York City.

EuroTrump

Donald Trump may seem like a sui generis figure, a one-of-a-kind monster who was forged in a perfect storm of racism, tweets, and chaos, but history suggests that he’s really just a new breed of an old type. You don’t even have to look
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Film Review: ‘One of Us’

Film Review: ‘One of Us’
With their impressive documentaries “The Boys of Baraka,” “Jesus Camp” and “Detropia,” directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have explored the formative relationship shared between environments and their inhabitants — a dynamic that also serves as the focus of “One of Us,” their incisive new film about young New Yorkers trying to break free from their Hasidic Judaism community. Employing intimate, evocative aesthetics to amplify their material’s heart-wrenching power, the filmmakers craft a harrowing portrait of trauma, bravery and insular societal oppression. After its world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the film should be a hit both on the theatrical art-house circuit and its eventual distribution destination: Netflix.

While Joshua Z. Weinstein’s 2017 indie drama “Menashe” views Hasidic life in Brooklyn through the eyes of a mild nonconformist, Ewing and Grady’s nonfiction film goes several steps further. The directors’ latest effort trains its gaze on three individuals looking to escape their domineering milieu
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Rachel Grady — “One of Us”

“One of Us”

Rachel Grady is a filmmaker and co-owns New York’s Loki Films with Heidi Ewing. She and Ewing have have directed six feature-length films, including “Jesus Camp,” “The Boys of Baraka,” “12th & Delaware,” “Detropia,” and “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.” The latter was recently nominated for an Emmy alongside PBS’ “American Masters.”

“One of Us” will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. The film is co-directed by Ewing.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Rg: “One of Us” is a cinéma vérité deep dive into the lives of three individuals who have chosen to leave or have been pushed out of the enormously insular world of Hasidic Judaism. The film offers unique and intimate access to the lives of all three as they deal not only with questions of their beliefs but also the consequences of leaving the only community they have ever known. Freedom will cost them. The question is, what’s the price?

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Rg: First and foremost: curiosity. If you’re going to be living with a story for several years, it’s got to be something that’s meaty and has a lot of directions to move in. Also, I can say with confidence that New Yorkers are obsessed with the Hasidic community.

We then learned about Footsteps, a support group for people leaving the Hasidic community, and the idea of people starting from scratch in a secular society has inherent stakes. These people are essentially willing to give everything up in order to explore their own identities. There’s something so universal about that, something that surpassed even the idea of this being a religious community. Not fitting in at some point in one’s life is something a lot of people can identify with.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Rg: I think that the film is going to speak to a lot of people. Everyone’s had a time in their life when they felt like an outcast. I also hope that people will start thinking about the judicial system, because we have an example of it — in my opinion — going horribly wrong in the film and I’m hoping that is brought to light.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Rg: There were daily challenges. This is a community that at its very core doesn’t want the outside world to know anything about them. We were able to get some access through our subjects, but they are also on the outs with the Hasidic community. Therein lies an intrinsic conflict that we spent the better half of three years facing.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Rg: We initially received a generous grant from Artemis Rising and were able to get the ball rolling and experiment with what the film could and should be. Netflix saw some early material and came onboard with the full budget. They’ve been a wonderful creative partner.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the Toronto International Film Festival?

Rg: In 15 years as filmmakers we’ve never had a film at Tiff! We’re so thrilled to have our premiere here, and so excited to share with Canadians. We’ve screened other work at special events in Toronto over the years and the people of this city are wonderful and engaged. It’s an excellent way to start the public life of the film.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Rg: Best advice: Trust yourself.

Worst advice: Just “wing it” when giving a wedding toast. Don’t do that.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Rg: Don’t apologize. It’s something that to this day I have to remind myself of daily. It’s reflexive for women, and I’m over it.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Rg: I have a great many I love. Right now it’s Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.” I started to cry when Wonder Woman charged across No Man’s Land into the hands of grave danger. It touched me deeply.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Rg: Yes, I’m optimistic. See my above answer. Patty helmed a film that will make over a billion dollars. More opportunities mean more women gaining more confidence. Critical mass is inevitable. Infuriatingly slow — but inevitable.

