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What’s Up Doc?: Pennebaker/Hegedus & Malick Voyage to the Top in November

It’s been a couple months since the last edition of What’s Up Doc? placed Michael Moore’s surprise world premiere of Where To Invade Next at the top of this list and in the meantime much shuffling has taken place and much time has been spent on various new endeavors (namely my Buffalo-based film series, Cultivate Cinema Circle). Finally taking its rightful place at the top, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hagedus’ Unlocking the Cage is in the midst of being scored by composer James Lavino, according to Lavino’s own personal site. Though the project has been taking shape at its own leisurely pace, I’d expect to see the film making its festival debut in early 2016.

Right behind, the American direct cinema masters is a Texan soon to make his non-fiction debut with Voyage of Time. Just two weeks ago indieWIRE reported that Ennio Morricone, who scored
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What’s Up Doc?: Moore Docu Surprises, Locarno Begins, Telluride, Venice & Tiff Loom

The fall festival rush is upon us. Locarno is currently ramping up. Venice has released their line-up and Thom Powers and the Toronto International Film Festival team have dropped a bomb with a previously unannounced new feature from powerhouse docu-provocateur Michael Moore. It is truly a miracle that the production of a film such as Moore’s upcoming Where To Invade Next (see still above) managed to go completely undetected by the filmmaking community until it was literally announced to world premiere at one of the largest film festivals in the world. Programmed as a one of the key films in the Special Presentations section at Tiff, the film sees Moore telling “the Pentagon to ‘stand down’ — he will do the invading for America from now on.” Also announced to premiere at Tiff was Avi LewisThis Changes Everything, which has slowly been rising up this list, as well as
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What’s Up Doc?: Wiseman Rises to New “Heights” & Rivers Shooting “The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers” in Morocco

It’s been a surprisingly interesting month of moving and shaking in terms of doc development. Just a month after making his first public funding pitch at Toronto’s Hot Docs Forum, legendary doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman took to Kickstarter to help cover the remaining expenses for his 40th feature film In Jackson Heights (see the film’s first trailer below). Unrelentingly rigorous in his determination to capture the American institutional landscape on film, his latest continues down this thematic rabbit hole, taking on the immensely diverse New York City neighborhood of Jackson Heights as his latest subject. According to the Kickstarter page, Wiseman is currently editing the 120 hours of rushes he shot with hopes of having the film ready for a fall festival premiere (my guess would be Tiff, where both National Gallery and At Berkeley made their North American debut), though he’s currently quite a ways away from his $75,000 goal.
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What’s Up Doc?: Sheffield & AFI Docs Signal the Summer Fest Drought

Well folks, after a rather long and brutal winter (at least for me here in Buffalo), we are finally heading into the wonderful warmth of summer, but with that blast of sunshine and steamy humidity comes the mid-year drought of major film fests. After the Sheffield Doc/Fest concludes on June 10th and AFI Docs wraps on June 21st, we likely won’t see any major influx in our charts until Locarno, Venice, Telluride and Tiff announce their line-ups in rapid succession. In the meantime, we can look forward to the intriguing onslaught of films making their debut in Sheffield, including Brian Hill’s intriguing examination of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, The Confessions of Thomas Quick, and Sean McAllister’s film for which he himself was jailed in the process of making, A Syrian Love Story, the only two films world premiering in the festival’s main competition.
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Nfb Goes To Sundance With Three Shorts

  • SneakPeek
Canada's National Film Board of Canada (Nfb) returns to the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, January 21 to 31 with three selected animated film shorts.

The films screening are Cordell Baker’s "Runaway", Bruce Alcock’s "Vive la Rose" and David Coquard-Dassault’s "Rains".

"Runaway" is Barker's third short film with the Nfb. His previous films "The Cat Came Back" (1988) and "Strange Invaders" (2001) won 30 international awards and Academy Award nominations. "Runaway" was produced in Winnipeg by Derek Mazur for the Nfb.

Bruce Alcock’s "Vive la Rose", puts into images the words of a plaintive song about lost love. Co-produced by the Nfb and Global Mechanic, Alcock’s film is based on an 18th-century song by Newfoundland musician Émile Benoit, in a film that pays homage to the land, sea and the harsh lives of local fishermen, produced by Global Mechanic’s Tina Ouellette and the Nfb’s Annette Clarke and Michael Fukushima.
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