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Film Review: ‘2018 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Documentary’

Has any Oscar category changed more since its inception than best documentary short? Trace the prize back to its inception, in 1941, and the nominees were dominated by newsreel and propaganda films (at a time when “The March of Time” and patriotic shorts produced by the United States Office of War Information preceded the feature). Later, the category passed through an educational period (in which Walt Disney and Charles Guggenheim were rewarded for their informational shorts, and glorified commercials such as “Glass” and “Giuseppina” took the prize), before documentary filmmaking took an artistic leap forward (spurred on by the rise in reality television) around the year 2000.

That brings us to today, as well-framed political causes and gripping character portraits make for one of the show’s strongest categories — this despite the fact that hardly anyone actually sees documentary shorts in theaters anymore. For the sake of fairness, the Academy might want
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sliff 2017 – “And The Winners Are….”

The Urban Chestnut Beer poured freely (because it was free) at the Urban Chestnut Microbrewery in the Grove neighborhood inSt. Louis last night. It was the closing-night party for the 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival where the slate of audience-choice and juried-competition winners were announced to an attentive crowd. Sliff presented four major filmmaking awards during the course of the 2017 festival: Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award to Dan Mirvish; Women in Film Award to Pam Grier; Lifetime Achievement Awards to Sam Pollard; and the Contemporary Cinema Award to Marco Williams.

Tribeca Film Institute’s If/Then Short Documentary Pitch Competition

Tribeca Film Institute, in partnership with Sliff, sought short documentary projects by filmmakers living and working in the Midwest for its new If/Then Short Documentary Program, made possible with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Five projects were invited to enter
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Cinema St. Louis Announces the Features for this Year’s St. Louis International Film Festival

Cinema St. Louis has unveiled the narrative and documentary features that comprise the 26th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, to be held Nov. 2-12, Among the highlights are such St. Louis-related works as “Atomic Homefront,” opening-night film “Bad Grandmas,” and “For Ahkeem” and such festival buzz films as “Call Me by Your Name,” “Dahmer,” “Darkest Hour,” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” “Last Flag Flying,” “The Leisure Seeker,” “Thoroughbreds,” and “Walking Out.”

For a complete list of the films, go Here

http://www.cinemastlouis.org/films-preview

The fest will honor Pam Grier (“Bad Grandmas” and “Jackie Brown”) with a Women in Film Award; Sam Pollard (“Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” and “Acorn and the Firestorm”) with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Marco Williams (“Tell Them We Are Rising”) with a Contemporary Cinema Award; and Washington U. grad Dan Mirvish (the Jules Feiffer-written “Bernard
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Festival Roundup: Laff Adds ‘The Beguiled’ and ‘Annabelle: Creation,’ Frameline41 Announces Lineup and More

Film Festival Roundup: Laff Adds ‘The Beguiled’ and ‘Annabelle: Creation,’ Frameline41 Announces Lineup and More
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, is pleased to announce that Frameline41, the San Francisco International Lgbtq Film Festival, will take place June 15-25, 2017 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Festival celebrates the spectrum and intersection of identities that make up the worldwide Lgbtq community.

With an expected attendance of 65,000 at its five venues, including a full week of programming in the East Bay, Frameline41 will draw film lovers, media artists, and Lgbtq communities from across the globe to discover the best in queer cinema among its 147 films. More than 19 countries will be represented, including Armenia, Cuba, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The 2017 slate proudly comprises 40 percent of films from women directors.

“Frameline41’s films shine a
See full article at Indiewire »

AFI Docs to honour Laura Poitras

The Oscar and Peabody award-winning documentarian will be receive the Charles Guggenheim award on June 16.

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that AFI Docs will pay tribute to Laura Poitras.

The director of Risk and Citizenfour will be the festival’s 2017 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honouree.

The symposium will take place at the Newseum on June 16 and will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her films.

Poitras’ latest film Risk, a six-year project following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released by Neon earlier this month and will air on Showtime this summer.