Tiff 2017 Women Directors: Meet Rachel Grady — “One of Us” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Trailer Watch: Three People Struggle to Leave Hasidic Judaism in Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s “One…

Trailer Watch: Three People Struggle to Leave Hasidic Judaism in Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s “One of Us”“One of Us”

“I called my mom and I said, ‘Hey, Mom. Can I talk to you?’” recalls Luzer, a subject of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s upcoming documentary “One of Us.” “I said, ‘I’m not religious anymore.’ She said, ‘Okay.’ Then she just hung up and then we didn’t speak for seven years.”

The doc follows Luzer and two other subjects as they struggle to rebuild their lives after leaving Hasidic Judaism. Not only do they have to acclimate themselves to the modern secular world — Ari explains that he was initially confused by Google — they have to contend with family and friends who aren’t happy to see them go. Etty, for example, faces threats of violence from her husband’s family after she leaves the community.

Per the “One of Us’” official synopsis: “The film follows Etty, a mother of seven, as she decides to leave a violent marriage and divorce her husband; Ari, a teenager on the verge of manhood who is struggling with addiction and the effects of childhood abuse; and Luzer, an actor who, despite having found success in the secular world, still wrestles with his decision eight years earlier to leave the Hasidic community. Produced over three years, ‘One of Us’ offers unique and intimate access to the lives of all three as they deal not only with questions of their beliefs but also with the consequences of leaving the only community they have ever known.”

In a soon-to-be-published interview, Grady told us that she and Ewing were drawn to the film partially because of Footsteps, a support group for those leaving the Hasidic community. “These people are essentially willing to give everything up in order to explore their own identities,” she said. “There’s something so universal about that, something that surpassed even the idea of this being a religious community. Not fitting in at some point in one’s life is something a lot of people can identify with.”

Ewing and Grady have previously directed six feature-length films together, including “Jesus Camp,” “Detropia,” and “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You.”

“One of Us” will make its world premiere at Tiff on September 10. It will be available on Netflix and screen in select theaters beginning October 20. Check out the trailer and poster below.

https://medium.com/media/17048c8ba25f6f245d30c9fab70c1e27/href

Trailer Watch: Three People Struggle to Leave Hasidic Judaism in Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s “One… was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

‘One of Us’ Trailer: ‘Jesus Camp’ Directors Go Inside Another Insular Religious Community — Watch

  • Indiewire
‘One of Us’ Trailer: ‘Jesus Camp’ Directors Go Inside Another Insular Religious Community — Watch
Jesus Camp” and “Detropia” documentarian duo Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady return to familiar territory in their latest feature, a Netflix original that will premiere this week at Tiff before going on to the streaming giant later this fall. The new film sees the pair going inside yet an insular community, all in hopes of illuminating without judgement.

Filmed over the course of three years, the film follows a trio of Hasidic Jews, all struggling to break away from the only world they’ve ever known. From actor Luzer, still reeling from the effects of leaving the fold nearly a decade earlier, to teenager Ari, haunted by years of abuse, the film turns a sensitive eye on its subjects and their struggles. But its housewife Etty, a mother of seven who initially seeks to leave her violent husband before discovering the shocking fallout of her choice, that will likely set audiences alight.
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff 2017: 20 Films We Can’t Wait to See, From ‘mother!’ to ‘The Shape of Water’ and Many More

  • Indiewire
Tiff 2017: 20 Films We Can’t Wait to See, From ‘mother!’ to ‘The Shape of Water’ and Many More
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 lauded festival, we’ve hand-picked 20 films we can’t wait to see, from the starriest of premieres to the most unexpected of offerings. Check them out below.

“mother!”

