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Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Rebecca Cammisa — “Atomic Homefront”

Atomic Homefront

Rebecca Cammisa is a director, producer, and cinematographer. Her first feature documentary film, “Sister Helen,” aired on HBO, and went on to win the 2002 Sundance Film Festival’s Documentary Directing Award. “Sister Helen” also received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural and Artistic Programming. Cammisa’s other credits include Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning “Which Way Home” and Oscar-nominated “God is the Bigger Elvis.” She founded Documentress Films in 2003.

Atomic Homefront” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 15. The film will be broadcast on HBO in early 2018.

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

Rc: “Atomic Homefront” is a documentary film that chronicles the sickness, pain, and suffering that the residents of North St. Louis County are experiencing due to the outright negligence, incompetence, and duplicity that the U.S. government and its agencies of so-called “protection” have perpetrated upon innocent citizens.

The
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Oscars: How Has Race Been Featured in the Best Documentary Category Since 2000?

Ava DuVernay (Courtesy: Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Let’s talk about race in this year’s Oscar race, shall we? Three of the top films up for best documentary feature this year — 13th (Netflix), I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia), and O.J.: Made in America (Espn) — all deal with the black experience in the United States through various lenses. These movies, all favorites to make the official list of five nominees that will battle it out for the big win, drive home the fact that this is still a very important and is one of the Academy’s favorite topics to highlight — but has that always been the case?

First, let’s take a more in-depth look at what these three leading docs deal center around. Ava DuVernay’s 13th provides an in-depth look at the prison system and how the nation’s history of racial
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

A Look at Female-directed Documentaries at the Oscars

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
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Documentary Community Embraces Tribeca Fest

Documentary Community Embraces Tribeca Fest
Documentaries “Street Fight,” “Jesus Camp,” “Which Way Home” and “Taxi to the Dark Side” have two things in common: Oscar nominations (which “Taxi” would go on to win) and world premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival.

It’s no secret the majority of docs that garner Academy recognition debut at Sundance or Toronto. But in recent years Tribeca has stepped up its game and become a top-tier doc showcase.

Since 2010, five Tribeca doc debuts — “Under Our Skin,” “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” “Semper Fi: Always Faithful,” “Bully” and “Which Way Home” — made the Oscar shortlist.

This year, the fest introduces 12 docs via its World Documentary competition. These include “1971,” a pre-WikiLeaks story about Vietnam-era activists; “Misconception,” a look at the consequences of population growth; and “Regarding Susan Sontag,” focusing on the seminal cultural critic and writer.

Frederic Tcheng’s “Dior and I,” about Raf Simons’ first collection as the fashion house’s artistic director,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Toni Collette, Gary Ross, Whoopi Goldberg named to Tribeca festival juries

Toni Collette, Gary Ross, Whoopi Goldberg named to Tribeca festival juries
The Tribeca Film Festival announced its jurors for this year’s event, which runs from April 16-27. The list includes Toni Collette, Lake Bell, Whoopi Goldberg, Catherine Hardwicke, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin, Paul Wesley and 26 other leaders of the filmmaking community.

In addition to the Festival’s main competition juries in seven categories, Tribeca named Delia Ephron, Natasha Lyonne, and Gary Ross to select the second annual Nora Ephron Prize, which awards $25,000 to a female writer or director.

Click below for the entire list of jurors, with biographical information courtesy of the Tribeca festival:

World Competition Categories

The jurors for
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Misogynist Documentary Branch? Oscar 2014

Stories We Tell,’ ‘Blackfish’ out of the Oscar 2014 race: Academy’s Documentary Branch ‘anti-female’? (Photo: Sarah Polley [with camera] directing ‘Stories We Tell’) Besides Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, among the other glaring Oscar 2014 absentees were Robert Redford and Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert for All Is Lost; Joel and Ethan Coen’s well-received Inside Llewyn Davis from the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay shortlists; Daniel Brühl and his movie, Ron Howard’s Rush, which was completely shut out; two Weinstein Company releases that were also completely shut out, Lee DanielsThe Butler and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, and their respective stars Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, and Michael B. Jordan; Guillermo del Toro-Charlie Hunnam’s Pacific Rim and Marc Forster-Brad Pitt’s World War Z from any of the technical categories; and finally, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell and Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sundance appoints Tabitha Jackson

The Sundance Institute has appointed Channel 4 commissioning editor Tabitha Jackson as its documentary film programme director.

Jackson - who will be supervising a staff of eight - will oversee $1.8 million (£1.1 million) in filmmaker grants and five creative labs annually after she takes up the position on December 6. She replaces Cara Mertes - who has left the institute to take up a role as the director of social justice filmmaking programme JustFilms.

Jackson has more than 20 years experience in the non-fiction field, including a stint as editor at More 4 at Channel 4, where she ran the day-to-day operations for the UK’s sixth largest digital channel including running the two key areas of original programming True Stories and More 4 Arts. Over the course of her career at Channel 4, she supported documentary films including The Imposter, The Cove, Burma VJ and Which Way Home.