Poitras’ documentary catalogue also includes The Oath, Flag Wars, which was Emmy nominated and won a Peabody Award, and My Country, My Country, which was nominated for a best documentary feature Oscar.

In 2015, Poitras won the Academy Award for Citizenfour. That same year, Poitras co-founded Field of Vision, an entity that commissions and creates original short-form nonfiction films about global events
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Laura Poitras honoured by Amber Wilkinson - 2017-05-23 14:47:13

Laura Poitras won an Oscar for Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced AFI Docs will pay tribute to Laura Poitras — the director of Risk, about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and the Academy Award®-winning Edward Snowden portrait Citizenfour (2014) — as the festival's 2017 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

Each year, the AFI Docs Charles Guggenheim Symposium honours a master of the nonfiction art form. Taking place at the Newseum on June 16, the Symposium will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her work, which includes The Oath, My Country, My Country and Flag Wars.

AFI Docs director Michael Lumpkin said: "Poitras has the extraordinary instinct and ability to put her camera in the heart of history as it unfolds, regardless of the risk. Using her keen eye, Poitras reveals worlds just beyond what we can see. We are honored to celebrate her remarkable career and dedication to the documentary form.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

AFI Docs to Honor ‘Citizenfour’ Director Laura Poitras

AFI Docs to Honor ‘Citizenfour’ Director Laura Poitras
The American Film Institute’s AFI Docs festival will pay tribute to “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras as the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

The award will be presented at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on June 16 and will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her works. Poitras’ latest film “Risk,” a six-year project following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released by Neon on May 5 and will air on Showtime this summer.

Poitras’ documentary credits include “The Oath” (2010), “My Country, My Country” (2006) and “Flag Wars” (2003). “Citizenfour” grew out of a meeting with Edward Snowden in 2013 after he e-mailed her inside information about illegal wiretapping practices of the U.S. National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. She won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary for the film.

“Poitras has the extraordinary instinct and ability to put her camera in the heart of history as it unfolds,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Laura Poitras to Be Honored at AFI Docs

Laura Poitras to Be Honored at AFI Docs
Laura Poitras has been announced as the 2017 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

Poitras helmed the Edward Snowden doc Citizenfour and recently released her Julian Assange nonfiction feature Risk, a six-year project. Out of Cannes, it was announced that she will executive produce the Chelsea Manning doc, Xy Chelsea.

Past Guggenheim honorees include Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Alex Gibney.

As previously announced, opening the Washington, D.C.-based fest is Bryan Fogel's Icarus, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival and follows Russian "anti-doping" doctor Grigory Rodchenkov, who became a whistle-blower, detailing Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program that took place ahead of the...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

AFI Docs Film Festival Showcases Unique Perspectives

Last year, Michael Lumpkin arrived as director of Washington, D.C.’s, five-day AFI Docs Film Festival a mere six short months before his inaugural fest. For his second go-round, he has had the whole year to prepare and promises a festival that is more international and “diverse, in terms of the types of films, where they come from, and who’s making them.”

The festival, previously known as SilverDocs, also continues its gradual move from its first home in Silver Spring, Md., to a centralized hub in the heart of D.C. The vast majority of screenings will be held at the Newseum and the nearby Landmark E Street, opening with Alex Gibney’s “Zero Days” on June 22, and closing with Rachel Grady’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” on June 26.

All told, the fest will screen 94 films from 30 countries, including Robert Kenner’s nuclear warhead expose “Command and Control,” Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s baseball doc “Doc and Darryl,” Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor’s “Check It,” and Nicole Opper’s “Visitors Day.” Werner Herzog will be on hand for a panel as the Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree, followed by a screening of his internet-history film “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World,” with additional panels scheduled to discuss diversity in documentary filmmaking, shortform docs and virtual reality.

As always, the festival boasts an unusual character thanks to its brief duration — less than half the allotment for its biggest counterparts, such as Amsterdam’s Idfa and Toronto’s Hot Docs — but the five-day span allows Lumpkin and his team to program with a mind toward thematic coherence.