Darren Aronofsky has veered off in many unpredictable directions over the years, but at his core, he’s a master at subverting the horror/thriller genres: From “Pi” to “Black Swan,” the filmmaker excels at taking his stories in creepy, unpredictable directions in which it’s hard to tell how much we can believe onscreen — and whether his characters have lost their minds. That mode certainly seems to be in play for “mother!”, which appears to be a “Rosemary’s Baby”-like tale of a married couple (Jennifer Laurence and Javier Bardem) whose home is infiltrated by
See full article at Indiewire »

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady Doc About Hasidic Judaism Lands at Netflix

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady: Loki Films/YouTube

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s portrait of an Evangelical Christian summer camp earned them an Oscar nomination, and the “Jesus Camp” directors’ latest project, “One of Us,” explores another religious community, this one forged and united by Hasidic Judaism. Variety reports that the documentary has landed at Netflix and will premiere on the streaming service this fall.

Shot in vérité style, “One of Us” follows three individuals and “their decision to leave the insular ultra-Orthodox community,” Variety summarizes. “Their move into the secular world comes at a cost, straining their relationships with their family members and — in one case — threatening their personal safety.”

Netflix is planning an awards push.

Ten years after making ‘Jesus Camp’ we return to another fascinating world anchored in belief and belonging,” Ewing and Grady said in a joint statement. “Our main subjects may be leaving the intense strictures of the ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, but they’re also grappling with a universal human dilemma: that the cost of freedom can also mean losing the only community they’ve ever known.”

The collaborators’ other credits include 2016’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” a doc about the legendary TV producer behind hits such as “All in the Family,” “One Day at a Time,” and “Maude,” and 2012’s Sundance winner “Detropia,” a portrait of Detroit and its economic woes.

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady Doc About Hasidic Judaism Lands at Netflix was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Netflix Teams With ‘Jesus Camp’ Directors on ‘One of Us’ (Exclusive)

Netflix Teams With ‘Jesus Camp’ Directors on ‘One of Us’ (Exclusive)
Netflix is partnering with the Oscar-nominated team behind “Jesus Camp” on “One of Us,” a look inside the world of Hasidic Judaism, Variety has learned. The picture is co-directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady and will launch in the streaming service this fall. There will be an awards push.

Ewing and Grady spent three years making the picture, shooting in vérité style as they tracked the lives of three individuals. “One of Us” chronicles their decision to leave the insular ultra-Orthodox community. Their move into the secular world comes at a cost, straining their relationships with their family members and — in one case — threatening their personal safety. Like “Jesus Camp,” which examined one faction of the evangelical Christian community, “One of Us” is another deep dive into a lesser-known form of religious practice.

Related

‘Wonder Woman’: Warner Bros. Plans Groundbreaking Oscar Campaign for Director, Best Picture (Exclusive)

Ten years after making ‘Jesus Camp’ we return
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lrm Exclusive Interview: Documentary Director Craig Atkinson for Do Not Resist

It’s almost like war has started in our own backyard.

With the current division between Black Lives Matter protests and law enforcement, director Craig Atkinson looks into the current state of policing in America with Do Not Resist.

The film opens with the actual on-the-scene footage of the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in which the law enforcement uses complex training and heavy equipment to quell the unrest. The film observes the current and future directions of law enforcement using high-tech surveillance monitoring technology, military-grade equipment, terrorist conference training and even following a Swat raiding a home to execute a warrant.

Lrm had a phone interview last week to discuss current events and law enforcement technologies with director Craig Atkinson from his documentary Do Not Resist. We’ve covered various topics of law enforcement, his experience in the middle of the Ferguson riots and the future of policing.

Do Not Resist
See full article at LRM Online »

From Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ to ‘Oj: Made in America’: Four Docs That Define Black Lives Matter

From Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ to ‘Oj: Made in America’: Four Docs That Define Black Lives Matter
There are four new documentaries that, while timed for Oscar votes, have a much bigger target audience: The American voters. These urgently topical films peel away decades of mythology, propaganda, and misinformation to reveal why so many people in this country are not only incarcerated in our thriving prison economy, but function inside prisons of misguided perception.