Sundance Institute's...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Tabitha Jackson Comes to Sundance

The most famous festival devoted to American cinema will now have a Brit from television behind its documentary films. Tabitha Jackson, who was a commissioning editor at Channel 4 Television in London, has been named to replace the departed Cara Mertes as Director, Documentary Film Program. Thank goodness the doc world is such a font of unity and supportiveness. Shouldn’t be any sniping about this at all. Jackson has credentials: Before her Channel 4 gig, she was Editor, More 4 at Channel 4, where she ran day-to-day operations for what is the UK’s sixth largest digital channel and ran the two key areas of original programming -- True Stories and More 4 Arts. She has been associate with such nonfiction standouts as “The Imposter,” “The Cove,” “Burma VJ” and “Which Way Home.” In a prepared statement released Friday, Sundance Executive Director Keri Putnam said: “Tabitha’s professional experience, demonstrated leadership, and
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Film Review: ‘H2Omx’

Film Review: ‘H2Omx’
A rallying cry for government and collective action, “H2Omx” is a good-looking, well-researched and smartly assembled documentary that makes a persuasive case that the time is nigh to remedy the status of water management in the Valley of Mexico. Raising awareness a la “An Inconvenient Truth,” the crusading pic employs dramatic aerial photography, easily assimilated statistics presented via eye-catching graphics and animation, and the testimony of experts and ordinary people. With the support of global financial institution Hsbc, which is making water sustainability its main issue, this excellent educational tool should be screened widely at home and abroad.

The docu highlights the numerous aspects of the region’s water problem, many of which stem from the fact that Mexico City was built in the middle of a series of ancient lakes. The Spanish colonists fought against nature, building massive drainage systems and importing fresh water from elsewhere; these same outdated
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Lopez Among 276 New Academy Members for 2013

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its 276-member-strong class of 2013.

The list, published by The Hollywood Reporter, includes actors, cinematographers, designers, directors, documentarians, executives, film editors, makeup artists and hairstylists, "members-at-large," musicians, producers, PR folks, short filmmakers and animators, sound technicians, visual effects artists, and writers.

Jason Bateman, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Milla Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Mortimer, Sandra Oh, Jason Schwartzman, and Michael Peña are among the roster of actors, while "The Heat" and "Bridesmaids" helmer Paul Feig made the directors' cut.

"We did not change our criteria at all," says Academy president Hawk Koch of this year's larger-than-usual class. "Yes, this year there is a tremendous amount of women, a tremendous amount of people of color, people from all walks of life. This year, we asked the branches to look at everybody who wasn't in the Academy but who deserved to be.
See full article at Moviefone »

Class of 2013: 276 New Members Invited to Join the Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the 276 members of the entertainment industry invited to join organization. The list includes actors, directors, documentarians, executives, film editors, producers and more. Of those listed below, those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2013. "These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Academy President Hawk Koch in a press release. "Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy." Koch also told Variety, "In the past eight or nine years, each branch could only bring in X amount of members. There were people each branch would have liked to get in but couldn't. We asked them to be more inclusive of the best of the best, and each branch was excited, because they got
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Academy adds record number of new members

Academy adds record number of new members
The Academy just added 276 Oscar voters.

That’s 100 more than last year, and part of an easing of a longstanding cap on the number of new members allowed to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences each year.

AMPAS usually adds between 130 and 180 new members, replacing those who have quit or passed away. The membership now stands around 6,000.

Jason Bateman, Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emmanuelle Riva, and Chris Tucker are among the actors who have been invited to join, the organization announced today.

Other interesting additions: the musician Prince, Girls and Tiny Furniture writer/director/actress Lena Dunham,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

276 Receive Membership Invites From The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 276 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2013.

“These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today,” said Academy President Hawk Koch. “Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy.”

The 2013 invitees are:

Actors

Jason Bateman – “Up in the Air,” “Juno

Miriam Colon – “City of Hope,” “Scarface

Rosario Dawson – “Rent,” “Frank Miller’s Sin City

Kimberly Elise – “For Colored Girls,” “Beloved

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “Lincoln,” “The Dark Knight Rises

Charles Grodin – “Midnight Run,” “The Heartbreak Kid

Rebecca Hall – “Iron Man 3,” “The Town

Lance Henriksen – “Aliens,” “The Terminator

Jack Huston – “Not Fade Away,” “Factory Girl

Milla Jovovich – “Resident Evil,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Film Academy Invites 276 New Members

Film Academy Invites 276 New Members
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ava DuVernay and Paul Feig are among the 276 new members invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

The total of new invitees is exactly 100 more than were tapped in 2012. Total membership in the Academy numbers more than 6,000.

“We’re very proud,” Academy prexy Hawk Koch told Variety. “The difference this year is we relaxed the quota system. In the past eight or nine years, each branch could only bring in X amount of members. There were people each branch would have liked to get in but couldn’t. We asked them to be more inclusive of the best of the best, and each branch was excited, because they got to bring in the people who should be in the branch.”