“You have to say ‘no’ to films that you really, really love,” Lumpkin says. “So that forces you to really think about it and consider the entire program you’re presenting. Yes, all the films are great, but how do they fit in together as a festival?”

Despite taking place in the nation’s capital shortly before the two party conventions, Lumpkin says that the political atmosphere didn’t play an outsize role in programming. But as one would expect from a documentary festival, hot-button current events will rarely be far from the minds of those attending. (Speaking of which, the fest’s attendance rose from 11,000 to 15,000 from 2014 to ’15, and Lumpkin expects a “significant increase” this year.)

In particular, Lumpkin calls attention to the Newseum screenings of Kim A. Snyder’s “Newtown,” about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and the Netflix-bound sexual assault documentary “Audrie and Daisy” (pictured above), directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.

“They’re both very important films in terms of those issues, but they both approach the issues in very unique and different ways,” Lumpkin says. “This happened with a number of films this year, where you see the title and the short description, and you think, ‘Oh I’ve seen this film before.’ But you go in and watch it and say, ‘No, I haven’t seen this film, this is something I was not expecting at all.’ And that points to very good filmmaking.”

Lumpkin is also high on Vitaly Mansky’s “Under the Sun,” filmed in North Korea with the oversight of the country’s government, but which, he says, “plays with the format, and uses the actual frame of the image” to give a subtle but revealing glimpse of life in the inhospitable country.

“They were able to really uncover a truth about the culture and the people who live there that, if they had gone in and said, ‘this is what we’re doing,’ they never could have done. So it’s all in the filmmaking, about what they’re choosing to show you or not show you.”
See full article at Variety - Film News »

AFI Docs Unveils Slate for 2016 Fest

AFI Docs Unveils Slate for 2016 Fest
AFI Docs unveiled a slate of films for its June 22-26 festival that includes Robert Kenner’s “Command and Control,” the world premiere of Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s “Doc and Darryl” and Barbara Kopple’s “Miss Sharon Jones!

The American Film Institute event, held in Washington and Silver Spring, Md., already announced that Alex Gibney’s “Zero Days” would be the featured screening at the opening night gala, and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” would close the event.

Werner Herzog will be recognized as the Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree on June 24, with a conversation moderated by Ramin Bahrani. It’ll be followed by the East Coast premiere of Herzog’s “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.”

Also slated are a number of events at the Newseum — called “Spotlight Screenings” — including Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s “Audrie & Daisy,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

American Film Institute Honors Werner Herzog

American Film Institute Honors Werner Herzog
The American Film Institute has selected Werner Herzog as the Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree at the AFI Docs festival.

Herzog will be honored at the Newseum on June 24 with clips from his career in a discussion moderated by filmmaker Ramin Bahrani. The discussion will be followed by a screening of Herzog’s latest documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.”

Magnolia Pictures will open the film in select theaters in the summer.

“Whether exploring unseen corners of the world or contemplating technology in our lives, Werner Herzog’s cinematic voice is unmistakably evocative,” said Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI Docs. “He wields a world-class power, using his artistry to provoke audiences into seeing their world from the most esoteric angles.”

Herzog’s documentary credits include “Into the Abyss,” “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” the Oscar-nominated “Encounters at the End of the World,” “Grizzly Man,” “The White Diamond,” the Emmy-nominated “Little Dieter Needs to Fly,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sliff 2015 Lineup Announced; Alex Winter’s Deep Web Opening Night Film

The schedule for the 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (Sliff) has been announced and once again film goers will be offered the best in cutting edge features and shorts from around the globe.

The festival takes place November 5-15, 2015.