It’s easy to see why the New York Film Festival picked Ava DuVernay’s “13th” as its first-ever documentary opening-night film. In the year of Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, as fearful cops continue to gun down unarmed black men in the street, this must-see film will raise consciousness about how race affects the way we regard and behave toward the people around us. “13th” is a history of how white people have treated African-Americans since 1865 — when the 13th Amendment abolished slavery — and it roused the Lincoln Center crowd to multiple standing
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

From Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ to ‘Oj: Made in America’: Four Docs That Define Black Lives Matter

From Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ to ‘Oj: Made in America’: Four Docs That Define Black Lives Matter
There are four new documentaries that, while timed for Oscar votes, have a much bigger target audience: The American voters. These urgently topical films peel away decades of mythology, propaganda, and misinformation to reveal why so many people in this country are not only incarcerated in our thriving prison economy, but function inside prisons of misguided perception.

It’s easy to see why the New York Film Festival picked Ava DuVernay’s “13th” as its first-ever documentary opening-night film. In the year of Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, as fearful cops continue to gun down unarmed black men in the street, this must-see film will raise consciousness about how race affects the way we regard and behave toward the people around us. “13th” is a history of how white people have treated African-Americans since 1865 — when the 13th Amendment abolished slavery — and it roused the Lincoln Center crowd to multiple standing
See full article at Indiewire »

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary
While best documentary conversations start to take shape in January at the Sundance Film Festival, making the transition from rapturous festival play to awards-season contender is a harrowing road. A documentary must be truly extraordinary to make the final Oscar five.

The number of Sundance docs with awards potential is breathtaking: Breaking out of Sundance 2016 were U.S. Grand Jury Prize winner “Weiner” (IFC), an entertaining portrait of a politician brought down by his weakness for sexting, which turned into a summer hit; U.S. Documentary Directing Award winner “Life, Animated” (The Orchard), a moving portrait of an autistic child who grows up with Disney movies; and HBO’s Audience Award winner “Jim: The James Foley Story.”

Scoring great reviews were Ezra Edelman’s five-part movie “O.J.: Made in America” (Espn), an exhaustive examination of O.J. Simpson and race relations in Los Angeles from the ’60s through the Trial of
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary

  • Indiewire
2017 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary
While best documentary conversations start to take shape in January at the Sundance Film Festival, making the transition from rapturous festival play to awards-season contender is a harrowing road. A documentary must be truly extraordinary to make the final Oscar five.

The number of Sundance docs with awards potential is breathtaking: Breaking out of Sundance 2016 were U.S. Grand Jury Prize winner “Weiner” (IFC), an entertaining portrait of a politician brought down by his weakness for sexting, which turned into a summer hit; U.S. Documentary Directing Award winner “Life, Animated” (The Orchard), a moving portrait of an autistic child who grows up with Disney movies; and HBO’s Audience Award winner “Jim: The James Foley Story.”

Scoring great reviews were Ezra Edelman’s five-part movie “O.J.: Made in America” (Espn), an exhaustive examination of O.J. Simpson and race relations in Los Angeles from the ’60s through the Trial of
See full article at Indiewire »

Cinema Eye Names Top Documentaries and Directors of the Past Decade

  • Indiewire
Cinema Eye has named 10 filmmakers and 20 films that have been voted as the top achievements in documentary filmmaking during the past 10 years. Founded in 2007 to “recognize and honor exemplary craft and innovation in nonfiction film,” Cinema Eye polled 110 members of the documentary community to determine the winning films and filmmakers just as the organization kicks off its tenth year.

Read More: Behind the Scenes of Cinema Eye’s Secret Field Trip for Nominees

Among the films chosen are Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” and Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Poitras and Oppenheimer were both also named to the list of the top documentary filmmakers, joining Alex Gibney, Werner Herzog and Frederick Wiseman, who recently won an honorary Oscar and will be saluted at the annual Governors Awards on November 12.

“It’s fantastic that he is being recognized by the Academy for a
See full article at Indiewire »

Morgan Spurlock Boards Documentary on Wildlife Refuge Takeover

Morgan Spurlock Boards Documentary on Wildlife Refuge Takeover
Morgan Spurlock has come on board to produce a documentary about the 2016 armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Spurlock is producing the untitled movie through his Warrior Poets production company along with Impact Partners. Jeremy Chilnick and David Holbrooke (“The Diplomat”) are also producing.

