August 1, 2020

Essential Doc Reads: Week of July 27, 2020

From 'The Fight,' (Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, dirs.) a Magnolia Pictures Release. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Essential Doc Reads is our curated selection of recent features and important news items about the documentary form and its processes, from around the internet, as well as from the Documentary magazine archive. We hope you enjoy!

Hammer to Nail's Christopher Reed talks to The Fight directors Eli Despres, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg about how they secured access to the ACLU to make their film.

Yeah, so we went to the ACLU and presented our vision for the film, and that we’re vérité doc filmmakers, and so the thing we always want and what we really need to make the films in the way that we like to make them is total access. So, we told them that we wanted to be inside, documenting all the legal twists and turns, inside strategy sessions and arguments and practicing and personal footage of them at home, in the hallways, everywhere. And they said that they loved the vision, but there was no way that we would ever be able to get inside to film the ACLU in that way.

Moviemaker's Greg Gilman tracks down Daryl Davis, protagonist of Matthew Ornstein's 2016 film Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America, as well as Ornstein himself, for a conversation about how Davis, a Black musician, was willing to talk to avowed white supremacists and managed to persuade 200 of them to renounce their beliefs.

"No matter how far I've gone and how many people I've seen, one thing I've learned is this: Everybody wants to be heard, wants to be respected, wants to be loved, and they want the same thing for their families as I want for my family." The other key to these conversations, he says, is to "educate yourself as much as you can about your adversaries' position and what they believe."

Realscreen's Jillann Morgan reports on Sheffield Doc/Fest’s recent Zoom session, "A Call for Radical Collaboration: New Approaches to Coproduction."

"There are conversations going on at the moment about what could happen in the UK, it’s like we’re out of creative Europe now. Is there the potential or the possibility for there to be something creative to make it easier for us to co-produce with other countries, and bring films here that are not necessarily a UK topic or from a UK director? It's hard to be an independent producer here and it's going to get harder now. It's just about finding new ways and new methods of working and being able to support amazing directors and voices that you want to see do well."

IndieWire's Eric Cohn, talks to Venice Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera about the safety measures of the festival and how he programmed in a pandemic.

We all share the feeling that we cannot wait any longer in a state of isolation unless the consequences are even worse than the ones we've had to go through in the past months. The festival can play a role here. We can show that it’s possible to go back to theaters safely with the process we’ve put in place. Let's hope that when Venice happens, it can be an example for everyone. There is so much fear, doubt, and uncertainty going around. We need to make an effort to restart. Otherwise, it would be a disaster for the entirety of film culture.   

From the Archive, "'Weiner’: Sexts, Lies & 400 Hours of Footage"

"One of the things that was exciting for us was to show that disparity between what we see in the headlines and in the cable news, and what we see of the human story beyond the headlines," Steinberg adds. "Anthony and his wife had both been reduced to caricature and punch line. Our hope with this film was to show what it really means to be at the center of a media firestorm, and to show them as multi-faceted, complex people who were put in an impossible situation."

In the News

 

Emmy Nominations Announced

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FID Marseilles Names Winners

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PBS Names Short Film Festival Winners

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Sundance Institute Announces 2020 Creative Producing Fellows

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Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound Announce Composers and Directors for 2020 Film Music and Sound Design Lab

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Motion Picture Academy Announces 2020 Film Scholars Grant Recipients

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Toronto International Film Festival Unveils 2020 Lineup

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Independent Lens Announces Fall Slate

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2020 Emmys To Go Virtual

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BAFTA Awards Shifts Ceremony Date

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Jackson Wild Summit Goes Online

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IFP Sets 30th Anniversary Gotham Awards Dates

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PBS Press Tour News: Doc Channel Coming to Amazon Prime; New Projects from Ken Burns, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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Universal and AMC Announces 17-Day Window from Theatrical to Premium VOD

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Motion Picture Academy President David Rubin Elected for Second Term

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Britbox Plans Global Expansion

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