Sliff kicks off on November 5 with the opening-night selection, Deep Web, with director Alex Winter, who’s honored with the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award. (Trailer)

Highlights from this year’s festival include:

The 33 Anomalisa The Assassin Brooklyn Carol I Saw the Light Krisha The Lady in the Van Legend Love the Coopers Remember Son of Saul Touched with Fire Youth

The 33

According to Sliff, the festival will feature more than 125 filmmaking guests, including honorees: actor/director Alex Winter, winner of the Charles Guggenheim Cinema St. Louis Award; director Trent Harris, winner of the Contemporary Cinema Award; and director Rosemary Rodriguez, winner of the Women in Film Award.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Tory Kittles and Akon Are Enterprising Bandits in Trailer for Remake of Steve McQueen Crime Drama, 'American Heist'

A film that wasn't at all on my radar, and I only just learned about, Lionsgate will release "American Heist" - an American-Russian co-produced independent action film directed by Armenian director Sarik Andreasyan, based on the 1959 film "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery," which starred Steve McQueen and was directed by Charles Guggenheim and John Stix. The film stars Hayden ChristensenAdrien Brody, Tory Kittles, Akon and Jordana Brewster. The story: A New Orleans mechanic's struggle to turn his back on crime is compromised by the unexpected return of his ex-con brother, who quickly gets him involved in a dangerous heist. James and Frankie were just...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

'Best Of Enemies' to open AFI Docs

  • ScreenDaily
'Best Of Enemies' to open AFI Docs
Top brass at AFI Docs 2015 have announced the slate at the 13th festival, set to run from June 17–21 in Washington DC and Silver Spring, Maryland.

Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s Best Of Enemies will open the event and chronicles a series of debates during the summer of 1968 between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley Jr.

Stanley Nelson will be the 2015 Charles Guggenheim honouree at the National Archives’ William G McGowan Theater on June 19.

Spotlight Screenings include Abigail Disney’s The Armor Of Light, David Holbrooke’s The Diplomat, the world premiere of Brad Horn’s First And 17 and Greg Whiteley’s Most Likely To Succeed.

Panel discussions or extended Q&As with special guests will follow each Spotlight Screening.

There are Special Screenings of Dawn Porter’s Rise: The Promise Of My Brother’s Keeper on June 18 and Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci’s Salam Neighbor, which coincides with World Refugee Day with a world premiere
See full article at ScreenDaily »

AFI Docs To Includes 81 Films, Four World Premieres

AFI Docs To Includes 81 Films, Four World Premieres
The AFI Docs Film Festival will include 81 films representing 25 countries, including four world premieres, three U.S. preems and four East Coast bows. The fest runs June 17–21 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Md.

As previously announced, the 13th edition of American Film Institute’s event opens with Magnolia Pictures’ “Best of Enemies” from directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville and concludes with the HBO docu “Mavis” from Jessica Edwards.

Stanley Nelson (“The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” in the photo above) will be the Charles Guggenheim honoree at the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater on June 19.

Panel discussions or extended Q&As with special guests will follow each of the four Spotlight Screening. There will also be two Special Screenings, including “Salam Neighbor,” which coincides with World Refugee Day with a world premiere screening on June 20.

“Audiences will see the most renowned documentary films of the year,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Albert Maysles, Les Blank, Alex Gibney and More Head for AFI Docs Fest

Albert Maysles, Les Blank, Alex Gibney and More Head for AFI Docs Fest
Now in its 13th year, the American Film Institute's AFI Docs Film Festival runs June 17-21 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Springs, M.D. In total the fest has slated 81 films from 25 countries, with world premieres including Brad Horn's "First and 17," Greg Whiteley's "Most Likely to Succeed" and Discovery's "Rise: The Promise of My Brother's Keeper." AFI Docs will open with Magnolia Pictures' fest favorite "Best of Enemies," a charming portrait of the 1968 televised sparring wars between William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal. The fest will then close with HBO's adored music doc "Mavis!" AFI Docs will recognize Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson ("The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution") as its 2015 Charles Guggenheim honoree at the National Archives' William G. McGowan Theater on June 19.  Other highlights include "In Transit," partly directed by Albert Maysles, Alex Gibney's "Steve...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

AFI Docs 2014 unveils roster

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AFI Docs will open with the world premiere of Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey and close with Life Itself.