First Look Media, a financier on best picture Oscar winner “Spotlight,” is financing.

David Byars shot the film and is directing. Footage was shot during six-week occupation of the refuge, led by Ammon Bundy.

Over 20 of the militants have been charged with federal offenses including conspiracy to obstruct federal officers, firearms violations, theft and depredation of federal property and a dozen have pleaded guilty. Jury selection began Wednesday in Portland for Bundy and six others who are charged with conspiracy.

The organizers of the occupation contend that the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are constitutionally required to turn
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’

How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’
Ever since it wowed opening-night crowds at Sundance 2016, documentary biopic “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” has met a range of reactions. That’s because it’s more than a straightforward cradle-to-grave chronicle of Lear’s remarkable decades of television creativity. (Music Box opened the film in New York July 8, Los Angeles hits July 15, PBS’s American Masters airs in October, followed in November by Netflix.)

Documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp,” shortlisted “Detropia”) recognized that, at 93, their subject is still vital and engaging—years after creating groundbreaking ’70s shows “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “Sanford and Sons,” among others, not to mention founding liberal action group People for the American Way.

And so they gave Lear leeway to fashion his on-screen persona, and brought in plenty of friendly talking heads, including, most controversially, George Clooney. In turn, Lear let them dig and
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’

How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’
Ever since it wowed opening-night crowds at Sundance 2016, documentary biopic “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” has met a range of reactions. That’s because it’s more than a straightforward cradle-to-grave chronicle of Lear’s remarkable decades of television creativity. (Music Box opened the film in New York July 8, Los Angeles hits July 15, PBS’s American Masters airs in October, followed in November by Netflix.)

Documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp,” shortlisted “Detropia”) recognized that, at 93, their subject is still vital and engaging—years after creating groundbreaking ’70s shows “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “Sanford and Sons,” among others, not to mention founding liberal action group People for the American Way.

And so they gave Lear leeway to fashion his on-screen persona, and brought in plenty of friendly talking heads, including, most controversially, George Clooney. In turn, Lear let them dig and
See full article at Indiewire »

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Do Not Resist’

Often the most shocking developments are the ones quietly happening under our noses, the sorts of things appearing in investigative reports and then pushed aside by the next scandal or tragedy. Gratitude goes to those documentarians who shine a broader light, which is what Craig Atkinson does in “Do Not Resist,” about the disturbing militarization of U.S. police departments. Shot over two years, incorporating the Ferguson riots together with federal programs funneling a staggering amount of military hardware into small-town America, the doc is stylistically uninspiring, with a tedious threatening sound design, but the powerful subject matter largely overcomes such missteps, as testified by its Tribeca jury win.

In truth, there are probably two documentaries here, one focusing on police response during Ferguson, and another on how the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security set up programs providing major army vehicles to domestic law enforcement. Atkinson puts them together
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance: Norman Lear’s ‘Just Another Version of You’ Sells to Music Box

Sundance: Norman Lear’s ‘Just Another Version of You’ Sells to Music Box
PBS & American Masters Pictures have sold theatrical rights to the documentary “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” to Music Box films

“Just Another Version,” directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, premiered Jan. 21 as the Opening Night selection in the documentary section at the Sundance Film Festival. It includes appearances and interviews with Norman Lear, George Clooney, Bill Moyers, John Amos, Alan Horn, Russell Simmons, Amy Poehler and Jon Stewart.

Grady and Ewing, who teamed on “Jesus Camp,” “12th & Delaware” and “Detropia,” focused on Lear’s extensive work and the implications of its absorption into mainstream American culture through such landmark shows as “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”

Variety‘s Guy Lodge said in his review: “’Just Another Version of You’ condenses a substantial amount of information and perspective into a crisp, concise 91 minutes.”

Music Box Films, in conjunction with PBS & American Masters Pictures, will release the
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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