Koch said that in particular, visual effects and documentary were among the branches with the biggest gains, reflecting their intense recent growth.

Among the other
See full article at Variety - Film News »

In the Oscar-Nominated 'God is the Bigger Elvis,' a Starlet Trades In Her Fame for a Habit

In the Oscar-Nominated 'God is the Bigger Elvis,' a Starlet Trades In Her Fame for a Habit
Dolores Hart was an actress whose career was on the rise and who was engaged to marry an adoring fiance when she chose to enter the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut and begin an existence as a Benedictine nun. Directed by Rebecca Cammisa (of 2009's "Which Way Home"), the Oscar-nominated short documentary "God Is the Bigger Elvis" uses Hart's story as a way to gentle examine what would lead a woman to choose the cloistered, strict lifestyle of a monastery in the contemporary age. The film, which premieres on HBO this Thursday, April 5th at 8pm, knows it has an almost too-good-to-be-true subject in Hart, who's become Mother Prioress of the abbey and is a warm, twinkly-eyed presence. She was a woman who seems to have had everything, including beauty, love, contract offers and roles alongside Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton and Robert Wagner, as well as, of course,
See full article at Indiewire »

ArcLight Cinemas Reveals Winner of its Inaugural Doc Fest

ArcLight Cinemas Reveals Winner of its Inaugural Doc Fest
"Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians" took home the top honors and a check for $10,000 at ArcLight Cinemas' inaugural Documentary Festival. Over 150 films from across the States competed for the prize. The top ten finalists were selected by popular vote based on the trailers on the ArcLight Cinemas YouTube channel. The final ten were screened and judged by a panel including Rebecca Cammisa, Academy Award nominee for “Which Way Home;” Rhadi Taylor, Associate Director, Documentary Film Program at the Sundance Institute; Marjan Safina, board of directors for the International Documentary Association; and Gretchen McCourt, Festival Executive Producer. Here's the trailer for "Holy Rollers": Full release below:
See full article at Indiewire »

Oscar 2012: Best Documentary Short Subject Semi-Finalists

Lucy Walker's The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom Lucy Walker's The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Rebecca Cammisa's God Is the Bigger Elvis, and Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill's In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution are among eight films still in the running for the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Five of those shorts will earn Oscar nominations. The semi-finalists were selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Documentary Branch. Thirty-five entries were originally submitted. Unfortunately, there isn't much information out there about several of the current contenders, but at least some of the shorts — inevitably — revolve around recent international events, e.g., In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, about how some in Japan use art and the national flower to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Illegal Immigration Screenings: The Fence, Which Way Home at the Academy

Rebecca Cammisa's Which Way Home Rory Kennedy's The Fence and Rebecca Cammisa's Academy Award-nominated Which Way Home will be screened as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 29th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, April 27, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Directed Kennedy is expected to in attendance. Admission to all screenings in the series is free. The information below is from the Academy's press release: In October 2006, the U.S. government decided to build a 700-mile fence along its Mexican border. Three years and $3.1 billion later, The Fence director Rory Kennedy investigates the impact of the project and how its stated goals – stopping illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and terrorism – have given way to unforeseen consequences. Kennedy also produced the film with Liz Garbus and Keven McAlester. Which Way Home profiles two young boys, Kevin and Fito,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-Ray Monday: Jan. 25th, 2011

Your Weekly Source for Blu-Ray and DVD Release News

The Academy Award-winning Spielberg classic The Color Purple makes it’s way to Blu-Ray; Russell Crowe portrays a brilliant, but troubled genius in A Beautiful Mind, based on a true story; venture outside the box with two creative festival favorites — Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, and Gaspar Noe’s visual tour de force Enter The Void; Criterion Collection adds another volume to it’s library in James L. BrooksBroadcast News; get rugby rough with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, and take your pick of the entire Stieg Larsson Trilogy boxed set, or just the third installment of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’S Nest, the final chapter in an extraordinary, critically-acclaimed trio of films from Norway.

Blu-Ray for Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’S
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Nelson to Host Sundance Awards; Festival Juries Announced

Actor Tim Blake Nelson will host the awards ceremony at the Sundance Film Festival, which also announced Tuesday the members of the five juries that will determine the winners. The festival runs from Jan. 20-30; the awards will be handed out the evening of Jan. 29. (The Short Film Awards will be named earlier at a ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at Park City’s Jupiter Bowl.)

The complete list of jurors follows, with bios provided by the festival.

U.S. Documentary Jury

Jeffrey Blitz

Jeffrey’s film career started in 2002 with the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary “Spellbound.” His fiction feature debut, “Rocket Science,” became his first to play the festival (Sundance, 2007; Dramatic Directing Award). He has also directed the documentary “Lucky,” (Sundance, 2010) and multiple episodes of NBC’s “The Office.” In 2009, he won the Emmy for comedy directing.

Matt Groening

Matt Groening created the longest-running comedy in television history, “The Simpsons.” As a cartoonist,
See full article at Moving Pictures Network »
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