The annual AFI Docs Charles Guggenheim Symposium will honour and Guggenheim honouree Alex Gibney.

All in all 84 films from 28 countries will screen over the course of the festival, set to run from June 18-22 in in Washington DC and Silver Spring, Maryland

New events include Catalyst screenings of provocative subjects and the Filmmaker Engagement Program, designed to connect artists with decision-makers and thought-leaders.

Spotlight Screenings include E-Team, Freedom Summer and Point And Shoot, while the programme includes Dinosaur 13, We Are The Giant and When The Garden Was Eden.

“AFI Docs 2014 is a true celebration of documentaries and storytellers,” said interim festival director Christine O’Malley. “While there are serious thought-provoking issues presented artfully in the films, there are equal amounts of whimsical and entertaining experiences.

“What they all do, however, is inform
See full article at ScreenDaily »

American Odyssey, Life Itself bookend AFI Docs

  • ScreenDaily
AFI Docs will open with the world premiere of Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey and close with Life Itself.

The annual AFI Docs Charles Guggenheim Symposium will honour and Guggenheim honouree Alex Gibney.

All in all 84 films from 28 countries will screen over the course of the festival, set to run from June 18-22 in in Washington DC and Silver Spring, Maryland

New events include Catalyst screenings of provocative subjects and the Filmmaker Engagement Program, designed to connect artists with decision-makers and thought-leaders.

Spotlight Screenings include E-Team, Freedom Summer and Point And Shoot, while the programme includes Dinosaur 13, We Are The Giant and When The Garden Was Eden.

“AFI Docs 2014 is a true celebration of documentaries and storytellers,” said interim festival director Christine O’Malley. “While there are serious thought-provoking issues presented artfully in the films, there are equal amounts of whimsical and entertaining experiences.

“What they all do, however, is inform
See full article at ScreenDaily »

AFI Docs Releases Complete Film Line-Up, Plans to Honor Alex Gibney at Guggenheim Symposium

AFI Docs Releases Complete Film Line-Up, Plans to Honor Alex Gibney at Guggenheim Symposium
AFI Docs has released its complete line-up of films for this year's festival, which will take place June 18-22 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Springs, MD. As previously announced, "Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey" and "Life Itself" will open and close the festival, respectively. In addition to screening 84 films from 28 different countries, AFI Docs will honor Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney at its annual Charles Guggenheim Symposium. Excerpts from his films will be screened at the ceremony. The festival's roster of Catalyst Screenings -- which feature post-screening panel discussions with filmmakers, field experts and policymakers -- includes Andrew Rossi's higher education critique "Ivory Tower" and Brian Knappenberger's contemplative piece about the web, entitled "The Internet's Own Boy." Rory Kennedy's "Last Days In Vietnam" and Amir Bar-Lev's "Happy Valley" -- the latter of which explores the circumstances surrounding the charges of sex abuse levied against...
See full article at Indiewire »

Full AFI Docs Slate Includes Holbrook's 'Twain' Odyssey, 'Overnighters' and Alex Gibney Tribute

Full AFI Docs Slate Includes Holbrook's 'Twain' Odyssey, 'Overnighters' and Alex Gibney Tribute
AFI Docs has unveiled its full 2014 program, a slate of 84 buzzed-about films from 28 countries that will unspool from June 18-22 in Washington DC and Silver Spring, MD. As previously announced, the fest gets going with "Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey," the opening night selection from director Scott Teems that follows celebrated character actor Hal Holbrook on the tour of his popular one-man show "Mark Twain Tonight!" Teems and Holbrook will attend this world premiere.  Now in its 12th year, AFI Docs will then close with Steve James' acclaimed Sundance documentary about the life of film critic Roger Ebert, "Life Itself." This screening arrives ahead of the film's July 4th theatrical release. (Read our interview with James here, and review of the film here.) Notably, the annual AFI Docs Charles Guggenheim Symposium will honor Oscar-winning, prolific documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney. President of busy Jigsaw Productions, Gibney directed "We Steal Secrets: The Story of.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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